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Quiet Breakups

I haven’t had the privilege of arguing with someone in a very long time. Some who know me might beg to differ, citing some random argument we had last week about some random topic, but I’m not talking about those arguments. I’m talking about the arguments born out of intimacy and love.

For some reason, I was thinking about this the other day, how long it’s been since I stayed up at night tossing and turning over words that were said with someone I cared about. When we were happy, I wondered how we ever got to the point of anger with one another. Then I thought about how much of a waste of time it all was. I remember in my previous relationships, the arguments we had, and when I look back on them today, all I can do is shake my head. They were so unnecessary, and I can’t say I learned anything from them, or, not nearly as much as I learned from the times we were happy together.

My last relationship was such a strain on the brain and the heart, that when we broke up, I declared a break from relationships. It’s been four years, and of course I have dated some fantastic women, and of course I’m not dating them anymore. And I laugh at that, because if there’s one thing I want in a relationship, it’s compatibility. I’m a stickler for it really, unwilling to compromise and refusing to buy into the idea that opposites do indeed attract. Not in my book they don’t. What attracts me is similarities, oneness, and so it’s what I go after, and it’s what I get, but the irony of it all is, it’s what I lose too.

I was once in a relationship with a woman and we never argued. Not once. We didn’t yell at one another, we didn’t really disagree with one another. If I had to use one word to describe it, I would say it was a quiet relationship. The only time any real noise was made was when one of us made a joke or we were, well, you know…For some reason, a reason I can’t think of, we’re not together anymore. Instead, she’s with another man, a man I know she’s had her fair share of problems with, and she’s been with him longer than we were together.

The reason I bring this relationship up is not because I miss it but because it still puzzles me. How did we breakup and we never argued? Even the breakup itself was quiet, or rather, it was civil. And I remember it hurt, cause she broke up with me, and it killed me quietly, softly, like a person knocked me out by covering my face with one of those toxic wet naps. There was another time I recall a peaceful breakup that hurt probably more than the breakup I went through myself.

I forgot how old I was when my mom and Pop first broke up. Maybe it was sixth grade or seventh grade. Yeah, I believe it was the seventh grade. I remember my sister and I came home from school. We were used to hearing the excitement of one of our two dogs when we walked through the door. The dog’s name was Makita, and it was my Pop’s dog. Makita was a Rottweiler, a loud four legged creature made out of fur and energy. On this particular day my sister and I came home, we didn’t notice anything different until our mom brought it to our attention. She told us Pop took Makita to the pound. Before we could even ask why, she said it was because Pop was leaving and I remember my sister and I crying so quickly but not loudly. For a house that was used to the sound of arguing and yelling, my Pop and Mom were going through the hardest part of their lives without making any noise.

We sometimes like to broadcast our moves before we make them. We say we’re going to do this and we’re going to do that, and we say these things in hopes we hurt the other person. I’m beginning to realize, if we want to hurt them, it’s probably because we still care what they think about us. When we’re truly tired of someone, they don’t keep us up at night.

This is just something I think about, and the way it’s affected not just me but many others I know. Why are so many of us so scared of peaceful relationships? If the question doesn’t apply to you, bravo, but it applies to me. When I don’t get along with someone, I know exactly what to do. Leave them alone. The more puzzling people I date are the ones I get along with the best. Things are going so well, why does that bother me and why do we end what is a good thing? This is not to say we’re cynical or want to find negative situations to involve ourselves in. But am I the only one who gets a little anxiety over someone who fits so well into my life?

I don’t think there’s a neat answer to it at all. I just bring it up because it’s something I think about, this whole breaking up without a fight, how bittersweet it is, and how the only fight it leaves us with is an internal one within ourselves.

It makes me think of the song below. I’ve always loved it not just because of the finger-snapping groove of the guitars and congas, but the lyrics. It’s bittersweet; sad and happy at the same time, like the perfect breakup with the perfect person.


The Process: Don’t think while I was on my writing hiatus I went into a health hiatus too. I actually kicked up my weekly run to six miles, and everything is coming along nicely. Videos of my fitness process with the homie Brandon Carter will be posted soon.

Poppin’ Questions Podcast: Episode 30 went up yesterday! Click here to listen! Hit me on my Formspring or email me at for a question to be considered for Episode 31, which will go up tomorrow.

The #UIGM Twitter Conversation: I’m sorry folks but due to scheduling conflicts, it’s not going down tonight. Promise though this is going to return and continue. I miss it.

See a mistake? Hit me here,

Writings elsewhere: For those who watch ‘The Game’, I’ve been doing TV Recaps for the Wall Street Journal all season, and finally closed it out with last night’s season finale. Click here to check it out along with all the others (except for Episode 2, which had technical difficulties at the time).

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  • LB

    your deep stuff is deep. good work, jozen.

  • Qiana McKoy

    Happy to have you back Jozen!

    This posts definitely touches sensitive spots in my soul – my ex ended our four-year relationship a month ago and I still feel like I was blindsided. It was a quiet breakup too – no fights, no arguments. We were very much alike and had a great relationship. I’ve broken relationships off and been dumped in the past, but it’s never hurt as much as this breakup has. It has literally killed my belief in love and left me jaded about relationships. I’m still struggling to pick up the pieces of my broken heart…

    You definitely spoke my heart in this post.

  • me

    Do you think being too much alike can get boring and thus the breakups? My husband and I have been together for 20 years so it’s hard for me to say. We have similarities (we both love to laugh and have fun) but we are different too. Those differences, however, have enabled us to share new interests and experiences with each other — even as they have changed over the years.

  • esoteric

    “We sometimes like to broadcast our moves before we make them. We say we’re going to do this and we’re going to do that, and we say these things in hopes we hurt the other person.”

    I learned this early on and while you would think having that knowledge would be a good thing,sometimes knowing too much to soon can be bad. I used my knowledge of how powerful “silent hurt” is, for bad…

    “I’m beginning to realize, if we want to hurt them, it’s probably because we still care what they think about us. When we’re truly tired of someone, they don’t keep us up at night.”

    Because I used my knowledge for bad… sometimes… I stay up at night…
    I was “married” to my ego/I’ve made some bad decision in relationships.

  • Guest

    i also agree that opposites do NOT attract. What’s best for you may not be best for another. Often when you try to come to peace with those who are against what’s best for you, arguments usually come into effect. It comes down to the fact that if others are not willing to agree with your likes, dislikes, preferences & beliefs, in order to come to peace with each other, it is safe to say, opposites do not attract. It would be too much of a struggle to be with someone who is not willing to agree with your likes, dislikes, preferences, & beliefs. There would be no point in being in a relationship with that person.

  • Ava

    This was a really good post. I enjoyed this. To answer your question, “am I the only one who gets a little anxiety over someone who fits so well into my life?” No, lol. And I think about that all the time.

  • Char

    I like this post. Opposites may not be the best fit. But, have you considered that two highly similar people don’t always work well together either. It really depends on the disposition of the two individuals. I am an ambitious person prone to debate and short on patience. I’ve dated type A, alpha men because we are in many ways similar. And this has not made for sustainable relationships. Keeping it short: in summation, whether two similar people belong together depends on their disposition and characteristics. There’s no generalizeable rule.

  • GuestLady

    I think dating someone that compliments you is better than dating your opposite and/or some very similair to you. It’s always nice to date someone that is strong in areas that you are weak in and vice versa.

  • WealthLoveBeauty

    Very interesting topic Jozen. I’d say I’m a quiet relationship-er. Only one serious relationship comes to mind as being tumultuous and it was the longest. Most of my exes have outright said the fact that I don’t argue makes them uneasy. And further, when I decide something isn’t working I will move on. Does that make the breakup any less painful? No. Does that mean all feelings are gone or never were? No. It is a bitter pill, though, when everything in the relationship has gone so fluidly up until that point.

  • Justina

    I wholeheartedly agree w/ this. I never understood why people are uneasy about someone who takes the less dramatic route.

  • Anonymous

    I love this post, forwarding it to my friend…she could take a thing or two away from it. Love isn’t supposed to be HARD…a little work at times, but not hard. “Love will never return to you void.”…I love that saying. #thatisall

  • Roni

    Love this…I missed your posts

  • Ajoa

    I was like this when I was younger. When the relationship was going well, I was suspicious. It was going a bit too well for me, I needed that excitement of arguing, of disagreeing, etc… With time, and age I’ve learned to appreciate and cherish relationships that go very well, and not to look for drama in them. Lol, and that’s when these kind of relationships don’t seem to come around as often as before.

  • Getagirl Getagirl

    It’s best to breakup without fighting. No bitterness, no hatred and everything is mutually agreed.

  • lalanii

    But am I the only one who gets a little anxiety over someone who fits so well into my life?

    Hmmm, not at all. Some of my best relationships have ended because of the person fitting all too well into my life. I can’t even remember why really, but I completely panic. But not because of the relationship- I panic because some of the worst experiences I’ve ever had to endure came ever so quietly back when I was a child. It taught me that the thing I fear most isn’t the arguing so much as the peaceful walking away.

  • alwaysaja

    I’m a frequent reader of this blog but never comment. This time, the song choice was so perfect I couldn’t resist.

    Anyway, great post. I think quiet breakups are the most bizarre because there’s nothing to point to and say “that’s why it didn’t work.” I mean, we all reflect back on previous relationships from time to time. If there was a lot of conflict in a relationship, whenever you’re reflecting back it’s easy for you to justify why it didn’t work out. This also makes it extra easy to move on.

    I believe there usually is a good reason why we don’t end up with the “seems so perfect & right” person, but it’s much harder to explain to ourselves (and others) why. That’s why many of us, as you pointed out, just turn inside and have the “breakup fight” with ourselves. Kind of funny when you think about it.

    Maybe the anxiety about the person who “fits so well” is about timing. Maybe that anxiety subsides when we come across the person that fits well AND fits well at the right time.

  • Melissa Severe

    This has to be my favorite post. It seems from the comments to have touched others as well. Thanks for sharing Jozen.