Breaking up is hard to do under normal circumstances, and we are living in nothing near normal circumstances these days. Coronavirus quarantine has forced us to spend too much (or too little) time with the ones we love and has made us think about what really matters.
In your extended period of introspection, you may have decided to
end your relationship with your girlfriend. The question is: when? Must you wait until the COVID-19 pandemic dies down or is the kinder thing to cut your losses now so you’re single and ready to mingle once your usual avenues of socializing open up? In this deep dive, we’re tackling the question: Do I have to wait for quarantine to end to break up with my girlfriend?
Cover Photo: Witthaya Prasongsin (Getty Images)
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Deep Dive Quarantine Breakup
It’s never a good time to break up.
You could argue that there is no “good” time for a breakup. It’s going to hurt no matter what. But being stuck in quarantine does limit how you can cope with the end of a relationship. If you don’t anticipate devastation in the wake of the breakup, maybe the timing doesn’t matter. You and she will just soldier on with your lives. If, however, you anticipate one of you being completely heartbroken over the demise of your relationship, the kindest thing to do might be to wait until you – or she – have the ability to cry on a friend’s shoulder, drink away the pain in a bar, or see a therapist face-to-face.
How close are you?
If your girlfriend is someone you only recently started dating pre-coronavirus, and you’re just not feeling it or unable to safely spend enough time together because of quarantine, the stakes are lower. Go ahead and give her the boot. You can always hit her up again after life resumes something resembling normal and give it another try. If you’ve been with your girlfriend a long time, breaking up is going to be harder. She might feel abandoned mid-COVID-19 crisis. Then again, time’s a wastin’, even if all you seem to be doing lately is wasting time.
Do you live together?
If you do, this could get tricky. The economy is in the tank and trying to find a new living space is going to be rough. If you’re the one who’d move out and you’re fine crashing on couches for a few weeks, then by all means, give her the ax. But if you think you’re going to dump her, then show her the door, that’s cruel and unusual punishment. Unless you can figure out a way to cohabitate like roommates without killing each other post-breakup, you might have to fake your affection a little while longer.
Are you seeing other people?
Polyamory is all the rage these days, so if you happen to have a girlfriend but one (or both) of you are seeing other people, it might be better to break things off. Multiple partners and coronavirus really don’t mix, especially with the highly contagious nature of the disease. Now more than ever is the time for monogamy (or
abstinence, if you can hack it). A rotating cast of romantic interests is only putting you and her at risk. This is the time to pare down and focus on one person – by which we might mean you and only you.
Is the urge to break up quarantine-related?
Hey, we’re all on edge right now and annoying the fuck out of one another. Were you feeling inklings that you wanted to break up before all the quarantine crap happened? Or is the urge to damn the torpedoes a result of being in a confined space with your girlfriend 24/7? If it’s the former, and quarantine has simply exacerbated problems that were already there, you’re better off calling it off. If it’s the latter, though, a wise man would advise waiting this out and seeing if the relationship is salvageable post-quarantine.
Does either of you have COVID-19?
If either one of you is sick, now is definitely not the right time to blow up your relationship. At the very least, nurse one another through the physical sickness before making any decisions about your future (or lack thereof) together.
How comfortable are you being alone?
We thought we knew what loneliness was, but none of us really had any fucking clue prior to quarantine. If you cut your girlfriend loose, you’re going to be alone. Really alone. Forget inviting your bros over for pizza, beer, and video games or spending a long weekend being pampered by your parents. How will you cope with your newfound isolation? Does being lonely for the foreseeable future feel more tolerable than being miserable with your girlfriend? Assess how painful your party of one will be.
You gotta do what you’ve gotta do. If you know in your gut that breaking up is right, man up and end the relationship. Holding on to the truth bomb that you want out isn’t going to do you or your girlfriend any favors.
Before you break the bad news, prepare yourself mentally because this will not be your average breakup. You’re going to have to grieve alone and will probably be single for longer than you’d like because of social distancing. There will be no rebound sex to comfort you (at least, not without risking coronavirus infection, which we don’t recommend) and most of your usual distractions will be unavailable. It’ll be you and your pain in a tight embrace for some time. Can you handle that? If so, plow ahead and hope she handles the breakup well. Parting is such sweet sorrow.