Hi, Dan! Love the Slog. I've been reading for years. So much insightful content in there. And one of the things I love is that you will post rebuttals and counter-points to your SLLOTD. And... I have one of those for you.

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On Tuesday you posted a response from CLOSURE, a man trying to make sense of a surprise breakup who you responded to on Monday. Reading CLOSURE's original letter and his response brought back some pretty painful memories of a similar experience I had back a few years. My experience was also pretty crippling. I have had years to think about it, including dozens of counseling sessions. Perhaps my perspective can be of some use.

I was in a several-year relationship. We lived together. We talked about the future regularly. Marriage. Kids. A house. Taking care of our aging parents. He told me that he loved me on a regular basis. Then, one day, I came home from work to a note and a half-empty apartment. He had packed his stuff and fled.

I was in a several-year relationship. We lived together. We talked about the future regularly. Marriage. Kids. A house. Taking care of our aging parents. He told me that he loved me on a regular basis. Then, one day, I came home from work to a note and a half-empty apartment. He had packed his stuff and fled.

After this, we occasionally talked for about eight months. He did so apparently because he felt bad for bolting. I did so because I wanted to know what the hell went wrong (and because I wondered if his sudden leaving was possibly a toxic freak-out that he would come to realize was an overreaction). Like in CLOSURE's case, all I got was "it didn't feel right". This all shook my confidence. Why couldn't I sense that something was wrong? What am I doing to prevent him from expressing himself? What was so terribly wrong that there was no point in trying to fix things? How could he not have known that his actions would be so devastating? And, is he continuing to be vague about things, knowing how it was hurting me? Why won't he at least help me learn from this experience? These may not be healthy thoughts, but surely you can understand where they are coming from.

It may seem like blind hope for CLOSURE to think that you might get back together, but when I told friends and coworkers about the breakup, it seemed like everyone had a story about how they and their partners broke up a while back, but now are happily together again. But there is also the flip-side. I spent eight months hoping I could fix my old relationship, and it never happened. I would have been better off spending that time healing myself. It's all a gamble.

Your response to CLOSURE, a la the campsite rule, is that his ex has the right to end things without a debate, and this is true. However as you say, "we should be as compassionate and considerate as possible when ending a relationship." It seems to me that giving someone peace of mind after a breakup is one aspect of compassion/consideration. Unless this CLOSURE guy was abusive, or he poses some current danger to his ex, it seems like the least his ex could do is fire off an email saying why it didn't work. If CLOSURE is that big of an asshole, then his ex should block him every way possible.

Was CLOSURE too fragile when he got into the relationship? For my situation, it was not that simple. When my relationship seemed idyllic, it was easy to fall into a sense of absolute security, that nothing short of a tragic car crash could take us down. Being in that mindset shouldn't be a sign of fragility. It is a sign of strength, that you are making yourself completely vulnerable to someone else. And it can be insanely disheartening to find out that you had placed that level of trust in the wrong person. This hardened me to others, and made me constantly wonder if I could trust anyone.

We do agree on one thing. It seems like CLOSURE could use some counseling, not because he was too fragile, but because he now has to rebuild his own confidence and realize that this was one person who messed with his trust. That doesn't mean others out there will do the same. That doesn't mean there isn't someone out there who will appreciate him, who is willing to build a relationship with him through good and bad times.

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Despite these differences of opinion, Dan, I appreciate your work immensely. I look forward to your next installments.

From Jersey With Love

Thanks for sharing, FJWL, and I'll only add this: Yes, we should all try to kind and compassionate when dumping someone, if at all possible, and an explanation that helps a dumpee drag their own asses a little closer to closure certainly counts as compassionate and considerate. (Remember, kids: closure is something we do for ourselves, it is not a gift we're given and/or a severance package we're entitled to.) But the dumper does not have to keep meeting with and/or explaining themselves to a dumpee who rejects the explanations they've already been given.

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