Last night, while taking a break from watching The Bachelor Women Tell All (which was needlessly boring), I went to Tim Horton’s with my friend Carolyn. While in line, the two girls behind us were talking about one of their boyfriends. The first girl, let’s call her Mabel, said to her other friend, let’s call her Judith, “I don’t think I want to break up with him, but sometimes I imagine what it would be like without him. That’s not the same thing, right?” Well, Mabel, yes. Yes it is.
I just think that, if you’re imagining your life without your significant other, especially when you’re unmarried and roughly nineteen, you should probably end it before he gets too attached. Or before you get sucked into an unfortunate, unhappy fifteen-year marriage that ends in a homicide. If you don’t actually want to be with him, that generally means that you don’t want to be with him and so you just shouldn’t be with him.
Situations like this are particularly awful for the friends like Judith. How exactly is she supposed to respond other than, “no, that’s totally normal”? Because if you tell the truth and let Mabel know that imagining her life without her boyfriend does actually mean that she wants to break up with him, it looks like you don’t like the boyfriend or at least you don’t want them to be together. And then, if they don’t break up, it’ll be awkward afterward. People should really consider how asking for advice will impact their friends. Sheesh.
~ Hilary Lyon Axle Hatchet