Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

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Why Your Life Isn’t Boring

Living a boring life doesn’t sound very appealing. In fact, it sounds like a waste. Many of us struggle to understand why someone would ever choose such a tedious existence willfully. 

Few of us don’t. Tedium is just something we got tangled up in as we grew into adults. 

We haven’t lost our childlike dreams. Most of us would jump at the opportunity to become rich, famous, or adventurers. 

But life typically isn’t that generous.

Instead, we’re stuck leading largely ordinary and uneventful lives. We spend most of our time in the same places, talking to the same people, doing the same chores, walking the same paths, eating the same foods, having the same kinds of sex, and sleeping in the same bed. 

Although excitement is what we’re after, the menu only seems to serve routine and drudgery.

So what should we do?

Use our boredom as a cue to pay closer attention. 

Sure, our lives may not be as exciting as they could be. But that doesn’t mean that nothing meaningful is happening. 

If we observed more carefully, we’d notice all kinds of pleasurable things. Such as the song of the robin that marks the start of the day, the smell of the blackthorn’s flowers in early spring, and the cracking and popping of icy reeds as they’re heated by the winter sun. 

These events may not sound particularly thrilling. And talking about these experiences definitely won’t earn us many Instagram likes or get our face on the cover of a magazine.

But they are deeply satisfying to witness. And that’s ultimately what we’re after, a rich, satisfactory life. Excitement and seeking praise from others (on social media) are just different options to achieve the same.

Plus, our newfound observational skills will make us much more interesting to be around. 

Instead of telling a friend that our trip to meet them was fine. We can share that our travels involved watching a seagull break open a clam, smelling freshly baked goods that reminded us of our grandma’s mince pies, and seeing the setting sun paint the clouds a beautiful mixture of pink, purple, and orange. 

The more we notice, the more rich our lives become. Sometimes to the point that others wish they could live such boring, introspective lives as us.

Losing the Fear of Missing Out

Modern innovations have brought the luxuries of royalty to the common person. Our average salaries give us the ability to do most of anything. And since social media tells us exactly what we could be doing, many of us feel bad about missing out.

We’re no longer burdened by limits, but by choice. How do we know what to do when we can do almost everything?

Since we want to live life to the fullest, we might argue that we should go to where the excitement is. But the trouble is that whatever is exciting and better keeps shifting. It’s impossible to keep up.

So how do you know you’re doing enough to live a good life?

By realising that there’s no peak experience. Certainly not in the places where we’re told to look. 

The best books and movies probably haven’t won any important prizes because they don’t have mainstream appeal. Most celebrities are probably a bigger bore than many bus drivers and bricklayers. And even the most perfect party on earth will feel disappointing when we’re in a sullen mood.

That’s why a systems analyst who lives in Leeds might live a more content life than an angel investor who travels the world in her private jet. 

This is nothing new. We all know this when we take a good look at our experiences. Most of us didn’t have our best times in glamorous places with glamorous people. 

Our best memories are actually rather plain. Holding someone we loved outside a bookshop as we waited on a friend, feeling the warmth of the sun on a cold winter day, enjoying a meal in solitude with our loved ones, having a friendly chat with a stranger, completing a difficult project, and laughing over a shared joke.

The most meaningful events in our lives tend to look quite dull. Yet it’s precisely these moments that make us feel the most content. 

So rather than just looking out for the next big thing—such as an idyllic wedding held on the island of Cozumel—we’d be wise to also keep our eyes open for the next simple pleasure. These are the ones that are the most regrettable to miss.

Keys to a Happier Relationship

Relationships are difficult. And how could it be any different? It involves two chairless chimps who barely know what they want trying to be happy together.

How can we improve our chances of staying happy in love?

  • Share what makes you difficult. We all have our fair share of flaws that make us challenging to live with. It might be that we avoid conflict, have different views on what’s clean, are rigid about our routines, suffer from mood swings and trust issues, or that we’re a bit needy. If we can explain what’s wrong with us before our difficulties trigger an argument, our partner will be better prepared for setbacks. Making our inevitable squabbles and fights less impactful. 
  • Accept they’re not perfect. It doesn’t matter if our partner is the best person we’ve ever met, they’re still going to substantially ruin our lives. That’s okay, it’s part of the fun. The real trouble arises when we don’t expect our significant other to disrupt our well-being. Because then we’ll feel so disappointed to be living with an idiot that we’ll lash out. Instead of having a relatively tame argument, we’ll call them names and slam doors. But nobody feels motivated to learn when they feel threatened.
  • Treat small things as big things. In most areas of our lives, such as work and friendship, we feel relatively strong and robust. That’s why it’s relatively easy to shrug off feelings of disappointment and irritation. But when it comes to our romantic relationships, we’re incredibly fragile. Even a small thing can deeply wound us. That’s why it’s important we create a safe space with our lover, where everything can be discussed, no matter how immature or ridiculous. Relax that stiff upper lip and communicate what’s wrong.
  • Stop comparing your relationship to those of others. We’re deeply aware of how flawed our own union is, but all that we know about other couples is what they choose to tell us. And that’s a heavily edited picture. We probably only get to see the highlights. And when we see social media updates of them celebrating anniversaries, promoting each other’s achievements, and going on fancy trips—while we’re currently struggling with a lack of sex, communication and quality time—we tend to feel lonely and out of place.
  • Get a more honest view of yourself. As long as we believe we’re amazing and a joy to be with, we’re a danger to everyone around us. Especially our romantic partner. We’ll feel entitled to too much and refuse to acknowledge our contribution to our problems. We only start to be kind and understanding once we know we’re difficult.

Understanding Troubled Relationships: Why People Stay Despite Red Flags

It hugely upsets us when we see friends or family in bad relationships. They might put on a good show for the rest of the world, but we know that their union is problematic and unsatisfying. 

Instagram might show a new story of the duo smiling in front of the tropical, turquoise sea of Curaçao, but our friend will call us the same night and say that their partner is ‘very controlling’ and a ‘piece of work’. 

When someone repeatedly invites us to see their partner as a terribly difficult person and then chooses to stay loyal to them, it deeply confuses us. It makes us wonder why they’re still together.

But an unhappy couple can have lots of reasons to go on.

Such as fear of being alone, financial dependencies, societal or family pressures, hope for improvement, concern for the children, or because they believe they won’t be able to find someone better.

None of these arguments sound like a healthy foundation for marriage. Worse still, to our 21st century ears, these motivations cheapen the idea of a romantic union.

We like to believe that we shouldn’t have to compromise in love. And that there’s a person for everyone.

So if someone holds onto an unsatisfying relationship, we’re quick to assume they’re wimps and lack character. 

That’s why we usually feel so confident in offering our friends and family members unsolicited relationship advice. We think they’re not capable of making a good decision. So we have to make it for them.

But that’s wildly insensitive. 

We must recognise that our troubled friends have far more at stake than we can begin to appreciate. We can’t know what’s best for another person, or how much hurt or disappointment they can tolerate. And we can’t ever be certain what someone’s relationship feels like from the inside.

Maybe blowing up the marriage for a chance of better sex and more happiness doesn’t outweigh a stable living situation for the kids, or the difficult task of finding a new significant other. 

Just because it was the right choice for someone else we know, doesn’t mean it will also suit our friend.

We’d be wise to understand that accepting a little misery isn’t necessarily a sign of cowardice. It can also be evidence that someone understands that there are no perfect options. 

And on the flip side, the refusal to endure discomfort in a relationship isn’t always a mark of strength and self-respect. It can also suggest that someone’s a little naive and entitled.

So it’s unfair to shame people who compromise in love. Even when it concerns behaviour that we wouldn’t suffer ourselves. Some people simply don’t expect as much from their partners, or regrettably, they lack the self-worth to demand better treatment.

It’s painful enough to settle. And we don’t need to make their pain even greater by condemning them for loving a particularly flawed person.

Every human being is flawed to some degree.

So instead of whipping our settling friends into shape, it might be better to emphatise with their hurt and disappointment, and admire their sacrifice in the name of love. While also offering our views when asked, without wishing they’ll do as we say.

We may never understand why our loved ones stay with a partner who’s bad for them. And that’s okay, it’s not our business. But it is our business to be a good friend, so that’s where most of our energy and efforts should go.

How To Stop Being Boring And Start Being Good Company

Friendship is one of the most rewarding experiences life has to offer. But it can also often be one of the most disappointing. 

One of the most common times we feel let down is at large gatherings. Such as a dinner party or barbeque, where we get stuck listening to someone’s minute-by-minute retelling of their lost luggage, or a detailed recount of someone’s switch to another electricity service provider. 

The event as a whole might have been touching, but we still end up going home feeling more drained than energised. And we’re left wondering if it wouldn’t have been more fun to just stay home with a good book or movie.  

Obviously, not all get-togethers fall victim to stale conversation. 

Some parties can feel just as rewarding as seeing a fox on our morning walk through the park, or taking a wrong turn during our commute home and discovering a new cafe with a wonderful terrace and view over the city. 

This element of serendipity ties directly into the issue of our boring meetups. The difference between having a good or dull time is left up to chance. We typically believe that if we get the activity and setting right, everything will fall into place. 

But that’s not the case. Even the best toasted slices of baguette topped with chopped tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil can’t guarantee good conversation. 

And that’s what our pleasure is chiefly based around: a friendly and interesting chat. 

The reason we don’t put half as much trouble in our conversations as we do in our charcuterie boards and tortilla dip is because we believe we don’t need to. 

We see our knack for delightful banter as something we’re born with, rather than a combination of odd skills we acquire with practice.

Just as we believe we shouldn’t improvise our crab cakes and salmon tartare, we shouldn’t believe we can ad-lib interesting conversation.

So where do we start with being better dinner guests?

By developing the courage to express who we are. Not a single person is boring when looked at properly. We only seem boring when we suggest that we have nothing to say.

Many of us confuse being interesting by doing interesting things. But even the most exotic experience is of little help to the person who can only describe their exploration of the ancient temples of Angkor Wat as, “Beautiful.”

So what matters is not so much what we do or what wisdom we put inside our head. 

Being an interesting person is about being sensitive to the faint stirs of our hearts and minds and sharing our findings with others. 

Put simply, it’s our thoughts and feelings about things that largely make us interesting to others, not the things themselves. 

People want to get an idea of our reality. They want to hear about our opinions, disappointments, fears, passions, and hardships. That’s why young children are often much more fun to talk to than a well-traveled 50-year-old. 

Kids will tell us precisely how they feel about school, mummy, or how our breath smells like their brother’s stinky socks after soccer practice.

Why so many adults are boring, is because they try so hard to be normal. Instead of sharing what’s going on inside of them, they tend to hide their feelings out of fear of being seen as weird. 

But what most frightened people forget is that everyone is a little weird and unbalanced. 

And by voicing what life looks like to us, we’d not only interest and captivate an audience, but we’d also find out that we’re not alone in thinking and feeling all these zany and embarrassing things.

Sharing facts is boring. To be good company, we need to show more of ourselves, preferably our feelings. Because what our friends want more than anything is to hear that their private ideas and sufferings are shared by us too.

Embracing Singlehood: Why Living Alone Shouldn’t Be Taboo

Being single in our society means being looked at with curiosity. Not with the awe reserved for the Pyramids of Giza or a solar eclipse, but with the peculiar glance one might direct at a mounted deer or a person with a few too many piercings in their face. It’s a little eerie.

Singlehood flies in the face of traditional family values. So we don’t quite trust it.

But that’s unfair. Since lots of us have no desire to settle down. 

Not because we’re picky, unromantic, suffer from low self-esteem, or afraid to embrace our sexual orientation, but because we’re ill equipped to take care of someone else.

For some of us, cohabitation will always end in disaster. And it’s important for everyone to understand that. 

Otherwise, independent spirits will enter relationships not out of love, but out of fear of being judged for being alone.

To give solo living the prestige it deserves, we need to take romantic love off its pedestal and closely inspect some of its shortcomings. 

If we look closely and honestly, we’ll see that the idea of passionate love is quite far fetched. Being smitten by one person for a whole lifetime is possible. But so is the concept of time travel and that’s something we’re unlikely to achieve either. 

Talk to any couple who has been together long enough and we’ll find out that the passion has long dissipated and been replaced with companionship. Intense desire doesn’t seem to survive shared living for very long.

Especially when the people involved have tricky personalities. And that, unfortunately, applies to most of us. 

We’ve all in some shape or form been inadequately parented, developed bad habits, suffered betrayals, had our dreams broken, and experienced tragic losses. And let’s not forget about our regrettable psychological traits: we’re vain, envious, stubborn, short-sighted, insecure, and impulsive. 

Inviting someone closely into our lives means exposing them to our most nasty sides. 

It’s not without reason that most people accumulate multiple exes throughout their lifetime. Everyone is quite insufferable.

We might feel like we’re perfectly sensible and decent people when we’re home alone. But shack up with a partner and we quickly find out just how annoying we are. 

We loudly slurp tea, we hog the bathroom, we spend too much time reading, we allow the bin to overflow, we let our dirty clothes pile up on the sofa, and we’re no fun in the morning. 

The specifics vary, but we’re all nightmarish in our own ways.

But when we’re on our own, we never need to know. We might even start to like ourselves when we don’t have a significant other who points out all our idiosyncrasies.

Plus, being rejected by an attractive stranger is far easier to deal with than being turned down by the person who’s supposed to like us more than anyone else.

None of this means that remaining single is without its downsides. But it isn’t nearly as deplorable or pitiful as our society lets on. 

If we want happier relationships, we need to promote a culture that sees singlehood and marriage as equally valid options. Otherwise, people will rush to be a couple for the wrong reasons and create unnecessary suffering for everyone involved. 

Living alone isn’t taboo, for some, it’s a necessity.

P.S. A dark yet witty movie that illustrates just how bad things can get when a society condemns singlehood is, The Lobster. I highly recommend watching it.

How To Move On from Old Wounds: A Guide to Healing

We’re all occasional victims of mistreatment. Most of these incidents will barely register. But sometimes someone will treat us so cruelly, that our wounds still hurt months or even years later.

Some of us struggle to understand how someone could be so mean to us that we get stuck in a circle of pain for decades. And that’s a shame. Because when we’re lost in old hurts, all the marvels of life escape our attention.

We all understand that life’s too short to waste on being sad and angry. And yet sometimes we can’t help ourselves. Why is it that we continue to grasp onto some of our grudges so tightly?

Because we created a monster.

We experience tragedies all the time. Our lives often turn out radically different from what we wanted. But when we take something too personally, our anger and disappointment don’t go away after the offense ends. 

Our negative emotions stick around because we believe someone meant to hurt us. It wasn’t an accident. We reckon they acted out of contempt or selfishness.

It’s the very reason why so many of us are concerned about narcissism nowadays. Although narcissists clearly exist, data shows less than 7 out of 100 people suffer from the disorder.

But that’s not what most internet psychologists and YouTube videos suggest. Today, we figure that almost anyone who acts against our wishes is self-absorbed and nasty. Believing ourselves righteous and superior, we accuse them of being narcissists.

But that’s misunderstanding what we are. 

All people largely act out of self-interest. It’s what we do. But that’s typically not what people believe. Especially those who like to cling to past slights.

Clingers assume that when someone severely hurts them, the offender meant to do so. Or at the very least, that they’re a poor excuse of a human being.

And when that same person makes us lose something we dearly wanted—such as a stable financial future, a loving and faithful partner, or a nurturing and supportive parent—we turn them into a villain. 

The boss who let us go because we were too expensive to keep on meant us no disrespect. But we took it as an insult. The partner who slept with our friend didn’t hate us, she just didn’t have the courage to end our relationship earlier. But we took it as an insult. The parent who abandoned us as a baby didn’t think we were unlovable, they just couldn’t handle taking care of a child. But we took it as an insult.

These are all tragedies. And we shouldn’t minimize these events. But that doesn’t mean we should dwell on them either. Focusing on hurt only makes it more painful and last longer.

If we want to move on from our grievances, we need to understand and accept three things. 

Firstly, people aren’t malicious. They’re imperfect. Even the most well-meaning individuals will cause harm to others. Sometimes via unhelpful coping mechanisms formed in childhood. But mostly it’s fear, fatigue and stress that compel people to be unskillful and do unkind things.

Knowing how foolish and self-absorbed we are every day, we shouldn’t expect others to be any better.

Next, we’d be wise to accept life is unfair. It comes with positive and negative experiences. And it’s naive to only expect good to come our way. We should hope for good things to happen, but assume most of our dreams will never come true. 

That’s not pessimistic, that’s the reality for most people on this planet. And if we don’t feel this to be true, it’s merely a sign that we’ve led very privileged lives. 

Lastly, we want to realise that we’re responsible for our feelings. Whenever old scars have the power to make us feel bad, it means we believe life should shape itself around our demands. That’s why certain letdowns can hijack our emotions even years after they transpired: we take disasters as a sign that the universe is conspiring against us and all that’s good.

This is why we demonize the people who were most intimately involved in our misery. It fits our idea of a righteous world. But all we’re really doing is justifying our rage and sorrow, and perpetuating our suffering.

If we want to let go of our resentment, we need to make peace with our dashed hopes. And that starts with embracing life’s hardships:

Good-natured people can be wicked. Hard work can go unrecognised. Romantic love isn’t the end to our problems. Generous people aren’t immune to hardships. Parents are under no obligation to be nurturing. And people don’t owe us any kindness.

How many grudges we hold onto largely depends on whether or not we judge certain problems to be normal or excessively cruel. If we see life as a challenge, it’s much easier to let go of unkindness, abandonment and betrayal.

We can’t end cruelty. But we can let go of past hurts and put our energy into finding love and beauty.

Honesty Can Do Your Relationship More Harm Than Lying

Most of us have a deep desire to be heard. That’s part of what makes falling in love so exciting, we can finally share our deepest selves with someone and be met with enthusiasm. No longer do we have to hide our truth under a veneer of politeness.

But our relief is short-lived. Eventually, we find out that honesty is not the best policy. Not even with the one we’re most deeply connected to.

The truth has the power to obliterate love.

Admitting we dislike a present that our partner picked with care can make them feel rejected. Directly critiquing our partner’s parenting style, especially without any constructive feedback, can lead to defensiveness and conflict. And questioning their dreams and aspirations can dampen their spirit and drive a wedge between us. 

On the one hand, withholding information feels like a betrayal. On the other hand, full disclosure may destroy our union. 

How do we reconcile these two views? Let’s look for the answer by exploring one of the most commonly held beliefs about love.

To many, politeness and romance are at odds with each other. And it makes sense at first glance: one creates distance and the other builds connection. But we mustn’t forget that honesty can be far more destructive than any white lie. 

Something most parents understand very well. Few mothers will tell their four-year-old that her painting of mommy and daddy looks nothing like them. That’d be cruel. 

In the same way, a partner who shares wounding remarks in the spirit of being honest is not being kind. They’re being selfish. What makes our feelings so important that we should give them priority over supporting our partner?

Politeness might be a little fake. But it protects what matters most to us. 

It’s not that the polite person is afraid to speak the truth. They’re just a little too familiar with how vile and petty their fleeting thoughts and feelings can be. So they’d rather shield their loved ones from their darkness.

To be polite means to understand that we’re not always nice people and that others are often one comment away from misery and self-loathing. Since the well-mannered know that the small things have the biggest capacity to hurt us, they do their utmost to treat the small things with care.

Let’s not mistake politeness for acting distant or being unfriendly. If done right, a white lie is an act of love and affection. 

Why Being A Secret Admirer Is Often Better Than Being A Partner

Lying in bed at night or waiting for the bus to take us to its destination, we often daydream about the potential of our love lives.

What if we were single and talked to the cute lady next to the squat rack who kept looking our way, what if we went on a date with our charming colleague who has a crush on us, or what if we were to reach out to our high school sweetheart, after all, we’re so much more mature now.

The desire to be with someone is almost always sparked by a handful of seductive thoughts. Images that we’d cherish forever if they actually happened. 

In these moments of downtime, we’re essentially writing the best chapters of a love story. And although our imagination sets the bar so high, we often believe that if our fantasy came to life, it’d be even better.

But that’s not necessarily true. In fact, it rarely is.

And we’d know this if we studied our minds more carefully. 

Our brains only imagine the highlights of a relationship with someone. Mostly ones of a more romantic and sexual nature. Consequently, our mental images don’t even come close to representing an actual romance.

Our imagination leaves out much more than it takes in. 

Yes, if we got together with our paramour we’d experience the things that our mind created. But we’d also experience so much else. So much that’s boring, disappointing, or unattractive.

They might have a wildly different taste in movies than us, they might handle their professional responsibilities poorly, they might nibble around the edges of a sandwich before eating the center, and they might be a little prudish in the bedroom. 

And most importantly of all, they might not be so fun to be with after we share our three hundredth Sunday morning together and eat buttered toast while discussing the colour of the new rug for the bedroom while our dog is barking at the neighbourhood cat in front of the window. This is what the majority of our relationship will look like. And that’s what defines grownup love.

To make things even more complicated, there’s something else that our fantasy overlooked that can ruin the whole thing.


We’re going to bring all of our problems to the relationship too: our insecurities, our anxieties, our temper, and all of our other imperfections. None of this exists in fairyland. We can create perfect romantic scenarios in our minds because we don’t have to consider our shortcomings. 

But if we’d actually be in the car with our lover on a weekend trip to the breathtaking town of Mont-Saint-Michel, we’d discover that we’re no picnic to be around. And that no one would tolerate the whole of us with a smile. 

In daydreaming about our ideal partner, we might have already enjoyed the best that anyone can give us. 

The Art Of Living in a Troubled World

Once we focus on what’s wrong in the world, it’s remarkable that we can find the strength to keep going. There are just so many reasons to be sad.

War, poverty, homelessness, social inequality, job instability, pollution, rising sea levels, vanishing species, illness, human imperfection, divorce, loneliness, loss of loved ones, crippling depression, and mortality.

We’re surrounded by darkness on all fronts. 

Knowing life is so grim, how do we go on? Laughing or expressing joy under these circumstances feels so inappropriate. It suggests we don’t truly grasp how dire things on this planet actually are. But being eternally gloomy and somber is no way to live either. 

So how do we stop despairing?

By keeping the somberness of living firmly in our minds, so that anything beautiful or kind vividly stands out when seen against the dark background. 

Once we expect life to hurt and disappoint, it’s so wonderful when it’s pleasant. And make no mistake, the fates can be incredibly cruel. 

Vincent van Gogh lived in poverty and went unrecognized in his lifetime. Joan of Arc led French forces to victory and was executed for heresy. Alan Turing’s work shortened the war against Nazi Germany by two years, but instead of thanks he got persecuted for his homosexuality, which ultimately led to his suicide.

Life isn’t fair. 

And if we assume it is, we’ll be very sad indeed. But if we realise that suffering is the norm rather than the exception, we’ll see every generous deed and enriching moment as a gift.

And rightfully so.

Nature’s Lessons for a Troubled Mind: Finding Clarity Amidst Chaos

Modern life throws so much at us that we often lose sight of what matters. We worry about work, money, health, looks, love, status, safety, success, normality, legacy, and on, and on. If things get dire enough, our thoughts become low, repetitive and incapable of separating the useful from the useless.

We’ve effectively gone mad.

To alleviate our madness and get back our sanity and sense of direction, it helps to turn to nature. Walking outside, or if we’re blessed with a good view, staring out of our window can pacify our minds in minutes.

An old tree or weathered fence teaches us patience. The gnarled bark or sun-beaten pickets have endured dozens of seasons. They’ve been gnawed at by beetles, knocked crooked by autumn winds, and ravaged by lichens and moss. But they endure.

The clouds teach us that all things pass. They drift by over our heads without the slightest interest in what happens down below. Always up to something, they puff up, stretch out, twist around, and float across the sky without stopping. It reminds us that our moods and worries are fleeting too.

A dandelion or daisy teaches us to appreciate simple pleasure. All those flowers, gleaming in the summer sun. Soon they’ll be gone. And we’re no less fragile. It we don’t learn to pay attention to the little things now, we might not get a chance before we’re gone. Cherish everyday joys, says the bright yellow buttercup.

And running water teaches us to make room for the new. Although not as vibrant as a bubbling stream in a forest, the water in our modern canals and ditches is active too. Unlike a motionless desk or file cabinet, water stays unpredictable enough to hold our attention. Waves slosh up at the brick canal banks, leaves, twigs and ducks float along the current, and tiny water striders glide across the surface. Even when it rests, water distorts and reflects. This ever-changing view flushes out our worries and stale ideas to clear the way for fresh perspectives.

In short, nature shows us that we don’t always have to be striving.

And interestingly, our mind is often the sharpest at times when we stop achieving and focus on existing. Even a few minutes are enough to snap our attention to what matters.

Ghosted: Dealing with Digital Breakups

Dating in the digital age demands we have thick skin. Rejection has always been part of courtship, but it’s never been as scary as now. One text and we can be cut out of somebody’s life without explanation. 

This level of dismissal is beyond painful. And today, we’re expected to deal with it, together with other equally ambiguous ends.

Sometimes someone we’re dating will stop all communication with us and assume we’ll get the hint. Leading to emotional chaos in the short term and resentment in the long term.

It’s also possible that our paramour slowly pulls away without explanation. They might reduce their phone calls and text messages, and reschedule plans to see us last minute. Resulting in a vague sense that something is off and that the end might be in sight, but without giving us enough information to properly address it. Leaving us confused and feeling like losers. 

And finally, our crush might break up with us using strong and unambiguous words, but leave out appreciation for our time together or even an explanation. An abrupt end that’s polite in that it gives us no hope and a quicker time to heal, but it comes at the expense of making us feel unseen. As if all the time we spent together had no meaning or significance. Reinforcing the idea that we truly are alone in a strange world that doesn’t care about us.

These unclear and discourteous ends are often a consequence of understandable but selfish desires. Such as having someone around as a backup plan while we keep an eye open for someone better. So it’s an expression of our independence. But it comes at a steep price. 


Ambiguous breakups seriously damage our ability to believe in ourselves and the kindness of others.

After all, we’re left with nothing but doubt and our own interpretation of the truth. A blueprint for pandemonium.

“Did it all mean nothing to them? Was there someone else? Did they have sex while we were seeing each other? What makes them better than me? Am I really just an unloveable piece of shit?”

Just because we don’t see a person in front of us doesn’t mean that our text messages are being received by a machine. There is a vulnerable person on the other end. And it’s essential that we remember that.

If we’re going to end a relationship, we should always seek to do so with as much respect and kindness as we can muster. No matter how briefly our lives got tangled up.

Tell them what good things we’re taking away from the experience. Share in what ways they’ve changed us for the better. And perhaps say what we wish the future to gift them.

This leaves the self-worth of the other person intact and makes them look forward to entering a relationship with someone else. Even if typed with a cool heart, our appreciation still provides solace.

It offers them a clear head without ruminations. And upholds their trust in humanity, giving them the courage to date and love again.

Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach