Is Staying Together the New Breaking Up?

More couples keep it together after splitsville


| July / August 2003


To break up or not to break up: That is the question. Faced with the traditional options of getting plastered, pigging out on heartbreak ice cream, or drastically changing your hairstyle, it’s no wonder that many young couples are forgoing the trauma of breaking up and choosing instead to stay together in unconventional ways. But what if you really want out of a relationship quick and and don’t want to cope with the fallout? Kim Beeler suggests breaking up in an unconventional way—throwing a party, opening a bottle of wine with your ex, celebrating both the union and the dissolution. Which would you choose? —The Editors

I got up to pee the other night at 1 a.m. and passed my housemate Sarah in the living room with her date, Eli. I interpreted her closed-mouth smile as impending sex and kept moving. Apparently, I’d made a sleepy-eyed blunder, missing her silent plea for interruption. The next morning over coffee, Sarah told me she just wanted help setting up Eli’s bed on the couch. When I asked her why, she said she was reluctant to get more involved with him because he still lives with his ex-girlfriend, even though they’ve been broken up for over a year. He even called her to say he was sleeping at his friend Jake’s house and not to worry when he didn’t come home.