Aug 252004
Authors: Kathryn Dailey

A wise man once said it is better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all.

To some it all depends on how it ended.

For Janyce Brandon, the beginning of school signaled the end of her long-time relationship.

Brandon, sophomore history major, is still trying to figure out why she and her boyfriend broke up after two years together and said it took four months to get back into the world of dating.

While Brandon is not alone in going through a sudden breakup at the beginning of school, sometimes the causes of breakups are clearer.

Erin Troutner, a sophomore math major, and her boyfriend broke up over religious differences because she is Christian and he is Mormon. After dating for six months, it was a hard breakup for Troutner and it took her about five months before she was ready to start dating again.

Although it was hard, Troutner sees life after her relationship as being better.

“I knew it had to end,” Troutner said. “It was definitely beneficial.”

In addition to the religious conflict, she felt she was missing out on college life.

“I was able to build relationships with other people,” Troutner said, advising others to end a relationship if they do not see it working in the long run.

Nick deAngelo, a sophomore civil engineering major, ended his yearlong relationship because his girlfriend was insecure about herself.

After seven months deAngelo was ready to start dating again, and after a year he and his ex-girlfriend are working toward friendship.

For him the breakup was not a good thing.

“I’m in love with her. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for her,” deAngelo said. “Being in love can be the best experience in the world; at the same time it can be the most horrifying.”

Dominic Brewer, senior staff counselor at the University Counseling Center, said the number one reason students seek counseling services is for breakups.

“They are struggling with either accepting the reason the relationship ended or whatever reason given wasn’t making sense to them,” Brewer said.

The UCC offers individual therapy and group therapy to help students work through the struggle of breaking up, Brewer said.

Brewer also said students can handle the stress of a breakup without formal counseling by seeking support from friends and family.

Brewer also recommends establishing a good exercise schedule and staying busy.

“If there is anything that (students) had an interest in pursuing but didn’t think they had the time for, this is the time to start doing it,” Brewer said.

Laura Macagno-Shang, a licensed social worker and senior staff counselor at the University Counseling Center, also suggests students be patient with themselves and spend time to get to know themselves again. Sometimes it helps to remember that although it’s hard, it is not the end of the world, Macagno-Shang said.

The effects of a relationship can be different for the “dumper” and the “dumpee” Macagno-Shang said.

“There are two primary impacts,” Macagno-Shang said. “The person wanting to end the relationship is probably feeling relieved. The person who wants to be in the relationship … primarily feels loss, grief and loss of self-confidence.”

Different reactions also depend on how profound the relationship was, Macagno-Shang said. She said an end to a three-year relationship would be harder to cope with than a three-month relationship.

However, she does recognize that any relationship breakup can hurt, regardless of the relationship’s length.

Brandon feels that although the breakup was hard for her, she eventually changed for the better.

“You see things different after a long relationship,” Brandon said, “It made me more realistic with myself about how things would happen.”

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