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#MyStory: Why Growing Up And Apart Is Okay...

My boyfriend and I broke up after seven years together. It was a painful and really difficult decision for both of us to make. Because while we were no longer in love with each other, we still loved each other a lot and did not want to hurt the other.

Lots of my friends were horrified to hear about our breakup. They thought that it was a shame that after seven years together - longer than college courses - my boyfriend and I were not going to get married to each other.

why growing up and apart is okay

It was not like we did not have doubts ourselves. The topic of a breakup did not come up because of horrible fights; it came up because we no longer seemed to have anything to talk to each other about. Our phone calls lasted less than a minute and I began to dread seeing his number on my phone because I knew I did not have anything I wanted to share.

Was this just the infamous seven-year itch? That's what a few of my closest friends told me - that these were just random doubts, not to be taken seriously.

But I was deeply unhappy and apathetic. I was no longer the person I was when I got into the relationship. He was no longer the person I fell in love with.

From when we first met as college students to the time we became working professionals, our attitudes towards life, work, money, family and religion seemed to have changed. Not that either of our attitudes were wrong or bad - they were just different, and we had reached a point where we had nothing much in common except each other and seven years.

When I finally asked my then-boyfriend whether it wasn't time for us to move on from each other, he thankfully agreed. It was not easy for him either - he felt he was "leaving me in the lurch" after several years, but I convinced him that I was looking forward to having this time to myself and find who I was. The label of being "the girl in the longest relationship" is a burden after a point.

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And now that some time has passed since my breakup, I can say I have no regrets - either about the seven-year relationship or about its end. I feel freer, wiser. I am still figuring out what I want to be as I grow up and old. But I now have a better idea of what I don't need in my life and future.

My ex-boyfriend remains a friend whom I love very much. We don't catch up often or keep in touch on a daily basis. But I know if there is ever an emergency, we will be there to lend a supporting hand to each other.

Images: Shutterstock

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