Sometimes Burning Bridges Is The Only Way To Cope


Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, even phone numbers. When I have a relationship end, be it a friendship or something more, my go-to move is to delete them out of my life.

Whether it’s a complete falling out, a fight including tears and hurtful remarks, or just a slow fading of feelings, I don’t want any lines of communication open when it ends. And I know, trust me, I know, that can sound bitchy, but I really don’t care. Maybe you’re thinking that I’m being irrational when I unfriend him on Facebook, or I block her number, and a part of me definitely is, but another part of me is hurting.

I tend to err on the dramatic side of failing relationships. If my friend and I are fighting, I usually say everything I want to say to just get it all out that, no matter how scary that is. If a guy is being an absolute jerk to me, I’ll tell him. I’m not really the type to remain silent when I feel something is wrong. And when it ends, I like to have the final say. Call it stubborn, competitive or controlling (you’d be right on all counts), but I honestly think that cutting someone off when things turn sour is the healthiest way for me to cope.

Because I have tried to let things go amicably. For a while, it seemed like the mature thing to do. Things ended, but that didn’t mean I had to go to such an extreme point as to remove every trace of them form my life. So I tried to be the bigger person and not be labeled the passive-aggressive bitch who deletes the guy as soon as things go awry. But then my heart would stop when I saw them post on Facebook, or they were with someone else on their Snapchat story. I got jealous and insecure, and felt completely out of control.

And I think that’s what burning bridges means to me—that I’m the one in control. When I thoroughly cut someone off, it feels like I’m finally in charge of something. Like I’m making my own decisions and standing on my own convictions and not backing down. Especially if I regret so much of the relationship that ended, there is such a sense of validation in ripping to shreds any remaining chance at a relationship we had.

In that moment, when I can see the end right up ahead, looming at me in the distance, I crack. I know what’s going to happen, so I slowly start to unravel and harden. The last time I exploded and deliberately ruined a relationship was with my best friend. I could see us coming undone for months before. She was always with her boyfriend, I was always working. The anger and hurt started building up in me and before I knew it, it was over. I had said everything I had wanted to say for so long, and then I just said what I knew would hurt the most.

Days later, I apologized, we both did. But at that point, too much had been said, and we both knew the friendship was over. Soon enough I deleted her on Facebook, to the surprise of much of my other friends. To them, I was being dramatic and immature and rash, but I knew what was best for me. I wanted her to be happy, but I didn’t want to see that happiness right away. That may sound petty to some people, but to me, it’s a safety net.

To me, burning bridges helps stop my anxiety at seeing someone I used to love live their life without me. Of course I know that will happen eventually, but I don’t want to see or hear all about it right away. I don’t want the pain of a visual reminder of what I left behind. I don’t want the temptation to start something up again out of desperation. Burning bridges helps me stay strong, and I won’t ever stop doing it, no matter how many people think I’m a bitch for doing so.

View Comments (3)
  • I did the same.
    I am a highly sensitive person and I need more time to let things go.
    I was also accused of being cruel or heartless but I am doing this for the peace of my mind.
    I need time to heal.

    It is nice to hear that I am not the only person who does this.

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