Chapter 3 - Situations Subchapter: Breaking up

Scenario: A confusing break up


Lily and Max had been together for just over a year. They’d first met on a dating app and straight away hit it off, their physical attraction was obvious from the first date.

They called themselves a couple but neither thought this would end up being a forever relationship – Lily wanted to travel and work overseas, and Max was a bit of a homebody and wanted to settle down and get his career established. 

Lily wants to make plans for her trip and asks Max one last time if he’ll come with her – he says no. Lily has no idea how long she’ll be away and can’t make a commitment to be back in a certain time. She’s not even sure she will come back.

Lily and Max agree there is no future for their relationship - it is time to break-up and move on.

But it’s complicated - there are still feelings. And even though they no longer call themselves a couple, they still hook up regularly for sex.



The Field Model diagram with two characters on Yes.


Lily books her plane tickets and arranges to stay with some friends in London for the first couple of weeks. She’s super excited and can’t stop talking about her trip.

Max becomes more demanding of her time, wanting to know where she is and who she’s seeing. He argues they should spend as much time together as possible while they still can.

But all the messages and calls make Lily uncomfortable. She doesn’t want to have to cut off contact with Max, but thinks it’s best for both of them to now have a clean break. They probably should have done that when they first broke up.

But if they’re no longer technically a couple, it’s not really a break-up. They’ve already broken up haven’t they?

Maybe she could just block him and ignore all messages and calls?



The Field Model diagram with one character on Yes and one character on No.


Even though she doesn’t want to, Lily knows she needs to tell Max in person that he shouldn’t contact her anymore, and why.

She gets that he’s hurting and confused about his feelings, but the decision to break up was a shared decision. She hasn’t changed her mind and can’t help it if Max has.

Max wants her to come to his place, but she arranges to meet him at a coffee shop in the middle of town. It’s not somewhere they ever went as a couple, which is good, and there’ll be plenty of other people around if there’s a scene.

When the decision is made to end a relationship it’s often a good idea to make a clean break.