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Yes, Good Breakups Do Exist!


Read these true tales of how some romances bit the dust—but wound up having a silver lining.

By Chelsea Kaplan

hough many breakups are laden with heartache, others have a slightly less dramatic — and even a surprisingly happy — ending. If you think all breakups require a case of Kleenex, consider these true stories of good lovin’ that ended, but on a high note.

Sister act
“About five years ago, I met Sara at a Memorial Day barbecue and we began going out. We had fun together — I wasn’t sure it was anything that was heading towards marriage, but I had a good time with her.
“That recipe was worth the loss of a boyfriend…”
She must have felt the same way too, because a few weeks into our dating, she said, ‘You know, you’re a great guy, and at the risk of sounding totally weird, I think you would really hit it off with my sister, Kathy.’ Even though the rejection stung a little, I said I was up for meeting her sister. Good thing I did — Sara was the maid of honor when Kathy and I got married.”
—Jeremy Barnes, Youngstown, OH

Friends with benefits
“A few summers ago, I broke up with my boyfriend because he got a job in another state and was moving away. I was so sad, and turned to my friend Adam for a shoulder to cry on. Adam listened and never made any sort of move on me; he just was a friend. During the aftermath of the breakup, I kept wishing that my next boyfriend would be just like Adam. Thinking he was too good to go to waste, I set Adam up with a friend, and we went on a double date. At the end of the night, my friend said that it was obvious that the two people having the most fun were Adam and me. We began dating soon and have now been married for five years, and we just had a baby!”
—Georgia Kelly, Chevy Chase, MD

I get by with a little help from my friend
“My law-school boyfriend and I had a really nice relationship, but there was not much passion. More than anything, we were best friends. I think we both realized it, and we broke up the summer after graduation. It was harder than I thought; I missed him so much even though I knew it was the right thing to do. A couple of nights after we broke up, he called and said, ‘I just broke up with my girlfriend and I am so sad. I wanted to call and speak with my best friend about it.’ I told him that I just broke up with my boyfriend too, and would love to talk to my best friend about it as well. We spent the next few hours on the phone speaking about our breakup, but as if we were best friends helping each other out. We are both married to others, but are still really good friends to this day.”
—Jane Kirkland, Fairfax, VA

Who’s the boss?
“I know everyone tells you to never do this, but one summer, I became involved with my boss. I think I was a little more into her than she was into me, but we had a good relationship, despite the fact that we could never really tell anyone at work. I guess her feelings about me, coupled with the stress of being deceitful to everyone at work was too much for her, because she broke up with me. To ease the pain, she gave me a pretty significant promotion that nearly doubled my salary. My friends tease me that I slept my way to the top because it ended up working out just fine for me in the end!”
—Erik Reese, Plano, TX

A friend in need
“My boyfriend Steve broke up with me one night over dinner. I was so upset, I excused myself to the bathroom because I was a crying mess. I guess I was locked in there for some time, because a waitress from the restaurant knocked on the door to make
“We are still really good friends to this day.”
sure I was OK. I ended up spilling my guts to this poor girl, who was so sweet, bringing me tissues and listening to me when she probably should have been working. After I had cleaned myself up, she asked me for my number so she could call me the next day to check on me, and she did. We started hanging out after that and have been great friends ever since. Our friendship was worth all of those tears!”
—Beth Mays, Nashville, TN

Radio days
“One summer when I was in grad school, I interned at a radio station in New York, and began dating someone who worked at the station. When the summer was over, we broke up because we decided the long-distance thing just wouldn’t work. It was so sad because neither of us wanted it to end — it just sort of had to, but we vowed to keep in close touch and remain friends. About three months into the fall semester, someone knocked on my front door. It was my ex; he had accepted a job at a station in San Francisco. We resumed our relationship and have been together ever since.”
—Heather Delgado, San Francisco, CA

A piece of cake
“My ex, Daniel, was a pastry chef at a restaurant that is internationally known for its unbelievably amazing chocolate cake. Tons of people — including myself — have tried to get the recipe for years, but can’t because it is a closely-guarded secret. We ended up breaking up because I discovered that he had cheated on me with a (now former) friend of mine. Of course, I was totally I upset, but decided to leverage his guilt into getting him to give me the recipe for the cake. My relationship may be over, but I have made and enjoyed that cake for years, which has been worth the loss of a boyfriend and a so-called friend!”
—Jeannie Robertson, Dover, DE


Chelsea Kaplan is deputy editor of The Family Groove and a regular guest on Sirius XM Radio's “Broadminded.” Read more from Chelsea on her blog, The Momtourage.
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