A friend of mine was very painfully dumped by her boyfriend of many years. She found the website www.soyouvebeendumpedcom a great comfort as it meant she could contact others and share the experience, and swap tips for mending a broken heart.
In the public areas of the website there is a section which quotes break-up lines people have used. One really struck a chord with me. It was 'I can't see myself with you when I'm eighty.' That says it all. If you don't want to grow old with someone, how can the relationship have any future? Even if the relationship staggers on for a few more years, how do you know he or she isn't thinking, 'I can't see myself with you when I'm twenty-five/thirty/forty'?
One of the most flattering things a boyfriend ever said to me, when I was twenty and at university, was: 'With your bone structure, you'll be a beautiful old lady.' I took it the wrong way. I thought he meant, 'You're ugly now, but you might possibly be beautiful when you're eighty'. In retrospect, it was a wonderful compliment and I should have stayed with him.
But, dear readers, I dumped him. I have an awful feeling I used one of the other lines quoted on the website: 'I have a lot of growing up to do.'