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They aren’t required to hold your hand as you process your issues.They don’t need to be “generous of spirit [and vagina]” while you’re trying to get over them. (And before anyone brings it up: yes, I talk about requirements when you’re dumping someone.I’m talking about breaking off all contact with the most intimate person in our lives without civility — refusing to answer the phone, reply to emails, or acknowledge any aspect of their communication or needs — often without explanation. Now, to set the stage: Emma, Reifman’s ex, was a (much younger – this is going to be important, too) woman he met in a New Media class.The writing’s a bit unclear as to whether he was TA’ing the class or not (which is potentially a tricky issue in and of itself) but long and short: they had a whirlwind affair of four months, after which she ended things, an ending that he insists he foresaw because of the vast differences in their ages.Emma once told me, “You’re the first one to want me for me,” but her abrupt about-face might make you think I ran off with her best friend or boiled her rabbit … In fact, to this day, I have only guesses to make sense of her hostility to me.Because Emma’s withdrawal and eventual cutoff surprised me so much, I had a lot of intense emotions and questions about what she’d experienced and the choices she’d made.Every once in a while, the universe likes to drop a subject in my lap.Last week, several of my readers forwarded me an article on Medium called “Shining Light on Cutoff Culture“, a think piece by one Jeff Reifman, about closure and communication.
Being on the receiving end of a cutoff, surrounded by friends and culture that just expect you to get over it, can leave you feeling utterly powerless. In fact, I’m fairly sure the mind just curled up in the corner, making “buh-buh-buh” sounds as it flicks its finger over its lips. You don’t have to justify them and you sure as shit don’t get to dictate terms afterwards.Most of us don’t blink when a friend says they’ve cut off an ex.But if you’ve ever been cut off by someone you care deeply for, then you know how distinctly painful an experience it can be.While it may be socially acceptable to cut off communication with our exes, we’re not always cognizant of the impacts on ourselves and our former partners.When we cut off, we may do so from anger but often we may be avoiding feelings of discomfort.