When It's Time to Leave Your Lover : A Guide for Gay Men book cover
1st Edition

When It's Time to Leave Your Lover
A Guide for Gay Men

ISBN 9781560239383
Published September 10, 1999 by Routledge
306 Pages

USD $22.95

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Book Description

When It's Time to Leave Your Lover: A Guide for Gay Men is for people who need help ending a gay male relationship that is no longer viable or for friends and family who want to support a gay man experiencing a breakup. This book provides tips on how to successfully cope with the post-breakup period and how to grow emotionally from the experience. You will discover how to tell a lover good-bye while learning about the psychological and social changes to be anticipated in this situation. When It's Time to Leave Your Lover gives you helpful, practical advice on how to cope with ending a relationship in a positive and constructive manner.

This unique book contains actual interviews with gay men and vignettes that clearly illustrate the topics. They provide you with a deeper understanding of all aspects of the break-up period. When It's Time to Leave Your Lover is a unique how-to book that gives you helpful and practical advice on such important issues as:

  • making an assessment of your relationship to determine if it is no longer viable
  • constructively leaving your partner and making it a positive experience
  • coping with the uncoupling experience by using specific techniques to avoid common mistakes such as the rebound relationship
  • growing from your uncoupling experience so you can enjoy more fulfilling relationships in the future
  • managing the social and psychological effects of a breakup through use of your support system of family and friends
  • seeking support through specific organizations available in several different cities that help gay men deal with breakups
Sincere and full of knowledgeable advice, When It's Time to Leave Your Lover offers proven suggestions that will help you revisit the mistakes you made during your relationship, preparing you for more satisfying relationships in the future that are based on compatibility, respect, and trust. A valuable and reader-friendly book, When It's Time to Leave Your Lover will enhance your understanding of the break-up experience and will help you understand, learn from, and get past the heartache of ending a relationship.

Table of Contents



Who Could Benefit from This Book

Value-Free Descriptions of Human Behavior Do Not Exist

What I Do Not Address in This Book

The Term "Gay Community"

How to Use, and How Not to Use, This Book

Chapter Outline

Ambivalence and Uncoupling

Couples Therapy and Staying together

Homophobia and (I'm Not Paranoid) Our Enemies

Chapter 1. Lovesick

Chapter 2. Reinventing Your Life: Making the Decision to Leave Him

Resistance to Letting Go

Confusion from the Start

A Change in Needs

Separation/Individuation versus Merging

Loving a Fantasy


What Love Can't Do

Friends Before Lovers


Chemicals and Physical Violence

Never Forgiven

Power and Control


Dysfunctional Needs

Self-Image and Second-Class Relationship

Obligation versus Desire

The Opposite of Emotional Support


The One-Person Relationship

Putting It Together

Chapter 3. How to Break Up Like a Grown-Up: Healthy Ways of Saying Good-Bye

The Breakup Fight

Breaking Up Is Your Decision


Anger and Punishment

Where and How to Do It: Practical Considerations

Crying and Manipulation and Forgetting the Whole Thing

Drinking, Other Chemicals, and Your Physical Stamina


What and What Not to Say

Moving Out

Getting Your Stuff Back

A Work on Behavior and Thoughts and Feelings

Now That You Are Single

Chapter 4. A Time of Pain: Dealing with the Emotional Aftermath of a Gay Divorce

Abrupt Loss and Sadness

Depression Is Not Sadness

Identity Disruption

Confusion and Unreality


Failure and Homophobic Failure Messages

Chapter 5. You No Longer Live Here: Social and Other Life Changes of Breaking Up

Running into Your Ex on the Street and in Other Places

Explaining Your New Status to the World

Relationship Secrets Becoming Public

Unsolicited and Solicited Information About Him

What Happens to His Friends and You?

What About Your Friends and Him?

The Ex, Friends, and Sex: Can Your Friends Now Date Your Ex?

Your Free Time: Anxiety and New Activities

Chapter 6. Creating the Ex-Relationship: Developing the Kind of Contact You Want

Contacting Him

Your First Meeting Together

Your New Association

What If Your Have No Interest in Ever Seeing Him Again?

When You Should Have Nothing to Do with Him Again

Reasons You Want to See Him

In Summary

Chapter 7. Remembering the Misery: Why You Shouldn't Go Back

Self-Esteem Issues

Remembering the Misery (Emotionally)

How Do You Rate Your Current Life?

A Unilateral Decision Again

If the Future Is Without Him

Chapter 8. Alone Again: Facing the Difficulties, Appreciating the Benefits

Growing Up

The Real Lousy Parts of Being Without a Lover

The Need to Connect

Being in Love Again

The Benefits of Being Alone

Reevaluating Your Life: A Time for Major Life Change

Dating: Fun with a Purpose

Chapter 9. How to Say No to the Rebound Trap: Taking a Relationship Vacation

You Need a Vacation

What Is Rebounding

Grieving and Rebounding

Bad Feelings About Gay Relationships

Bad Feelings Engendered in Your Ex

But Not Even Dating? Come on, Give Me a Break

How Do You Avoid Rebounding?

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