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Introducing FOBU: The Fear of Breaking Up

Our partners at How About We are untangling a condition that’s making millions of 20- and 30-somethings miserable. Are you and your girlfriend guilty?

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We love to hate those catchy acronyms that encourage us to grab life by the horns—you know, phrases like YOLO (you only live once) and FOMO (fear of missing out). And now there are four new letters in town, and they essentially stand for the opposite of going at life with a gutsy approach. Our partners at How About We are untangling a misery-inducing condition called FOBU, or fear of breaking up. How they define it:

"You’ve been dating for at least a year. You may live together at this point. You’ve spent at least one holiday with each others’ families and have attended weddings and other life milestones as a couple. But deep down, you know that this relationship isn’t fulfilling your needs (or your partner’s, for that matter). Still, you find yourself trapped—be it by inertia, apathy, a sense of duty, financial concerns, or crippling fear. And so you do nothing and say nothing. The relationship remains status quo."

Sound familiar? You might be guilty of FOBU. (To be sure, read 10 Sings You Have FOBU). While you’d expect expert advice to tell you to work through a rough patch in your relationship, the cure for this condition is a lot like ripping off a Band-Aid. In short, fixing FOBU means manning up—and breaking up. 

Click on over to How About We to read about real-life accounts of FOBU and to learn what your nose has to do with finding a new mate.

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