Why Rory McIlory Breaking Up With His Fiancée Was the Best Move of His Life

Credit:  The Big Lead

Credit: The Big Lead

They were engaged for nearly six months. Plans to get married were in progress. They sent out wedding invitations to their family and closest friends. The next day, it was over. This is the story of how Rory McIlroy, professional golfer, broke off his engagement with professional tennis player, Caroline Wozniacki.

Reports confirmed that Rory called Caroline over the phone and dumper her in a 3-minute conversation. Originally, she thought it was a joke. Rory wasn’t laughing. Shortly after the breakup, Rory went on to win the Open Championship, his third career major championship, where Caroline was bounced out of the French Open Championship in the first round.

It was obvious to everyone she was affected by the breakup and even acknowledged it in post-game interviews, saying that (I’m paraphrasing), “while it’s a difficult time, it’s an understandable decision on his part, and it’s up to me to move on and focus on my career.”

No, this is NOT celebrity gossip.

She later went on to win her next tournament. As for Rory, another PGA tournament win and most recently, winning this past weekend’s PGA Championship, becoming the third youngest to win 4 major championships, has catapulted him to the #1 golfer in the world (by far) and people calling him “the next Tiger Woods.”

"They’ve both played great since they decided to go their separate ways, so maybe it’s been good for them,” said ESPN golf analyst Dottie Pepper [ABCNews.com].

To some people, they would find Rory to be a total dick and his actions ruthless, self-centered, and reprehensible. Then you have someone like me who looks deeper and understands why this happens and most important, why this was the best.

In his post-tournament interview, he actually acknowledged the breakup being what has boosted his career.

“I think what happened has been for the better in terms of my golf,” McIlroy replied when asked about what has been the catalyst for the transformation.

“I’ve put a bit more time into it and it has refocused me. I mean, what else do I have to do now?

“I go to the golf course, I go to the gym and it’s just my life at the minute.

“I worked pretty hard before but the past couple of months I’ve really just buried myself in my game. It obviously works pretty well, so I am going to keep doing it.” [The Big Lead]

Of course, you can see this in two different ways. One one hand, you could say breaking up with his fiancée was tough and to help him get over it, he dove into his career to keep himself from being distracted from thinking about the relationship. On the other hand, you could say that the relationship was the distraction and affected his career, leading him to ending it.

As relationships evolve, expectations change and things become more challenging if you’re not focusing on it.
— Highlight text to tweet

Understanding what it takes to have a successful relationship.

Watching Rory since the beginning stages of his career, I can tell it was more of the latter. He’s young, incredibly talented, and has the skills to stay as the #1 golfer in the world for a very long time. In his case, he thought being in a evolving relationship would have been fine for him to maintain. After struggling to start the season, to the point where he prematurely withdrew from a tournament because he was stinking it up, he soon realized he couldn’t do both and as much as he wanted a relationship, ended things before it went further.

As someone who has been engaged, I know it’s tough to juggle planning for a wedding, managing your career (based on high expectations) and continuing to grow your relationship with your significant other. I was going through a difficult time personally, and it was dramatically affecting our relationship. There were often times when my wife thought we wouldn’t get married and indeed break up. As good as I am at what I do, I’ve never been engaged before. I didn’t know what was truly involved and soon found how difficult it was to manage.

Yeah, I’ve been in a relationship before — so has everyone else (for the most part). But I’ve never been engaged, like others, and definitely not married, like even fewer have. As relationships evolve, expectations change and things become more challenging if you’re not focusing on it. And for some people, like Rory, it can be too difficult to handle. Fortunately, I was able to turn things around and save my own relationship for the better. And trust me when I say, every day is a new day, but as the in great words of Alex Hitchens,

” That means she said yes when she could have said no. That means she made a plan when she could have just blown you off. So that means it's no longer your job to make her like you. It's your job not to mess it up.” [imdb]

But not everyone has that luxury – and it’s important to know that’s OK.

A tough decision one person makes in a relationship can actually save both people.

I’m sure he’ll do better the next time he feels he can manage both a relationship and his career, but he couldn’t make it work this time around and made the very tough but realistic decision to end things with a woman who he had a great relationship with. Like it or not, his decision saved themselves from living a life that could have not only ended their relationship but also their individual careers.

Although it sucked, Caroline will be fine. She has a bright future ahead and will take this experience to better understand the next one she gets into. As for Rory, his summer may have looked gloomy at first, but it has quickly become a summer he’ll never forget.