Why did Michael and Colin break up in ‘Uncoupled’?

In ‘Uncoupled’, Michael Lawson faces a sudden break-up and is then forced to go back into the dating world after years out of the game. The series is streaming on Netflix.

The first episode establishes that Michael and Colin have been in a relationship for 17 years and are presumably happy with their lives, although Colin isn’t too excited about his 50th birthday and wants it to be kept on the down low.

A not-so-clean break

Despite Colin’s displeasure at turning 50, Michael plans a surprise birthday party for him with all of their closest friends and family.

While he’s at work, Michael gets a call from his housekeeper who claims that they were robbed because a bunch of stuff went missing.

When Michael brings it up with Colin, Colin admits that the stuff that’s missing is his because he moved out. This happens right before they enter the surprise party and Michael is left in a daze for the rest of the night.

Uncertain explanation

When Michael asks Colin why he’s making such a decision, all Colin can offer is that he just needs some space. Michael spends the rest of the night and the following day wondering what that even means.

Why did Michael and Colin break up in 'Uncoupled'? 1
Michael and Colin try out couple’s counselling

After a couple’s counselling session where Michael spent the whole time talking, Colin seals the deal via text. He tells Michael that there’s nothing more worth working on and it would be better if they stopped seeing each other.

Michael has a difficult time trying to understand why their relationship ended and for a brief moment even assumes that Colin was having an affair, but that turns out to be false.

Mistakes were made

While attending a party, Michael notices that the drag performer at the venue was the same couples counsellor he and Colin visited. He confronts him and says that Colin broke up with him after that meeting so it’s partly his fault.

The counsellor hits back at him, saying that Michael was so focused on himself and spent the entire session talking rather than listening to what his partner had to say.

Why did Michael and Colin break up in 'Uncoupled'? 2
Michael gets an earful from a drag queen/therapist

He says that most of the blame does lay on Michael and that he should be grateful for the people who still love him and have stuck by him. Michael listens to this and begins some self-introspection.

At the Jonathans’ wedding, Michael and Colin finally appear to settle things between them amicably as they share some intimate moments without any pressure or repressed feelings. Michael believes he’s finally ready to move on.

That night once he returns home, he finds Colin waiting for him. Colin claims that he made a mistake, suggesting that he regrets his decision and would like to get back together.

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