Sex Education: why Adam and Eric break up in Season 3

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Sex Education can be considered one of the most exciting visions available on Netflix in the latest years. Riding the wave of sexual awareness among the young generations, the series has reached Season 4, set for release in 2023. In Season 3, we watched many stories intertwined with each other, and one of the fascinating developments is the relationship between Adam and Eric: two young men who seem to love each other, even though they break up at the ending of Season 3. It’s worth remembering why that happened: let’s have everything explained in this article.

You can watch the official trailer for Sex Education Season 3 here on Youtube.

Sex Education explained: why do Adam and Eric break up in Season 3?

Like many other characters in the Netflix series Sex Education, Adam and Eric are carefully explored in their psychology over the first three seasons. And those spectators who paid more attention surely noticed their different characters: on one side, we have Eric, a young man who fully embraced his homosexuality and integrated it into his identity, showing it as a relevant part of his personality. That’s why, on his trip to Nigeria, it’s difficult for him to dress appropriately, hiding his sexuality. Freedom of self-expression is important to him, and his lifestyle is driven by how he lives his sexuality.

On the other side, we have Adam, a young man who always had issues expressing his emotions. He discovered to be homosexual only recently in his life and only through Eric, so he is still learning this part of himself. Everything he shares with Eric is new to him, and occasionally he finds out he’s not yet entirely comfortable with some aspects of it. It can be how they show it publicly or some detailed aspects of their sexual life. But this represents a big difference between the two: Eric has fully embraced this part of him since a while; it’s a process he ended already; Adam feels he’s just at the beginning of that path.

This is the difference that created the resistance between their love story. There’s no doubt that the two love each other, but that doesn’t mean the relationship is easy. Even Otis is fully aware of it and keeps warning his best friend Eric, suggesting he doesn’t get too involved, or he could get hurt. That doesn’t mean that Adam doesn’t love him or he anyway intends to hurt him. But his lack of self-awareness in this new sexual dimension can create misalignments. And when you love someone, being misaligned simply hurts.

This is the psychological background between Adam and Eric when the events at the end of Season 3 occur. What happens, the way Sex Education has explained it to us, is that Eric goes on a family trip to Nigeria. One night he secretly joins the homosexual community in town. There, he has the chance to kiss the guy who invited him. The two even sleep together, even though they don’t have sex. But this event marks Eric for days: he keeps thinking about it, and somehow he doesn’t feel really guilty. He feels bad that, by doing this, he hurt Adam. But he cannot say he wouldn’t do it again. As he explains in the last episodes, he felt “free.”

This brings us back to what we were saying before: self-expression. For Eric, this is the first principle guiding him in this life phase. And what happened made him think very seriously about his relationship with Adam. Are the two really compatible? Will he feel complete and satisfied in a relationship with a boy who still has to understand who he is and learn how to deal with this part of his sexuality?

This is why Eric confesses what he did so openly. He feels he needs this honest communication, and if that will break their relationship, he probably feels it’s better this way. Indeed, after they break up, we don’t see him particularly sad. On the other side, Adam is broken: he’s left alone in this challenging time of his life. The boy he loves is gone, his family is in pieces, and his school will be sold. And Season 4 will definitely be again the perfect stage to explore the developments of their lives.

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