He Said/She Said is our dating and relationship advice column! Representing the men of the world is reformed ladies man and now devoted fiance Felix Gregory. On the ladies’ side is pro bono matchmaker Nora Fairchild. Every week, Felix and Nora square off, giving their view about your questions about dating! Have a question for our experts? Email email@example.com with “He Said/She Said” in the subject line.
This week’s question!
Karen in Dallas asks…
My boyfriend and I have been going out for about a year now and it just doesn’t feel right anymore. What’s the best way of breaking up with someone while causing minimum damage?
First, just tell him the truth. Be completely honest, and just let him know that your feelings have changed. He’s not going to be happy, and of course, there’s no easy way to break up with someone. That being said, your responsibility to him is to be honest, not to spare his feelings.
He is going to get hurt, but, his happiness is not your responsibility. Your duty is to yourself, and your own happiness. Just be honest, and hope that he has the coping mechanisms to deal with it properly.
To cause minimum damage, have a nice calm conversation with him explaining what went wrong and why you don’t think that it’s going to work out. Hopefully you’ve had a few discussions about these issues along the way, so it won’t come as a complete shock. Is there any chance that you two can work it out? Do you want to? Make sure that you clearly give him the answer to both of those questions so he doesn’t have false hope. Believe me, I know it’s hard to be blunt. However, if he thinks you’re leaving the door open (and you’re not), then the damage might end up being much worse down the road.
As with any breakup, there will be hurt feelings, that can’t be avoided. Just do whatever you can to soften the blow while making it clear where you stand.