Q. I have been dating Sean for three months and plan to break up with him. I just don’t have an attraction to him anymore. I feel bad breaking up with him because he really is a nice guy. Is there any way to do it without hurting his feelings? Cindy
A. More of Cindy’s story:
I thought about making up some excuse, anything to create a good reason to break up. He bought concert tickets for an upcoming show; I thought I should go to the concert and then break up after wards because he was so excited to go.
He noticed that I was quiet and not as affectionate and brought that to my attention. I wish he felt the same way I do then it wouldn’t be so hard to break up. But he is talking about our future and making comments about what kind of house I like and where I would like to live.
I probably should not have met his parents but he really wanted me to be a part of his family celebration. They are really great people and I feel sad that I do not share Sean’s thoughts and feelings. I feel really bad and guilty.
My friends tell me that it is wrong to continue dating him and making memories when I know I want to break up. I just don’t know what to say.
What do you think Cindy should say to Sean?
If she speaks her truth and tells him that she does not have strong enough feelings to continue dating and forming a more serious relationship, does that hurt less than avoiding the truth?
He will probably get his feelings hurt, he clearly has plans for the relationship. There is a difference in being mean and hurtful versus speaking your truth in a compassionate manner. If you are trying to explain why you cannot continue with the relationship, say it without a million words. Sometimes things just don’t work out. It is no one’s fault.
Cindy began to realize that she did not have strong feelings for Sean. The connection was more about friendship than romance. It created an awkward exchange.
Cindy broke up with Sean and actually felt better not having to pretend to feel something that wasn’t real.
Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City
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