The Breaker-Upper Virgin

8/23/2011 The Romantic 2 Comments

Hello Anti-Austins,
I have enjoyed reading your blog this last year and really did not expect that I would ever have a need to write-in. Partly because I always seem to have the answers to everything, and, honestly, partly because I am always the one to get dumped in relationships, which, yeah, does not usually feel great. However, now I find myself on the other end of things and don't have any idea what to do. I started dating a boy this summer and have enjoyed the last couple of months we've had. I knew within a month that I would not marry him, but for me, dating is as much about finding a spouse as it is about learning and growing in relationships (specifically, me learning how to be a better girlfriend/future wife). The summer has now come to an end and we're in different states for, well, the next few years. (There's nothing that is going to put us in the same place & frankly, I'm not crazy enough about him to move.) I've known for several weeks that this needed to end because this long-distance attempt to date is not getting us anywhere. I'm am not going to suddenly decide I could marry him, and I can tell he likes me much more than I do him. All signs point to ending this. However, as I work up the courage to say that, the only explanations I'm coming up with make me sound like the jerk boys I would always rail against. (For example, I would like to tell him that it's not really fair to him for me to tie him down. He's at school and needs dating experience, while I've graduated and have already had many of those opportunities. Him closing of socially would not be fair.) These explanations are true, just not the whole truth. The whole truth would be stated as, "I don't like you enough to keep doing this. I can't see us progressing past this point You should date other people. It will be good for you." He's such a sweetheart that telling him anything of the sort breaks my heart but at the same time I don't want to string him along. I also don't want to turn into one of those jerks who makes themselves seem noble and selfless in the break-up ("I'm doing this for you") but are truly walking away for their own selfish reasons. Any advice you could offer would be great.
-The Breaker-Upper Virgin

Dear Breaker-Upper Virgin,
As you might have read, I've dated three men. Since I broke up with the first two multiple times, I would say I have experienced every break up under the sun.
.The long drawn out and emotional kind, where you're both heaving sobs.
.The "yeah, let's just be friends" kind.
.The kind where you pretend you're ok.
.The "we're just going on a break, we're not breaking up" kind.
.The "I hate you" kind. (yeah my ex-boyfriend is the only person I've ever said that too. Real mature huh?)
.And even the "man, I am glad to get rid of him" kind.

So, my advice: Just do it. Be swift and to the point. I think it hurts less that way. And be honest. Men appreciate honesty. I'm not saying to act like a heartless wench and kick him to the curb. But just give him the blunt straight facts:

I'm sorry. This won't work out for me. I think you're incredibly sweet person and that you're going to find someone wonderful. But that girl just isn't me.

If he asks questions, then you'll have to elaborate. But I've learned that the best way to break up, is to keep things as brief as possible. There's no easy way to break up with someone. So often we think that there's only one injured party. But being the "dumper" hurts too.
I think you know what to do. Good luck!
-the Romantic

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anna said...

For a book all about dumping others and being dumped, read An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. I can't say anyone will find much actual advice but it's an awesome read no matter what.

Anonymous said...

Way too late for help in this scenario, but maybe it will enlighten others:

In my experience as a boy, being honest is the very best thing you can do. I won't blame you for "being selfish" or anything, because it's not really your fault you don't like him. Just tell him the truth honestly and bluntly. If you're not blunt enough he won't get it. The good news is you're both far away already, so you (or rather he) won't have pangs of loss every time he sees you around.

If it has to happen, there's nothing you can really do about it. If you need to break a guy's heart, do it quickly.

--The Introvert