How to Break Up – Part 1

Q. I recently moved to a new city for a job, leaving my boyfriend. After about a month now, I realize that I’ve been in denial and I know I don’t love him anymore. He is coming to visit me in two weeks. Should I wait until he comes here to break up with him, and/or should I already start hinting at it? Help!

Dear 20-something,

It depends on a number of factors.

a) How long have you been dating??  If it’s been a long time, have him come. If it’s been for a short period of time, save him the trip.

b) How far is the trip and how expensive is it to get to you??  Assuming neither is very cumbersome, I would have him come and have that discussion in person.  – 40-something, single, New York City


Dear 20-something,

While I am not a fan of breaking up over the phone or email, I think in this case it must be done.  The idea of spending 2 weeks with someone you don’t want to be around is unbearable as well as unfair to him both emotionally and financially.  I suggest you call him and be honest about your feelings. – 40-something, married, mom, Brooklyn, NY


Dear 20-something,

If you have had a serious relationship for some time I think you owe him honesty. You may want to tell him that you are having some doubts and want to let him in on them before he comes. Then let him decide if he thinks its worth the trip. Particularly if it’s a long trip that costs a lot of money.  At least he can get a partial credit and use it for something else! Nothing could be worse than if you hold it back…and then try to test it out over the weeknd and then…oops at the end of the trip you still don’t love him and dump him. That is one of those things that makes men think women are crazy. – 40-something, married, Columbus, Ohio


Dear 20-Something,

I’m a big fan of doing it in person. It is the respectful thing to do, especially if it was a significant relationship. It’s kinder and gentler if you can figure out a way to let him know that lets him feel  respected and honored. When you do it in person it allows you to process it together a little bit.

If it’s not a significant relationship it’s a moot point…just tell him over the phone. If you shared intimacy, her deserves a chance to hear you face-to-face.  Then the other person can move on more quickly. It’s a chance to take in the reality of it. When you don’t get closure there is a tendency to think, “If I only could see them in person I could make them fall back in love with me” or something along those lines. That illusion can keep you from moving on.

When it’s face to face you get that it is more final.  An honorable breakup allows for closure and speedy recovery…it’s just more mature. – 40-something, NYC

Good luck with your break-up whatever you choose to do. Stay tuned for a follow-up post based on this last 40-somethings tips on how to break up with respect and honor.

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