Breaking up is hard to do

You know he’s not the one for you, but not sure how to call it quits?

Our elder offers a few tips on when, where, and what to say for a clean break.

Dear EWC:

I need to break up with my boyfriend. We’ve been together for a month or two and I thought that maybe I could keep the flame going. But I can’t. He’s just not the one for me and I’m not the right girl for him. I’m introverted and I don’t like being touched or having someone cling to me like he does.

Everyone keeps telling me not to do it because he’s such a good boyfriend. He cleans, cooks, he’s thoughtful. But instead of working through his issues, he vapes them away. He spends so much money on vape and it’s so bad for him. He purposely annoys me and doesn’t know how to rely on himself instead of other people. Not to mention he moves too fast in our relationship. I know why he’s so affectionate and clingy. And I don’t blame him for it; I’m just not equipped to help him and myself at the same time.

It doesn’t help he’s depressed and suicidal and he’s claimed I’m the only one for him and his reason for living. I just want for us to go back to being friends. But he’ll make things awkward and I don’t want that. I’ve always been horrible with words and emotions and I fear that if I do this my way I’ll end up ruining what friendship we have left and end up sounding like a heartless bitch. I’m just not ready for a relationship.

Good-Listener replies:

I completely understand (as much as I can, anyway) why you need to break up with your boyfriend. You’ve only been together a short time; it isn’t as though you’ve been married or living together for years and now you’re giving him the boot. That’s why it’s called “dating.”

The bottom line is, as you articulately expressed, he’s not the guy for you. And, while you recognize he has some very good qualities, the vaping thing would be a huge problem for me too. It’s bad for him, has terrible health and financial consequences, and that alone could be a huge turnoff. I also applaud your desire not to hurt him, and I know you want to do this with as little impact as possible.

Here’s the thing. It sounds, from what you’ve said, that he has some serious emotional issues. You can’t cure him or stop that – and, while you sound like a caring compassionate person, being responsible for a person who is that dependent on your, and may be self-destructive, is not a life you want for yourself.

I think you need to tell him as soon as possible. He will get upset, and be ready for that. Also try to do it during the day and, possibly, in a quiet but not secluded place. Give him the respect of turning off your phone.
Yes, you may end up ruining the friendship and I know you don’t want that but, again, you can’t cure or take care of him or be responsible for his mental health. Let him know you’d like to remain friends and be available if he wants to talk or he wants to find help (sounds to me as if he needs professional help, but I’m not a doctor or medical professional so I can’t diagnose him).

He may see anyone who doesn’t give him what he wants as a heartless bitch; that may be his sense of desperation. You’re not. You can’t control him, or what he does or says. This may not be the first time he has gone down this road, and caused a woman to feel he’s too hard to handle. But having said all of that, try to tell him as soon as you can. I know you know this, but the longer you wait, the harder it will be. Good luck.


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