Breakups and blowback

Joey Garcia

I am literally covered in tears after crying for the past two hours. I am breaking it off with a great guy because I’m not in love with him. There is another man I’ve known forever, who has been pursuing me and he seems to be a great fit. No way am I telling my soon-to-be-ex that I am leaving him for someone else. But how do I break up gently? Men get so mad when you break up with them. How can I get this guy to understand that breaking up hurts me more than it hurts him?

The dialogue we have with ourselves during a personal crisis rarely seems as wise when seen in print. That’s one reason why journaling is useful. Dump drama on to the page, return hours, days or even years later, and it’s easier to see our illogical or unkind thinking patterns.

Here’s one of yours: Men shouldn’t get angry about breakups. Honey, people have all kinds of reactions to breakups. Anger is common, but so is confusion, and even relief. We can’t control other people’s emotions. I do understand that facing someone’s anger can be awful, but I can’t condone your investment in wound comparison. Believing that your hurt exceeds your boyfriend’s pain lets you feel sorry for yourself. Don’t use him to throw yourself a pity party. Set a timer for 15 minutes. Feel sorry for yourself. Then, pick yourself up and move on to another activity. And please don’t tell your boyfriend that your hurt is bigger than his. It’s manipulative. Don’t be that girl.

You might also rethink your planned launch into another relationship. Your new man could be perfect for you. But right now he’s shiny in comparison to the man you’ve been dating. If you want a love that will last, slow down. Here are instructions for a gentle, compassionate breakup: Meet face to face in public, share three things you appreciate about the time spent together and say you need to end the relationship. Thank him and exit. If you choose to stay and chat, be prepared to face any of his emotions, from anger to curiosity.

I haven’t been sexual with any guy except my boyfriend. We broke up for one weekend over something stupid. We got back together again and everything is perfect. The only weird thing is that I have had a personal issue that I can’t figure out. I searched online and found information that seems like I have an STD. But I know I can’t because I’ve only been with my boyfriend. What is going on?

When we talked by phone, I asked if you or your boyfriend had sex with someone else during your three-day breakup. You insisted that both of you had been faithful. I pushed you to push him for the truth. He later admitted that he went to a party, and had sex with a girl he met. After some soul-searching, you forgave him because you were broken up at the time. But now you both have an STD that you will have to live with forever. There’s an old saying: You can’t get over someone by getting under someone else. Hopefully, your boyfriend has learned not to overreact to a breakup and you’ve learned that he will lie when he’s scared of losing you. Proceed accordingly.

Meditation of the week
“What fascinates me about addiction and obsessive behavior is that people would choose an altered state of consciousness that's toxic and ostensibly destroys most aspects of your normal life because for a brief moment, you feel OK,” says Moby. What consciousness are you choosing: addiction or grace?

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