Guys, Guys, Guys—I shake my head with disappointment every time I hear you say, “I wanna break up with her, but I don’t wanna hurt her feelings.”
Shame on you! Such an irresponsible point of view is called False Hope, and you’d be better off jabbing an ice pick into your partner’s eye. It’ll probably hurt less than finding out you were only keeping her around because you didn’t want to hurt her feelings.
The nuances of false hope are plenty, and they all lead to either heartache or despair, usually both.
Do any of these sound familiar?
“For me it’s over, but I agreed to let her live in the apartment until she finds a new place.”
“I can’t break up with her yet. She’s going through a terrible time (at work/with family/with friends/fill in the blank).”
“I’ve agreed to stick around. Maybe I’ll change my mind in time.”
“If I tell her that I’m not looking for the same kind of commitment, she might think I’m not interested at all.”
And on and on.
Although it might seem like you’re being considerate, you’re actually leading your partner on. At some point, how you really feel will manifest itself, and you’ll soon have lotsa ‘splaining to do. You’ll be accused of (and, let’s be honest here, outed for) dishonesty and deceit. Rightfully so.
It once took me six months to tell a woman I couldn’t bear to stay the course. Throughout that time I was stressed, unhappy, and lived day-to-day feeling like a schmuck. The inevitable dropping of the bomb was nasty for both of us. But with a bit of time, breaking up turned out to be the best thing. She went on to get married and have a baby, and I was free of a relationship I knew was a dead-end.
The truth, as hard as it may be to hear (and it is hard to hear, it is, it is!), is always the best path to happiness. Being honest with your partner really does work.
It just takes courage. Rip off that band-aid. Let the scab be free to heal. Otherwise the false hope you’re injecting into your relationship will fester with infection.
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