Dumpee Doesn't Need All the Particulars
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Dear Christine,

I just broke up with the woman I was seeing. When she asked why, I didn’t have the heart to tell her the truth—that I thought she was too childish and not intelligent enough for me. So I simply told her that we didn’t click.

She kept calling and crying for me to give her a more detailed explanation for breaking up with her. When I couldn’t stand her whining any more, I told her the truth, and now she hates me for being honest. Did I do the right thing? -- FEELING GUILTY – LONDON, ON

Dear Feeling Guilty,

My personal favourite breakup line is: “It’s not you; it’s me.” But the old “We don’t click” is also a classic.

Excuses like these can be too vague, leaving the dumpee wanting to know why. Although they probably don’t really want an alphabetized list of grievances, they can’t seem to let go. Some people are just gluttons for punishment. For example, do any of us really want to know how many people our partner slept with before us? Is any answer going to be the right answer?

You were in a tough spot. If you had lied or softened it to make her feel better about herself, she’d have probably asked, “If I’m so great, why are you ditching me?” —taking you right back to where you started.

After all is said and done, it sounds to me like you did the only thing you could. You needn’t punish yourself.

Dumpees should be careful what they ask for; they just might get it.

Dear Christine,

The good news is my boyfriend finally found a dream job in his field after more than a decade of working unsuitable jobs. The bad news is we’re always fighting because he has no time for me. He voluntarily works overtime and even takes work home with him.

Our relationship has suffered because we hardly ever see each other. And when we do, we don’t talk like before because we’re busy fighting. When I ask for more of his time, he says I don’t understand how busy he is. He’s had eight months to adapt to the new job, and I’m fed up. I’ve been tempted to break up with him, but I can’t imagine life without him.

How can I make him understand I need his attention and I miss him? I want things to be like before. What should I do? -- NEGLECTED – TORONTO, ON

Dear Neglected,

You won’t be satisfied unless you talk with him about it one more time.

Is it unreasonable that he is continually putting his job in front of you? Yes. But he obviously thinks you’re being unreasonable for not appreciating the importance of his career finally coming together.

Are either of your thoughts wrong? No. We all have the right to feel any way we want. It’s how we chose to handle disagreements that matters. When you talk to him, explain exactly how you’re feeling and listen carefully to his side of the situation. Suggest ways to compromise. Maybe you could find a way to help him with his work or hobbies. The more you have in common the more time you will be able to spend together.

If he’s not willing to compromise and work on the relationship, you’ll have to make a decision about whether to continue being with him.

Things will never be the way they were before. On the bright side, perhaps you can come to an agreement on how to make it better than it is now.

Things change, and we either change with them or we move on—or, worse yet, get left behind. No matter how much you love him, you need to decide what’s best for you. Be honest with yourself. If he’s not willing to compromise now, imagine how your future will be with him.

Have a question, a thought, or a story to share (anonymity guaranteed)? E-mail Christine at: single@keynotebooks.com

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