The Rules For Breaking Up

Hi Rob,
I am graduating from college this year, and I am planning on making a cross-country move. My boyfriend (of two years) does not want to move anywhere for at least a few years.

I don’t want anything to do with a long distance relationship (I’ve done it before – it’s not a good fit for me. I would rather be single than have a boyfriend who is not actually with me). In addition, when I think about the future, I know that our opinions vary greatly on certain topics (marriage, children, religion) that are of importance to me. I know for sure that I have to end the relationship to be fair to both myself and to him.

My problem is that I have been with him for so long and had so many great experiences… and we haven’t had many bad ones. There isn’t a huge “bad” thing that makes me want to break up with him. I love him, and I am happy with him now, and I don’t want to hurt him. I know that hurting him is inevitable in this situation, but I still have to do what I know will be the right thing. I will certainly be honest with him when I tell him why I think this is the best idea. But is there a way to tell him that is less hurtful than other ways? Is there a way that is more hurtful? I want to make it as nice as possible, as my feelings for him remain – just not the potential for a future.

As the song goes “Breakin’ up is hard to do”…
There is no good way to break up. Feelings will get hurt. Your hope lies in the fact that he’s mature enough to understand that you are growing, and going, in different directions.

My suggestion to you is to be upfront about your goals for your future and why he’s not going to be a part of your life.

And be honest with yourself, if you don’t have a future together, you really don’t have an honest relationship.
Make the break clean. Tell him, if he pressures you to keep in contact, that you’ll get in touch with him after you’ve moved and settled in. And don’t stay in touch with him before you do move. Don’t give him the hope of contact that he may be able to change your mind and get back with you.

Who knows what the future holds? It’s enough of a crapshoot to get through tomorrow.
But break it off now, don’t drag him through the next few weeks wondering about the state of your relationship.
Best wishes,

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