It Takes Two      July 25, 2005

Everyone knows there are at least two sides to every 'Love Story.' There are lots of marriages where one side blissfully thinks the relationship is perfect, while, at the same time, their spouse is consulting a divorce lawyer. That's because perception is subjective. What seems perfect to one may seem perfectly awful to another. Will our insightful advisors suggest a change in perspective?

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Breaking Up 101

Dear Conversely,

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I recently went through a mutual breakup with a guy after two and a half years. At first we were both fine and moving on. Now he is calling everyday—all day—begging me to come back, and bawling. Our relationship was far from perfect and I'm not so sure I want to jump back into it. I'm enjoying the freedom. These past few weeks he has met up with his ex and met lots of girls at bars and various places but he does not want to do it anymore. He is extremely clingy and I can't even hang out with my friends without him getting jealous. I have tried to talk to him about it but he insists on bringing me roses and calling all day long. Is there anyway to tell him to back off without hurting his feelings?

Her view:

Over & Out,

Nope. None. Of course his feelings will be hurt, but that is what it is. That's the cost one pays for entering a relationship—the risk that one will ultimately be dumped. Don't feel badly. These things happen and we are all adults here.

He will not die. He will suffer for a few weeks and then move along. Everyone does. It sounds like you're more concerned about losing him forever, when he seems like a pretty good backup option, should you want one. My guess is that you like the option, but not the guy. The right thing is to let him move on swiftly and cleanly.

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His view:

Dear Over & Out,

Without hurting his feelings? Are you kidding? I mean, come on, your ex is a walking definition of hurt feelings.

There are things you can do, however, to help wrap up this episode of extreme pining. First, you have to stop encouraging him. Every time you pick up the phone or accept his flowers or listen to him cry, you are encouraging him. You are sending him a subtle message that your heartstrings might yet be tugged...that his persistence may win the day. Unless you are seriously open to getting back with him, this behavior borders on cruelty.

Second, you have to give him a clear and inflexible message that says you are done with the relationship. Don't say maybe; don't give him any hope. Tell him it's over and you never want to see him or hear from him again. Don't water it down and don't add any sugar to it. The sooner he takes his medicine, the sooner both of you can move on.

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You Vote!

You Vote! 57% of Women agree with HER VIEW and 43% with HIS VIEW.

0% of Men agree with HER VIEW and 100% with HIS VIEW.

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