Dear Annie: I’m a young woman who is living at home for the summer before moving away in the fall. Here’s my dilemma: Several months ago, I excitedly arranged for my long-distance boyfriend to live with my family and get work nearby. Unfortunately, now that he’s here, I find that I simply don’t want to be in a relationship with him anymore.
He hasn’t done anything wrong. I’m just a different person from who I was a couple of years ago when we began dating. Now his little flaws that I so desperately convinced myself to overlook seem increasingly like deal breakers.
I’m planning to give the relationship a few more weeks to make sure this isn’t simply a phase, but frankly, I don’t expect my feelings to change. How do I handle this? I realize that hurting him is inevitable, but breaking up with him in the middle of the summer and making him move out of my parents’ home could seriously undermine his efforts to pay for his own education.
What’s even worse is that my friends and family are putting serious effort into accepting him into the family because they expect us to get married. I want to do the right thing and cause the least possible amount of hurt. Please help me, Annie. – Hearts Don’t Break Even
Dear Hearts: Don’t worry about your friends and relatives. They will manage. But you do need to talk to your boyfriend as soon as possible and explain that the relationship isn’t going to work out. Some pain cannot be avoided, so better now than later. Be as gentle as possible. Apologize for uprooting him. And, since his livelihood is currently dependent on his living arrangements, it would be gracious if your parents would allow him to stay temporarily while he looks for a place of his own. Offer to help him search. The fact that you are moving away in the fall will make this easier on both of you.