Dear V: It takes two to tango…but we are three

Dear V,

I have recently been seeing two guys at once. Things were never exclusive with either one, so I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong up until this point. I’ve decided to take things to the next level with one, which means I have to end it with the other. Not only do I feel guilty, I feel like a complete bitch. Why do I feel like this? Is there a good way to tell this perfectly nice guy (who really likes me) that I no longer want to hook up with him in a nice way?




Dear Maneater,

You feel this way because you are a compassionate person, not a bitch. This is the good news. There is no guaranteed “good” way to dump someone. This is the bad news.

However, I can guide you in a more tactful direction, which will make the dumpee more likely to handle the breakup well.

Be honest. Tell him that you can no longer date him because you’re seeing someone else. It would be unfair to all three parties involved if things were to continue the way they are going.

Be concise. The more you sputter away during uncomfortable situations (such as breaking up with someone), the less sure of yourself you sound. This leaves more room for the dumpee to try and negotiate or argue with you. You made your decision. Make it clear. There is no need to whine about your innermost feelings or delve into long narratives about how you fell for one guy over the other. It’s simply not necessary.

And finally, DON’T APOLOGIZE. It is one thing to be mindful of the guy’s feelings, but it is quite another to be self-incriminating. Remember: you’re no longer going to hook up with him because you know that it is the right thing to do, even if he walks away from the conversation a little sore.

Heartache is a part of life. We all experience it at one point or another… and then maybe another. We all cause it at some point, too. An important lesson to take from this is that you don’t need to be a bad person to perceive it, or provoke it.

It’s alright to end what you feel is not meant to be with this former suitor. If everyone were afraid to walk away from an undesirable romance, simply to spare the feelings of their partner, could you imagine how miserable we’d all end up?

Besides, he might take things better than you expect.

Best of luck!