Q: I am sure that I want to break up with my boyfriend, because I have realised that he’s not the one for me. He is a very emotional and dramatic person. I fear a lot of emotional drama if I tell him that I no longer want to be with him. He has often threatened to do something to himself whenever I have even mildly suggested that I don’t feel the same way about him. This frightens me as I don’t want to be responsible for any self-harm that he might inflict on himself. Even the mildest communication of my unhappiness in the relationship is met with a long melodramatic monologue about what a great boyfriend he is and how I don’t value him. The fact is that I have grown to understand myself better, and I know that this relationship cannot make me or him happy ever. How do I end this relationship without causing him any harm and without subjecting myself to the emotional scenes that I dread? Please help.
A: In order to put your point across without risking him acting in any extreme ways, you may have to enlist the mediatory services of a relationship counsellor or an elder whom you will both can trust and who will be able to knock sense into the situation. Having a third person in the room will pressurise him to not try and compromise the integrity of the discussion where you had like to inform him of your desire to ‘move on’ from this relationship.
The reason why it’s important to involve someone at this point is so that he feels the seriousness of the situation and so that he reins in his elevated emotional behaviour where he threatens to do something to himself. Also, if he does in fact do something to himself, a third pair of eyes will help in case you need proof of what happened. These things could get pretty out of hand so make
sure you protect yourself at all times. A lot of people who threaten to do something to themselves frequently make such extreme declarations to get an emotional reaction out of their partners or to invite urgent attention to what they want and feel. Sometimes if love isn’t available, attention and pity becomes the next best available thing. These are childish ways to ensure continuity of a relationship.
Relationships that are approached from a position of weakness and clinginess are unsustainable between self-respecting human beings. Some people may be ok to live a compromised life but in today’s fast moving socially and digitally connected world, people are getting in touch with what they want for themselves in faster and better ways.
You not feeling the same way about him is as close-ended as it gets and no monologues of him trying to pitch himself to you may make you reconsider your feelings if you are ‘out of it’ already. With the evolution of human beings, needs change and this changes the dynamics of a relationship.
Falling out of love is as common as falling in love. Congratulations on understanding yourself better and knowing what makes you happy. This kind of insight is important to achieve at some point in our lives.
(Aman R Bhonsle is a qualified Psychosocial Analyst and a Professional Youth Mentor with specialisation in Transactional Analysis and REBT. He is available for consultation at the Heart To Heart Counselling Centre.)