So I took your advice and ended a relationship face-to-face, with honesty and integrity but was shocked at the rude text I got from the guy five days later. It really hurt my feelings, and now I wonder what you each think is the best way to break it off with someone?
~Honest and Hurt, Walnut Creek
She Said: There must be 50 ways to leave your lover—yours is the question for the ages. I prefer to hear the straightforward approach, the way you did it, but maybe that’s a female thing. Sometimes there just isn’t a way to end things well, so you just have to do it in a way that allows you to be your highest and best self. There’s often nothing you can say to prevent the sting and some will sting back in pain. Take comfort in the fact that his lashing out confirms you made the right decision. Shawn, was this a guy-ego thing?
He Said: Yeah this guy’s ego was hurt BIG TIME. But take comfort in the fact that you were honest and gave him the courtesy of a face-to-face explanation. Of course there’s a lot of different ways to end a relationship, but there’s really only one right way and you nailed it. Unfortunately a lot of people take the cowardly approach nowadays and break things off via electronic communication such as text message or social media posts. He’ll eventually think highly of you because you gave him that respect, especially when the next girl he dates dumps him on Facebook.
My son graduated from college in June and is sitting home, doing nothing. What’s a fair amount of time to give him to relax and recover before insisting he get out there and get a job and move out?
~Frustrated Father, Oakland
He Said: Give the kid a break! He just graduated college; you should be a proud papa because he received a higher education. Ok, break’s over, now it’s time for you to be concerned again. It’s time to ask your son some important questions: Does he have a plan? Direction? Passion or interest in anything particular? A skill set that translates into gainful employment? A college degree is great and everything, but sadly it doesn’t guarantee a job after college nowadays. If your son doesn’t have a legitimate answer to any of these questions, then he’ll be sitting on your couch for a very long time. I’d give him until the end of summer before you smack him in the face with the ‘help wanted’ section.
She Said: Good stuff, Shawn. I would add that volunteering and internships are good ways to get one’s foot in the door too. What you don’t want to do is make it so comfortable that your son has no reason to look for anything. Not expecting anything from him is exactly what you’ll get, so just pay attention to that little moral hazard. I wouldn’t give him money either. You’re giving him a roof over his head and food on the table, but the fun parts of life he needs to fund himself. Oh, and when he does get a job, he needs to start paying a reasonable amount of rent, otherwise you could end up with failure to launch. Congrats on the college education though. That’s awesome!
Robin Fahr is a communications specialist and host of Conversations seen daily on Tri-Valley TV, Channel 30 and online at trivalleytv.org. Shawn and Robin also host He Said/She Said on TheTalkPod.com. Send your questions to AskHeSaidSheSaid.com.