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Ask Dr. Jan

Dear Dr. Jan,

I want to break up with my girlfriend. My friends say I should break up with her by text because it’s easier. I would rather face her now then face her after she gets the text, but I'm going to feel bad and cry. I'm a guy and crying is embarrassing, especially in public.

— Ben

Dear Ben,

Clearly you care about your girlfriend’s feelings even though you want to break up with her. While texting her would be easier for you, telling her in person would be the braver and more considerate way to go.

It is unfortunate that boys and men in our culture are still taught that showing emotion is a weakness—particularly because not expressing your feelings can lead to serious emotional and physical problems. Keeping your emotions bottled up is just not healthy.

You seem to be a caring person, and I think you know that breaking up with your girlfriend face-to-face is the right thing to do. Consider organizing your thoughts ahead of time, and then setting up a time to talk with your girlfriend in a private place where you can discuss your reasons for wanting to break up. That will ensure that you can both express your feelings without worrying that other people are watching.

And, remember, real men have the guts to express their feelings and show their emotions, even if that means crying.