I need some break up advice

I've been in as serious relationship with a girl for about three years and I really care about her and respect her but the physical attraction is no longer there. We are both still young 22 and 23 but if the physical attraction is dead already how can our relationship last?

I am in a very tough situation because we live together in an apartment but I am no longer happy however the thought of hurting her makes me very sad as well. The lease on the apartment comes up in April but the difficult situation is that our 3 year anniversary is in April as well and she is excited about it. But I cannot break the lease early because it costs two months worth of rent which I cant afford.

I'd like to remain friends with her and help her with some dental work she really needs because all of her back teeth are completely rotted and black (which I didn't know about when we started dating) and it makes her breathe smell terrible always so its hard to be intimate sometimes.

I really don't know what to do but the common advice "tell her the truth" about not being physically attracted just seems too harsh and I don't want to damage her already low self esteem.

Sometimes I give advice on this forum but this time I need some help. Thank you.


There really isn't a good way to do this. Being honest with someone when breaking up is often a kindness, but given the circumstances here...a dental problem she's already aware of...it might just be salt in the wound. Your instincts are right on that.

You're going to have to bite the bullet and end things. You are going to be a villain. She might be very angry, or very sad. She may beg you not to leave...stick to your guns. She may attack you verbally...be contrite and take your lumps. Make things as easy as possible for her. Help her as much as you can, or as much as she's willing to accept.

I can tell you right now that I've had my heart broken terribly. I've been cheated on, I've been blind sided, I've been cruelly dumped. None of it really registers with me now. Most of it seems funny. But whenever I think of the times I dumped someone, I cringe inside.

Just be as honorable as you can. Be kind and be patient. If you're fortunate, you guys will be able to stay friends. She'll remember that you behaved like a decent human being, and even more importantly YOU will remember that you behaved like a decent human being.

Is there any possibility that once she gets her teeth sorted out and her breath no longer smells of rot, the physical attraction may return?

You've highlighted a completely legitimate reason to feel strong physical revulsion towards any person (let alone someone you're suppose to be intimate with), but have you fully considered how much this mere bad smell could be causing a feeling of dread and casting doom over your entire relationship?

Smells are incredibly powerful and can have a profound psychological impact, even subconsciously, and the odour of a diseased or rotting body part of another member of our own species is one of the most powerful psychological triggers there is (initiating an innate and subconscious feeling of danger, panic and hostility in most animals).

I don't know how you should break up with her, but at the very least you should consider the possibility that your lack of physical attraction could be caused by a strong sense of revulsion rather than a diminishing sense of attraction, and perhaps you shouldn't completely decide you're not physically attracted to her until she gets her teeth fixed and her rotten breath is no longer a factor in that decision.

It sounds like you've made up your mind but don't want to be cruel to her. Which is a typical decent aspiration to have. So be decent, and talk to her about it. Because look at it this way: letting her live under false pretenses in a relationship where you've lost interest is cruel, and it just gets crueler the longer you let it persist. Staying friends after a breakup can be very difficult and can take a lot of work, and in my experience choosing "kind" over "honest" is the wrong choice almost every time. Because the person trying to be kind isn't actually doing it for you, they're just doing it so that they won't feel bad about it, which is just being cowardly. Make sure that's not what you're doing.

That's me being a grumpy old man out of the way.

I'd say that it's not something to feel too bad about. Attractions wax and wane in relationships. That's just the way things are. You grow used to what you have and you start to notice the little things you didn't at first. They start to get on your nerves and so on and so forth. This happens all the time when two people live together. It sucks. But it's rarely anyone's fault.
Just talk to her about it in a reasonable manner and be prepared for the potential "I'll change" response. And give that serious, serious thought beforehand, you don't want to have to answer that unprepared or realise in a month that you didn't think that through.

Oh, and don't bring up still helping with the dentist thing during the breakup if it doesn't just naturally slip into the conversation or she brings the topic (getting your help, not her teeth) up. Depending on the girl that can just come off as something between an insult and a bribe to make you look good. Talk about that on the next time you see each other or something. And if you're really serious about it and want to do it to feel better about the whole situation consider just giving her the money (I assume that was what you meant by 'help') asap instead of forcing her into a situation where she's dependent on her ex for something.

Tell the girl to fix her teeth because you didn't agree to date an angler fish.

If she's 22 she is old enough to realise that that aspect about her does need some serious work. Even denture would be preferable to... black rotting teeth that smell terrible. I have no idea how someone could even allow their teeth to get to that stage.

If she is unwilling to solve her teeth problem then you know exactly how she stands in your relationship - unwilling to solve a problem that would cause revulsion in anyone.

I was just watching this short video at houseofshorts.com. It is about a couple of guys offering getting back together advice to their friend who thinks he has been dumped. http://houseofshorts.com/friendly-advice/
Or maybe it is a warning on the danger of eating carrots :-)

i think your mind is made up.

Whether you tell her the real reason or not is up to you. But given that you will have to look for a new place to live, you will have to tell her a few weeks in advance, right?

I actually went through a similar situation where I was no longer attracted to my boyfriend. Not because I didnt love him or anything, but the attraction was just gone.

I was totally honest about it and asked to break up because the attraction was gone and since we were both still very young (20 -ish) we probably needed to go separate ways to find find someone that we could be more in to.

I didnt really say what specific reasons made the attraction go away. That was unnecessary information and there was no need to ruin a good relationship.

Friendly Lich:
I'd like to remain friends with her and help her with some dental work she really needs because all of her back teeth are completely rotted and black (which I didn't know about when we started dating) and it makes her breathe smell terrible always so its hard to be intimate sometimes.

I feel like an awful person for laughing, but I genuinely was not expecting this thread to go in that direction. I was assuming it was a natural loss of physical attraction due to familiarity rather than an "oh jesus what the fuck is wrong with your mouth".

OT: I have no real advice. Whenever I've broken up with someone it always ended with them going crazy and trying to get me back, and I gather you don't want that. Good for you. It's horrible.


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