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Ask Aroog is an advice column for University of Kansas students to ask columnist Aroog Khaliq for advice on love, relationships and life. 

Dear Aroog,

I've been seeing this guy for a couple weeks. He's the first person I've really dated since my last relationship ended, and I'm starting to realize I'm just not that into him. There's no reason why, I just don't really feel it. But I don't know how to break it off. He's really nice and all, I just don't see it going anywhere. How do I break it off?

I also worry, am I capable of feeling strongly for someone again? I feel as if I've built up walls that are holding me back from moving on and establishing a real connection with anyone. 

Sincerely,

A Pisces

 

Dear Pisces,

Breaking off a relationship is immensely difficult, and oftentimes even realizing that you have to break up with your partner is an uphill battle. You’ve made it through this tumultuous questioning, but now face a new frontier: What can you possibly say to make this as painless as possible? 

Too much honesty can hurt the other person, and I would counsel you against leading with “I just don’t really feel it.” You are in the right for owning up to your feelings, but there is a way to be true to yourself without hurting other people. This is why breakups are so often littered with platitudes like “It’s not me, it’s you.” I, however, am strongly against anti-trite phrasing, and urge you to practice on a friend who knows your partner and work toward words that will get the job done without stepping on too many toes.

Your real problem, of course, is not really about the fine art of breakups. You worry that you cannot feel strongly for another person after a previous, valent relationship, and that is driving you to drag your feet even though your instincts are telling you this relationship is on life support. Your past relationship does not define you, Pisces. It is unreasonable to expect complicated feelings from past relationships to sit in a dusty box in the back of your mind. Those feelings will inevitably mingle with new feelings, but the end of a past relationship, or the end of this current one, does not mean you are resigned to loneliness.

You know your own issue: You’re just not fully over your old ex. That isn’t to say you want them back, but rather you haven’t reckoned with what that breakup did to your ability to open your heart back up. Your ability to question the strength of your connection with someone, as well as your recognition that your protective walls are too high, show me that you are ready to take some time for yourself. 

You will love again, and you will love grandly. There are walls in the way right now, but they’re not unbreakable, Pisces. Grab a sledgehammer and get ready to do some emotional demolition. You need to do this to help your future relationships, but more importantly, to help yourself. 

I believe in you.

Love,

Aroog

 

Got a question? Ask Aroog at tinyurl.com/askaroog.

Aroog Khaliq is a junior from Overland Park studying English and psychology.