:Dear Miss Emily:

I would like to have some advice on how to break up easily, and peacefully with someone I have had a relationship with for almost 3 months. I used to love him a lot but, now, I don't.  I'm afraid of telling him so, because he will feel really sad and he told me that I would destroy his life if I did so one day....what can I do?

---------------Miss Emily's advice------------

You can't be held hostage to someone who tells you "Don't break up with me or it would destroy my life."  It's completely irrational, as well, coercive. When someone can't tell another person it's over, it often has a lot to do with how he/she will be judged and, basically, can' t stand the heat.  There is also the element of wondering how it is that you can have strong feelings for someone one minute and, then, radically change your opinion, the next. But it's really insidious.  Little things grow into big things, and the differences begin to loom like a black cloud hanging over your head.  You end up praying to the gods for sunshine -- a way out.  I know it's tough, but short of lying your way out of it, what choice do you have? (this is where you answer, "none.")  He's got a needy side, and I suspect that's one problem you have with him.  He as much said you are responsible for his state-of-mind. Well, you're not. Tell him you have thought long and hard about this decision, but you've decided you want to go it alone.  He'll beg you to tell him what he's done wrong, and you simply tell him, "It has nothing to do with right or wrong.  I just feel I have a stronger need to be on my own, rather than in this relationship."  You can be kind, but be firm, and don't let him lay a guilt trip on you.  Once you've done the task, you will feel incredible relief -- sort of like finishing a college exam. This was a three month relationship -- not three years!  End it, and move on.