Q. I’m in my mid-20s and I was dating “Jackie,” who’s 26, for three years. We had a great relationship in terms of friendship, love, and communication. In the last six to seven months of our relationship, I started to really understand that my feelings for her were not what hers were for me. I loved her, but I was not in love with her. I was honest with her about my feelings and we really worked to take some space, and then we got back together after a month of taking a break. This on/off lasted for a while. I was caught up on the fact that I truly care about her, and that she is a genuinely great person . . . but I knew the right thing was to break up because I did not reciprocate her feelings. She deserves to be with someone who is madly in love with her, too.
She understood but took the breakup hard. Actually, she took it much better than I thought she would, seeing as this was her first “real” relationship (she had never really dated before) and that I was her first same-sex partner. Our relationship did not end badly — there was no fight, no name-calling, any of that. We talked about how hard it might be to stay friends, especially immediately after breaking up, however we both agreed to be honest about our feelings if it got too hard to talk/see each other as friends.