Tell Me About It: Dreading the pity to come after break up

Published September 5 2018

Q: Over the past week, Iíve discovered I have a pretty bad problem to have, followed by a very good problem to have. My fiance and partner of seven years told me on Monday that he didnít think marriage (or me!) was for him, and moved out ó two months before our wedding.

My question is: How do I tell my family and friends? The few Iíve told have been suuuper supportive, but Iím embarrassed by this unwanted streak of high drama in my orderly life. Iím already dreading being "oh honey"-ed over while I want to focus on getting catering deposits returned, selling our house, and not deep-diving into self-pity.

I know Iíll need the support (and the Kleenex) when the crisis part of this is over, but for now, I feel like a kid whoís fallen out of a tree: My first instinct is to scream "IíM FINE IíM FINE IíM FINE" because attention paid to the injury will just make it hurt worse.

Is there a script for this?

Iím Fine; This Is Fine

A: Well, if experience is any measure of what you can expect, you will radiate a please-donít-oh-honey-me-ahhhhhhh aura that people with social sensors will be able to read on you pretty quickly. So thereís a chance you wonít be as fussed-over as you fear.

One way to pre-empt some of the unwanted attention by the un-socially-sensored is to deputize the people youíve already told to spread your news for you. That way you wonít have to process everyoneís initial reaction, a nice thing to cross off your list.

Iím sorry. It does sound like youíre fine youíre fine youíre fine, though, or soon will be, even through the Kleenex phase.

Anonymous: Rather than saying, "IíM FINE," which people may not believe, why not try, "Iím sad but this will pass," or even, "Iím not the first person this has happened to; Iíll recover," which is closer to the truth.