DEAR HARRIETTE: Not long ago, I ended things with a person I had been in a relationship with for five years. Without a doubt the hardest part of the breakup has been having to re-explain it to all those who knew us as a couple. I am wishing that everybody would mind their business and just assume that I don't want to discuss the details any longer. It is hard reliving something that was so painful for me. My relationship was very public and I understand the curiosity, but I don’t want to keep talking about it. How do I handle the questions about my breakup? -- Tired of Explaining
DEAR TIRED OF EXPLAINING: Guess what? You can stop explaining now. While people may be curious about what happened, it is none of their business. You can kindly yet firmly say that it is true that you two broke up. You are single now. You wish your ex well, but the last thing you want to do is talk about it. The end.
This even goes for people who were close to the two of you. You can tell them that you are not in the head space right now to talk about the demise of your relationship. Have empathy. Assure them that you know they are puzzled and potentially hurting, too. But you are not ready to talk about it. You can set boundaries, even when it is uncomfortable for other people. Just do not go into the details if you don't want to. Period.