Hello, precious readers! Sad one today. 
“Dear Katherine,

I love my girlfriend, but I am not in love with her, and I don’t see our relationship progressing any further. Should I end the relationship and risk severing ties with the person I consider to be my best friend?

Out-of-love in Osher”

Dear Out-of-love, 

That, my friend, is a toughie. 

Relationships (particularly long ones) go through ups and downs, ins and outs. Sometimes one or the other partner might become a little disillusioned, but often you fall right back in love again quickly. In the case of a simple rough patch or a bout of boredom, I would prescribe patience, a few creative dates and a heart-to-heart.

But, if you’re really sure that you aren’t in love anymore and could not or do not want to be, it’s likely that no amount of couple time will change how you feel. At ages 18-21, I think that means it’s time to end things. And in that case, I’m honestly a little out of my depths.

I’m entirely unqualified to give advice about breaking up.* I have never had a relationship end smoothly (frequent readers, you will perhaps remember a certain incident involving Uggs), and for that I have always been at least partially to blame. I have many times strived for the most coveted iteration of the breaking up, which is the Paltrow-Martin style, we’re-going-to-each-other’s-weddings conscious uncoupling, and I have always, always failed.

Maybe, though, I can share a few thoughts. And I can definitely tell you the best crying spots on campus, just in case you need them. 

A list of things to consider before initiating a break up in your situation: 

1. Remember that you have a right to your own emotional response. Breaking up is hard. Even if you are no longer in love with your girlfriend, and even if you know that you’re making the right choice, you might still be sad. You probably will be! She is, as you said, your best friend, and someone you love. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not allowed to feel pain because you initiated the break up. 

2. Likewise, respect your girlfriend’s emotional space. Know that, as much as you might want to stay friends with your ex, it might not work out for any number of reasons. 

3. Do not break up with your girlfriend with the intention of getting back together, or with the expectation that that will be an option. Maybe it will happen, but don’t bank on it. If you bank on it, you will end up crying in the Union. 

4. Anticipate changes of habits. Know that a lot of the music you like will be ruined. Did you listen to a cool, hip band with them before? Too bad. It’s ruined now. Do you never sleep alone? Too bad. You better shop for a body pillow. They have these nice ones with arms and oxford shirts now, get one of those. How do I know? Well I have one.

And as promised, my ranked list of the best crying spots on campus: 

1. The Meditation Room in Buck—those purple cushions are covered in my tears. 
2. The Gender Neutral Bathroom in Smith Union—so much space for weeping. 
3. The Upstairs couches in Smith Union—such that everyone is forced to witness your pain. 
4. The Glow in the Dark Rock Room—so you think about how many happy couples have     hooked up there and sob. 
5. The Vault in Mass Hall—so you can lock up your feelings afterward and never revisit them. 

Good luck.