Make It Stop: “Should I Dump My Boyfriend Before Or After His Friend’s Wedding?”

I’ve been dating a guy who I’ll call Mitch for nine months, and recently I’ve been feeling like the relationship isn’t going to work out. He’s a great guy, but this isn’t a love connection for me. The problem is that his best friend is getting married in June, and I’m invited to the wedding. So my question is: what’s worse, dumping a guy before his best friend’s wedding, or lying about my feelings until after the wedding and then dumping him? I’m lost.

The kindest thing you can do is not waste Mitch’s time. If you know that this relationship is about to go the way of Teresa Giudice’s marriage to Juicy Joe, then pull the plug ASAP.

I know it’s not easy to slam the love door in this nice guy’s face. I know it’s tempting to wait until after the wedding, with your bellies full of cake and champagne, but the mature thing to do is summon your courage and bow out of this relationship gracefully.

Don’t lead him on. Don’t spend money on the couple’s gift knowing that you won’t be around to see them enjoy the Crate & Barrel wine carafe. Don’t let him introduce you to other people at this wedding as his girlfriend. Don’t let him squeeze your hand and wink at you when the couple dances to “At Last.” Don’t line up to catch the bride’s bouquet. It’ll be weird if you run the other way when it comes hurtling towards you. It will be weird if you catch it and immediately hand it off to the woman next to you. It’ll be weird if you catch it, keep it, and have to watch his face get soft at the thought of you two entertaining the idea of a future together. Don’t pose in the wedding pictures. It will just sting more when he clicks on the Photobucket link to see them, or when they’re inevitably posted online in a Facebook album.

It may not seem like it, but you’re doing Mitch a favor because the best time to get dumped is right before a wedding. Think about it! He’ll be surrounded by all of his friends so he’ll have plenty tuxedo-ed shoulders to cry on. He can nurse his wounds at the open bar. If all goes well, he can dance to “Celebrate” by Kool & the Gang with a pretty girl from out of town. Maybe he’ll even get some pity sex when he tells her that he got dumped right before the wedding. There’s nothing like a post-wedding hookup to boost one’s self-esteem after you’ve been dumped. In terms of instant confidence, it’s like hitting a home run in the World Series.

Mitch will thank you for letting him go to this wedding solo. Not today, not tomorrow, but at some point in the future, he will be happy that you spared him the humiliation of being his date when your heart wasn’t in it. He will be happy that you won’t be in the pictures, faking smiles knowing that while you applied mascara and curled your hair you were plotting your escape.

Do it. Dump him. The universe will reward you for your kindness.

Make It Stop is a weekly column in which Anna Goldfarb — author of “Clearly, I Didn’t Think This Through” and the blogger behind the blog, Shmitten Kitten — tells you what’s up. Want a fresh take on a stinky dilemma? Email [email protected] with the subject “Make It Stop.” She’ll make it all better, or at least make you laugh. Girl Scout’s honor.