AdviceHey, Bonita!

Bad Coffee, Stinky Shoes and Breakup Jitters

Hey Bonita,

I have a somewhat awkward situation I hope you can help me out with. My regular coffee shop has a new barista, and they don’t seem to know how to make drinks correctly. This person’s schedule lines up with when I stop by, and maybe I’m too friendly, because they always pop up and want to serve me. I tried to suggest a better method for steaming milk, and their response made it clear they were oblivious to my (maybe too gentle?) criticism. I really don’t want to have to find a new regular place.

You do sound very friendly, but don’t be so friendly that you have to change your entire morning routine. Just talk to the manager. This is an issue of training, not customer service, so relax if you’re worried about the new employee getting in trouble. Any good manager will just retrain the newbie and send them back out ready to better serve the public.

Dear Bonita,

What is the best way to let an extremely sensitive friend know the shoes they wear all day every day stink to high hell and need to be replaced?

All of Our Noses

Just go out and buy your friend a similar pair of new shoes. Don’t ask. Get their shoe size, then go to Marshalls or T.J. Maxx—anywhere with cute and affordable stuff. Wrap them like a gift, and present them to your friend privately.

Dear Bonita,

I have been dating my boyfriend for almost five years. We first started dating when we were young and just messing around. Now we’re in our mid-20s and living together. Though I love him, I feel like I need to leave the relationship. He did nothing wrong—it’s just that I’m starting to feel like the relationship is not going anywhere. We have grown a lot while dating, but not together. He is my first real boyfriend, and I want to see what else is out there.

The problem is sitting him down and breaking it to him. I need to figure out the best time to tell him before we decide to re-sign our lease. I need to figure out where I will be living after our lease is up, or figure out who my next roommate will be. Either way, got any breakup advice?


First-Time Heartbreaker

Uh oh, friend. Breaking up isn’t easy for anyone involved, and I have no advice that will make this a painless experience for either of you. This is a long-term relationship that took years to build, so don’t expect a quick and clean separation. Hopefully, you’ve been having conversations around this topic for a while now—maybe not about breaking up, but about the trajectory of your relationship and your future together—and not treating the stagnation of your relationship like a dirty little secret. People are great at playing along for the sake of appearances, and I really hope that’s not what you’ve been doing. Otherwise, a sit-down about your relationship could come as a real shock to your partner. If this subject has been on the table for a little bit, the conversation will come easier than you think. He would expect it, to a degree.

But you seem really worried about the initial shock of it all, and honey, I’m sorry, but you’re just gonna have to rip that bandage off. Sit him down on a quiet evening and break the news. You might be tempted to compromise by offering to just move out instead of break up—which I’m sure he’d find much more appealing if he’s not expecting to be dumped—but that’s up to you. That’s a little dishonest, I know, but I thought I’d offer at least one diplomatic solution, since this guy is probably gonna get blindsided. My personal opinion is to always be honest first, but I know how hard that can be when our honest desires or actions might negatively impact someone we care for.

Good luck to you, dude. Get in there, roll up your sleeves, and crack those eggs with compassion for yourself and your soon-to-be ex.

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