Manners Matter: Pause to Reflect after a Breakup

Dear Mary Pat,

My little sister’s boyfriend just broke up with her three days before Valentine’s Day, and she had gotten him a really expensive watch. She’s only 17 and still wants to give it to him because she says she lost the receipt. Personally, I think she’s hoping he will want to get back together with her. He’s never really impressed me, and if my theory is correct, he probably broke up with her just to get out of buying her a gift, too. How do I get through to her to let her know that there are far better catches out there?


Older Sister

Algoma, Wisconsin

Dear Older Sister,

Your sister is young and most likely heartbroken. If you call her former boyfriend a jerk, she isn’t likely to feel less sad. You can give her your advice if she asks you, but after that, you have to let her make up her own mind. I don’t like the idea of this guy getting the expensive watch either, but you don’t really have any control over her decisions. Instead of drawing a hard line in the sand, calmly suggest that she give it some more thought before she decides what to do with the watch. She can always sell it online or possibly return it for store credit. Maybe if she waits a week or two, she’ll see the situation differently.  

Good luck,

Mary Pat