'Break-ups always hurt, there's no easy way to do it'

Introducing Dr Love, who solves your relationship riddles in a confusing digital age

Q. What's the best way to break up with someone?
A. There never is a best time. If you believe it's over, the sooner you say it, the better.

Q. How should we ask someone out on a date?
A. Is this someone you know? If it isn't, and you would like to ask this person out, approaching him or her and saying hello is usually the sensible thing to do. Also sensible is the idea of getting to know the person before you decide to ask him or her out. If it's someone you know already, a casual way of going out on a date is to figure out what the person likes to do and then inviting him or her to do it with you: watching a movie, for instance, or checking out a new restaurant. The idea is to spend quality time together, away from the company of other people the two of you usually hang out with. Do keep in mind, however, that if the person refuses, forcing yourself will only ruin any chances of you ever going on a date. This isn't Delhi, remember?

Q. Is it appropriate for girls to ask guys out?
A. Now would be a good time to remind you of the fact that we are in 2016. 100 years ago, this sort of behaviour would have made it to the papers. 50 years ago, a girl asking a guy out could have alienated her from friends and family. Today, if you like a guy and don't do something about it, chances are there's a confident woman out there who will beat you to it. Gender equality is about treating men and women as equals. If men believe they have a right to ask a girl out, why must you be the passive one on any front? Go out there and ask him out. Chances are he's nervous and will be indebted to you forever. Stop thinking about yourself as an object waiting to be chosen. Go out and do the choosing yourself, girl.

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