This picture came to mind:
A girl visits the pound or Pets In Need or the Furry Friends Rescue society or something. And here comes a pup -- a talking one! She knows that this is not the dog for her, but the pup is insistent.Now most dogs aren't smart enough to manipulate us like that, but boys certainly are -- intuitively/unconsciously if not intentionally/deliberately.
- You can't be my dog.
- (pant, pant) I know I'm not going to be your dog, but won't you pet me?
- (pets him) You have nice soft fur.
- (closing eyes) I like it when you pet me.
- But you can't be my dog. (stops)
- I know, but won't you pet my head a little longer?
- (resumes) You should find someone else.
- Maybe if you keep petting me, I'll get tired of you, then I'll go find someone.
- You should go now. (stops)
- If you stop petting me, I'll curl up in a ball and sulk in the corner for a year or two. (howls)
The pup (or the boy) should be sent packing for at least the following reasons, even if the girl isn't my daughter:
- Yielding to his manipulation will reinforce that behavior -- he'll use the same strategy on the next girl;
- If you've already decided he can't be your dog (or boyfriend), you should execute on that. Otherwise the therapeutic effects of petting the dog (or the hormonal effects of..., umm, hanging out with the boy) will tend to undermine your earlier decision;
- Given that decision, it's a kindness to send him away sooner. The sooner recovery begins, the sooner it'll be done.
- It's also a kindness to you, not to mention your father; nobody needs the ongoing stomach-aches.