By Esther Zuckerman
Updated October 15, 2014 at 03:00 PM EDT
Ask A Grown Man

Let John Mulaney tell you how to break up with your first boyfriend. Mulaney, the comedian and star of a self-titled sitcom on Fox, is the latest grown-up to dole out romantic advice in Rookie‘s “Ask a Grown Man” series.

Mulaney counsels a teenager asking for advice on how to end things, explaining that “this is tough.” Mulaney tells the teen to not to drag out the relationship. “The worst thing in the world, from my experience, is when I’ve been dating a girl and I can tell she doesn’t like me anymore but we haven’t broken up yet,” he says. “That is a bad time.” He explains, “The less time that you’re together where you don’t want to be together, the better chance that you’ll be friends later.”

In answering a question from a girl who has a crush on a guy who says he likes her but likes another girl more, Mulaney whips out an anecdote from Casablanca. Mulaney recounts that Humphrey Bogart was “insecure” about his pairing with Ingrid Bergman, and therefore, in close shots, would take a step back prompting her to take a step toward him to stay on camera. “To the audience it said, look how much she likes Humphrey Bogart she’s taking a step closer to him. All I mean by that boring anecdote is that backing up a little can make people come towards you,” he says.