More than painful it was dumb.
I mean how does it make sense when you think about all the things Clark has said about Lana and done for her that when she asks him point blank, do you love me, he says no.
I don\\\\\\\'t get it. It wasn\\\\\\\'t that long ago that he finally got the courage to reveal his secret to her and propose to her. And he was so crushed when he thought she was dead. If he still loves her like he told his mom, why didn\\\\\\\'t he just say Lana we need a break from her instead of telling her a lie he had to know would crush her?
It seems like part of that phony destiny thing and the people who feed Clark his lines have decided its time to keep him and Lana apart so they can set up some kind of relationship between Clark and Lois.