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Breakup Girl "Saving Love Lives The World Over!" 2014-02-14T05:50:06Z WordPress http://www.breakupgirl.net/?feed=atom Breakup Girl http://www.breakupgirl.net <![CDATA[Happy (?) Valentine’s Day]]> http://www.breakupgirl.net/?p=6463 2014-02-14T05:50:06Z 2014-02-14T04:50:09Z

Some people’s Super Bowl is the Oscars. Some people’s Super Bowl is the Super Bowl. My Super Bowl is Valentine’s Day. And it’s not that different, really: The event has been taken over by commercials; You put in about four hours for 11 minutes of action; and 50% of the people come away disappointed.

Now, before I fly off to ref a lot of play, I wanted to leave you with a roundup of V-Day content that can be found on BreakupGirl.net. Think of it like those Super Bowl commercials; While you’re waiting to find out if you’ve won or lost, it’s nice to have a few laughs.

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Breakup Girl http://www.breakupgirl.net <![CDATA[It’s Valentine’s Eve!]]> http://www.breakupgirl.net/?p=6460 2014-02-14T05:49:00Z 2014-02-13T12:00:36Z If you’ve got something to say this VDay, don’t sugarcoat it — use our no-calorie Valentine’s salutations instead: Personalize your own candy heart or send one of our Valentine’s eCards.

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Breakup Girl http://www.breakupgirl.net <![CDATA[Married Boss - what could go wrong?]]> http://www.breakupgirl.net/?p=7003 2013-10-26T15:20:15Z 2013-04-02T13:40:14Z Double trouble on December 14, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

My boss and I have this incredible chemistry between us. We get along so well, and he has many of the qualities I would look for in a man. However he is married (and my boss!). Lately, he makes a lot of comments about me, like jokingly, but like he is trying to see how I feel about him. Recently, he invited me out for Happy Hour Friday after work and told me that he’d like to spend more time with me, but can’t ask me to do things because his wife is jealous of me. (And I met his wife only once!) We haven’t spoken of any related issues since that night. He also said that night at the bar, that if he weren’t my boss and weren’t married he would like to get involved with me. But it’s almost as if he said that to see if I would accept those conditions, almost proposing an affair to me (my gut level feeling). I told him, “in some other dimension” we could get involved but not like this. We haven’t spoken about that night/conversation since then, but he constantly talks to me at work and I catch him looking at me often. I know the right thing to do is to NOT get involved, yet we are so attracted to one another. HELP!

– Meg


Dear Meg,

Three words: DON’T GO THERE. Fourth dimension? Not even there.

Attraction? Fine. Doesn’t mean you need to act on it. Two words: window shopping.

Incredible chemistry with your boss? Great. Then you’ll be an excellent employee. Right?

But if the chem has crossed the line from inspiration to distraction, then one word: transfer.

For a situation this complicated, it really is that simple.

Love,
Breakup Girl

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Breakup Girl http://www.breakupgirl.net <![CDATA[The Epic Tale of Compass Rose]]> http://www.breakupgirl.net/?p=7001 2013-03-13T13:45:08Z 2013-03-13T13:45:08Z A poetic Predicament from December 14, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I want to share with you the recent story of a fellow heartache fighter. Let’s call her Compass Rose.

This wandering knightess-errant (for she doesn’t yet aspire to superheroine status) found herself quite stuck in the land of LDR Limbo. Caught with nonrefundable plane tickets for two separate trips, she struggled valiantly against the demons of Insomnia and Inappetence using Exercise, a weapon of choice. Email and the telephone were of no avail in freeing her from her condition. Weeks later, a few pounds lighter, and more sleep-deprived than usual, Compass Rose reached the hour of her first plane ticket.

She equipped herself with a little optimism, phrase books and travel guides, and clothes contained for overhead storage space. Her Quest for Closure, or, at least, An Answer, had begun.

Her crusade led her to a fabulous country where she doesn’t speak the language but feels a fascination and comfort. Immediately, our heroine was confronted with a change in attitude and behavior from the Object of Affection (OA). Stressed and jet lagged, she decided to pick her battles wisely and wait for a more opportune moment. Instinct told her that the dreaded beast, JF (as in Just Friends), was afoot. Rage and panic overtook Compass Rose. Her head filled with escape plans and thoughts of Thanksgiving turkey with the family. When the beast manifest itself fully her first night, sleep came in short supply.

Somehow, she survived to morning. OA chose lunch for the first exchange of Words. Compass Rose acted quickly to postpone on the grounds that she cannot do battle over a meal when plagued by Inappetence. And she prefers privacy to public confrontations. A generally civilized opponent, OA gracefully conceded.

Our heroine used the rest of the afternoon to marshal her thoughts and resources. To her surprise, she decided to see out at least a few more days of her situation. She had seen the beast JF and knew she had choices: to chew off her leg to get free from the trap as a desperate animal might, or to stay and face her Fears and Emotions. Compass Rose chose the latter; she likes drama but didn’t want to go home a Scarred, Bitter Woman.

The next two days she indulged in anger and pain when necessary, took comfort in what she could, and tried to maintain amiable, even friendly or sometimes flirty, relations with the Object of Affection when possible. Fortunately, fate smiled on her in the form of one wonderful day — she enjoyed her surroundings, found silent allies in OA’s friends, and temporarily put aside her problems. Refreshed from her reprive, our heroine was ready again to face the quest at hand.

When it came, she was armed with tissues and a clear conscience for what she knew had to be done. Confronted, OA became moderately defensive and hurled a snide comment or twoat our heroine. She let it bounce off, knowing larger issues were at hand, and stood firm. As she faced the full form of the dreaded JF dragon, it almost beat her. Defeat was one step down the hallway. Poised on the edge of walking away angry, painful, and still confused, our knightess-errant hesitated…

Compass Rose sensed weakness in the beast. OA has thick armor, but something didn’t seem right. Almost without realizing it, she began to attack the dragon, methodically dissecting it away into big pieces. She used her best fair-argument skills, pausing with patience, abstaining from blame. Without the JF to protect him, the Object of Affection became somewhat pliant, yielding previously withheld information about the shattering state of confusion in his life — exactly what she needed to hear all along. She tried to be insightful without assuming or being manipulative. There was no scalpel-like precision to her actions; the beast was vanquished with broad, but true, sword strokes.

When the dust had finally settled, our heroine headed for her room tired but feeling freed of a pressing weight. An agreement had been reached; OA conceded that he still cares (we are unclear how much); things are put “on hold” while both lives get straightened out.

Compass Rose was just glad to have things done. There would be no looking back. She believes that neither side won and knows the treaty at hand holds no promises. As much as she wanted to hold the Object of her Affection and tell him everything will be all right, she gave him his freedom instead. They parted at the airport amicably, she, looking him in the eye and knowing she may never see him again.

Back from her crusade, Compass Rose is feeling tired, ragged, and a bit worn. There is still some pain to investigate (like probing the tenderness of a recent injury or bruise) and some tears to be shed. But she knows the colors will fade and the cuts aren’t too deep. She’s glad she doesn’t have a whole leg to regrow. She does have some questions for Breakup Girl, though:

1) Why did I attack the JF dragon? Would it have made any difference if I didn’t? Did I potentially do more harm than good? (Does anyone ever “win” by attacking it?)

2) How do I proceed now?

3) Where do you get your superheroine costume cleaned? My travel clothes are looking a bit shabby, especially now that I am slaying dragons in them…

– Compass Rose


Dear Compass Rose,

High, high points on strength, intelligence, wisdom, dexterity, etc., etc., etc.

1. Why’d you do in the dragon? See intelligence and dexterity, above. Because (and this should also answer your spinoff questions) you sensed that a slain dragon, messy though it may be, is way better than a rhinoceros head. Remember, that’s Breakup Girl’s deliberately cumbersome nickname for the big ugly thing sitting between you that gets bigger and bigger the harder and harder you try not to talk about it (which in your case would have been, “This really isn’t working, is it?”). Getting rid of the head — doable only by talking about the thing you’re not talking about — is slightly less urgent in the slightly more fantastical, significantly more leaveable-behind world of a LDR in a Foreign Country. In other words, the beastie is not sitting on the coffee table in the house you bought after your marriage. But hey, Compass Rose had her quest. And anyway, you said it yourself: you got answers, a concession or two, a weight lifted, an amicable farewell. Just like in all the stories: when, finally, ding-dong, the beast is dead, all the captives — feelings, futures, slaves to love — are set free.

2. Proceed? What do you mean? Where is there to go? You’re already just fine. You said it yourself: you may still poke a bruise, shed a tear. But you have done the healing in the telling. That is, the re-telling, the sense-making, the meaning-finding that you have performed in your letter. Mabel from Duluth* may know what the heck just happened overseas, but Compass Rose does.

3. My cleaners? Sorry, that’s a secret. Can’t have my archenemies, the Senate Judiciary Committee, Breakup Mom, et. al., tracking my cape-cleaning habits. For dragon blood, maybe seltzer?

Love,
Breakup Girl

* not your real name ;)

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Breakup Girl http://www.breakupgirl.net <![CDATA[A capital offense]]> http://www.breakupgirl.net/?p=6999 2013-03-06T13:27:51Z 2013-03-06T13:27:51Z Trippin’ on December 7, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I have had a crush on this particular girl for a while now. She and I seem very compatible with our similar personalities. Secondly, she’s downright beautiful. Both of those put her way out of my league or at least I thought… Our school had a eduactional trip to our state’s capital for some kind of business conference. She wanted to sit with me on the bus ride there. I didn’t think much of it, I just thought she was being nice. But, late into the trip, the heater on the bus broke and I offered to share my coat with her, using it as a blanket. She agreed, and for another 10 miles or so, she was cuddled against me for a while, and then with no provocation from me, she slides her hand down my leg and rests it above my knee. I’m thinking, “What the heck?” So I slowly put my hand atop hers and she doesn’t move away. We stayed pretty much like that through the first day, being affectionate all the time, and at one point she was running her foot up and down my leg. So I knew she had to like me, and just wasn’t playing around.

Day two, I find out a horrible thing… she has a boyfriend back home. I was nervous all day, and she must have been reminded by one of her friends that saw us flirting that she still had a man back home, because she started distancing herself from me from then on. By the day we were to come home, she was acting like nothing ever happened. Two days later, (today) I finally have enough nerve built up to ask her what the whole deal was. And the only answer I get is “I don’t know, it sucks doesn’t it?”

How can anybody be so cruel? I told her, tears in my eyes, that I didn’t care if she had 10 boyfriends, because I really liked her, and if there was ever a time when she didn’t have a boyfriend, I would be there. She just fell silent, and then said, “We can be friends.” Sweet Lord, Breakup Girl, is love dead? I’m just so torn-up now I don’t know what to do.

– Genji

Oh, Genji,

No, sweetie, love is not dead. It’s just that that was not love in the first place. That was Bus Lust.

If the following at all polishes the mean, vindictive corner of your hurt, I promise you that Miss Blanket Excuse probably doesn’t feel much better about herself than you do. I know she’s cavalier on the outside, but I betcha she feels like a Bad Girlfriend and also a Mean Person for putting tears in your eyes. And it’s probably not the first time she’s felt that way.

So Genji, if there is ever a time when she doesn’t have a boyfriend — which may, in fact, be soon — I want you to hang out and wait for the next bus. Okay?

Love,
Breakup Girl

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Breakup Girl http://www.breakupgirl.net <![CDATA[I don’t feel like ripping his clothes off]]> http://www.breakupgirl.net/?p=6997 2013-03-05T14:16:26Z 2013-03-05T14:16:26Z Something missing on December 7, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I hate to need your help — but I can’t admit this to my friends, and I’m beginning to struggle. Okay.

My boyfriend is perfect.

And I don’t care.

Well, it’s not that I don’t care — I do! I think he’s the best! It’s been almost three months (and you’d be so proud, we’ve been going oh-so-slow. I’m 32, he’s 39 and we’ve both been burned before, so there is a certain degree of caution on both sides), and we really *like* each other. And I don’t mean in the like as opposed to love sense, but in the genuine affection sense. It’s kind of scary. This could actually happen, for real, BG. This could *work.*

We’re both really busy at work, so we only see each other on the weekend, but then our dates last for like, ten hours! We talk, we hang out, we go hiking and biking — it’s great. And he *talks* to me! And actually listens, too! And he thinks the same and he’s funny and he works really hard and he loves his dog. And he thinks the absolute world of me.

But.

But I don’t feel like ripping his clothes off. He’s cute, too! And when I close my eyes and he kisses me (and one evening when we’d both had a teensy too much to drink and were silly . . . that was pretty good) … Oh, BG, I’m just a mess. He’s handed me his ego on a silver platter, and I am terrified of hurting him. And I just feel like he deserves *more*. Like a woman that wants to rip his clothes off, maybe.

This is a really good guy, BG. REALLY GOOD. The kind I want to marry. But I don’t know if I can live without that crazy passion, at least every once in a while. Not all the time, but every once in a while, shouldn’t your significant other make you all hot and bothered? Am I asking too much? EVERYTHING else is there, BG. Everything.

Sorry I’m so disjointed and inarticulate, but I’m trying not to edit and hoping you can make sense of it. I really need a clear head and a sense of perspective.

All hail BG.
–Lu


Dear Lu,

First of all, three months is not very long, especially if you see each other only on weekends. At this time, I would note your feelings and file them away under “IMPORTANT.” Pull the file in a couple months. If the data is still accurate, consider it along with the following annotations, offered by a wise friend of mine who, several years ago, was in your exact boat — that is, one drifting in lukewarm water.

Here’s what she says: “Oy, vey. I married my best friend and found, two and a half years later, that I couldn’t live without the romance that I initially thought wasn’t important. What a mess.

Basically, all I can say is these two things:

1. Don’t sell yourself short. If you’re already saying “Oh, I can live without….” — you can’t.

2. If you’re not feeling it, I think that means he’s not connecting with you on some level. It’s not just chemical — there’s a willingness to open yourself and be vulnerable/powerful that leads to passion. He may seem to be open and honest, but he may not even know that he’s closed off in that way. It may be possible for someone to break through it, I think — but I couldn’t.”

In other words, the physical zing is not entirely separate from the emotional zang. And it’s okay to be bothered if the hot’s not there. So again, give yourself a little longer to wait out your caution, focus on what is there — and see how it grows, where it goes. If things stay the same, yes, you may need to file him away under “SOOOOO CLOSE.”

Love,
Breakup Girl

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Breakup Girl http://www.breakupgirl.net <![CDATA[The Night Visitor]]> http://www.breakupgirl.net/?p=6994 2013-02-28T13:30:54Z 2013-02-28T13:30:54Z Ghosts of boyfriends past visiting on December 7, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I feel as though I’m experiencing a sitcom “inner dialogue/fantasy sequence”…it’s so cliche as to be deeply disturbing. I’ve been broken up since February and just recently started dating again…er, and venturing into nakedness with other men…

The problem is I keep thinking of my ex during all “intimate” activities. It’s so distracting that can’t enjoy myself and I feel terribly impolite (even though the guy I’m with has no idea). This has really never happened before. How can I make this ghostly bedfellow disappear??

– Clare


Dear Clare,

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: when you sleep with someone, you sleep with everyone else you’ve slept with.

I mean, you can toss their stuff off the balcony, but the muscle-memory of sex and intimacy will stay much more firmly lodged under your skin. Which means that to some degree — when you get naked with someone new — that ghostly presence in your pores is normal. And thus that to some degree, letting him be — rather than distracting yourself by trying to shove him from your mind — is what will help fade him out.

Also, make sure you actually like these naked boys. ‘Cause that ghost guy might also be Banquo. Wondering: “What are you thinking!?”

Love,
Breakup Girl

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Breakup Girl http://www.breakupgirl.net <![CDATA[Does size matter?]]> http://www.breakupgirl.net/?p=6991 2013-02-27T13:36:28Z 2013-02-27T13:36:07Z Measuring up on December 7, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I am a 17 year-old male. Please please please let me know what you think about penis size. Does size matter? You can laugh at me, make jokes, anything, but please let us know your thoughts on this. Please.

– Shain


Dear Shain,

Breakup Mom, didn’t you leave something on the stove?

Still, I’m going to play it safe and quote someone else on this one. In this month’s issue of P.O.V., Sheri De Borchgrave writes: “Yes, size does matter. Now get over it. Most guys are just right, i.e. average. They measure in at a proud five or six inches with a 1.25 inch diameter. But remember, a poorly handled weapon [note: BG does not endorse this word choice] of any size is useless. Size does matter, but so does good technique… Your mission: go forth and find the right fit, and stop obsessing about the size of your manhood. Men have hatched this absurd collective paranoia. Remember: in the end, what [women, or whomever your partners] really care about is not how big you are, but how big your desire is to satisfy us.”

BG’s finesse: it’s not that your partner will be unsatisfied if you are small (”small”). It’s that your partner will be unsatisfied if you act small.

This is information you will use when you are ready, in like, four years, right, Shain?

Love,
Breakup Girl

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Breakup Girl http://www.breakupgirl.net <![CDATA[Missing my ex]]> http://www.breakupgirl.net/?p=6989 2013-02-26T14:31:18Z 2013-02-26T14:31:18Z Regretting it on December 7, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

Firstly… you rock.

Secondly, I’m kind of a wreck, so I seek your counsel, once again, for a little perspective on my breakup nine months ago. To recap: I’m 29. Me and “John” broke up four times during the four and a half years that we dated, first he with me, then me with him…etc. Every time we got back together it was always because we tried to be friends, and then one thing led to another–you get the idea. We would keep our reconciliations from our friends for as long as possible because we knew they wouldn’t understand. Well, actually, it was mostly my friends who wouldn’t understand because they always felt that John perhaps wasn’t the best man for me, even though they all really loved him a lot, and thought he was a great guy.

When we finally broke up for the last time, it was my decision. We were in the midst of a secret reconciliation, but this time I was really sure that it was not what I wanted at all, but I didn’t know how to stop the cycle. I went to a party, got together with a guy there (with John asleep in my bed at home), and that basically started the whole ball rolling…I told John a few days later that I was going to go on a date–we had decided that we could still date other people, a theory that had yet to be tested–and he obviously became very upset. OK, I told him on his birthday…but you really can’t plan the timing of events like this, right? I went on the date, the date spent the night, John “stopped by” my house the next morning at 6:00 a.m. and proceeded to scare the living daylights out of me/date by banging on the windows, calling incessantly, trying the door, and waiting for us as we came out the front door.

After that whole incident I was embarrassed, humiliated, and really REALLY over John. That was in February. I started looking for jobs out-of-state, actually found one, and moved in May. I really felt that if I didn’t move far away, the cycle would begin again. I needed the space to regroup and figure out if John was right for me or not. He asked me to marry him, I said no (no ring, just desperation), and I told him I just didn’t know. He told me he couldn’t wait forever. I understood and moved anyway. Haven’t seen him since.

So, here I am, nine months later, in a new town, living the single life, yet thinking about John all the time. I’ve been on many horrific dates, and each one makes John look even better. I miss him so much and I really want to talk to him but I don’t think it would be fair for me to call and say I miss him… I guess I just need someone to tell me that just because John was so great doesn’t mean he’s the right man for me. But my question is…is there a perfect match out there? John is so terrific in so many ways, I don’t “hate” him at all, and actually have mostly fond memories of our relationship–especially the last segment. But after so many breakups I just really don’t feel that I can invest my emotions in a relationship with him anymore. I will always have reservations because it seems that we are destined to live out the cycle over and over and over again. And each time we break up, my heart breaks so very deeply. I can’t break up with John any more.

Help me Breakup Girl! You are my only hope! Can I call him? Do I move on and think of him in the past tense? Will I ever see John again?

–Alison Heartbreak


Dear AH,

“Just because John was so great doesn’t mean he’s the right man for you.”

There. Okay?

From what you say in your penultimate paragraph, it sounds to me like what you have — at last — is a healthy breakup. It’s the presence of horrific dates — not the absence of John — that occasionally make the split look like a bad idea. So: that’s a Yes! on the “past tense,” a No! on the “perfect,” and a Live! in the present.

Love,
Breakup Girl

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Breakup Girl http://www.breakupgirl.net <![CDATA[Things are going from breakup to worse]]> http://www.breakupgirl.net/?p=6987 2013-02-25T13:57:08Z 2013-02-25T13:57:08Z Making things right on December 7, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I am in a very complicated situation involving my ex-girlfriend. We are both college students; I’m 20 and a junior, she’s 19 and a sophomore. We were dating for about a year and a half and monogamous for about a year or so. I broke up with her six weeks ago for many reasons, but mainly because I felt unwanted and unappreciated… I had almost always treated her with love, respect and dignity and felt that she was not reciprocating. In the cases in which I made a mistake, I always attempted to understand her concerns and apologize when appropriate. Although I initiated the break-up, it was not something I wanted to do; I felt compelled by the situation to save my self-esteem.

About a week after we broke up, I found out that she was pregnant. I went to be with her for the ensuing abortion which was obviously exceptionally difficult for both of us.

A few days after the abortion, I heard about some things that had happened in that week. My ex had tried to hook up with a friend of mine two days after we broke up and had hooked up with three other guys in a short period of time. This hurt me intensely… she was my first love, and I hers; I thought it unbelievable that she would treat my feelings for her in such a disrespectful manner. We have tried to talk about things the past few weeks, but about 10 days ago I finally blew up. She was trying to have it both ways… the alternative experiences that she thought she needed with other guys combined with my support and romance. I basically told her to get out of my life because she was being so unfair and cruel to me. She has never apologized for trying to hook up with my friend, and she continues to maintain that she loves me even though she needs these other experiences. I cannot understand that, and it was that insistence of her love for me that drove me over the edge. It felt like she was completely playing with me.

I understand that both of us have been through a hell of a lot. I just don’t know where to go from here. Until she apologizes to me I cannot think of beginning to reestablish our relationship, friendship or otherwise. On the other hand, I understand the massive stress that the abortion caused her. I am trying not to be a complete jerk while maintaining my self-esteem and protecting my own rights. How do I deal with this?

– Tom

Dear Tom,

Hoo boy.

What she did with your friend was way crappy. Especially after you supported her , even post-breakup, through a terribly difficult experience. I know it feels like she was totally playing with you, your feelings, and a respect for your history together. I also think that her Rebound-a-Rama — while involving some poor choices — does not mean that she does/did not love you. Just trust me. That’s what rebounds are.

So don’t hold your breath — or your life — for an apology. Or for reestablishing a friendship. I’m not saying you two shouldn’t be friends — I’m just asking: why should you? Because you Should? Point is, you are being all Mr. Principle about the whole situation, which is not inherently wrong-headed; it’s just not getting you very far in practical reality. Insisting that closure and forgiveness and moving-on are contingent on someone else’s doing the right thing is an excellent way to blame the other person and remain in hell indefinitely. Remember, I’m not saying you’re not justified in being out-of-your-mind hurt and angry; but closure and forgiveness and all of that stuff are never ever up to anyone but you.

So here’s how to be neither a jerk nor a doormat. If she calls about post-abortion stress syndrome, give her the number for the local Planned Parenthood counseling line. (You should have it for yourself, too, you know.) This is not a cop-out. You are the ex; they are the experts. And if she calls to apologize, lovely. Accept graciously. This should finesse — not cause — whatever truce you two may establish. But don’t wait by the phone. Instead, work on the difference between being a good guy and a Better Person. Hint: you’ve got the first one down. Leave it at that.

Love,
Breakup Girl

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