November 30, 2009
MSN.com, Match.com, HappenMagazine.com: they’re in a healthy and satisfying 3-way relationship. Meaning that you can find MSN/Match.com’s “Ask Lynn” columns –penned by BG’s alter ego — over at Happen now as well.
This week Lynn counsels Brokenhearted Bob, who romanced a fellow Peace Corps volunteer in Africa, and now has a long distance relationship to deal with/over analyze. Now half-way around the world, Bob is having a hard time getting a read:
I said I’d come visit. She said “Really? Well isn’t that kind of rushing things?” Rushing? She’s the one who had brought up monogamy and had made the trek across part of Africa to visit me.
Should Bob push things or slow down? Read the full letter at Happen Magazine, then come back here to comment!
November 25, 2009
friends, more than friends, and family. Especially Adam Lambert’s mom. Have a lovely, restful, sweet-potato-casserole-with-marshmallows-ful holiday!
Further reading: Breakup Girl’s Thanksgiving files.
November 24, 2009
Ah, breakup songs. They’re so often set on infinite repeat in our souls. So you oughta know: are they unhealthy in their forwarding of a pro-wallow agenda?
Not necessarily so, says Thao Nguyen — she of Thao and the Get Down Stay Down (a personal fave band o’mine, although better known for the sort of “something with shouting and hand claps in the chorus” songs which Nguyen identifies here as totally not breakup-friendly). In this nice commentary in Bitch Magazine, Nguyen celebrates the therapeutic salve of a deeply felt, fully embraced breakup song. And she’s got an I’m-OK-you’re-OK take on the importance of the dirge for the recently dumped:
“It is the sauna where all your emotions gather after work and sit and talk shit or breathe deeply and with each action make themselves hotter and sweatier until there is such frenzied perspiration you are crying on the outside, probably alone in your car. The breakup song serves a very specific role in the triage of heartbreak. I’m not saying it’s healthy to delve and wallow — but I am saying everyone I know does it, so let us honor the sad, slow breakup song for the fucked-up and necessary friend it is.”
Breakup bonus: Included at essay’s end is Nguyen’s personally curated track list for the all-time heartbreak catalog. Comment or add your own here!
November 23, 2009
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s strategy for attracting bright young talent gives new meaning to the phrase “nuclear fusion.”
As Jim McDermott, NCR chief human capital officer, said last week, “There are incentives, and then there are incentives. When we’re hiring, we say, ‘Is there a significant other in the picture?’ If there’s no significant other, I tell them, ‘We can help.’ ”
As the Federal Times blog explains, “McDermott said his unorthodox recruitment pitch works because while nuclear engineers may know how to split atoms, they’re not quite so adept on the dating front.”
I admit I got a bit skeeved upon reading “human capital officer” in the same breath as “dates” — and McDermott never explains exactly how his group can help — but there is something refreshing in that cool logic. Who can appreciate a nerd as well as a nerd? If highly specialized work is your life, then the physics lab might in fact be the best place to — as the blog puts it – “meet other single engineers (who probably won’t roll their eyes at Star Trek or lectures on reactor cooling systems).” Niche dating in all flavors, especially nerd dating is on the rise thanks to the internet, and as BG points out, many geeky pursuits are inherently social.
And nobody’s being pimped out here. With more gender balance in the work environment, the notion of finding a suitable mate is extended to every engineer being courted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. So far, NRC’s dating scheme, whatever it is — and which McDermott jokingly calls “NRC Harmony,” after eHarmony — has resulted in about eight or nine weddings.
Coda: While some blog commenters think find McDermott’s candor stereotyping and impolitic, NerdyGirl truly gets in the last word:”Who let the Muggles in? They’re the only ones who are whinging about what McDermott said. When your head is full of crunchy data goodness, it’s smart to have someone who understands that you don’t have time to get all ’socially smooth’ like the Muggles are. There are too many interesting things to research and process…”
Lagniappe: 16 Golden Retrievers Teach You About Atoms! You’re welcome.
MSN.com, Match.com, HappenMagazine.com: they’re in a healthy and satisfying 3-way relationship. Meaning that you’ll find MSN/Match.com’s “Ask Lynn” columns –penned by BG’s alter ego — over at Happen now as well.
This week Lynn advises Maybe Not So Mature? who can’t stop thinking about her fling with a younger man.
I cannot stop thinking about him. It’s driving me nuts! This is not what I need because I am finally ready to date after being divorced over a year and dating losers for six months. I feel weak for sitting and hoping that he calls.
Is she putting too much emphasis on this dalliance and should she feel bad about that? See if you agree with Lynn’s advice, then come back here to comment!
November 20, 2009
Getting back out there on March 9, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
It’s been almost a year, and I still feel sick to my stomach when I see the answering machine with zero messages. I know we can never bet back together, but I keep waiting for him to say he made a mistake. After fifteen years together, I don’t know where to go to meet someone else. Any advice for a 40-year-old NYC girl to find someone else to spend my energy on?
Please know that we all feel a mite queasy when we come home to zero messages. I think we all know what Randy Travis meant when he sang, “If my phone still ain’t ringing, I assume it still ain’t you.” BG even has a friend — we’ll call her Randy — who *69s when she zeros out, just to see for sure.
Unlimited calling on March 9, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I am turning to you to get another viewpoint — hopefully one from someone not so closely involved in this mess.
My friends and family all say “just hang up on the sucka!” Yes, you’ve guessed it, I’m getting divorced from my husband of 5 years…and he will not leave me alone. He calls me at work, at home, when I’m in the shower, outside, in meetings — I’ve repeatedly asked, told, begged, pleaded with him not to do this, but it continues.
At home, I’ve got Caller ID and can screen calls through the answering machine, and unless he actually has some valid reason he needs to speak with me, I let him leave a message and do not talk to him. At work, however, I have to pick up my phone when it rings (unique concept, huh?!) and at least once a day it’s him. “Hi, whadda ya doin?” He has never grasped that I work in a furiously fast-paced computer software company, and I have neither the time or inclination (especially now!) to sit and talk to him about nothing…that kind of behavior is for lovers, which we certainly aren’t now and probably never were (yes, it was a horrible marriage and involved every kind of abuse you can think of from him towards me). I just want him out of my life.
November 19, 2009
According to former FBI agent and flashy author Joe Navarro –“the nonverbal expert”– two major body-language indicators can hint at whether your mate is “still into you” (Navarro’s words, not mine — can we please retire this expression? Also, “cougar”? Thanks) or whether your relationship is headed south.
As Navarro explains in a recent article in Psychology Today, the first clue that a true connection exists between you and a loved one lies in the hands — when your snookums places a full, flat palm on your body (“palmer touching,” which kind of lacks frisson), this is a sign of real bonding and trust. The longer they leave it there, the warmer the relationship.
If, on the other, uh, hand, your partner tends only to touch briefly or with the fingertips (“distal touching”), the passion may be fading.
Now I’m smacking myself on the forehead. (”Duh touching.”)
The other nonverbal clue is what body-language professionals call “ventral fronting” — when your mate approaches you, does he or she face you head-on with no obstruction to the belly area? This is a subconscious behavior that signifies trust and affection. (Think “happy puppy getting her belly rubbed.”) Couples whose trust and affection are waning tend to face their abdominal regions away from each other (“ventral denial”), or hide behind crossed arms, purses, the Sunday Times, etc. Or Spanx?
Navarro uses obvious examples from pop culture (Jon & Kate, Chuck & Di) to illustrate his point, and concludes by saying:
… when it comes to interpersonal relationships, how we touch and how we present our ventral side says so much about the health and longevity of our relationship…
No argument there — body language is visceral and immediate and can help us understand what people are thinking and feeling in the moment.
However! A couple of things are bugging me, which you might be able to tell by the way I am currently placing a large cheese sandwich between my belly and the keyboard.
For one thing, articles like this, in seemingly respectable (albeit pop-psych, not scientific) magazines, seem to play right into that women’s-magazine-of-yore myth that the only way to understand your partner is to desperately seek for clues.
If you are reduced to reading body language to determine whether someone really loves you, doesn’t that in itself indicate some basic disconnect? (I’m asking, not telling, so weigh in if you disagree!)
Secondly, while I understand and support the value of observing nonverbal behavior, I also know that individuals behave differently under different circumstances — a distal touch here and a ventral denial there may simply indicate that a person is not feeling present, is distracted or nervous. Or just got their nails done. I don’t think that Navarro does a good enough job explaining that the occasional pair of crossed arms does not a relationship fiasco make.
November 18, 2009
November 17, 2009
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When will he pop the question? Many straight women in long-term committed relationships begin to ask herself — and all of her friends — this question. (Every straight woman, if you believe the hype.) When will he do it? Why hasn’t he yet? What can I do do make this happen? Where should I look in his sock drawer? Um when do I need to stop obsessing?
In Jag Carrao’s HuffPo blog “How To Be Engaged By Christmas,” we read some supposedly fail-proof ways to “get your man to pop the question” — and soon. I could relate to some of it, but other parts so didn’t feel right. It’s totally understandable to want to feel like your relationship is moving forward, it seems pretty manipulative to tweak your normal behavioral patterns to attain a sparkly rock on your left hand. Reading this blog made me wonder: have we really become selfish and retro enough to take this advice, or at least take it seriously?
Look, I have walked away from my fair share of stand-still situations. If you feel you are a hamster on a wheel looking out into the sunset but never quite reaching anything but your own cage, I totally agree that it’s time to bail. However, to say that you should have a ring after nine months of dating seems a little out-of-nowhere to me.
That, and the specific suggestions seem off, too. Like limiting the time you spend with each other, don’t accept his “game playing” (by which this means if he has had a terrible past relationships and has had the bejesus scared out of him … apparently this is by definition a “game”), and pretty much disregard his feelings altogether. By restricting your time together, limiting your feelings and going against your “gut instinct” you are in essence not presenting the real “you” — and isn’t that what relationships are all about?
What ever happened to just being happy? Society has given women this notion that they must get married within a set amount of time or else they are deemed as failures. Nine months, nine days, or nine years … who cares? Setting an oven timer doesn’t make you ready. If you’re going to be able to spend your lives together, you’re going to be able to talk about this. That’s what makes you ready. So when will he ask? Or when will you? If you want to get married in the first place? When the time is right. Hope that for Christmas, you get some better advice.