July 29, 2011
Cold feet, warm mouse on July 20, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
OK, BG. I’m taking the plunge. I’ve never done this before. I’m an advice lady virgin. But I’m so confused, I’m about to start eating with my elbows.
My boyfriend has as all the basics, the ones that matter. He’s kind, caring, giving, sensitive, mad about me. And he’s moving far, far away. He wants me to follow him. The living with him part sounds good and relaxing and safe to me, it feels like it would take the long distance pressure off us. Part of me really wants to give this relationship that chance. I’ve been toying seriously with the idea of following him.
Now, suddenly, I’ve started flirting with someone else, let’s call him Mike, via email. I know I’m flirting, although I did mention to Mike that I have a boyfriend. I have never met Mike. Repeat: Never met. This pathetic schoolgirl crush is entirely intellectual and virtual. But, at this point, I get more actual reality butterflies in my stomach from seeing this other person’s email address in my Inbox than from seeing my boyfriend show up on my doorstep. We’ve only been dating a year. I do love him. But shouldn’t we still be in the mooshy, if not butterfly, stage?
July 27, 2011
The blind leading the blind date on July 20, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Several years ago a close friend set me up with her boyfriend’s older brother. Since she’d asked me very recently after New Year’s Eve — and my resolution was to “be more adventurous” — I accepted. I went out with this guy for about one month, this includes four dates. I discovered that not only did we not just hit it off — but he has some serious psychological problems. (He’d tried to kill himself three months before we met — this story ended our fourth date). ( To make it worse, I later discovered that she knew all about his little history, and set me up with him anyway.)
I broke up with him ver-ry gently, telling him I just didn’t have time for a relationship. He then sent me letters, underwear, called my mother, my boss — this went on for about a year and a half.
Badly shaken, I told the story to other friends. A friend offered to set me up with a guy she knew and only liked as a friend. I went out on three dates with him and just got the feeling that he was, well — a little too rigid. Like once he picked me up and twirled me around in the air (I think he thought he was being romantic, but I weigh like 180 pounds and I was more nervous about falling from the sky like a lead balloon). When I complained, he refused to put me down. I don’t like a guy who doesn’t listen who you say no, and I took it as a bad sign for the future. I don’t know, I just didn’t feel comfortable around him. I broke up with him, again politely. He freaked out, screaming “Someone tell me what is wrong with me? Why do I get this from every girl?!” My next door neighbor had to remove him. He sat outside my house in his car for like an hour. I don’t know what he was doing, but he just sat there. Creepy.
July 26, 2011
Double trouble on July 20, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I have a huge crush on the most popular guy in school. He has a girlfriend. At the dance he and his girlfriend were dancing real close and making out. It felt like a stabbing pain in the back — and also like an aching, longing heart — because she is one of my really good friends. What can I do so I don’t like him any more? Is there a way to be friends and not break into tears when I see them together? Please help me.
Don’t think of a purple elephant.
That is, of course, exactly what you did think of. The same happens when you say to yourself: “Don’t like Popular Boy.” Trying to not like him is the same as liking him. It takes just as much effort and energy, and has just as unsatisfying results. So don’t fight that feeling; let it be, recognize it, say hello to it, let it run its course. While you’re pursuing other options. Soon enough, that feeling you’ll get on your back will be the warm, sweet hand of the boy you’re dancing with.
July 25, 2011
The Predicament of the Week from July 20, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I love your column and enjoy browsing your advice. Now I’m in need of some myself.
Boy of My Dreams (BOMD) dumped me last week. Here’s the history. We’ve been together 10 months. Happy, happy, on both sides. We did well at overcoming the inevitable relationship obstacles and enjoyed the time we had together. About two months ago, a betrayal of trust occurred…but it wasn’t what you might think. BOMD lied to me, and I caught him at it. It was a whopper, but really, no serious harm occurred, except to the trust between us. I took some time away for a few days and reevaluated. I decided the relationship was worth it to me. What I didn’t do was forgive him, address why this betrayal occurred, and move on. Another month later, I was still holding this incident against him. BOMD’s frustration with this state of affairs caused him to break up with me. I panicked, realized I hadn’t done my part to get on with things, and convinced him to give it another chance. Which we both wholeheartedly did. So over the last month of the relationship, I did forgive him, I did think about why it happened, and made great efforts to improve our relationship. It worked like a charm. It was easy. We were happy and enjoying each other’s company, and life was good. BOMD admits he was as happy in our relationship as I was.
Here’s the clinker. After a fun evening out with friends, I coyly asked BOMD to come stay at my house…and kind of had to talk him into it. The next morning, I said “You know, it isn’t the end of the world, but my feelings were a little hurt that you wouldn’t want to end such a fun evening with me. But this relationship isn’t a prison — if you need to be away then I’m glad you were honest about it.” Then it all came out.
July 22, 2011
The IRL deal of July 6, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I’d first like to know what you think of “long-distance” relationships… how often they work out, or if they should be avoided….and secondly, what you think of “long-distance Internet” relationships.
Let me explain my situation a little bit….
I got online a little over a year ago, and shortly after doing so, I met this really funny guy in a chat room that I enjoyed talking to. It didn’t take long for us to become really good friends. We talked alot over a period of about 5-6 months before we both realized that our feelings for each other were growing into the next stages after friendship. I started falling in love with him!! We had exchanged many, many photos of each other, and started talking on the telephone a bit. We talked very regularly and frequently for the next 6 months or so… making it known to the world of our love for each other through web pages, and silly stuff like that. He made me so happy! We were “cyber-engaged,” and most of the things like talking about having an “online wedding,” being engaged, and being together forever were HIS ideas!!! I really loved them, too…and the more he told people how much he loved me and wanted to be with me, the more in love I fell with him! After over a year of talking/chatting, and getting to know each others minds and souls, we agreed it should progress to the next step of actually meeting each other! The biggest problem was that he is on the western coast of the US, and I am on the eastern coast! But he finally got a plane ticket to come see me… and after having this ticket in his possesion for weeks, and only a month and a half away from the day we would meet, (on Valentine’s Day no less!!), he broke up with me!!! I am absolutely devastated, and am having a hard time dealing with what I feel.
His excuses were that:
1.)We are too far apart, and long distance relationships don’t work. He thought it was best to end it now before he hurt me anymore!
2.) I am ten years older than him, and have a child… which is nothing new, he knew that a year ago when we met!
3.) That he is just starting his life, and won’t be able to pay me the attention I deserve because he’ll be too busy…. and that wouldn’t be fair to me…
4.) That he thinks I’m a psychotic looney because I shared the fact that stress and my over active emotions make me sick to my stomach when I’m upset! He says that isn’t normal, and I must be psychotic! But the fact is, I don’t handle rejection very well, and I am a very emotional person. (Something else he’s known for the past year!!)
5.) I am too jealous, and he thinks I am “obsessed” with him and not in love with him.
The fact is I AM in love with him!! I don’t want to lose him because he thinks it “might not” work out in the future because we are so far away… he is young, scared, confused, and allowing outside influences to tear us apart. He could be throwing away the best thing to ever happen to both of us!! I really need some help and/or advice… He says it’s best it’s over, but I can’t let go!!! All I want is for us to be like we were, and for him to come see me in a month and a half! I at least want the opportunity, and the chance to see if the sparks fly like I have been dreaming they will!!
Can you help me?
Oh, dear. I hate to run down the battery on your dreams, but — brace yourself — it just doesn’t sound to Breakup Girl like this is a happening thing. I am really, really, really sorry.
I am not saying that long distance relationships don’t work, nor that cyberrelationships don’t work. But let me try and put this situation in perspective:
People who have actually laid eyes on each other and spent time together have trouble mustering the chutzpah to make an actual commitment. Never mind having to make good on a promise that — though, yes, it was very real for you — technically existed only in the ether, not IRL. And you know, there are some things that do make sense/exist only out there in cyberworld; how long would Jennicam last if the idea was for people to actually look in her window? Also, the “outside influences” you dismiss as trivial are <gulp> real-life; in fact, they — distance, phase-of-life difference, etc. — are problems that non-cyber couples face. He got the willies when he realized that he was going to have to face them. And for whatever reason, he is not willing.
Also, on a totally different point, some of the things he said to you were not very nice.
Now, I’m not going to say anything dumbass, preachy, and too-late like, “You shouldn’t have fallen so hard in the first place.” You did, and I’m sure you felt feelings — finite though they may need be — that others have indeed only dreamt of. So go ahead and save — treasure — your emails and other cyber-keepsakes. If it hurts too much, hide them for a while. BUT. You should also, when you’re ready, take this as an opportunity to consider, for yourself, exactly what drove you to fall so hard, to make such earthbound plans with someone orbiting in cyberspace. I am not saying “Bad Girl, you messed up, now go think about what you did!” I am saying if you want a real-life partner that badly — no matter where you meet him — well, some reflection into this episode will give you useful insight into the next one. Which , ultimately, is not a bad use of all that bandwith.
Hang in there.
July 21, 2011
Moving … on, July 6, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I recently moved to Philly to be with my long distance boyfriend. We were “madly in love” and he was telling everyone (including me) he was ready to marry me. So I hopped in my car and moved out. All at once things changed–no big surprise–but he started pushing me away and “flexing his freedom muscles.” Eventually, the relationship could handle no more and so we broke it off. Now, almost two months later, he wants to be friends, but I am having a terrible time. I still love him dearly, but I am still hurt and I can’t stop second guessing myself. I want to move on, but I don’t want him completely out of my life–he’s just too special. How do I do this? Feel comfortable, relax and just be willing to have a good time with him on a platonic frienship level?
Well, Philadelphia is the City of Brotherly Love. Which bodes better for the platonic part than the “madly” part. (Also, Conde Nast Traveler Magazine rated Philadelphia America’s FRIENDLIEST City. Uh oh. Word to the wise: try and relocate to places with slogans more like “…is for Lovers.”)
But look, if you’re not ready to hang out with him, you’re not ready. If it smarts too much now, then give yourself a little more time to keep your distance; it doesn’t mean he’ll always be “out of your life.” I mean, we’re friends with England again, but it took a while.
Speaking of which, did he really say “flexing his freedom muscles?” Euw. He may have taken the tour of Independence Hall one too many times.
July 20, 2011
Separation anxiety on July 6, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost four years, and we have a very close relationship. We have even talked about marriage. Now, he is seriously considering a job that would require him to be out of the state during the week. He would still be home on weekends, and hopes to eventually work from home several days during the week. He’s in a “golden handcuffs” situation with his current job; there’ll be a big financial payoff if he sticks around a few more years, but he’s dissatisfied with the job, and feels unrewarded. This new opportunity would pay a higher salary, but the long-term successof the company is questionable, and he’s heard many negative reports about the man who would be his boss.
Anyway, I want to be the supportive girlfriend, and I truly believe that if the new job is the better opportunity, he should take it, regardless of the “sure thing” he has with his current job. Happiness is worth more than money, I say. However, the thought of being apart all week does not make me very happy. I’m not saying that it couldn’t work, but when you’re used to seeing someone every day, it’s a bitter pill to swallow!
Worse than that, though, is his lack of concern over this issue.Throughout all of his deliberations over the job, he never mentioned our relationship. Finally, noting that I hadn’t had much to say on the issue, he asked me for my opinion. I said that although the job sounds good, I couldn’t believe that he hadn’t even considered the impact this would have on our relationship. Even a “Gee, I’ll really miss you — we’ll have to make up for it on the weekends!” would have been nice! His response was that he really didn’t believe that it would have an impact on the relationship. H E L L O? Is he simply more secure and well-adjusted than I am, or do you think that his career is so important to him that it doesn’t matter whether our relationship will suffer? He’s always talked as though family and friends were his top priorities (with me falling somewhere between those two categories…) but now I wonder if that is true. I’d really love to hear your input on this, because I doubt that either of us are being totally objective at this point.
BG’s response after the jump!
July 19, 2011
Staying strong on July 6, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
My boyfriend lives in London and I live in LA. We met last summer and I spent all of September with him in LA and all of December with him in London. The separations are really hard on me. Really hard. I don’t want to go out with anyone else, but I feel really sad that he’s not here to share every single little thing with me and vice versa. What can I do to make myself feel better? I cry a lot and know that that doesn’t help the situation — it won’t make him be able to come out and visit any earlier. I know I have to be strong, but how do I do that? The relationship is stagnant, even though we talk and email almost every day. When I do see him, how do I make him feel that he can’t live on without me? How do I get him to talk about his feelings about me? It’s always stressful for both of us to talk about one of us leaving because we want to spend as much time together being happy and not sad? How do I alleviate some of the pain of not having him near me?
One thing I haven’t said yet about LDRs is that some people actually do take to them sort of naturally. These folks like the built-in space and compartmentalization, the NOT having to negotiate daily life together.
July 18, 2011
Although we do hear long-distance success stories, of course — the summer fling that lasted a lifetime, the professors with bi-coastal tenure, WOMAN WEDS ALIEN — it’s hard. And that’s the main — and not as obvious as it should be — thing you need to know about LDRs. They are hard. It does bear noting that the information age has made LDRs both easier and more difficult. Used to be you had to wait months for the steamship to deliver one letter, or fight with your siblings to get the horse for the weekend. Now, however, we’ve got the opposite problem: “Why didn’t you respond to my beep/email instantly?!” “If you loved me, you’d take the Concorde.”)
Anyway, the fact that LDRs are hard, like built-in hard, doesn’t mean there’s something wrong. People forget this. It’s like, “Dear Breakup Girl, my girl/boyfriend and I argue about phone bills, have trouble getting away to see each other because of work and expenses and feeling like we’re blowing off our other friends, and then when we do get together there’s all this quality- and quantity- pressure for it to be GREAT…are we fundamentally incompatible?!?!?!” Uh, not necessarily.
That’s the main thing. Other points on the map:
July 15, 2011
Next Page »
Still obsessing on July 20, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I like the advice you gave to “Wondering” about the happy birthday card. I sent a birthday card to my ex on her birthday — I got no response and I was so pissed because I thought that was really big of me. At any rate, we haven’t talked in 14 weeks, (but who’s counting). My question is, how do I find out without calling directly, what’s up with her, if she’s seeing someone else, if she’s fallen off the face of the earth? Or should I just forget her?
Also, during the course of our relationship I gained fifteen pounds. I’m supposed to start Jenny Craig tomorrow. In my dreams I run into her totally coincidentally, I look fabulous and she’s with her ugly new flame.
Am I being totally delusional about this whole thing? HELP ME…..
BG’s answer after the jump! </strong>