Broken up about breaking up from December 16, 1997…
Dear Breakup Girl,
What do you suggest for someone who is dealing with the guilt of being the dumper, so they don’t go back to heal the broken heart?
Splendid question. Breakup Girl has always fought for dump-ers’ rights — to make known the fact that while dumpees have to deal with rejection, loneliness, hurt, etc., dumpers have to deal with the fact that they started it. It’s a rotten feeling, especially in the case of those hideous gray-area, gut-feeling breakups where just because you don’t see yourselves together in forty years doesn’t mean you don’t care.
IMPORTANT BREAKUP GIRL MAXIM: No matter how much you care, you cannot be the one to help your ex through the breakup you caused.
It’s too close, too much, too weird — like dating your therapist, in reverse — and it doesn’t work. (Sleeping together will not “help” either, by the way.) So don’t fall all over yourself trying to do penance and show that you are a Good Person. The nicest, kindest thing you can do is to listen to whatever she has to say, and then leave her alone.