The presents of boyfriends past visit December 29, 1997…
Dear Breakup Girl,
My boyfriend and I just broke up after a 3-year relationship. It was a mutual breakup because we just weren’t getting along like we used to. But we still have a tremendous amount of love for each other. This makes it especially difficult. He just gave me a brand new stereo for Christmas, after we broke up! He said he’s been wanting to get this for me for a while. But why would he do this after we broke up? We’re still “friends,” but I don’t want constant reminders of him around me. I’m still grieving the end of our relationship and need time to heal. But he keeps calling and now this huge present?!? Can you make sense of this?
Oh, great. As if Breakup Songs weren’t bad enough, now you’ve got a Boyfriend Stereo to hear them on. I don’t blame you for not wanting it around. Nor do I blame him, really, for wanting you to have it. Since your breakup was benevolent and mutual, he may think of it as a peace offering — that it would have been weirder to withhold it than to go ahead and give it to you as planned. But proceed with caution. There’s a difference between showing each other that you still care — which is a delightful breakup success story — and failing to fully extricate yourselves from a relationship that you’ve declared over. It’s possible to be facing away from each other but still be joined at the hip.
So ask him nicely not to call so much — not because you don’t want to talk to him but because you do…when you’re ready. And if you feel you need to, put the stereo in storage or make someone’s day with a long-term loan.
Or if you want Breakup Girl to hold onto it, let me know. The Studio Apartment of Justice has an entire walk-in storage closet for just that kind of thing (”Can’t Live With It, Can’t Bring Self to Return It”).