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January 2

Older and wiser

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:23 am

Classic LetterNot much to add on January 19, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

Great site. I am now going down this road for the millionth time, having just ended a 9-month relationship which was rocky for about half of that time. The man is complex, emotionally damaged, controlling and an intense workaholic. At the same time, we had a lot in common, and had a bond that I have been looking for. He paid little attention to me, but at times we connected very deeply. He started out saying he wanted to make amends for the mistakes of the past (a pickup line I hadn’t heard before!) and that he had been wrong in the past. WOW! I thought I really had found “the one.”

Well, when it came time to walk the talk, he wasn’t able to do it, and being no angel myself, I was trying to make amends for my past mistakes, like walking away too soon, so I hung in there trying to forgive (myself too, for getting angry with him) and solve problems and all that stuff that you think you’re supposed to do to make a relationship work out. We have agreed that our relationship was in the toilet — I say because he won’t open his heart and put effort into our relationship, he says it is my fault that I want too much, and couldn’t I just accept things the way they are, which is his schedule (Saturday night basically, little else, even phone calls or e-mails), his timing, his conversation topics (not our relationship), his activity choices. DUH. This man is 55, been divorced twice, and recently out of an 8-year relationship. HELLO.

So the bottom line is, he says he really wants to be friends. This doesn’t seem like an exit line; he seems to really mean it. I am barely able to forgive his self-centeredness, and his need to close these issues over the holidays and my birthday. I realize that none of my other friends are perfect, nor am I. What is this friends thing with men? Just a way of exonerating themselves for their &^$#% behavior? I keep waffling between the feminist and spiritual perspectives on this. I was hoping that by middle age, some of this would be clearer, but it seems to be getting harder. I’m considering volunteer work, starting a business, becoming a lesbian. I’ve already met a new man on-line who sounds a little too much like my most recent ex, with his desire for 100% support from a woman who will take stress away from his life, and not add stress. Yikes. Thanks for listening Breakup Girl. You are performing an excellent service for the women on-line!

— Kitty (not declawed)

Dear Kitty,

You have enough friends. Lose both guys, start a business, volunteer. The lesbian part is your call. Middle age — I’m told — doesn’t make things easier; it just makes you write more articulate letters.

Breakup Girl


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