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September 17, 2010

“Being myself” isn’t good enough

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:10 am

Strategizing on April 20, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

My ex-boyfriend and I broke up about a couple of months ago. I still like him a lot, but he is in love with my best friend and some other girl. The thing with the two girls he likes is that they are complete phonies around guys (and they wear pretty tight clothes). If it is so wrong to change yourself around guys, then why does he like them? Also, how could I get him to like me (oh, and I already got the “be yourself” advice, so can you add something besides that)?


Dear Penelope,

In the context of your letter, “being yourself” is the same as wearing “tight clothes.”


Point is, whatever you do to “get” someone to like you is a flirting tactic. Being “phony” is not necessarily less admirable — or less phony — than being “yourself” (“Hey, whassup, I’m just being myself over here, who-hoo, yeah, I am so cool and natural…NOW DO YOU LIKE ME?”).

I will say, though, that “If it is so wrong to change yourself around guys, then why does he like them?” is an excellent question. Welcome to the world of mixed messages, double standards, and mystery hormones. Remember, boys bust us — justifiably — for (a) yelling at them for going only for looks, and then (b) complaining to them that we hooked up with someone we shouldn’t have because we were addled by his Leo looks. Whatever. The key is, don’t you go changing.

So I will say to “be yourself” — but not the easy-for-you-to-say way you’ve been told. Be honest: admit that you’re jealous — which is fine! You’re human! Be nice: stay above dissing your sistahs, no matter how “tight” their clothes. And be realistic: an ex who blatantly flirts with your best friend is someone your bad self needs to loosen up over.

Breakup Girl


  1. I see two questions here. 1) Why do guys like phony women? 2) How do you get someone to like you?

    Guys and phony women:
    Unless/until a guy realizes a woman is phony, he will be attracted to her if he likes the false front she portrays. For example, if you pretend to like the same sports & teams, music and movies that a guy likes (when you really don’t), then you will improve your chances of dating him … until he discovers that you don’t like any of those things. Then it’s quite likely that he will dump you, sometimes *because* you lied to him.

    Being phony may work in the short term, but it backfires in the long run.

    Getting someone to like you:
    This is easiest to understand if you turn the question around. What would a guy do to get *you* to like him?

    In some cases, there’s nothing that can be done. There are some people who you don’t like, and no matter what they do, you won’t change your mind. Similarly, there are some guys who won’t like you, period. If you try to get them to like you, you’re wasting your time (and possibly making a fool of yourself).

    But there are a few things you can do to make it more likely for someone to like you. They’re the same things that other people do that cause you to like them.

    We like people who are nice to us and our friends. We don’t like people who are jerks to us or our friends.

    We like people who make us feel good about ourselves. We don’t like people who make us feel crappy.

    We like people who are fun and funny. We don’t like people who are boring, standoffish or killjoys.

    We like people (especially members of the opposite sex) whom we find attractive. This can be the hardest one to deal with in dating, because there isn’t much we can do about it. If you think I’m ugly, then there isn’t anything I can do to make you think I’m handsome.

    This is where the tight clothes come in. If you’re the kind of person who looks good in tight clothes, then those clothes might make you more attractive to guys. If you don’t look good in tight clothes, avoid them. No matter what kind of build you have, there are clothes which you will look better in. As a general rule, clothes that fit properly (not too tight, not too loose) work very well for everyone.

    Comment by Karl R — September 17, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

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  4. Karl, you rule.

    Comment by BG — September 19, 2010 @ 11:48 pm

  5. amen, brother. telling lies early on only kicks you in the end. coz who wants to be with somoene just like THEM?

    Comment by karen — September 20, 2010 @ 2:09 am

  6. “Welcome to the world of mixed messages, double standards, and mystery hormones.”

    That says it all. I’ve stumbled upon your blog Breakup girl and I am in love with it! I think I have to add you to my blog roll so that others can share in my discovery :)

    Looking forward to reading more…

    Link text

    Comment by Melanie Afshar — September 21, 2010 @ 11:54 am

  7. Here’s my blog link if you’d like to check it out!!!

    It’s Up to Us! Blog

    Comment by Melanie Afshar — September 21, 2010 @ 11:55 am

  8. Thanks, Melanie! Please keep visiting! And btw, could you pls repost the link to your blog? This one’s hinky. Thanks!

    Comment by BG — September 21, 2010 @ 4:28 pm

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