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)?
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.