An international incident from June 15, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I have lived together with this girl for two years, and before that we dated for about two years. I have wanted a long time to break up, but she doesn’t want to. I have been very open and honest about what I feel, and am asking her several times a week to move out. She refuses, says she can’t move out and that she feels unsafe in this big town without me (which is a European capital — she comes from a smaller place some 300 miles from here, and moved here to be with me). Every time I bring the topic up, she thinks I’m being mean. We live in a flat which I own and that I lived alone in for 11 months before she moved in. I really want to break up. To change locks or contact the police or some other authority seems so mean, but sometimes seems like the only option. Is there a nicer way?
Yo. Breaking up isn’t mean per se; breaking up meanly is mean. And breaking up — no matter how many people are walking around how many big towns saying “it was mutual” — is not always a bilateral decision. Nor does it require the dumpee’s consent. That, my European friend, is the nature of the beast. So I have to say it’s a little odd to hear that you’re, like, trying to break up with her (several times a week!?!). You don’ t need to bring in the law; you’re the one who’s not laying it down. Give her a deadline. Schedule a time for her to pack. If you’re that concerned/if she’s that helpless (eeeuuw), what the hell, help her find a new place to live. This is way above and beyond the call of duty, but so is having to ask someone to let you break up with them. You can be strong without being mean; arguably, it’s even meaner to extend her squatter’s rights in a home that’s not hers with a heart that’s not, either.