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September 15, 2011

Would love to settle down — yet I’m dating a musician

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:05 am

Disharmony from August 17, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

You rule… I discovered the site lo these many months ago, and can’t start the week without checking in. But now it’s time for me to receive the royal scepter bonk on the head, if you will, or perhaps the superheroine firm but kindly lasso round my constricted brain. Briefly (I swear!): Years of relationships lasting eight months or less. Frankly, I’m tired of it. It’s not that I want to get married per se, but I would like to find someone to, in a way, share the driving duties with me on the road of life. I’m very independent, sassy and all that, and I’m generally happy with my life and most everything is swell or at least manageable–except for this itty bitty absense of a partner. It doesn’t help that I’m in my mid-thirties and most of my friends have already hooked up with long-term squeezes, husbands, and all that, so there are increasingly fewer babes to play with out on the town.

Anyhow, I met this man in a band I was in…it was supposed to be a one- or two-shot deal, a couple of gigs and then b’bye but the music scene here is such that we kept running into each other after *ha* the gig was up. Then, we’re in another short-term band! Hoorah! So, more music, more hanging out. After one of these practices, we go to a party together, and I end up spending the night, and I’m happy, it all seems passionate and mutual and all manners of goodness.

The goodness continues for weeks, until he returns from a trip to the west coast, and is distant. We are still hanging out, still having fun, but there’s this odd wall there now. He tells me he’s moving to the west coast come January; I say OK, why don’t we just see what happens beforehand? He tells me he doesn’t think bandmates should date, it’s always Fleetwood Mac redux and I say oh, like Gloria and Emilio Estefan, or John Spencer and his wife in Boss Hogg? Again, why don’t we just see?

Ok, so this is longer than I intended…

THEN, the night of the gig, he tells me that there’s this other woman he’s “emotionally” involved with, but she’s moving to Italy soon. Oy!!! “I need space,” he says. I think, “I’ll say!” but say instead, “Call me if you want, but I’m not waiting.” And I elegantly stomp to my car before bursting into tears.

That was two weeks ago. He called me this past Wednesday, we chatted for an hour on Thursday and he seemed wound tighter than a clockspring… we were supposed to get together this weekend, but he overslept, I went out, etc. Clearly something is percolating in his mind and I suppose the best course of action would be to see what that is.

I guess my real question to you is, how can I prevent myself from going STARK RAVING MAD while these things play themselves out???? I’m been exercising (exorcising?) like Richard Simmons on speed (picture that if you dare), riding my bike into downtown traffic, yoga, taking long drives, reading, writing, of course playing music, and let’s not forget boring my friends and writing BG overly long missives. I appreciate, in theory, the ups and downs, the complexities of romance, but in practice I feel like I’m gonna hurl (emotional) chunks. Thank you, your SuperHeroineNess.

— The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Dear Hunter,

Mad props, first of all, on your most excellent characterization of 30-something single angst. The “The women’s movement is wack” people — and the people who love them — are far too quick to say, “See, women SAY they’re independent and all that, but they really just want to get married.” Hello, why does this have to be a contradiction in terms? How come when men want to get married, they’re settling down, but when women do, they’re giving in? Couldn’t it be about partnership? Couldn’t it be that we think we’re hot enough sh*t to share, thank you very much? “Share the driving duties.” That is so good. And a little less flip than Breakup Girl’s usual quip: “I don’t ‘need a man,’ I need an assistant.”

That said, I will take issue with you on this: that, as you suggest, the best course of action would be to see what is percolating. Nah. Hunter, I’m not getting that this guy is going to come through for you. I mean, basically, the only reason I didn’t send you straight to the Breakup List and leave it at that is that I wanted to print the full text of your thoughtful, funny, so-true letter. Keep up the biking, yog-ing, driving, writing, etc. Keep down the chunks. If you are ready to hunker down and get serious, this one’s not worth it. Your social/work circles will spin you around to someone else.

Then again, if you do think any sort of BG intervention in Italy might help, I could make some calls.

Breakup Girl

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