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December 7, 2011

Broken up but still living together!

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 11:00 am

livingtogetherThis house is not a home on September 7, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I think I’m going insane. I just broke up with my boyfriend of three years and nine months. We’ve also lived together for about two and a half years… We still have to live together because neither of us has the money or the means to move out. We have our own rooms, so that makes the situation at least livable. I don’t want him back at all and the feeling is quite mutual; in fact I don’t know why I stuck it out in the relationship so long to begin with.

Anyway, I’m saving up so that I can move out. It’s been about a week since the breakup and I haven’t even cried yet (nor have I felt the urge to). Unfortunately loneliness is starting to hit me like a freight train and I really find myself craving male companionship and affection like some sort of psycho co-dependent weakling. But my ex seems to be taking the breakup so well– I haven’t seen even one smidge of sadness or regret in his face. Then again, one of my main problems with him was that he was about as caring, warm and romantic as a frosty bottle of liquid nitrogen.

So I’ve been doing my best to get out of the house and be with my friends as much as possible, but it doesn’t help to cut the edge off the loneliness as much as I hoped it would. This is only my second relationship and I’m beginning to feel very lost as this loneliness seems to be getting worse– I’m not ready to date again either. I hope I can stay strong long enough for it to pass but I really don’t know what I should do. Mighty Breakup Girl, please help enlighten me to the survival tactics of the “newly single.”

— Frantic

Dear Frantic,

It’s been a week. A week! In Breakup Mean Time, yes, this is seven years. But as far as the healing process goes, it’s nothing. A blip. A half-blip. A nanosecond.

So of course even doing the “right” things isn’t taking the edge off. You’re still in shock. All the fun-and-friends stuff is just glancing off the surface, because you are still numb — to everything. See, you can’t make your sassy, tasty comeback before you’ve got somewhere to come back from. But you skipped that part where you hurl yourself into the sulfurous pits of despair. That part where it’s Wallow City, and you’re the mayor. You need to do this on a finite basis — for one week, say — as an all-out purge.

A central element of the all-out wallow is the effort not to leave the house. But … oops! In your case, home is Casa Boyfriend, and you’re the roommate. That’s not helping either, needless to say. Hard to go cold turkey when the turkey’s warming the couch.

So here’s what there is to do.

1. Quit judging “how he’s taking it.” Or, in any case, thinking you’re right when you do. You have no idea. He might look frosty in the kitchen, but maybe he’s crying himself to sleep. Or maybe, yeah, it’s not bothering him at all, in which case, eeeeuw. Either way, an irresistible but pointless venture.

2. Quit judging how you’re taking it. You’re doing totally fine, normal, and all that, I promise. As long as you promise me that you’ll take some time to let yourself feel lonely. Eat brownies, cry, etc. You’re human (as in carbon, not nitrogen). Be that way.

3. But buy store-brand. And clip coupons. You need out.

Breakup Girl


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