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June 14, 2012

I fought the law school and the law school won

Filed under: Advice — posted by Abby @ 9:19 am

Making a case on October 19, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

My last letter you actually responded to on the column…it was about the “rhinoceros head “ on the coffee table in the middle of the room. That advice really helped things! Thanks so much. Unfortunately, I’ve got to hit you up again.

The latest and the greatest goes like this. Everything seemed great between me and my law school girlfriend of 2.5 years. After a 4 month long fight, we had an awesome summer traveling, relaxing and spending time with each other. I was ecstatic because for a long time we were teetering on the edge of breakup but always plugged along because we both know our relationship was more unique and stronger than others.

So, I thought that the momentum would follow into her 2nd year of law school. Nope! Nigh 1 month since she started classes again, she’s more stressed than I’ve ever seen her, and she is always picking fights with me. I tried to be understanding, but she’ll start a fight with me and then blame me for upsetting her. I don’t blame her, I think anyone would behave the same way if they were in law school. Law school is EVIL.

Sooo, I was out of the country for 2 weeks to work. I got back and hadn’t seen her much, which I didn’t think it was a big deal since she was so busy. Wrong again! Last week, we fought over me not calling to let her know how I was for 3 days. Incredibly, one thing led to another and we ended up breaking up over the phone. I didn’t take it seriously at first but I went to her place today and we had the final talk. Please explain this to me, because I couldn’t understand it as she said it to me…her words were “I need to do this on my own, but I love you, and I don’t want to let go, but I have to. You’re my best friend [we were good friends before we started dating] and its hard enough to give that up, but I really do want us to get back together eventually and this is the only way I think that will happen is if we’re apart. If it was meant to be, it will be.”

I don’t know how to handle this. There’s probably a 50/50 chance we’ll get back together eventually and become really serious, but I don’t know when that will be. What do I do until then? Do I ever call her? Take her out? Email? Ignore her? On one hand, she is really a great person and we have a very strong connection to each other, so I’d wait if there was a guarantee we’d reunite. But on the other hand, she or I might meet someone else even though she expects us to get together again. She is my best friend and everything else.

I wish there were some way I could keep the embers warm enough that I could start a fire again when I want to, but at the same time be able to leave them alone knowing they’ll cool and go out on their own peacefully.

Can these sort of things be left to “fate”? Should I try to stay as close as I can to her? Do I treat this as a normal breakup and try to get over her?

Life really is like a box of chocolates.


Dear Jason,

Hey, I remember you! You used the word “nigh” in both letters. Cute.

Also love your “embers” description. Good stuff.

Okay, that’s it for warm and fuzzy: here’s the cold and hard. What did she mean in her “final talk?” Well, Jason, sounds to me like breakup legalese. She means: “I love you, but I don’t LOVElove you; I like you, but I don’t LIKElike you. I HATEhate that I feel this way. And I HATEhate doing this to you.” I’m sorry, but I’m pretty sure.

So treat this as a normal breakup. Either because it is, or because, frankly (paradoxically), that’s the best way to get back together. (See my Columbus metaphors from last week.) How should you act? Don’t Gump yourself into every scene in her life. Hover and float like that magic feather: sometimes around, sometimes not, never with a weighty presence — and don’t be afraid to alight on another Jenny, either. In the meantime, remind this one, gently, of your excellence. If her life’s a box of chocolates, maybe she’ll know what she didn’t get.

And as for you, dear Jason, I’m just glad to see that you’ve at least replaced the rhinoceros head with a Whitman’s Sampler.

Breakup Girl

1 Comment »

  1. Oh my god, sorry to hear that. This is the first time in my entire life that I have posted any response in any blog but that sounds exactly like what happened to me two months ago. Dated my girlfriend for 2 years, had a policy from the very beginning that we would discuss any problem (no matter how small) one of us would feel we had with each other. Everything was perfect between us until I had a misunderstanding with her parents. I went abroad for two weeks for family reasons and after calling each other every day, having hour conversations where “I love you” would be said over the phone at least three times, she broke up with me saying ” I need some space right now. I am extremely busy right now and I just know that I can’t be emotionally attached to anyone right now. You are the best thing that has happened to me in my entire life and I want you to be part of it forever. Knowing how breakups work, I told her to be honest, to tell me truthfully what was going on, and that if she really needed space, we could stop seeing each other every day as we were, hangout twice a week and talk on the phone every day. When she refused, I told her that what she meant by ” I need a break” was im breaking up with you. At this point, she started crying and told me she loved me but she had to do this. I’m extremely confused because she has never acted this way and I feel she has become a completely different person since law school.

    I don’t know if I should move on or try to give her space until she finishes finals and see what the best thing is for both of us. Truth is i’ve been in several relationships but this is the only girl I ever thought there was a real chance I could marry. Knowing how hard law school is on people and respecting her crazy parents’ beliefs, I was planning on proposing after she graduated. Should I leave the only girl I’ve said I love you to or should I try as hard as I can to fix things although I am certain I have done nothing wrong in our relationship.

    What I’m almost certain of and I have told her this is that if she has already friend zoned me, she should tell and if that’s the case we should never talk to each other again. She is my “everything” but oit hurts way too much to be friends with someone you love and more so when you’ve been in a seemingly perfect relationship.

    I was wondering if someone knew a single couple where 1 person has asked for a break and they have ended up together. She also said if its meant to be its meant to be, that we would eventually be together and that I should believe in faith. I told her that that was a bullshit comment.
    We have talked over the phone a few times I haven’t had the strength to ignore her phone calls and early after the break-up when I asked if she was moving on and whether I should start seeing other people she started crying.

    Over the two years I’ve known her my girlfriend hasn’t cried for anything having to do with our relationship. In other words, when she cries she means it. She is not a drama queen. I’m not sure if part of my problem is that I’m still analyzing her behavior as my girlfriend’s behavior instead of analyzing it how I would analyze anyone else’s.

    I know for a fact that if one of my friends was going through the same situation I would tell him “a break” means a break-up, you have to move on but I find it hard to believe that she completely changed her opinion in two weeks

    Comment by Pablo — November 30, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

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