So lost without you, on January 26, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I have been in love with my girlfriend for the past four years and am still very much in love with her. Unfortunately, she has decided she is no longer in love with me. We have lived together for the entire time; now we are apart for the first time. She is my whole life. How in the heck am I supposed to fall out of love with her?
— Rich, Lost in Love
Dear Lost in Love,
Oh, Rich. If Breakup Girl had to answer only one letter this week — this month, this year — it might well be yours. Your question speaks for all dumpees, ever.
On the other hand, Breakup Girl secretly wishes she could yell at her intern for losing your letter. That’s because (a) she wishes she had an intern, and (b) now that you’ve raised the eternal question, she hesitates to say that she has no easy answers.
You can’t cause yourself to fall out of love as easily as you can cause yourself to fall out of, say, a hot-air balloon. What you can do, however, is allow yourself to fall out of love. If she’s really gone, don’t fight it. If you hear yourself saying things like, “But Breakup Girl, no one will ever be like her!” stop. I know that’s how you feel, but it’s not, like, True with a capital T.
You can also create the circumstances that will, over time, help you allow yourself to fall out of love. If you’re in the apartment you shared, get rid of her stuff. If you’re in a new apartment … get rid of her stuff. At least for the time being, don’t hang out with her friends. If her name was Monica, Rachel, or Phoebe, don’t watch “Friends.” You see what I’m getting at?
And if she is/was your whole life, then you’ve got to fill that gap. If you guys never, I don’t know, cooked together, then take a cooking class. Rent all the movies she always vetoed. Get a dog. Learn Italian. Go Rollerblading. And when you’re ready to move on — which, granted, may take a while — go Rollerblading with the dog.