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April 3, 2008

Two Guys and a Van

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 2:01 pm

Classic LetterA weighty question from January 9, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,
My ex was over moving my furniture the other night — I know it sounds crazy, but I swear it was just a favor — and this guy that I’ve been dating on and off for a month and half found out. This caused a situation so uncontrollable that I lost the guy I was starting to date. We were getting along so well… but now he says he “needs space.” I don’t understand — what should I do?
— Patricia

Dear Patricia,
First of all, I think moving heavy furniture is a very good thing for an ex to do. Second, I assume he wasn’t, say, moving his stuff into your apartment. Finally, if guy #2 “needs space,” why not send your ex over to move his furniture out?

If you really do have a just-movers relationship with your ex, then yeah, Dating Boy is probably overreacting — but I can also see why he might have been a little intimidated. Furniture-moving is not a delicate favor, but it is an intimate one. So give the skittish guy one clear, pressure-free phone call just to let him know that you see why that could have been weird, and that you’d be happy to see him again if and when he’d like to. And next time, do your own heavy lifting.

Breakup Girl


  1. I so disagree with BUG over this one. Forget guy #2. You’ve been dating him on and off for 6 weeks and he thinks he has any say over who helps you move furniture? That’s called being a control freak. Okay, it might be the fact that ex is doing it makes him wonder about you and ex. So then he ASKS, for crumps sake. He suggests you and he have a heart to heart about it. He doesn’t go running off, declaring he needs “space”. Either this guy is a control freak or so insecure, you’ll never have any freedom. Count this experience as a blessing. It shows guy #2 for who he really is, before you got too deeply involved. And Never, Ever do your own heavy lifting when you have an ex willing to help!

    Comment by Lynn — April 4, 2008 @ 9:54 am

  2. You can disagree with me all you want, but please don’t call me BUG (sic). It’s Breakup, one word, Girl, so it’s BG. :) :) :)

    Comment by Breakup Girl — April 6, 2008 @ 6:56 am

  3. I agree in general with Lynn. Whether or not Patricia made a good decision in helping the EX move is not at issue here. Guy #2 was out of line in the way he handled the situation and throws up ‘red flags’ early in their relationship as to a precedence of behavior that could be controlling in the future. Having said that, if Patricia really likes Guy #2 she should definitely call him and talk it out, come to some kind of agreement and boundries as to their expectations at this stage in the relationship, and move forward from there. Time will tell…it always does.

    Comment by JJ — April 8, 2008 @ 11:29 am

  4. Well, I disgree with almost everything you women have said except: Moving is very intimate. And do your own heavy lifting! Do you not have any other male friends, brothers, cousins, uncles? Why didn’t you ask your man to help you? Surely he has some friends. Better yet, you could have just stopped being lazy and cheap: Open a Yellow Pages. There are plenty of movers in this world.

    BG, you also forgot to ask the pertinent questions: What kind of favor was it? Why was it being granted?

    Then the point is made when you ask: What if dating boy had one of his exes come over and help cook, clean, give him that fantastic massage that she does oh-so-well, or some other kind of intimate activity? Would she still be as unassuming as she pretends to be??? Hmmmmmm.

    -Adrian A.

    Comment by Adrian A. — April 8, 2008 @ 7:27 pm

  5. I totally agree with Adrian. Almost everyone I know has insecurity issues of some kind. Plus, why did Guy #2 somehow find out – why didn’t Patricia just tell him “Hey, just so you know my Ex is coming over to move some furniture. Feel free to stop by if you want.” When you are in a realtionship it is not just about you, you have to take a moment and think about how the other person is going to feel about something. Put the shoe on the other foot! It is not easy. Believe me, I don’t come from where my husband and I live, but my husband does. It is real easy for him to think I am being jealous for no reason. So I have to remind him that he never has to worry about my history and I ask him how he would feel if …..? Usually he understands, sometimes he doesn’t, but at least he knows how I feel about a situation and it keeps our lines of communication open and gives us a feeling of honesty between each other. I know he is going to tell me the truth, even if he knows I won’t like it!!

    Comment by Dorothy — April 10, 2008 @ 1:17 pm

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