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June 22

Relationship status: Gutless

Filed under: media,Psychology — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:40 am

Would you break up over Facebook? Like, not by message, or by chat, or by going out to harvest Farmville artichokes and not coming back — but simply by changing your relationship status from “in a relationship” to “single”? Well, YOU wouldn’t, of course, but that guy/girl might: As Mashable.com reports, “a recent poll shows that one out of four newly dumped Facebook users found out about the breakup by seeing it publicly broadcast on Facebook. Ouch!” According to other survey data (1000 people, 70/30 men/women) from AreYouInterested:
— Around 21% of respondents said they would carry out a Facebook breakup by changing their status to single.
— Nearly 40% of respondents have updated their status on Facebook so the person they’re dating sees they have plans.
— And almost 35% of respondents have used their Facebook status to make someone think they have plans, even if they don’t.

The second two of the above sound mad manipulative, but — while I’m not applauding either — they’re not that different from what we did when had phones (get this) ONLY IN OUR HOMES and we could make people think we were NOT THERE by simply not answering. Haw! But the Facebook breakup? Of course this isn’t the first BG has heard of such a thing, and it is pretty much inevitable. (As one Mashable commenter noted, “Since a relationship isn’t official until it’s posted to Facebook, it must only be fair that a relationship isn’t officially over until it too is posted on Facebook.”) But PEOPLE. It’s pretty much the new-tech equivalent of breaking up by outgoing message. (“If this is Stan, it’s over. Everyone else, please wait for the tone.”) TACKY.

What do you think? Are electronic breakups of any kind ever acceptable? When might there be an ethical difference among Facebook breakups, text breakups, Second Life breakups? Think about it: Why, really, is an IM breakup, which seems despicable, that much worse than a phone breakup, say (which BG defends under certain circumstances, e.g. to prevent someone travelling across the country to see you only to have you say “See ya”)? Let us know in the comments.

June 4

Psycho Hose Beast

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:21 am

A real classic from March 30, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that I have recently been dealing with a difficult breakup. The good news is that it’s not mine…

My boyfriend’s ex is, well, a psycho hose beast. Before we were dating, they had broken up, but she was still causing him a lot of pain and suffering. He was obsessed with her for a while, and then he finally seemed to be letting go of her. A while after that, we started dating. Things were mostly OK. She would come up in conversation occasionally, but I never felt seriously threatened by her. I know that she is bipolar, and can be a very nasty person for no reason.

(more…)

June 3

Outsourcing your dating inbox?

Filed under: News — posted by Breakup Girl @ 2:35 am

You know that charming but not TOO charming, witty but not TOO witty, flirty but not TOO flirty back-and-forth you’ve struck up with that guy at CouldThisBeTheOne.com? You might actually be flirting back not with that guy himself, but with virtual-virtual him: a correspondent hired to take care of the pre-meeting nitty-gritty online half of online dating.

The Washington Post reports that more and more singles (roughly 80% men) are getting some very personal assistants — whether their own secretaries or via a new cottage industry of ghost writers — to manage their online dating correspondence for them: creating their profiles and handling all  correspondence up to but not including the actual, real-life date. Why? Mostly, they tell the Post, because they’re busy. Really busy. And yes, to be fair, the online part of online dating — while efficient — can indeed be time-consuming. Then again, so can explaining why it was not actually YOU that they’d been flirting with the whole time. So.

Part of me wants to say “Hey, we’re all ‘busy.’ Make time, hosers.” But part of me can summon a little more rachmones than that. I mean, they’re trying. They’re not giving up. They’re not getting all Up in the Air and letting “busy” be an excuse for not searching at all. Tacky, maybe, but there’s some hope there, too. And I can always get behind hope.

What do you think? Acceptable compromise, or Cyrano-no?

May 14

True Confessions: When I break up with a guy, I want him to want me back!

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:01 am

Classic advice from April 13, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

When I go out with a guy, and things aren’t working out, of course, it ends. I have been dumped only once in my life, so I am usually the one who does it. But, for some reason, when I break up with a guy, a piece of me really wants him to still want me back. I am cool about when and where to do it, but I have always wondered if what I wear when it happens makes a difference. I still want him to fall for me afterward — should I just wear something regular, something that shows off my figure, dress up, or go grunge? Or does it even make a difference?

— Li’l Miss

Dear Li’l,

Listen, Missy, put your ego back in mothballs. Wanting him to want you back is human, but acting on it — especially if you dumped him — is tacky. Don’t go there. No matter what you’re wearing.

But while we’re on the subject, Breakup Girl will pause for a fashion moment. When it comes to looking marvelous (for non-nefarious purposes), believe none of what you read about cute sundresses and soft, fuzzy sweaters as boy magnets. There are those of us who know from experience how guys react to the sight of women playing hockey. Breakup Girl’s fashion advice: whenever possible, wear full equipment.

Love,
Breakup Girl

March 21

Facebook face-offs

Filed under: media,Psychology — posted by Kristine @ 8:41 pm

Age: 9.

City: Detroit, MI

Activities: Standing in a department store trying on school uniforms. Being adjusted in said uniform by my mother. Witnessing my first public fight as another mother yells at her son.

Quotations: From yelling mother – “Pants don’t fit you. You’re too fat. You should stop eating. Why can’t you be more like the other kids? My life is hard enough without having to come home and deal with your sorry %*@!

Status: I watch furtively, and then hide behind my mother. A silent thank you to the powers that be. My mother says something to the woman about being in public and embarrassing her child. The woman scoffs.

In the New York TimesI Need to Vent. Hello, Facebook, Skyler Hurt, 22, friend and bridesmaid to a feuding couple, likewise, intervened:

“Hey, you guys know we can still see this right …?”

Apparently, couples DO know their fights are being observed, and like the mother yelling in the store, they don’t care. In fact, as the Times article notes, some of them welcome the chance to publicly air their grievances for friends and family to see.

Michael Vincent Miller, psychologist and author of the book “Intimate Terrorism: The Crisis of Love in an Age of Disillusion” notes:

Today, popular representations of marriage tend toward “two very self-protective egos at war with one another,”…“each wanting vindication and to be right by showing that the other is wrong.”

The thing is, isn’t marriage about two individuals coming together as a couple? By using Facebook and other social media to gain “support” for their respective “sides” in an argument or disagreement, it feels more like they are keeping separate counsel and setting up camps to do battle. Additionally, when you ask your friends and family to constantly choose sides and what they see most is your Facebook status rather than your faces at the dinner table, that support each person is looking for individually can quickly turn into disapproval for the couple as a whole. [Plus: “Tacky!” — BG]

Brad Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia would agree.

“People tend to do better in their marriage when friends and family are supportive,” Mr. Wilcox said. “When that support dries up, that can be a really big problem.”

Additionally, in an era rife with passive aggressive forms of communication, from sites that allow you to anonymously tell your friends and family what you really think to others that allow you to virtually “slap” someone, one has to wonder exactly where we’re going. Are we really evolving as thinking and feeling human beings or is technology slowly unraveling us? Have we become a society where we are more comfortable interfacing virtually with our partners rather than speaking with them when they are sitting in front of us? Just as importantly, will couples venting their frustrations with each other in the new public spaces, as parents, do the same to their children? Will anyone say anything?

The accompanying photo was particularly powerful as one of the couples sits together on the couch, their faces aglow, not with love, but lit from the screens of their laptops. While the Victorian ideals of marriage are thankfully passé, the openness that modern couples should be striving for is openness with each other, not the World Wide Web.

August 28

Tastes like chicken

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

A moving response on March 2, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I dated this guy for six months. I’m 40, he’s 25. We were getting along so great — then as soon as I let down my walls, told him I had feelings for him, he broke up with me. He’s moving away and doesn’t want to have anything to do with me anymore. What’s the deal? Plus, I hate being broken up with by e-mail … what a coward. .

–Deena


Dear Deena,

You guys have heard what I always say about the C-word. You know, Canada. Where people tend to flee to when they feel like they’re about to have to make a commitment (for Canadians, it’s Cleveland). Which is most likely what happened with your young buck. And in this case I think it was more a function of age (sowage of wild oats surplus, yada yada yada) than of gender.

(more…)

May 8

Ho’s the boss?

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:02 am

It’s definitely not working, on February 2, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

Eight months ago, my best friend/boss started sleeping with my husband of six months. After a minor nervous breakdown (in which I bought a convertible and dyed my hair blonde), I went back to work. My question is: Am I justified in referring to her to customers as a “badly-dressed Petri dish”? And what underhanded and nasty things do you suggest to continue in my quest to be a constant and bitter thorn in her side?

— Beth

 
Dear Beth,

One of the problems with the “Petri dish” metaphor is that your customers, like Breakup Girl, will not really be sure what you mean. But there are much more important issues here. Calling her mean names is — here it comes again — legal (in a First Amendment sense), but tacky. Breakup Girl has always discouraged “underhanded and nasty acts” as a means of revenge. Why? Because they make you look bad — to the people in front of whom you most want to look good: (1) the evildoer(s), and (2) yourself. When you look back, you feel worse.

The best way to get back at those who have done you wrong is to immediately be successful all areas of your life. You were on the right track with the car and the hair.

Love,
Breakup Girl

April 24

Text Message Divorce

Filed under: News — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:43 am

I would remind everyone that breaking up via text is tacky, but I don’t need a fatwa against this site:

A Saudi man has divorced his wife by text message, a newspaper said earlier this month.

The man was in Iraq when he sent the message informing her she was no longer his spouse. He followed up with a telephone call to two of his relatives, the daily Arab News reported. …

Saudi Arabia practices a strict form of Islamic Sharia law, and clerics preside over Sharia courts as judges. Under the law a man can divorce his wife by saying “I divorce you” three times.

The Saudi man was in Iraq to participate in “what he described as ‘jihad,'” according to the Arab News. (via AOL)

Look, sometimes when you’re rushing to Iraq to aid al Qaeda militants, you don’t have time to do things properly. (And the other half of you are thinking “if only divorce was this easy here!”)

April 17

Breaking the Roommate Rule

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:51 am

Hitting (on) close to home February 2, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I was dating a girl and as soon as I fell for her she decided that I didn’t meet her stringent expectations for a man (nothing to do with measurements, I don’t think). A couple of weeks later, my roommate decided to break the “roommate rule.” I walked in to find said roommate and my ex doing their thing in the living room. I am now a guy with no place to go. I don’t wanna go home cause I may find more shenanigans going on. Is it within my rights to kick my roommate out? Are people allowed to date their roommate’s ex? If so, how long do they need to wait before the couch-fest ensues?

— Battered in Boulder

 
Dear Battered,

This behavior is technically legal, but Melrosically tacky (see “The Tacky Factor” in last week’s column). What is within your rights is to ask them to take their business elsewhere. The two of them should have thought of that. They should also have written a letter like the next one.

Love,
Breakup Girl

How to date a friend’s ex

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:49 am

Trying not to be tacky on February 2 1998...

Dear Breakup Girl,

I like one of my good friends. The problem is, he just broke up with his girlfriend K., who happens to also be a friend of mine. I know it’s not right for me to make a move and ask him out, especially because he’s not over K., and I don’t think it’s right to go out with a friend’s ex (even if we’re not close friends). But I like him a lot, and I know he feels the same about me, even though he loves K. too. How long I should wait before asking him out?

— Jennifer

 
Dear Jennifer,

Give it at least a few months. Not only out of respect for K., but also because you don’t want to get jiggy with him until he has safely exited the rebound zone. It might feel like forever, but if there really is something between you two, it’ll last. And at least you don’t have to wait as long as Charles and Camilla do.

Love,
Breakup Girl

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Breakup Girl
is the superhero whose domain is LOVE or the lack thereof! Her blog combines new comics, observations and dating news with classic advice letters--now blogified for reader feedback!
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