January 17, 2013
Sucking it up on November 20, 1998...
Dear Breakup Girl,
My ex-girlfriend is getting married. This upset me, BG. When I heard it, I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. Seriously.
Since we broke up about 1 1/2 years ago, I’ve been in touch with my ex in a very lite sense of the word. We had a little post-breakup flirtation that nearly destroyed me since I fell for her again and she didn’t fall for me. She never really gave a reason for our breaking up other than “a lack of a gut feeling…” which drove me crazy. So for the last year or so when we’ve chatted it’s been about my family and her job and things like that, not about whether we were dating or not. So the first I hear of this new guy in her life is that she’s marrying him.
She’s been seeing this guy 7 months and all I know about him is that his name and his age. She’s my age (34) and she’s marrying someone twenty years her senior. I use the word Senior intentionally. She’s moving in with the guy in a house they bought together (this was the girl who wouldn’t let me keep underwear at her place after a 2 1/2 year relationship–who says it’s just men who can’t commit)? It’s a lot to process and I’m not sure what to say other than I’m happy for her (which I’m not) and I wish them the best (which I don’t). Someday I’m sure I’ll grow into a mature state of acceptance but right now I feel like Dustin Hoffman at the end of the Graduate. Except I don’t have a convertible or attractive older women hitting on me.
What does one do in this situation? Help me, Breakup Girl Kenobi. You’re my only hope.
–Bummed Out Boy
BG’s solution after the jump!
December 14, 2012
Parents just don’t understand on November 30, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I am an eighteen year old college student, and I am in love with a 34 year old man. We are currently involved in a relationship which is keeping me very happy. Our relationship is perfect. We have been together for one and a half years and he has never hurt me and I know he truly cares for me. My problem is that I come from a conservative family who would never support or understand my situation. If they ever found out they would lock me up or do anything they can to stop this relationship. I am eighteen years old and I feel that I am old enough to make my own decisions. I am tired of living a lie. I love my boyfriend so much that if I ever lost him I could not go on. Yet, I know that if my family ever found out, I would lose him. I am so torn apart and don’t know what I should do. Help.
Yes, living a lie is exhausting. But so, notes Belleruth, is dealing with batsh*t parents.
And that — the Parent Trap — is the issue here
As BR says: “This is not about being Romeo and Juliet. This is about separating from parents. You can kid yourself and them and make out like this whole thing is anguish all in the name of love. But the truth is, if you just leave things alone, they will run their course. This relationship will either end or it won’t. The longer it lasts, the longer you have a case for it being a ‘grownup’ thing. And even if it doesn’t, you will still feel a little more grown up and individuated and — hopefully — move on to, dare I say, more appropriate relationships. Whatever issues you have with the ‘rents will surface with this or something else…until you feel like a genu-ine grownup.
And Breakup Girl can probably tell you that this usually takes a few years beyond 18.”
December 13, 2012
That ain’t right on November 30, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I would just like to start by saying you have a brilliant page here…..
Well I’m 16 and I am dating a 33 year old man. We have been together for 5 months nearly. But the problem is not me or him, it’s everyone else. No one I know can understand or accept it. They all believe he is using me and that he doesn’t care for me. I don’t know what to think anymore because it feels as if both sides are brainwashing me. I believe he does care for me, and pray that he wouldn’t be just using me, as I lost my virginity to this man.
I sometimes hope I am not with him just so I can feel special and wanted, becuase he definitely makes me feel good about myself. My mother doesn’t know, but my friend’s can’t praise me for him anyway.
The only major problem in this relationship is that he wants it to be a secret…he doesn’t want other people knowing of it, and when we meet each other it’s always in secret, non-populated areas. Plus I must admit all he wants to do all the time is talk about sex and when we will be doing it next. But he always tells me he loves me. I’m so confused…
I just want to know is there anyway that this man could really be in love with me?
— Feeling Used
BG takes the question seriously after the jump!
December 11, 2012
Needing structure on November 30, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I have a boyfriend who is 7 years younger than me, and quite a bit more inexperienced in the ways of long-term commitment/love stuff (I was married ten years, have been divorced for 3, he has never had a relationship that lasted as long as a year <he always got dumped>). We’ve been friends for a year and a half, dating for 6 months. He’s just as sweet as he can be when we’re together, but when we’re not, it’s like I don’t exist. No calls, no notes, nothing. I don’t get it. OK, I’ve called him ‘cuz I couldn’t wait. Hell, I’d like to talk to him every day (a little 5-minute hi how are you love you call) but he seemed so odd and distant on the phone (usually at work alone in his office) that I quit doing that. We spend almost the whole weekend every weekend together, but I always sweat it during the week. Will he call? Should I call? Am I bugging him? What’s the deal?
Also, we’ve told each other “I love you,” but he rarely says it unless I say it first, and always with this weird look on his face. I hate it. I wish he wouldn’t even say it at all if he’s going to do that. I guess I’m touchy about it because I told him I was IN love with him after three months, but he said he wasn’t IN love with me. “You know I really care about you right?” he said.
Well, yeah, we used to say “I love you” as friends, but THIS IS DIFFERENT! “IN” LOVE IS DIFFERENT! Friends say, give it time, he’ll come around (or he won’t, I guess). Meantime I just get crazier and crazier for him and want to hear “I’m in love with you” but am afraid to ask. After all, three more months have passed, and he acts like he’s nuts about me when we’re together. Although, you know, he often speaks in generalities when we’re together, and that bugs the hell out of me. When we were both single he whined and whined about not having a girlfriend, no one to have sex with, etc. etc. Now he says things like, “Mmmmm, it feels so good to be held” not “It feels good to be with YOU” or he likes it when other men pay attention to me “my sexy woman” because I’m going home with him at the end of the night. It all makes me feel like he’s just happy to be dating SOMEONE, not especially like he’s happy it’s me. I’m over here all love-struck and hoping there’s some future (I am NOT thinking marriage anytime in the next few years, but I would like to feel like I have someone to share my life with) and he’s just happy he’s got someone cute to hang out with, show off, and have sex with. A friend calls and asks, “Are you free Saturday night?” and I say, “Let me call John and see if he had anything planned and I’ll call you back.” Someone asks him the same question, and he’ll go ahead and make plans and not tell me until Saturday during the day and then I get all disappointed and upset, and he gets upset because, “I don’t want to feel like I HAVE to check in.”
December 10, 2012
Keeping secrets on November 30, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I’m dating a guy nine years younger than me. The problem is that he doesn’t know how old I am, and I’m scared to tell him. We’ve been dating about seven months now, and I’m beginning to feel guilty because he has started to mention the forever-together word. He has never come straight out and asked me my age, but I do look younger than I am. I really don’t want to tell him because or the past actions past boyfriends have exhibited once I told them my age. I really don’t care that I’m wasting time with somebody who might not accept me for who I am, because I’ve already been married, had long term relationships, and don’t really care about long term or commitment anymore. Do you think I should tell my boyfriend my age?
Oooh, are you the girl from Felicity?
Regardless, here’s my concern: this hasn’t come up? In seven months? What do you guys talk about? Never mind that he hasn’t outright asked, but it hasn’t just come up? As in, “Actually, I was an infant, so no, I don’t remember what I was doing when John Glenn landed. The first time.” — ? Nothing? For me, that’s the oddest thing going on here.
So I’m guessing that he somehow already knows and doesn’t care, or doesn’t know and doesn’t care. But there is a talk you guys should have, even if it’s not about how many times you’ve been 29. Because if he’s making together-forever noises, and you’re still withholding basic facts — and/because you’re not concerned with long-term commitment — then there’s a gap here that’s not measured in years. You might [by default] lie about your age, but at least act it.
December 7, 2012
Broken-Hearted Bob returns on November 30, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Remember me? Mr. Nice Guy. Well here’s my quandary this time.
I have officially changed my major to Fine Arts. And in doing so I go to a different branch of my college that is off campus. At the craft center, the whole place is different — it’s a completely different learning enviroment from the structured regimented classes on the main campus. This environment in turn breeds a completely different type of student. And all of the women there are TOTALLY COOL!! And there is one in particular I’m a bit sweet on. She and I hang out, and we just get along well. I was going to ask her out one day, and then we got to discussing age, my b-day is in a few days, as is hers. I was joking that since I was turning 20 that I would have to “grow up” and “get with the program.” She laughed and said that wasn’t necessarily so. Then I found out that … well, she will be 31 a week or so after I turn 20. Well, that TOTALLY threw a wrench in the works for me. But later we were talking and she asked me if I wanted to go to see “Something About Mary” with her cause she didn’t want to go alone. After the movie she and I went and talked for a while at a coffee house, my idea, then she wanted to get some beer, but my roommates aren’t cool with that so I took a rain check. We’d have gone to her place, but it is a half hour away and she was tired. We continue to talk.
Should I risk the relationship and ask her out, should I just sit on my feelings for her, or should I just go to her and say “Hey what’s up with us?” I have asked some of my more trusted friends and they don’t give me advice, they just kind of make robbin’ the cradle or “The Graduate” jokes. So well I must turn to you, oh great knower of things I don’t quite understand.
— Broken Heart Bob
BG helps an old friend after the jump!
December 5, 2012
On the prowl on November 30, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
When I was in my teens, twenties, and thirties, I always dated men quite a bit older than myself (10-20 yrs). Now that I am “older,” I am not attracted to men my age or older. I am attracted to men mostly in their 30’s (sometimes younger). The problem is, even though I feel like their equal agewise, I realize that through their eyes I am probably “old.” If I care about them a lot, I will end up spending money on them (because I enjoy it, and men spent money on me when I was the young one), but what is happening is I am being used. I kind of know it all along, but I enjoy them and care about them and I think I try to believe they are not really using me…although they are. This really hurts me. I am starting to hate myself for not being younger. It is so frustrating when you feel a certain age inside but you’re actually 20 years older than that and no one really understands. I get a lot of flack from my grown children. (They are only a few years younger than the men I seem to choose, and they are horrified at my behavior.) So here I am again, being used and I have to face it and move on, my children are again outraged and embarrassed by me, and for the life of me I cannot feel turned on thinking of a man my age, much less older than I. It’s like I never changed inside since my late twenties. I still feel the same way. I do look good for the age I am, thank God. In fact I probably look 8 or 9 years younger than I am. (The problem is, the men I choose are more like 20 years younger than I am.) Do you think this will pass, or, if it doesn’t, that there are some men who will not use me and will actually feel about me like I do about them? I doubt it, but I thought I’d ask. Also, do you think my kids are justified in coming down so hard on me? They are both married and have families of their own. I put up with their rebelliousness when they were teens, but now it seems they want to parent me. ( They are really stricter on me than I ever was on them.) Is there something wrong with me? Or should I just go get some plastic surgery and a fake ID and move away so no one knows what I’m doing? I’m not ready for the rocking chair yet. Thanks for listening.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: the knife is not the answer.
Nor, in your case, is the rocking chair.
The operative metonymy here, I think, is: the fountain of youth. The key here is not strictly that you’re drawn to younger men (I love that Leo, and the RA on Felicity, and I’m not ashamed!), but rather that you “cannot feel turned on thinking of a man [your] age, much less older.” Why? ‘Cause they’re … old? …Like you? Do you see your reflection in them? I know you say you “look good for your age,” but/so again, I ask you: when you date these guys, do you see your “real” age looking back? And when you, in your dotage, dote on younger men, does it make you feel like Girlfriend’s still got it?
December 3, 2012
In a relationship, is a big generation gap inherently icky?
My answer: You tell me.
As in: is your age difference an element of the relationship, or is it the defining factor?
Like, is the core draw that he is a George Michaelicious Father Figure? Or that she is super-Mrs. Robinsonic? Or the other way around?
To put it another way: if you two were roughly the same age, would all of the thrill be gone?
Because no, a big age difference is not by definition suspect, unless you are Anna Nicole Smith. Sure, when there’s a True Connection, age difference is downgraded to mere circumstance. And yes, Oedipus and Electra are allowed to play bit parts in your dynamic as a couple.
BUT. Lolita/o is not. AND. When the age gap is the main event, there’s probably something going on there [insert admittedly facile pop-psych blame-the-parents theory] other than — dare I say in place of — actual, equal partnership.
One more useful concept, courtesy of BG’s friend Louise. Depending on what you’re looking for, it’s not how old they are, it’s how donethey are. Done as in cooked. Ready. Steady. As in: sense of self no longer runny. Sense of purpose firm. Toxins [mostly] destroyed in heat of past moments. The key: someone can be warmed through at 25; frozen on the inside at 45. So when in doubt, skip the math; test for doneness.
This week we’ll be looking at the age questions you raised in your letters. Just let me find my reading glasses.
July 23, 2012
Psyched out on October 26, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I am 16 and in a relationship with a 20 year old. He is smart, funny, ambitious….and sensitive, caring, thoughtful, vulnerable. And I am DESPERATELY in love with this adorable guy. And he is always telling me how much he loves me. But I don’t feel worth it. I feel like sooner or later he is gonna realise I am not worth the trouble and I am not as great as he thinks, and dump me. And the thought scares me to death. I still live with my parents and although they accept our relationship, they really don’t approve, and have thrown some obstacles in our way. If they had any idea that I am having sex with him, it would be hazardous to his health, even though I am very much the instigator. (I finally bedded him via daring him to christen the backseat of my parents car, because I know he can’t say no to a dare !) My insecurity makes it difficult for me to see him, knowing that one day, all the things that he fell in love with me for will be all the reasons he falls out of love with me.
He gets offended so easily, and he admits he has a habit of taking things the wrong way from past experiences even though he knows I don’t mean them that way. And when he gets offended, I hate myself and wonder why he bothers with me. I have a short temper and several times I have verbally taken my anger out on him when I am mad about something else, and I see how much it hurts him, yet I never learn. He has such a gentle soul, and I seem to hurt him all the time. I feel tactless, thoughtless, and basically like a downright mean person. I love him so much it is going to kill me when it ends, but I know it will end and this makes it harder. A couple of days ago, we were on the phone quite late, and as he gets up at 6 a.m, he has to go to bed early. During the conversation that night, he had mentioned several things about me which were not good.
March 30, 2012
Next Page »
Totally inappropriate on September 28, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Ok BG I have a good (long) one for ya. First off I am a just turned 20 male sophomore in college. Through the last years of high school most of my friends either moved off due to parents in the military or they went on to different colleges. Some of my old acquaintances went to the local university with me but they are not really the friends of old.
One of the more enjoyable habits I picked up was the local skating rink…as a child I hated it but now it is one of my favorite past-times. The problem stems from this…most people my age do not go skating cause it is uncool. This doesn’t bother me at all but does kinda take away some socializing with people my age (most people my age locally are drunks or druggies, I know there are some good ones out there but they are too hard to find.) Most kids there are around the 11-14 year age range. I am also active in Boy Scouts so I try to be a positive male role model in any way that I can. Many of the children there look up to me as a big brother or even as a father in rare cases. This is a high that none other could rival (except one). While I am there some of the girls confide in me with boy troubles…my main response is to give the relationship one more try then if it doesn’t get better then break up with him.(I feel as if I’m one of your branch offices but I enjoy it the same as you.)