Looking for help on November 9, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
First of all, I LOVE your column and read it all the time. Your advice is really sensible and that’s why I’m writing — I’m hoping you might be able to help me with this. You see, I see the problem, but the solution is far from sight.
I’m 22, a virgin, had a total of 2 boyfriends (one Internet one I never met) and have a real problem getting boyfriends. OK — or anyone (I believe myself to be Bi — but since I’ve never been with anyone — I’m not sure if you can count that). I finished college, have my BA in English, am not completely unattractive, have terrible self-esteem and about 20 years of mental and emotional abuse from my father, whose house I am still living in until I save enough to get my own place. No — I have not gotten therapy for this yet — I can’t afford it and I OBVIOUSLY can’t get my father to pay for it. My mom won’t pay for it either — and she’s perfectly aware of why I need it too. (I do have a job that pays well, but I still can’t afford an apartment, much less anything big like therapy.)
I know I need to get out of my house and meet friends and people off the net, but the opportunities never seem to come up. It’s only recently that my brother taught me to recognize when other men are really flirting at me, and only recently that I realized that I am possibly attractive to other people. I used to believe that I just needed a boyfriend so bad just to have some love in my life. I still kind of half believe it. My sense tells me that I have to give that kind of love to myself before I can expect anyone else to give it. It’s harder than it sounds and I am trying to work on it. It’s hard when I’ve spent so many years hating myself for being lazy, slow, fat, unmotivated and all the other things my father spent years telling me that I am.