November 8, 2012
Dear Breakup Girl,
I have been following Scone Boy’s predicament with interest, because his situation resembles mine. Except I’m pretty sure that I have in fact seen the letters “HELP ME” traced in the condensation on the window of the speeding car.
Background. Dated him for a year. Was absolutely nuts about him. He gave me some nice gifts, two of which were very personal and which he made for me. (These figure later in the story.) About a year and a half ago, he bolted. We’re talking disappeared for a month. I finally left him a message: “Haven’t heard from you, how have you been?” “I’ve been OK, just haven’t had much to say.” Smitten though I was, I knew this was a Very Bad Thing, and, despite his protests, I broke it off and returned all the gifts. A year and a half later, my life is mostly OK–friends, other men, recreation, work.
He never seemed to accept the break. Kept in touch, occasionally because of a “Haven’t seen you in awhile, how have you been?” from me, but mostly on his own initiative. More than once he has expressed hurt and resentment at my having returned the gifts. At one point he gave some of them back to me–not the most personal ones–but his subsequent behavior was so annoying that I gave them back again, much more rudely than the first time. I told him to just leave me alone. He went to my friends in an attempt to “explain” himself. More dialogue ensued. Right now he is in touch more than ever, and we’re closer than ever, partly because of his new willingness to really open up to me.
October 16, 2012
A long way from home on November 9, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
OK, my girlfriend and I have been together for close to 3 years. This fall, I had to go to Europe (work- related) for a few months, which I figured would be no big deal. I’ve been in long distance relationships before, and was convinced that this one wouldn’t be a problem, no second-guessing, no fear of cheating, etc., because I felt like this realationship was a lot more mature and a lot more stable than any of my previous ones. We had spent even more time together than usual before I left and I felt really confident about getting through this time apart with no problems.
The problem is this: even with the possibility of email, my girlfriend has pretty much stopped writing me. I’ve been very considerate and sent long sappy letters, postcards, packages, you name it, to let her know that I really miss her. But in two months, I’ve gotten two letters that she could just as well have written to her grandma, and then one of those “I’ve been thinking a lot while you’ve been gone” type of letters. I mean, I’m getting ZERO emotional support, and the only real letter she’s sent me was as close to a “Dear John” letter as I’ve ever gotten.
Now, I know our relationship wasn’t perfect, but we had agreed that we were going to use the opportunity to think about things and then work on the few problem areas in our relationship when I got back. Before I left, everything felt fine. It seems now like she’s taken the opportunity to prep for dumping me instead, but I never even felt it coming.
August 9, 2012
Predicament of the Week from November 2, 1998…
El Duderino Rides Again … and Again…Now in Second Place for All-Time BG P/W Appearances
Dear Breakup Girl,
First of all, I have no intention to break the record on serial Predicament of the Week (Brad). So I’ll try to keep this brief and relatively less colorful.
Second of all, you were accurate about the pitfalls of seeing life through tinted glasses. Very perceptive. However, I hesitate to peg Japanese Girl as one of those first decent meal after coming out from self-imposed exile. I don’t think I have loss my common sense to have fallen for someone who just happened to “step in.” JG is INDEED a truly righteous babe. My heart grins just thinking about her. It follows, of course, that I did not fall for the sake of falling.
And third of all, I don’t have a third-of-all, but still.
From my angst/metaphor ridden letters, you would not have gotten the impression that, in “real life,” I am basically this aggressive, devilishly mean, Newman/Brando-ish stockbroker. I don’t think I have split personalities, may be I’m just a bit more in touch with my feminine side, two hard-core feminist sisters made sure of that. Frankly, this affair with JG deserves more delicate consideration as opposed to one of those million dollar trade, where you coldly calculate your beta, stare at your candle-stick charts, and say “well, this trade “SUCKS,” lets cut it loose.” If it was that simple, with all due respect, my sentiment and prose wouldn’t have been this purple.
(This straight talk does not in anyway diminishes my respect for, and gratitude towards BG. But I digress)
Anyway, it’s not really like that, is it? I mean like how do you rationally reconcile the fact that a mean and nasty schmuck like me can feel completely vulnerable and soft in front of this woman? (It’s true, I so eat dudes like those in Glengary Glen Ross for breakfast and I’m so not purposely deprecating for the effect of juicing the script.) How then do you explain that a man, whose favorite phase is “that’s not my problem,” could spend hours mixing paint and rubbing them into the canvas to paint her portrait and then later argue with himself about hues in his sleep? How do you conjure the image of a normally serious adult who manipulates his facial muscles doing an impersonation of “The Boiling Pea Soup” to the beat of Harlem Shuffle, making a complete fool of himself in the process, for her amusement just to hear that glorious note of laughter?
How, pray tell?
June 5, 2012
A long one from October 19, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I’ve been reading your site for months now, and I love it. I’ve been feeling the urge to write in, but I haven’t actually had any questions to ask. You just remind me of a good friend of mine who moved to Seattle a few years ago. I figured I could send in a “Look! It can get better” letter for your collection.
I’m in my ninth term at college now, and the story goes way back to the beginning of college. I never had any relationships in high school. All the boys were so… young. So was I, but gee, you’d never have gotten me to admit it. So I get to college and poof! Suddenly there are all these smart, interesting people around. Amazingly, some of them are attractive, and some of them are scary, and some of them are both. But the only way to stop being scared of something is to just deal with it, right? Besides, all the scary people are the fun ones. These guys aren’t into drugs or guns or anything. They just know what they think and like and refuse to waffle about it. Plus, they’re fun. So they decide I’m an interesting person and we start hanging out. One of these guys is *incredible*, tall, funny, extroverted, incredibly handsome, dances, gives great hugs… oh yes, and he just came back from another coast to discover that his fiancee has been cheating on him, just to see what it’s like to be with other men. So this incredible guy decides that A: Relationships suck, and B: Sex is good. And starts seducing anything interesting (successfully; he even gets the girls to go after him). Ever see a man with a neon sign that says “BAD PLAN” in bright glowing red letters? There’s one. So the friend you remind me of spent a year telling me, “Bad plan! He’s notinterested! Run away!” and telling him, “She’s too young! She’s not interested! Run away!” And then the rumor mill decided we were going together, manufactured our dates, our proclivities, and our fights, much to our amusement. Can you say, OBSESSION? I knew you could.
April 16, 2012
MSN.com, Match.com, HappenMagazine.com: they’re in a healthy and satisfying 3-way relationship. Meaning that you can find MSN/Match.com’s “Ask Lynn” columns –penned by BG’s alter ego — over at Happen now as well.
This week Lynn hears from a gal who asks, How do I stop caring? She was hurt by a guy who hasn’t spoken to her since they did the deed:
The date before was wonderful, the sexual chemistry was great. I understand that one night does not mean any sort of relationship whatsoever. What I do not understand is his apparently not wanting to even speak to me afterwards.
What’s going on with this guy? How can she deal? Read the full letter at Happen along with Lynn’s response, then give us your own thoughts below!
April 11, 2012
Opening a dialog on October 5, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
My husband and I have both been previously married. My problem is the marriage just isn’t what I thought it would be. His family has never accepted me or my 2 girls & he let’s his ex wife push us around with regards to his 2 children (we have shared custody). This has been going on for 6 years and I don’t see any end in sight. I guess I should also mention that my girls’ biological father rarely sees them, so it would be great if their step-father (husband #2) would actually make an effort to be a father figure with them, but he doesn’t. He is very quiet & brooding. He barely speaks to them, & my youngest (8 years) really needs a daddy. So you see after 6 yrs together you’d think we’d have all of this looked after, but he is the type of guy that just sweeps everything under the carpet in hopes it will all go away. Well it hasn’t & now I think I need to get out. I love him, but I believe that love isn’t enough anymore.
I need help, I have tried to talk to him about splitting up, but he just begs me to give it another shot.
Can you help me????
Hey, anyone remember that Monty Python sketch that takes place (I think) on a quiz show …
HOST: Name a country where they don’t play tennis at all well.
HOST: No, try again.
March 28, 2012
Waiting by the computer on September 28, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Here’s my quandary– my boyfriend “Sardahki” and I were the best of friends, extremely close, saw each other for 7 months, and embarked on most of our emotional and sexual journeys together for the first time. Well, 3 months ago we broke up, for he was leaving for college. He said he’d email me when he got to school, which he did, and I responded. However, it’s been 3 weeks, and I’ve not heard from him. I don’t know that he got the letter because things happen and perhaps it got deleted, or something. (Besides, it was kind of hardcore, so I expected SOME kind of a response…). So, my question: Do I resend the email, assuming he never got it? Or, assume that he got it and didn’t care to respond? and if I do send it and he has already read it, what do I say, because that could be potentially humiliating. Any input would be helpful.
As bad as it is to break up with someone via email, it’s worse to break up with someone via not answering their email. I know you guys were already broken up; I’m just saying. Nahmi, I have to tell you that I have a feeling he did get your mail. He wasn’t sure how to respond to something “hardcore” given that you guys had broken up, and on top of it all, he’s distracted and consumed by starting college. Then, the longer he goes without writing you back, the more he employs that twisted human logic, “Well, it’s been so long now, I can’t write her back…” So, big big big OUCH. I suggest that you send hin one more light email, saying, “Hey, hadn’t heard from you, wondering how you are.” That kind of thing. Give him a chance to catch up. And if he doesn’t — or even if he does — give yourself a chance to move on.
February 6, 2012
Dear Breakup Girl,
Eight weeks ago I wrote you a letter regarding my recent breakup with a wonderful guy. I was feeling guilty because I broke up with him for financial reasons. I’m a single mom and was going broke (half) supporting my ex. When I tried to submit the letter, it wouldn’t go. As I was trying the 2nd time, the phone rang. Yep, it was him. He said he’d been working the last 6 months to get in better financial shape for our future. He was so sincere, and had made so many changes, that I went back to him. Now we share the bills equally, and are getting ahead already. We are engaged to be married, and I wonder if it had to do with the letter that never got sent. Well, thanks anyway.
— Not Guilty Anymore
1. Who-HOOO! Congratulations.
2. All other second-timer wannabes: heads up! Don’t just tell your re-intended that you’ve changed — or, worse, that you will. Hint: proof helps. This gentleman may still lapse back into [in this case, financial] problems here and there, but he demonstrated a clear willingness to acknowledge and take them on. That’s the difference.
3. You guys should still actually send your letters.
This advice was originally published September 14, 1998.
November 16, 2011
Un-mixed signals on August 31, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
How do you get a guy to catch on that you like him? I”ve emailed him, called him, been to his house, even told his best friend, and what other people seem to think is that he likes me too. I understand that he just ended a sort-of relationship a week or two ago and that he says he doesn’t want a long relationship because he can’t stand people for that long, and I agree. I’d just like to try something to see what develops. I don’t know what more I can do besides walking up to him and outright telling him, but I’m still unsure whether he’s being deliberately obtuse or if he’s incredibly unobservant. We are both going to be seniors in the same high school so I will be able to see him hopefully occasionally at least (it’s very large). So, should I just wait for him to notice (which could be after we head off to college at this rate) or attempt something a little more direct?
March 25, 2011
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Turning to goo on June 8, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I’ve met the man of my dreams and I think he’s interested in me. He calls me a lot and is very aggressive in his flirtations. I, on the other hand, turn to pulp whenever he comes near me. I turn into a trembling mass of kiwi-lime Jell-O. My usual charsimatic, witty conversation becomes monosyllabic whimpers and I invariably wind up saying something inane enough to make him think I don’t like him, or worse — I insult him! How can I calm down around him? How do I knock his tight butt off the pedestal?
— Zsa Zsa
Dear Zsa Zsa,
Wow, he does sound like the man of your dreams. As in, those nightmares where you have to tell someone something really important (like, “The Truman Show: provocative and revolutionary, or self-referential and smug?” or “Help, I am being pursued by a killer whale on those new off-road inline skates!”) but all that comes out is gibberish. While some degree of giddy infatuated nonsense is normal — and endearing — past a certain point, you aren’t dealing with reality. Give him and your dreams a few more nights. You don’t want to lose that excited edge, but you shoud also be getting progressively more comfortable as dates go by. If not, it’s time to for you and your Rapid Eye Movement to look for someone with whom you’re truly in sync.