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July 19, 2011

LDR: London to LA

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:34 am

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longdistanceStaying strong on July 6, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

My boyfriend lives in London and I live in LA. We met last summer and I spent all of September with him in LA and all of December with him in London. The separations are really hard on me. Really hard. I don’t want to go out with anyone else, but I feel really sad that he’s not here to share every single little thing with me and vice versa. What can I do to make myself feel better? I cry a lot and know that that doesn’t help the situation — it won’t make him be able to come out and visit any earlier. I know I have to be strong, but how do I do that? The relationship is stagnant, even though we talk and email almost every day. When I do see him, how do I make him feel that he can’t live on without me? How do I get him to talk about his feelings about me? It’s always stressful for both of us to talk about one of us leaving because we want to spend as much time together being happy and not sad? How do I alleviate some of the pain of not having him near me?

– Ina


Dear Ina,

One thing I haven’t said yet about LDRs is that some people actually do take to them sort of naturally. These folks like the built-in space and compartmentalization, the NOT having to negotiate daily life together.

(more…)

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January 11, 2011

Oh, fer crying out loud.

Filed under: Psychology, media — posted by Breakup Girl @ 12:14 pm

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You know that recent story about how “Women’s Tears Say ‘Not Tonight, Dear’?” Over at the Ms. blog, J Goodrich (Echidne of the Snakes) takes the boneheaded sexist headlines and media “analyses” of a recent Israel study and basically kicks them so hard they cry.

In a study published Thursday in the journal Science, the Weizmann Institute of Science researchers collected emotional tears from female volunteers by showing them sad movies. Then they had male test subjects sniff the actual tears and fake tears comprised of saline.

A whiff of the real deal caused testosterone levels in the men to drop significantly. They found pictures of women less sexually attractive. When the men were sent into brain scanners, and shown a sad film, the men who were exposed to the fake tears didn’t show much lower activity in a region associated with sexual desire, but the activity in the same region was greatly reduced in men who breathed real tears.

The brain scans, the big yawn over alluring pictures and the drop in the he-man hormone led the scientists to conclude that “women’s emotional tears contain a chemosignal that reduces sexual arousal in men.”

MSNBC’s conclusion:

Bottom line, ladies? If you’re looking for arousal, don’t turn on the waterworks.

Basically, as she summarizes, most of the reporting on the study, rather than actually REPORTING ON THE STUDY, invokes a colorful array of half-baked stereotypes: tears as “weapon in the battle of the sexes” that women deploy on demand, men as morons who are deterred from their search for sex only by ladyweeping.

Goodrich: “Let’s take a step backwards and look at the actual study and its possible meanings:

For practical reasons, Sobel and his colleagues have studied only women’s tears. But they suspect that men’s tears, and possibly children’s, also contain chemical signals and are eager to find out what messages they may convey.

That snippet suggests a completely different interpretation of the study findings. They may not ultimately be about the effects of women’s tears on men’s hormone and arousal levels but about the effects of human tears on other human’s hormones and emotions. This is not hidden in all the popularizations but it certainly has been pushed behind that “sex sells” curtain, and you have to work down the articles to find it. /snip/

Here are my further conjectures: It seems like a very useful and common-sense conclusion that another person’s tears will reduce your sexual arousal. Something tear-worthy is happening and perhaps it’s an important survival cue to pay attention to.

I’ve got one word to say about the state of journalism and gender stereotyping: *Sob.*

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November 20, 2008

Tears? No fears

Filed under: Celebrities, News, Psychology, TV — posted by Rose @ 9:35 am

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Reasons why it’s not that surprising that I teared up at Cody Linley’s Dancing with the Stars departure Tuesday night:

1. It felt like a breakup. Or rather, two breakups in one: No more Cody and Julianne cutting it up while cutting a rug like the king and queen of the prom; no more, in my wildly dancing imagination, of our weekly threesomes.

2. Hey, I cried when Boner Stabone bid adieu to bestie Mike Seaver on Growing Pains. (I distinctly remember dashing to my bedroom to hide my tears from my family.) I also cried when Garfield said goodbye to his mother in “Garfield on the Town.” Yes, I have a problem.

3. Or do I? According to this recent study (sponsored by me, you’d think) about the health benefits of crying, it’s not a problem at all, which is great news for me.

Almost nine out of ten participants in the study reported improved moods post-weeping, and researchers found that emotional tears (as opposed to emotion-neutral, chopping-onions tears) contain stress-related hormones. So when we cry over stressful situations, such as a breakup, we really are “crying it out.”

Unfortunately, by “we,” I mean mostly women. The report states that men cry an average of seven times per year. For women, it’s a whopping 47 times per year. Also: men who cry out of sadness were “more positively rated” by women, while women’s sad tears made them less attractive to men.

For the record, Cody cried in a previous episode of DWTS while declaring his (platonic?) love for Julianne, so I know he’s the right man-boy for me.

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August 6, 2008

Boo who?

Filed under: News — posted by Amanda @ 9:24 am

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You may remember the AskMen.com survey finding that 77% of men had cried over a woman, and not just on the day they heard about Natalie Portman and what’s-his-name. Now, the BBC tells us that their peers across the pond (or maybe, like, all sentient beings) aren’t so different. Here’s what makes those blokes well up:

  • Making parents proud
  • Birth of first child/grandchild
  • Tribulations of a loved one
  • Letting a loved one down
  • Letting yourself down
  • Saying “I’m sorry”
  • Winning/losing a hard-fought game
  • The farewell scene in Weekend at Bernie’s < KIDDING

I have a feeling that if we keep making TOO big a deal out of the “news” that “real men cry!” BG herself will burst into tears. But come on fellas, do tell: what turns on your waterworks?

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July 31, 2008

This just in: men have feelings!

Filed under: News, Treats — posted by Amanda @ 8:32 am

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The results of AskMen.com’s Great Male Survey are in, and some of the findings may surprise you. (Or not, assuming everyone in your relationship reads BreakupGirl.net and is therefore most excellent and discerning.) The “Internet’s top men’s lifestyle site” asked more than 70,000 readers to take the 150-question survey, which was broken down into five sections: Lifestyle, Dating, Sexuality, Power & Money, and Men in 2008. AskMen.com also teamed up with Yahoo! Shine, a lifestyles website for women, to host the Great Female Survey, which included 40 questions from the male survey about dating and sexuality. (Women, evidently, have no Power or Money, and are interesting only when talking about men.)

The survey’s goal — and this is where we’ve got their back — was challenge the all-too-common image of today’s men as immature, insensitive, and afraid of commitment. Says AskMen.com editor-in-chief James Bassil, “These survey results will be surprising to many women, most of whom have a completely different perspective of what the average man thinks and feels.” Selected results after the jump…

(more…)

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