July 26, 2012
Unrequited on October 26, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
There’s a girl whom I really like that I met this year at college. She has a bf who is in the Navy who is thousands of miles away. I know she really cares for him, and loves him. I don’t want to come between something like that. I don’t want to be the jerk who breaks up a good thing. But I can’t help but feel the way I feel. When I’m around her, I feel so alive. At the same time though, she is a really good friend. I feel like I can open up to her about anything, but what I don’t feel is the same from her. How do I go about showing her I can be one of the greatest friends of her life without flirting with her, or making her feel I want a closer relationship out of it. I mean, I do, but right now all I really care about is strengthening our friendship.
Then maybe if things were meant to be, something will come out of if. If not, then I’m happy just being friends. My biggest concern is that once the semester is over and I don’t have any more classes with her, which I’m sure I won’t, it will be difficult finding reasons to call her or go to her place. Thanks.
— Hopeless in Hartford
Okay. Don’t overdo it, but go ahead and do all the things that I always yell at the accursed Friend-Boys for doing. Do nice stuff for her. Do fun stuff with her; do not touch. Build her a loft, for all I care. And/But if you find yourself without a good reason to call, then don’t. Instead, find a reason to call someone else. And ask her out.
March 8, 2012
No question, on September 28, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Thanks for being, I think you’re the best!
I have this friend who is a guy and yes, we really are just friends (even though I hate saying *just* friends, I think friends are never *just* friends). We are both 20 by the way. We get along very well, have the same interests etc. and I’m happy to have him as a friend. Except that… Sometimes I develop this little crush on him and can’t help thinking how good couple we would make. But then, I don’t think that we could go back to being friends if we first went out together and then broke up. I’d very much like it to be possible but I just don’t believe in it (something to do with the fact that my parents have been very much divorced since I was very small. Now they couldn’t even be in the same room for two minutes without getting extremely rude…). So, I think our friendship is too valuable to be put in risk for something that probably wouldn’t last anyway and I’m just going to shut up about my occasional feelings. I honestly don’t know how he feels about these things (and I’m definitely *not* going to ask!) but I haven’t noticed any reason to believe he sees me as anything else than a friend.
So, do you think I am anywhere near the right tracks with my thoughts? I know I can live with the current situation and be happy 94% of the time. Am I one of the people who write to you and answer their own questions at the end of their letters? <grin>
December 28, 2011
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 counsels a girl who swears she’s Just Buddies with her guy friends but worries about cheating
I have a few male friends that I talk to once every three to six months or sometimes longer. They suggest that we hang out sometimes, and they know that I am in a serious relationship. I feel like I will be somewhat cheating if I hang out with a male friend.
Is she over thinking things? Should she let these guys go? Read the full letter and Lynn’s response at Happen Magazine, then come back here to comment below.
September 21, 2011
Downshifting on August 17, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Recently, my boyfriend and I broke up because I am going away to school in the fall and it would be too hard to wait until the end of the summer to break up because we will only get more attached. It is one of those situations where love isn’t enough to stay together … we both knew that we are just at very different places in our lives, and it isn’t our time. When we broke up, we knew we had to stay friends, but we don’t really seem to be communicating at all, and everything is weird between us. How can we make going from a long-term relationship to a friendship any easier?
Ah, the preemptive breakup. If it works for you, it works for me. But listen, it’s not weird that things are weird between you. Things are weird after a breakup no matter what; add to that the fact that you’re going away — you’ve left yourselves, unavoidably, in a “if she’s going away from here, where do we go from here?” limbo. Besides, no relationship transishes naturally from more-than- to just-friends. I’d say this: don’t sit around waiting for him to call, wondering if you should, making it all “mean” something in your overactive post-breakup imaginations. Limit your interactions, for now, to occasional planned activities that you both enjoy (perhaps even some, like movies, that don’t require communicating at all). That way you may be able to go through the motions of the friendship without putting undue pressure on the e-motions. It will not feel “the same;” don’t expect it to — it isn’t. And it will all feel less acute when you go away, it really will. Good luck in school!
April 6, 2011
Inextricably linked on June 15, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
My girlfriend of nearly a year and I broke up about a month ago. For the month before, we had been having problems and decided to be “friends” (meaning that we still spent a lot of time around each other, but avoided anything too physical), but could date other people, providing we told the other person. She went out with someone else, and did not say anything, and I found out somewhat accidentally. We got in a big fight, and childishly didn’t speak to each other for two weeks. To make a very long story short (or try), she can’t see the guy for legal reasons (she’s an instructor at one school, he’s a senior in high school at another in the same district), and while she still talks to him, that’s about all. We are both at the same college, in the same department, with the same emphasis, so we see each other at least a couple hours a day, five days a week. Plus we have the same circle of friends, etc. We agreed to try and be friends, slowly, considering the amount of trust that had been lost between us. We had been best friends before we dated, and didn’t want to totally lose each other. The problem comes in that we can’t seem to decide how to deal with each other. One week, she’s very friendly and flirty, until I think she’s getting too close, the next week, vice versa. I guess my basic question is, what the h*** is going on? Oh, to add to this sticky situation, I’m good friends with her closest sister, something of a big brother to her only brother, and her dad is my future landlord. Exactly how screwed am I?
— Zino Trope
Read BG’s response to Zino Trope after the jump!
September 28, 2010
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: straight men and women can be just friends. We know this, because they can even be Just Friends, the boy-girl production company behind this super-enterprise. (And because we are of the camp who liked Scully and Mulder best without the LIKElike.) But perhaps no one has said it so eloquently, or newsworthily, than Juliet Lapidos over at Slate (h/t @DahliaLithwick, @DJDistracted), BFF of Jeff, who believes that today, straight male-female platonicness is at once normal and revolutionary. She writes:
We were sure that we would never become romantic partners, that our relationship would always be placidly sexless. This has so far borne out: Excluding the summer when we first met and shared an awkward, pubescent kiss on Independence Day—and another, even more awkward moment on a trampoline shortly thereafter—there’s been no romance. Jeff and I have been friends for more than 14 years, without interruption. In our mid-twenties, we lived together for more than three years, during which period we’d watch movies late into the night and then go our separate ways, much like when we were kids. I find all this, at the personal level, unremarkable and unsurprising; the skepticism of outsiders strikes me as funny and narrow-minded. Yet from a historical perspective, my blasé attitude is all wrong: We are remarkable, in a way, and our relationship is not only surprising but radical.
Yes, radical. Consider the social history here, the dorm-room demographics: (more…)
, Dahlia Lithwick
, Juliet Lapidos
, just friends
, summer camp
, When Harry Met Sally
March 26, 2010
The Curse of the Friend-Boy continues on March 23, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Hi, I just replaced the phone after a two-hour conversation in which the subject was “male bashing” (perhaps you know of it). My “girl”-friend had just been told by her steady that he had only wanted her for one thing (take a guess). Yes, I was as disgusted as she was and it set me thinking. I am used by a lot of people as a comfort from the tough times and although I am not unhappy, I am sick of hearing about all guys being chauvinistic pigs who look for one thing in life. I have gone out with two girls for a grand total of four days and after both, I was given the good old friends line. I know this is similar to other letters, but it is slightly different. I am not bad looking, I have a decent sense of humor, and consider myself romantic (flowers, candy, letters). The problem is, no one wants to accept me as more than a friend. I don’t see what my problem is. Although I am used as a stuffed toy when times are tough, it is not a position I would change for the world. Why is it that a) all the women around me seem to make the same mistakes even though I warn them, and b) How do I get over that “friends” line? It destroys me inside, and leaves me feeling inadequate as a guy, but more like a used tissue. What can I do to make myself appealing? Should I change or accept the fact that I will only ever be a friend?
Thank you kindly for all your help.
— Unlucky in Love
Everything I said before, plus a few points:
March 19, 2010
An ancient evil resurfaces on March 23, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I have a problem with not wanting to hurt anyone, even at my own expense. I know I must bite the bullet and break off clean rather than drag/lead on a relationship after it’s gone sour. I become what the girl wants me to be and when I want to be myself she thinks I’m going psycho when in reality I was just a facade to her in the first place. I guess I just have to learn to be myself first and find a girl who likes me for me and not who they want me to be. In a way I guess I don’t really have a question, I just needed to talk. Thanks BG. I really appreciate your ears.
A Hopless Romantic at Purdue
P.S. I also am a classic case of “nice guys finish last.” I don’t drink or smoke (anything) and I’m waiting until I’m married to have sex.
I do have a question after all. All of my relationships have lasted over two years. I’m now trying to find one that I can be myself in but every woman I know says does this just before I ask them on a date. They give me a big hug and say, Sometimes I’m even told that I’m their best friend. Yet some seem to flirt with me anyway, but when I ask them on a date they are always busy. I have 100s of great female friends and not a single romantic one. Minus one clinging vine that I have to cut loose. We broke up four months ago and she still thinks we are going to get married. (I feel like Wayne in “Wayne’s World” with Stacey.) My question is this. If a girl says “You are such a great friend,” should I give up on a romantic relationship or do women just get kicks out of confusing men? Thanks again.
Dear Hopeless Romantic,
No, thank YOU. You — along with your brethren all over the world who share this same waking nightmare — have provided me with one of the best articulations I’ve ever seen of
The Curse of the Friend-Boy.
First of all, OUCH. They hug you too? Yeesh. That adds insult to intimacy. Who knew niceness could be so harsh?
August 18, 2009
The opposite of sex on February 23, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Do you think it’s possible for someone in a serious/committed relationship to be close friends with someone of the opposite sex? Based on my own personal feelings and experience, I don’t think so. I argued a lot with my girlfriend of almost three years about this, yet she always assured me that the guys she hung out with were “just friends.” Well, I put up with it, until she finally cheated on me with one of them. Do you think it’s too much to ask of a girlfriend to not have guy friends? Personally, I don’t think it’s possible for a guy and a girl to be “just friends.” I mean, all of my relationships have started out as a friendship first…
— The Man
February 20, 2009
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The Tacky Factor Day! Tackiness highlighted in blue…
Dear Breakup Girl,
When my boyfriend and I broke up, he said that we would always be friends and that for the rest of the school year he wouldn’t go out with anyone. We haven’t talked since — and now he is going out with one of my good friends! What should I do? I want to be friends with him, but he broke a promise.