December 6, 2012
Saving face on November 30, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I met this guy in ICQ, didn’t expect to ever have real feelings, but we do. The thing is I sent him a picture of another person, a knockout! And told him I was 10 years younger than I am. I know I have to tell him the truth, but I just know our friendship will end. He really wants to meet and get to know each other in person. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
— Troubled in Oregon
Oops. Yeah, you kind of do have to own up. And here’s the thing. If he doesn’t want to be friends (or more), I betcha it won’t be because you’re not that X-10 knockout. It would be because your pictures messed around with his feelings. So in order to save face, you’re going to have to speak the thousand words that that picture didn’t: tell him you sent it before those unexpected feelings became real. Now that the feelings are real, so too will you be.
And while you’re at it, ask yourself this: why didn’t you think the true you was young enough, cute enough, brave enough? Next time you meet an IC-QT, don’t send a snapshot until/unless you’re psyched to send the real one.
September 28, 2012
Lying about drugs on November 9, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I met Rebecca nearly seven years ago in high school and we were friends until she went away to college two years later. We lost touch until about eighteen months ago, when she returned back to the area to start her career.
After ten months of hanging out once or twice a week I came to the realization that I wanted to take the relationship to a ‘higher level’ and expressed this to her. She considered it and agreed, and we committed to one another romantically.
At the time I was a regular user of marijuana. I smoked maybe three or four times a week with my friends, and she had done it once or twice in college. Two months into our new relationship, she expressed concern that I was smoking too often. Looking for a good reason to quit, I promised at that point to give it up.
Two months later, after little in the way of struggle, I smoked pot again. I told her about it, and, while she was concerned, she was happy I told her and we left it at that. The problem is, my usage didn’t end there. I started doing it every couple of weeks, consistently.
Meanwhile, the relationship continued to get better. We started travelling with one another, and we spent the night at one another’s apartments three or four nights a week. We were in love and the future looked bright. We rarely had any kind of tense moments and even then we resolved them quickly. Except for the issue with pot. She seemed to be a touch suspicious and would bring up the topic every now and again. I would deny any kind of involvement with dope out of the fear of losing her or causing her undue grief.
January 27, 2012
Dear Breakup Girl,
I have recently found out that I WAS (is the key word) dating a recently married man for 4 months. I can’t help but entertain the thought of somehow letting the cat out of the bag and exposing this jerk. I noticed that this subject was just addressed on another site), and was wondering what your take would be on the following advise that was guaranteed to shrink the libido of the married ex? It stated that one should call the guy at work and tell him that you’ve written a 3 page tell-all letter to his lovely wife and then invite him to convince you not to send it. After he’s sputtered, pleaded and wet himself, sigh and say,”That was moving, but I have to get to the post office. Take care.” Then, sit back and know that this guy’s every move would be fraught with panic. He would end up crying,”Why me?” instead of the one who was lied to. I always value your advice and am interested in what you think.
Here’s what I think: don’t even think about it. No, scratch that. Do think about it. Just don’t do it.
This advice was originally published September 14, 1998.
January 31, 2011
Predicament of the Week from May 25, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
One month ago my girlfriend dumped me and her reason why was that she didn’t want a relationship at this point in her life. Yeah, I could understand that, but when I was told that she’d started to date other guys I think I flipped. I was a very nice guy to her — better than most guys were. To make this long story short, I told her that I’d cheated on her when we were going out — just to hurt her — and now all it’s doing is hurting me more.
I don’t want you to think I’m nuts — only with love. I just can’t tell her the truth because everyone that knows her thinks I cheated on her and she told me she can’t trust anything I say to her anymore. Now that I screwed up I need to find some way to tell her that I was just lying to her about cheating on her. I know she will never want to speak to me again and I think I can handle it but I don’t want her to hate me for the rest of my life. If you could in some way HELP me to find a way to solve my BIG problem. I’ve never wanted to hurt her this way; I just lost my head and I can’t seem to find a way out of this mess. I’m not one to ask for anything in life but this one I really need help on.
P.S. If you want to post this letter on your board of guys who’ve done some really stupid things in their lives, I would understand. Maybe it wil help others like myself not to do things like this.
January 17, 2011
Speaking truth to loser on May 25, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Help me, I want to get revenge at my ex-boyfriend, because he broke up with me and then he told everybody some stuff about me that’s totally untrue. Now I’m SO angry at him and want to do something that makes him feel really bad. Do you think I should ignore him (be cold) or should I tell him that I don’t accept that he’s running around telling lies? One thing he doesn’t know is that some of his friends are on my side. That feels really good, but it would’ve been better if he knew that, too. I don’t know how to get revenge so please help me!
November 15, 2010
Trapped next to the closet on April 27, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I try to be supportive, but a friend of mine is really beginning to tax my patience. She has fallen hard for a long-time friend of several years. Spending all their free time together, they are virtually inseparable. All their co-workers and family and friends fully expect them to get married. My friend thought that they would, too. So of course, something happens: he reveals to her that he is, in fact, gay. He has not come out but lives a double life. So now that he has entrusted her with his secret, he torments her constantly with every detail about his latest love exploits, even though he knows how she feels about him. What is worse is that he uses her as a cover–he has gone so far as to tell people that she is his girlfriend in order to keep his sexuality a secret. My friend goes along with it and rationalizes by telling herself, and me, that she doesn’t care what people think. If she doesn’t mind participating in this deception, it is not my place to say. But it does bother her, and she is calling me all the time to complain about it. It is always the same story. Of course she refuses to confront him, but continues to call me about it. She might as well just periodically play a recording of herself to me at this point. I have told her that she needs to decide what she wants and just stick by it, but it has become evident that she would prefer to do nothing and complain. I cannot tell her what to do with respect to him, but I appeal to Breakup Girl to help me figure out what I can do–I can’t stand to hear the same story over and over anymore–and it’t not like I have time to kill, but I also don’t want to abandon her–she has not discussed this with anyone else with the exception of one individual, and those discussions just ended in shouting matches.
Thank you in advance.
— Losing Patience
January 15, 2010
Have you ever lied that you have cancer to get out of a relationship? What if the relationship is already pretty out-there, as in the case of the 19-year-old lad dating the wife of Northern Ireland’s First Minister? Young Kirk McCambley told Mrs. Robinson (yep, that’s her name!) he had testicular cancer to end the affair.
In honor of Ireland’s sex scandal, The Globe And Mail‘s Dave McGinn susses out what lies might be okay to tell when breaking up. And when Ireland calls, BG answers:
“A white lie that is okay to tell is one where what you are really doing is trying to preserve the other person’s feelings. A whopper is where you’re just trying to not even deal with this at all. You’re trying to save yourself,” says Lynn Harris, co-founder of the relationship advice website BreakupGirl.net.
Read the article here and tell us your own breakup whoppers!
August 6, 2009
“Trying to impress that hottie at the bar? Money talks. Hand out your number on the back of one of our fake ATM receipts. They’re a players [sic] dream come true.”
Where to begin (other than with a warning against the risks of fake-identity theft)?
Let me just say this, and not for the first time: You know how people hesitate to meet people online, for fear that they’ll, you know, lie? And how I always say hey, people lie in bars?
One more thing: if there’s not a romantic comedy about a guy who uses one of these on a girl who (inexplicably) turns out to like him and then he has to maintain the lie through all sorts of highjinks that make him look like he’s rich, which totally works until it doesn’t and then she hates him but then comes back, and he learns something about life, love, and himself, then I have $782,012 in my bank account. Hey, wait.
February 21, 2008
That guy you’re chatting up online? He could be … that other guy. This just in from the Wall Street Journal:
“Among the 125 million people in the U.S. who visit online dating and social-networking sites are a growing number of dullards who steal personal profiles, life philosophies, evensignature poems. ‘Dude u like copied my whole myspace,’ posts one aggrieved victim. Copycats use the real-life wit of others to create cut-and-paste personas, hoping to land dates or just look clever. Hugh Gallagher, a 36-year-old writer in New York, is one of the copied. Match.com has more than 50 profiles with parts of Mr. Gallagher’s college entrance essay, which he penned nearly two decades ago and later appeared in Harper’s Magazine. ‘I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees’ and ‘I write award-winning operas’ are among Mr. Gallagher’s most popular lines.”
Read the whole piece for some entertaining anecdotes about people getting royally busted — dude, if you say you write award-winning operas, your date is going to ask about them! — or, on an upside, overhauling their profiles after seeing them cut and pasted onto someone else’s page (!) … and realizing they didn’t like what they’d said in the first place.
Yeah, it’s amusing, and there’s even a happy ending. And if it’s a phenomenon, it’s a phenomenon; report away. But still. BG remains weary of the seemingly endless out-churning of “Gotcha!” articles about online dating that, intentionally or not, perpetuate the misapprehension that the people you find on the Internet are probably lying, that they are NOT WHO THEY SAY THEY ARE. (Why, we revisited that chestnut just this week, in a letter from 1997.)