December 12, 2012
Passing the time on November 30, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I sure wish there’d been someone like you around when I was young! Can you help me now? I realize my problem may not make interesting reading, but please take pity on me and give me your advice! I am 45 and I just can’t stand the dating market. I am very attractive, have no kids and I’m lots of fun. Men RUN AWAY from me. I have the TEMERITY to want a man my own age in similar good shape…can you imagine?? I guess it’s another one of those damn double standards, because the old guys adore me and I can’t stand them. My question: do you know of a chat room or support group for women who have given up on relationships?? I will probably live another 40 years if I don’t get hit by a bus and I’m wondering what to do with myself. I would imagine other women have been faced with problem of passing the time in intelligent pursuits, sans partner.
Keep up the good work, chicky!
For the chats, maybe try ivillage (you can even suggest your own topic). But stick around here long enough for — speaking of temerity — my very bold statement. The “older guys” adore you because you’re …feisty! The men your own age flee you because you’re … scary! If you approach “the market” with the same “Poor me, I’m not worth it … hey, screw you for not liking me, loser!!! … aw, f*ck this whole thing!!!!” attitude … well, there you go. I’m not saying, “Hey, Kath, just try and be PERKIER, okay, hon?” And I’m sure that you are “lots of fun” in real life; I will allow for the fact that yes, breakupgirl.net is where you don’t have to put on Date Face. But try this gearshift: you’re the bus, Katherine. Slow down. Put the brakes on those foregone conclusions. Let the sarcasm idle. Don’t dare people to like you; trust that they will. It’s different.You will not explode. And they will not dive out of your way.
September 8, 2011
Feeling left out August 10, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
My husband Dylan and I have been married for about a year and a half, and so far it’s been great…except when his friend Alex comes to visit. Alex lives out of town, and will occasionally spend a couple of days with us. I like Alex, and we get along fine; the problem is that when he’s here, Dylan tends to completely ignore me. The two will spend the WHOLE TIME playing video games, or watching TV shows I don’t like. Dylan will barely talk to me. Now, I can understand his wanting to do a little male bonding; I like to hang out with only my women friends sometimes. But I start to feel, well, darned lonely after a whole weekend of this. Even though our hobbies don’t completely coincide, Dylan and I are usually very interested in what the other is doing (he comes to my hockey games, I go to his wrestling matches, etc.), and it seems like he doesn’t even care what I do when Alex is here. I’ve tried suggesting things that the three of us would enjoy doing together, but no soap. I’ve been a tad reluctant to talk to Dylan about this, because I kind of feel like I’m being selfish and possessive (“You’re MY husband, and you have to spend ALL your time with ME!”). Do you have any ideas on how I could deal with this?
Um, it actually kind of does sound like you’re being selfish and possessive. Unless there’s something you’re not telling me, you guys have (a) a good time together except for a weekend here and there, and (b) hobbies you enjoy on your own. Next time, grab your hockey bag, wave jauntily, and tell them you’ll see them when you see them.
August 24, 2011
Dear Breakup Girl,
Is it true? Do guys inherently need to behave like imbeciles from time to time? I have been dating a guy for a month now; he’s 38, I am 25. The age difference is not the problem; he frequently attests to the fact that emotionally I am still light years ahead of him and, sadly, this is true. Regardless, we met through a mutual friend and have been dating steadily since. Daily phone calls, a few lunches and at least two movie/dinners a week plus weekends doing outdoorsy things together. Early dating bliss.
This weekend, however, he bought a new motorized water toy of some sort and took off with “the boys” for the weekend to test it out EVEN THOUGH he said he would call me and we would go out Saturday night. As I type, it is Sunday evening and I have not heard WORD ONE from him; he’d better hope he is lying in the hospital with a broken something or other or I am going to break it for him when I do hear from him.
Why on earth do they do this? I thought I was out of the red zone by dating a guy who was going through fraternity rush when I was in kindergarten, but apparently the problem is endemic and some men are simply resigned to the fact that they must take off from time to time like a pack of dogs chasing after cars they have no intention of driving.
— The Real McBeal
Eeaaaaasy, Ally. If he said he would call, then yeah, he probably should have called. BUT. Assuming he and his buds are not out there lipsynching to The Go-Go’s “Vacation” video, it is no more GUY behavior to take a weekend at sea with the boys than it is GIRL behavior to get all huffy about it. And to thus rush to judgment about men as a gender. And I do mean rush: it’s been a month. No time for his behavior to become a pattern. Or yours. Don’t let it.
This advice was originally published on August 3, 1998…
August 5, 2011
Trying to upgrade on July 27, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Thanks for being “all that” in the area of compassion, insight, humor, maturity and fun!
This question may be a little risque even for BG but i’m going to give it a shot because I got myself into one heck of a pickle and I need superhero insight right about now. Pleeese!
I met a guy one day who agreed to give me a ride home from work (my first day on the job) and he did. Now mind you, I at the time was just a few short months out of a 6 year marriage from hell and felt that I owed myself a little vacation from real life) and after a little conversation (very little) he and I eased quickly onto the topic of sex and went so far as to actually do it. No you didn’t miss anything, I had actually just met the guy (please don’t tell Breakup Mom. It’s was something had I been in a clearer, stronger more “myself” frame of mind I would never, ever have done), and BG it was so good that…well let’s just say I had no transportation problems for about a year after that. We started spending regular time together like at his place watching t.v. and me or him fixing us sandwiches and just normal things like that but other than a little conversation here and there about the ozone layer or something we didn’t really talk much and get to know each other. The whole time we were doing this I was realizing that if I had let nature takes its course with us in a normal working together situation that he and I could have had a very special platonic friendship.
A few months ago he broke it off with me when one of his relatives died (I had the floozie nerve to try to be there for him), a loss that he took incredibly hard and left me feeling like I’d lost: 1) a potentially good platonic friend, 2) the obvious loss of his company and 3) the loss of what “could have been” had I not just thrown it away on a one night stand that went into overtime.
May 16, 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 gets pulled over by Sgt. Frustrated, a female cop who’s having trouble detaining the opposite sex…
I’m middle-aged, divorced, in great shape and look young. I also have a very good job and am squared away financially — all pluses. … So, what’s the problem? My career is in law enforcement. And more frequently than I like, potential dates back away from that.
Should this officer even bother with gentlemen who are intimidated by her? Is there something she could be doing differently? Read the full letter and Lynn’s advice at Happen, then comment below!
December 1, 2010
Really, New York Times? The Gray Lady is at it again, telling women — in a dippy, unmoored “trend” piece — that you can be successful in work. Or love. Not both. See, because successful women scare the men away. That’s the price we pay, ladies, for liberation. “Is female empowerment killing romance?” asks the article, in a sentence so backlashtastic it’s not easy to cut and paste on a full stomach. I don’t know, I thought when female empowerment brought us the freedom to date and marry for love, not to mention use the Pill (speaking of which, must read this), that was kind of romantic. There’s so much else to eviscerate in this piece that I’m not even sure where to start, other than to say that when I opened the page and started reading, I literally had to scroll back up to the top to see if someone had accidentally sent me a link from 1997. Or 1957. Or — whatever.
Look, I’m sure there are men who are put off by “successful” — “ambitious,” “strong” etc. — women. I’m sure there have always been men like that. Even since before women were “liberated.” So, um, maybe that’s their problem? And even, even to the degree that men, en masse, are scared by female success, again: THEIR PROBLEM. Why is always women who have to dial it down? What’s more, the suggestion that so many menz are SO SCARED of SCARY SCARY WOMEN is ridonkulously insulting to men, too.
And then there’s this advice, annotated by BG in brackets:
Leave the snazzy company car at home on the first date [because MEN HATE SNAZZY CARS]; find your life partner in your 20s, rather than your 30s, before you’ve become too successful [show of hands: who in her 30s wishes they’d married that guy from their 20s?] [also, by the logic herein, that guy from your 20s will dump you when you become “too successful”]. And go after men who draw their confidence from sources other than money, like academics and artists [avoiding people who draw their confidence from money is sound advice for anyone; however — oh, for God’s sake, this is just silly].
The article does showcase some excellent boyfriends (who appear to be European. COINCIDENCE?!). See:
Ms. Kiechel in Paris says her boyfriend actively encourages her career and brags to friends how intelligent and hard-working she is. Ms. Haag and Ms. Domscheit-Berg both earn more than their husbands and report that their men actually enjoy watching the waiter’s reaction when they say their wife will pick up the tab.
That’s great and all, but it’s kind of like saying “How nice that your husband HELPS OUT with the baby!” The above attitudes should be a given, not a plus. And I know they are held by far more men than this article gives credit to. The day we’ve really achieved — or at least driven our snazzy cars closer to — liberation is the day we start to see articles telling the fellas that if they’re scared of successful women, they’re just gonna have to man up.
November 11, 2010
July 30, 2010
A classy trip on April 6, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I was riding on the bus with this guy back from a school trip to DC. He sat with me, we held hands, and he tried to go up my shirt. His friends sat behind us and were talking about what we were doing and they were teasing him after the restroom break. Now I’m afraid that he’ll betray me and that my whole reputation will go down the drain as a whore. Why do the guys always blame the girls?
DC is a really, really good place to ask that question.
PS. But seriously, here’s your civics assignment: read my rant about double standards. You’re right: it is totally no fair that his going up your shirt should (if it did) affect anyone’s “reputation,” let alone just one of yours. Listen, sweetie, try your best to stay above it all. And to have guys’ hands stay above your shirt in public places. It’s not your fault. I’m just saying.
July 14, 2010
It’s sort of a “spa day” in hell: a new store in a Chinese mall where women — only women — can go to vent their rage by literally picking up a bat and breaking sh*t. Apparently their frustrations are mainly job[lessness] and economy-related, but of course we can imagine (though perhaps not support) the grand opening of their sister store, Break Your Ex’s Sh*t. I do have some questions, though:
1. Where are the men, going, then? (Naive, probably: I’m guessing that women have fewer societally-sanctioned alternatives for letting all hella loose.)
2. Do we have such places here? According to the comments at Jezebel (h/t for the story), the answer is yes.
3. If you were to open such a place of business, what would you stock it with and why?
June 11, 2010
Next Page »
A study at Wake Forest University of more than 1000 unmarried young adults ages 18-23 has found that the emotional roller coaster of romance has an even greater effect on the mental health of men than of women. “Surprisingly, we found young men are more reactive to the quality of ongoing relationships,” said sociology prof Robin Simon, who found that men experience both greater stress when things are rocky and greater “emotional benefits” when things are rocking.
“Surprising?” Maybe, but only against strong, silent stereotype. For one thing (as Simon notes), men are more likely to rely on their galpals as their primary source of intimacy; gals, meanwhile, have their own galpals.
Simon also notes that (paraphrase) “strain in a current romantic relationship may also be associated with poor emotional well-being because it threatens young men’s identity and feelings of self-worth.” While men are more affected by the quality of an existing relationship, women are more affected by whether they’re in a relationship or not. From a summary: “So, young women are more likely to experience depression when the relationship ends or benefit more by simply being in a relationship.”
What this says to BG:
1. These results jibe with the letters we get/got.
2. Chicken vs. egg/nature vs. nurture? These results might do away with some stereotypes, but to what degree are the findings caused by stereotypes — or at least cultural assumptions, proclivities, etc. — to begin with? That is:
(a) women are “supposed” to be the emotional CEOs of relationships; are young men not raised with the same tools to manage them?
(b) Women, arguably more than men, get the message that they’re “supposed” to be in a relationship, no matter what; this, at least as much as internal factors, could explain why the study found breakups leaving women more bereft. (This also explains a lot of this.)
All of the above speaks to BG’s emphatically co-ed mission. Even though men represent 5o% of the partners in straight relationships, romance is — still — usually considered WomensStuff ™. That’s dumb. Men — obviously — have questions, not to mention feelings. Let’s work all this stuff out together, according to what we need, not what we’re “supposed” to want or have. K?