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 4, 2011
A non-romantic obsession from June 15, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I am lucky enough to have a wonderful, sweet, and generous man in my life. We have been together for two years and, being in our early 30s, a potential for marriage is on both our minds. The problem is that he has obsessive-compulsive disorder, a condition that dictates most of his actions. When we first met, he was doing all right. He told me about it and I was fine with it, mostly because I hadn’t seen the effects of his condition on his life. In the past six months, he has been spiraling down into the depths of this disorder, and for a time, would not come near me. I can’t begin to tell you how painful it was to be so thoroughly rejected by such a loving person. It got so bad that we did not see each other for a month. When I told him that I wanted to break up, he finally started in a therapy program (including medication). Maybe this is selfish of me, but I am not sure if I can handle this condition in my life. I promised that I would not leave him until he was stable again and we could talk about it. The reality is that his “minor” mental illness is a very difficult thing to deal with and I am not sure that I would want to commit myself to it for the rest of my life. It might help him deal with the condition, but I don’t think that his anxiety will ever go away. I feel so guilty about wanting to leave him and there is a part of me that believes that I’ll never meet anyone as wonderful as he can be again. Is this stupid? Am I wrong?
BG’s response after the jump
March 26, 2008
Questioning loyalty from January 9, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
How can you make your boyfriend stay and love you forever and ever? How can you convey to him the value of loyalty, avid affection and obsession? Answer me! Very important! You can get a reward or even a trophy if you answer these questions.
If Breakup Girl knew that, she’d be out of a job (or rich, or in prison). Seriously, though, I printed your letter because I like your style — but you don’t know how many people have asked me that question with no hint of irony whatsoever.
So listen up, everyone, to this IMPORTANT BREAKUP GIRL MAXIM: You can’t make anyone do anything. Think about it: did your parents ever really make you do anything? Even if they did, did you want to when they did? Was your heart in it? The more they made you eat your rutabagas, the more you hated rutabagas, right?
So, you guys: do not, repeat, DO NOT do the rutabaga thing on your intended. Find someone who — without needing your help — treats you as the fresh and tasty thing that you are!