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August 4

He’s the death of the party

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:13 am

The Predicament of the Week from July 27, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I am a 20-year-old college student slated to live next year in the same campus housing as my current (21-year-old) boyfriend. “Mark” and I have been going out for 11 months, in what is my first serious relationship and his first relationship, period. I love him and know that he loves me dearly, but lately he’s been breaking my heart. Mark told me when I met him that he was a loner with a dark disposition and antisocial tendencies. Among his first words to me were, “I don’t have fun.” I started dating him anyway, and was pleasantly surprised when he turned out to be a funny, gentle, loving individual who shares several of my most important values. Neither one of us wants to have children, because we feel that passing on our genes would be a form of child abuse (sure, they’re great in adults, but kids like us get hell in school). We also take a strong stand against premarital sex, a position that most of our friends and acquaintances do not share, and something that we both worry about in regards to possible future partners. We both love nature, eating cheesecake, and good drama of any sort, and are addicted to computer games. We have younger siblings who we alternately despise and tolerate, and parents who we have tried not to emulate (completely, anyway) while growing up.

Other personality points proved problematic. He is easily depressed, looks for things to go wrong before they actually do, and has a tendency to put me in damned- if-you-do-and-damned-if-you-don’t situations, where he won’t let me change my mind to avoid p*ssing him off with a decision I was going to make. But what is really giving me fits now is his absolute refusal to participate in anything social. We recently went to a banquet-type social function that I thought he wanted to attend. Mark spent the hours before the banquet agonizing about whether to go at all, which was partly the fault of a mutual friend who had invited a guest who we all knew would cause problems. Mark didn’t want to be around either of them, but since he’d already paid, and since he did want to be around me, he decided to go. Within the first five minutes, he was sulking in the corner because someone had cut in front of him in line to sign a guestbook that he really didn’t want to sign anyway. It took me ten minutes to persuade him to go inside and say hello to the friends that hadn’t p*ssed him off yet. He had chosen to stake out a seat at an empty table, which had since been filled by guests of the head honchos running the banquet, and when I said I’d be sitting at the table with the rest of our friends, he ran out the door. He came back when we started getting food and asked if he could sit at that table, and I moved some chairs for him to sit by me. Problem solved? Nope. Partway through dinner, something I said made him run out the door again. By then I was fed up and let him go. He came back after a long slide-show presentation and told me he was going home. I was almost too mad, both at him for ruining what was supposed to be an enjoyable evening with friends–for all of us–and at myself for thinking he’d be able to have fun there, to tell him good-night.



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