November 16, 2012
Mr. Perfect’s coming home on November 23, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl
Found your site when I had just broken up with a guy I dated for 7 years and it gave me some good laughs along with some good advice, so thank you…
Now I’ve gotten myself into this really weird situation and I’m not quite sure how to get out of it…or if I want to get out of it. After this breakup, I was feeling pretty down in general amd wound up taking comfort in the arms of this incredible guy…we had a little bit of a summer fling…which was actually great, my self esteem got a boost (this boy is beautiful) and I had a great time…then he went back to school (he’s 22, has one semester left at an almost Ivy League school, will be done in December and back in town, I’m 24, working in a big city, real life kinda crap).
Here’s the kicker — I’ve known Mr. Perfect for about 10 years…he happens to be my best friend’s little brother…and we chose not to let my friend in on this little fling because we weren’t sure how she’d react…in fact, our parents are friends with each other, and they have no idea either.
So we had this summer fling, that even had a little snag in it when I went up to visit my friend at their family’s summer house and the three of us spent the entire weekend together and we continued to hide the whole thing…well, we just stayed away from each other…then when we got back, we decided we shouldn’t continue the fling because it was too weird (he’s almost like MY little brother –we used to beat each other up…it was weird for him to look at his sister and difficult for me to look his mother in the eye, considering what I was thinking about her son…).
Well, that lasted about a week, until we went out to lunch and scrapped the idea of staying away from each other…it’s just too much fun…that was in August.
September 19, 2011
Whether or not it’s September 21 yet or not, Fall is definitely upon us. Labor Day, Entertainment Weekly’s Fall Movie Preview issue, and the premiere of Ringer are all signs that it’s time to discuss the dramas that many of you are facing. They will generally come in two varieties:
(1) Hot summer flingamagigs: can/should they weather the autmnal chill? Bottom line: let’s say you were temporarily unable to have “sexual relations” (as defined in Breakup Girl Superior Court as “you know exactly what I mean” ); would you have anything to talk about? If not, well, you do need to talk.
(2) Love U.: should high school sweethearts give it the new college try? Breakup Girl is not saying that all couples who are about to have campuses come between them should automatically give/break up. But here’s a little higher education for you. Do not underestimate how much being in college consumes you. It is not just having your same life in a different place, only with fewer parents and more people in the bathroom. It is having a different life in a different place, with fewer parents and more people in the bathroom. No matter how pure and devoted your intentions, it will be really hard to toggle between your lives new and old — especially if you are having an excellent time. And even if you’re having trouble adjusting — which, actually, most people do in some way — pleeeeeease promise me you’ll focus on how to improve your lot at school, not on how to cling harder to the person at the heart of your homesickness. Oh, and about the “we’ll ‘see other people’ at school but still be ‘together’ when we’re home” thing. Here’s Breakup Girl at her most blunt: Nope. Doesn’t work. Which, I know, is not going to stop most of you from trying it, “just to see.” I understand; I won’t be mad. And I will try to refrain from making an I-told-you-so link back to this column when you write to me at Thanksgiving.
Okay, that should serve as an introduction, if not a deterrent. I’ll finesse and elaborate in my responses this week to the letters you’re writing me about why your situation is “different.”
June 8, 2011
Coming clean on July 6, 1998...
Dear Breakup Girl,
I have a boyfriend in Japan, and I live in Seattle. We have decided to stay together for the summer and we aren’t supposed to be seeing other people. I, however, have met someone and I don’t know if I should tell my boyfriend or not. It’s just a summer thing and I still love my boyfriend very much. It’s just hard to go from being with someone everyday and then not seeing them for three months. If I told him, I know he would be very upset and would most likely break up with me. What should I do?
If you break up with Summer Thing now, like before you even finish reading this letter, then you don’t have to tell your boyfriend. If you let it go until just before Japan Air flight #123 hits the ground, you do have to tell him.
Okay, now that you’re back, let me elaborate. (more…)
June 7, 2011
Stuck in the middle on June 29, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Here’s the scenario. “Harry” and “Sally” are longtime friends in uncannily similar lines of work. Harry, who’s oozing unrequited smooches for Sally from every pore, finally busts a move just as Sally leaves for a job abroad for several months. She decides this is plausible, goes along, and they long distance it quite happily for awhile. Then they spend the summer working together, are actually in the same place, and Sally gets the wiggins. They travel through Europe together, on a Eurailpass to emotional hell, and eventually Sally pulls the plug. This being the real world, Harry’s seriously bruised–not the Billy Crystal kind of cutesy angst that ends in a charming speech that woos her back. Rather, they avoid each other for the better part of the year, then slowly start becoming friends again. But Harry, underneath the bruises, still oozes. (Vile, I know, but you know what I mean.) He’s a man of infinite braveness, so he starts blurring the ol’ friendship lines. Sally’s not sure what to do: she’s spooked about ending up alone, Harry is indisputably a great guy, and on paper it should be perfect. Yet: wiggins, which sometimes lift when she just enjoys hanging out with Harry, or sometimes return when she gets critical for him or starry-eyed for some perfect Mr. Right who’ll make her melt. Sally’s now out of town for the summer, there’s still no resolution, and Harry’s still twisting in the wind. AND…I’m the one whom Sally calls for a shoulder to be confused on. What do you think she should do, and how, as a friend, might I effectively help guide her in that direction?
BG gives advice to the advice-giver after the jump!
June 6, 2011
Falling backward on June 29, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
My boyfriend and I broke up about three months ago, his choice, not mine. After the obligatory period of avoiding each other (while he hooked up with somebody else and I pined away for him), we’re finally becoming friends again. Now, he and and his new girlfriend are having problems, and he’s turning to me to both advise and comfort him with that and other issues. I consider myself mostly over him, but I know that it would take very little from him for me to fall head over heels–again. I know that some part of me is hoping that his aim is to hook up with me again, but I also know I’m only causing myself future trouble by allowing that thought at all. But the way he’s acting around me does seem to indicate some kind of more-than-friends interest. To complicate things further, we’re both going off to college in the fall. So do I allow myself to have dreams of a summer fling (the current girlfriend won’t be around much longer), or do I firmly squash them? It’s unlikely that I’ll find someone else this summer, so it’s not like I’d be putting my life on hold for him. What do I do?
— Wary and Wondering
No way should should he be turning to you for advice on your successor. Taaaa-cky, no fair. Forget the fix; you need to chill with your real friends before you go away. I am thus going to echo you and use a word that summer’s zealous overplanters and their neighbors usually wind up with way too much of:
June 3, 2011
Put out of her misery on June 29, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I’m SO in love with this guy at my school. We have a REALLY small school, so everybody knows everybody else, and their business too. This means that “my guy” knows I like him. He used to flirt quite a bit with me. Then my friends told him I liked him. They told me that they told him. Then, one day out of the blue, he told some of my friends that he doesn’t like it when I flirt with him, and that he doesn’t like me “in that way.” They told me for one reason, and one reason only, so I wouldn’t get more hurt in the long run. My friends are very sensitive and caring, so I KNOW they’re not lying. I’m still hurt by this. Every once in a while he’ll talk to me, but not very often. Now that summer is approaching, and both him and I live on farms, we’ll NEVER see each other. I’ve had loads of guys ask me out before, it’s just that I only like one guy, and I CAN’T HAVE HIM!! How can I go about getting him to like me?? How can I get him to ask me out?? PLEASE HELP ME!!
— Hurt and Confused Chick
BG’s advice after the jump
Coming home on June 22, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I dated this guy for a year and a half, and for months he has not been speaking to me, I finally blew him off in a letter (no other way when I’m at school, he’s never home, and of course won’t call me back), saying that I never wanted to hear from him again, not that I ever thought I would. Well, someone had to cut the cord.
All well and good, right? Well, it’s summer, and I’m dreading coming home (I’m going to summer school here partly to avoid him — but I’ll be home half the summer anyway) because I know I’ll run into him (we live in one of those towns where you run into everyone eventually). My mother just told me that she’d run into him a few days ago (he looked embarrassed — he should).
June 2, 2011
Hopelessly devoted on June 15, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Well, I have been reading your column regularly for a few months (since January, actually) when my boyfriend of one year and I broke up. It was good as far as breakups go… well, I guess, it was my first real relationship (I am now seventeen, he eighteen). We had a wonderful relationship, he was never less than all I could hope for in a sweetheart, first love, and best friend, we loved each other truly, and he never gave me a moment’s anxiety about my decision to not have sex until marriage, in fact that was one of his favorite things about me. It ended on good terms and mutually when we decided that it was not necessary to be so serious at this age, (we both imagined marrying each other, and still do) and we wanted to give ourselves and each other more space and freedom. I’ve written two letters to you since all this, since it has been a rather up-and-down past few months in the love/guy department! (more…)
Another reader response from June 15, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I’ve just got a quick comment on your advice to Sheri (the 42-year-old with 2 kids). You told her to be up front with her 34-year-old potential squeeze/summer fling, and suggested that any guy who is scared off by kids isn’t worth it [Note from Breakup Girl: Whoa! That’s totally not what I said. BG is not in the biz of that kind of flip character call. My actual point: some guys (and gals!) are — legitimately — reluctant to get into a pre-fab family when they’d like to fab one of their own from scratch. And also for the reasons that Jo so eloquently describes below. In some cases, this may mean that — even all other things being lovely — a potential couple may be, practically speaking, incompatible. That’s all.] I just wanted to add something.
It looks like Sheri wants a nice, relaxing, “just for Mom” relationship; she’s not thinking tickets for four to the Spice Girls with hotdogs to follow, she’s thinking candlelit dinners and a suite at the Ritz. It seems to me that she needs to a) let the guy know that she’s got kids, and b) (once she’s sure this guy is going past date #4 or so) let the kids know that she’s got him, but c) let everyone know that the relationship is for fun, not fatherhood. She won’t have to hermetically seal the kids off from the relationship, but she can keep their evenings out for the nights when Dad/her mother/her best friend has the kids. Then, if their relationship lasts past Labor Day, the two of them will have a good relationship, which will help when he gets to know the kids.
June 1, 2011
Next Page »
The opposite, from June 15, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Love you, love your column! THE love of my life destroyed me last summer and I still haven’t gotten over him. I have dated a whole bunch of men, tried to keep busy etc….but can’t stop feeling that I have lost the best thing I ever had. I just keep thinking I don’t want him to be happy because I am not. I thought I was doing well for a long time but lately it has all come back to me. Help me! I want my ex out of my head.
— Hopeful to Heal
You did lose the best thing you ever had. Until that point. And at this point, it’s all coming back to you because, well, you still know what you did last summer. I mean, really, the teeniest things — the whiff of a scent, the note of a song — remind us of loves and losses; how ’bout when that reminder is … the sun ?! And so, even at this time of increased slothitude, you’ve got to do more than “keep busy.” You’ve gone past the statute of limitations for “distractions.” You are still just treading water, gulping brine into your empty heart and lungs. You said it yourself: you do not want him to be happy because you are not happy. This is the problem: not getting over him, but changing what’s around you. What will make you happy (no fair saying “him”)? Grad school, a road trip, new curtains? Figure it out. For real. And at the risk of sounding glib, DO THAT.