Here’s my story… I was supposed to have been married to my long time girlfriend, companion, lover and best friend of many years this past fall. I screwed up incredibly in early 1998 by telling her I wasn’t sure of our plans. I moved out of our apartment and away for a few months. We kept in touch during this time and I have been extremely regretful of my decision and I am asking her to let me back into her life.
I proposed to her a month ago but she said she needs time to sort things out. She is the love of my life. I want to move forward and make things right. I think she does as well but the pain and lack of trust in me is still there. I want to hold on to this dream of us being together forever.
What should I do?
— Bumming in the Bay
Ask her (a) what she needs you to do in order to help restore trust, and (b) exactly how much “time” she needs. Then do (a), and hold her to (b).
I’m 28, I’ve been dating a guy for about three weeks, we’ve gone out 5-6 times, and I enjoy going out with him. But, hmmmmm…. I don’t feel any great overwhelming, surrender to me romantic attraction at this point. I thought I did initially, but even at the time I think I knew it was Affection Deprivation Syndrome (I hadn’t had any male-based attention in about 5 months after a pretty painless breakup). The problem is, I have always been a slow burner as far as men are concerned. I go along thinking so and so is a good midnight breakfast buddy and then one day I’m making my apartment lemony-fresh and thinking of something he said and laughing or out with a group of people and wishing I was with him and I can’t get him or the way he makes me feel out of my head. So I don’t know. I feel like this has the potential to turn into that, but I can never tell (time frame on these feelings is usually 4 – 6 months). The thing is, how do I tell him I don’t feel it now, but I might feel it in a little while, but I can’t be sure? Is this impossible? Is this leading him on? From what I know of him so far, he’s got his heart on his sleeve 24-7, so the friend thing would be really hard for him to handle, even though I would work on that level. And I would never string him along as a backup man (I know how bad that feels from past experience). So what can I do?
I have a friend who wants to break up with her boyfriend. Unfortunately, he got laid off the day she wanted to “do the deed.” She (politely) opted not to tell him and has continued to go on with the relationship until she can find a more “suitable” time to let him go. My question is, what’s the holdover time on breaking up after a lay-off?
When Breakup Girl was 13, Breakup Mom had a routine checkup with a doctor who, it turned out, wasn’t quite convinced that she was getting enough rest or taking kind enough care of Numero Uno. Mom dismissed the concern, saying, “Well, I’m sure it’s just because my daughter’s bat mitzvah is coming up.” The doctor raised an eybrow. “Mrs. Breakup,” he said wisely, “there’s always a bat mitzvah.”
Meaning what? That there’s always some intervening concern, some source of angst that can conveniently explain away why we haven’t quite joined the gym or spent more quality time with our families or … gone through with a breakup. So. Your friend (“friend?”) was right to spare him the brush-off the very day of the lay-off, but really only a few days after that would be sufficient. Don’t let her let the lay-off become an excuse, a stalling chip.
One thing singles tell me a lot is that they enjoy singlehood, they really do — and that they would enjoy it even more if they knew, for super-sure guarantee, that it also had an end date. Well, one new movie — starring BG imaginary BFF Emma Caulfield as a gal named Oona — uses machine-as-metaphor to make that fantasy real. It’s TiMER, in which women and men may choose to be implanted with a device that counts down the days, minutes, and seconds until they meet The One. But Oona’s timer is blank. So what will she do? Like the rest of us in the real world, will she have to just “just know”?
From the trailer, TiMER looks like a sweet sci-fi wrapped in a chick-flick tied with a careful-what-you-wish-for bow. And since what we’ve been wishing for is the return of Emma Caulfield, we’re not gonna be careful at all. (Now if we could just know for sure when — or if — it’ll go into wide release.)
Dear Breakup Girl,
Is it best to break up with her when you know it won’t last, just to end it on good terms?
It’s best to break up with her when you know it won’t last, period. Breakup Girl does not endorse impulsive breakups — hasty, nasty little spasms attributable to moon phases, mood swings, mood rings, and such (as in “I hate the way s/he blinks. It’s over”). Breakup Girl does, however, encourage swift — yet sensible, sensitive — action on breakups waiting (if not begging) to happen, especially if someone might be leading someone on. Still, even a timely jilt does not automatically produce “good terms” — at least not necessarily right away. But you’re on the right track.