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June 29, 1998   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

I've been in a state of depression for the past year. It has been just over a year since my girlfriend walked out on me in a restaurant, never to be seen again. I found lots of your advice helpful; and I even couldn't resist sending your "Wish You Were Here" card.

I was very much in love, and then nothing. I thought of marrying her, and looked forward to having children. I guess I'm better off in the long run, but as you know, it still hurts.

Around Christmas last year, she sent me a letter telling me how wonderful I am. I took this as a sign that she might want to get back together, but she just responded that no, that wasn't her intention, she just wanted to "wish me the best" and "by the way, I've met this really nice guy."

I'm very hurt, sad, and angry. I know I should move on, but it scares me so. When you give someone your heart and soul, and they reject it after a 2+ year relationship, one hesitates to get involved again. I'll visit your pages for more inspiration from time to time. You've made me feel a bit better, but there's still a long way to go to regain my self-esteem. Thanks for listening.

-- Michael

Dear Michael,

Wow, of course you were, so to speak, left with the bill. You didn't have any satisfying Last Fight, any purging Stuff Exchange, any other traditional or typical built-in means of post-breakup closure. The postcard, while small and virtual, may actually have helped.

And if it makes you feel any better, I'm gonna use a piece of your letter to make a suggestion to dump-ers everywhere: think twice before sending that You're So Great letter. It feels and appears sincere, and often is, but part of it may come from a selfish place -- it's sort of a way of trying to get Good Person points, or trying to squeeze the last drops of Guilty Conscience out of your hair. You should know that the recipient's standard response is, "Thanks a freaking lot." And more often than not -- as you see for Michael's letter -- it winds up messing with the dump-er's mind.

Then again Michael, I'm sure you are wonderful. And it's been a year. It's okay to feel wary about getting involved again, but don't, like, wait until your self-esteem is back at 110%. Sometimes letting someone new like you helps. And get back out there this summer: outdoor activities and blockbuster movies make it easier to avoid restaurants.

Breakup Girl



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