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October 4, 1999   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

I'm 25 and just finished my master's degree. During both my undergrad and masters, I worked full time and had neither the interest nor the time to devote to love relationships; my friends were enough for me. I was also about 40 lbs. overweight, which definitely weighed as heavily on my self-esteem as it did on my body.

Now, I've finished school, moved to a new, large city, and lost the extra weight...kind of an ugly duckling turned swan. The problem is, I've always seemed to fall for the WRONG GUYS. Lately, I've been doing some self-analysis and have seen that I typically fall for guys whom I KNOW will not reciprocate my affections or those who are only interested in me physically. The nice ones really don't do that much for me.

I'm sure this goes into my fear of rejection...etc., etc. However, early this year, I began working in the US Congress and have managed to attract the affections of another Congressional staffer; we'll call him Willy. This was a completely new scenario for me. This was a guy who was sincerely interested in me.

Let me begin by saying that I don't think Willy counted as a "coworker" because he worked in a completely different office and we had absolutely no professional link, except for the fact that we worked in the same building.

A few weeks after I began working there, Willy began querying my coworkers, one in particular (we'll call her Hilda) about me. He asked about me for months, BG. Everytime he saw me in the halls, he would smile and say, "Hi," but it never went beyond that.

Then, after a couple of months, he got up the nerve to actually talk, and from then on, he would wander into my office for little brief chats. This is NOT typical behavior for a person in his position. After I had worked on the Hill for about 5 months, I left for another position. The week I was leaving, Willy asked me out for the first time. Our first date was my last day on the job, and it was the best first date I have ever had. He was a complete gentleman and treated me like a queen. We got along together sooooo well. We both have crazy, sarcastic, and silly personalities; we clicked.

Beginning with the first date, he was very forward with his emotions and affections, and he wasn't trying to get me into bed; I wanted to, but he wanted to wait. He told me constantly how much he liked me and how he had told his mother and all his friends about me. He told me he loved me. For the next few weeks, he was very attentive (Congress was in recess and he had a bit of time on his hands). However (you knew there was going to be a "However"), he stopped calling as frequently, and we stopped going out.

Now, normally, not calling and not asking a girl out would indicate lack of interest. I may not have dated much in college, but I can read signals. So I called him to make it official, and so we are officially NOT seeing each other anymore.

However, I have had to be on the Hill for work recently and have run into him. On the most recent occasion, he pulled me into his boss' office and told me how much he loves me and wants us to start again. But here is the problem: he says these sorts of things EVERY time he sees me. And BG, let me tell you, it HURTS. I've dated quite a few guys (and a couple for a month or longer) since I moved here, and he is the first I've really fallen for. The problem is, he doesn't follow through. He talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk. And now, EVERY time he sees me, he professes his love and says he will call BUT DOESN'T. I don't know what to do, BG.

Having to see him and listen to him make empty promises makes me so sad. What should I do? Am I just a glutton for punishment?

The sad part of this is that I truly believe that he has feelings for me, but that he won't let himself get involved because of fear of getting hurt again. He's been engaged and his fiancee cheated on him multiple times.

BG, I really want to call him and tell him that he is a jerk and a horrible person for toying with my emotions this way and that I have completely lost respect for him. But I do not want to appear petty. I'm emotionally worn out by this situation and want closure. How should I handle this, BG?

-- Swan

Dear Swan,

WHEREAS, his behavior was actually a little weird from the beginning, the delightful parts notwithstanding,

AND WHEREAS, it totally hurts you to interact with him and have him fail to interact back, over and over,

AND WHEREAS, it is beneath you to yell at him,

BE IT RESOLVED that closure -- articulated kindly but firmly in an "I'm terribly sorry, but it's actually OVERover" brief email or conversation -- is up to you.

Breakup Girl



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