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November 30

I want him out of my house

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:45 am

livingtogetherThe party’s over on September 7, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I’ve been seeing my boyfriend for the last five years, and we’ve lived together for three. Before we moved in together, my mother and other family members kept objecting because “it wasn’t right” to live with someone before you were married. Of course I answered that their morals didn’t apply to me. Now I wish someone had told me the real reason, which is when you want to get out of the situation, you’re a lot more stuck than if you weren’t sharing the same house.

When we started going out, it was a fling — we both agreed that it was just one night, but kept seeing each other anyway and it sort of grew from there into the best relationship I’ve ever had. He’s one of only two guys I’ve really loved (and I’ve sown enough wild oats to know what I’m talking about); we always seemed to have a truly fantastic relationship — I really thought he was The One.

After he graduated from college (I’m a year older) we broke up for awhile while he moved to the west coast, but he came back after a few months because he decided that our relationship was more important than whatever he was going to do out there and that he was probably just going through a commitment freaking-out phase. Silly me, I thought this was OK and let him move into my new house.



November 29

This week at Happen: Is her hesitation a red flag?

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:56 am

MSN.com, Match.com, HappenMagazine.com: they’re in a healthy and satisfying 3-way relationship. Meaning that you can find MSN/Match.com’s “Ask Lynn” columns –penned by BG’s alter ego — over at Happen now as well.

This week Lynn advises a widower who is Laying a Lot on the Line. He is in the process of moving closer to his long distance love, but starting to feel their relationship change, perhaps because of it.

She says she loves me, but recently, every time we talk I end up calling her and she rarely calls me now. The past few nights I haven’t even received as much a “good night” text message from her.

Is this a hiccup more than a red flag? Should he call off the movers? Read the full letter and Lynn’s answer at Happen, then come back here and comment below!


November 28

More than “a Drawer:” Living Together

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:32 am

livingtogetherAccording to the US Census Bureau, there were 500,000 couples living together in 1970; now there are more than 3.7 million. Slightly more than half of adults in their 20s and 30s have lived with a squeeze. Why such a dramatic rise? Factors may include: economic necessity, relaxation of taboos, increased desire to freak out parents.

But more important than the question of why couples love-shack is this: what happens when they do?

Two recent studies offer some concrete answers.

1. A Penn State study found that cohabiters are less enthusiastic about marriage than those who live with their parents. Now, before you say, “Duh, I’d marry The Grinch to get out of living at home!” allow me to finesse this finding. Point is: living together actually caused couples to get less psyched about getting married. Now, before you say, “Duh, ’cause they realize they’d be marrying the Grinch!”let me further finesse. They don’t get less psyched about each other; they get less psyched about marrying each other — and more psyched about keeping things the way they are.

2. Just last month, a Bowling Green (Ohio) State University study presented to the American Sociological Association found that in some cases, moving in can get you down. Of the couples studied, the measure of “life satisfaction” was highest for married couples and next-highest for couples who lived together two years or less (that is, until marriage or breakup). Whose “life satisfaction” was at rock bottom? Long-term live-ins . Huh. And notably, cohabiting women with kids were significantly more depressed than married mothers. Sociologist Susan Brown surmises that what’s behind these blues is the wear and tear of, if you will, the relationship’s permanent impermanence.

Now that I reread them, I see that putting these studies together in close quarters underscores their trivial differences. Funny, that. But anyway, what we can distill from both of them — and from pretty common credence — is this: living together does not necessarily work as a dress rehearsal for marriage. How come? Well, for one thing, you’ve said “I do” only to the landlord, not to each other; there’s always – in theory –– a relatively easy out (unless you live in Manhattan, where the only way to get a good place is to marry a landlord). It’s NOT the same.

But I’m not telling you not to live together, I’m just telling you not to do it as a dry-run. Do it because you can’t stand to go one minute in the morning without seeing each other. Do it because you’re totally committed to each other and aren’t interested in the institution of marriage. Do it because your housemates have already turned your room into a study, anyway. Okay?

Other than that, BG does not have a particular pro or con position on living together — she prefers to evaluate your lovenests on a place-to-place basis. Just a couple more things to note, though, as you load up the U-Haul of love: (1) your cohabitation will make it approximately 89% more difficult for your friends to find worthwhile wedding presents, and (2) make no mistake: even if you live in the same room, you will still email each other. Oh, and if you’re looking for someone to live with, consider attending the next social at the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners. They sound rather handy.

A version of this column was originally published on September 7, 1998.


November 23

A really hard question!

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:44 am

Undecided on August 31, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

Hey I have one important question. It is a really hard one at that! I have been with this guy Brian for a month now!! I love him a lot but my ex came back!! Me and my ex were best friends for three years and went out for six months!! He treated me really bad while we were going out!! But he came back and says he still loves me and wants me back!! Now I am torn between my first love and my new love! It is really killing me! Please help me!! I love Brian but me and Scott went through a lot! I am afraid I still have feelings for him!! But Brian is so respectful and really cares!! I don’t really know if Scott does!! Please don’t tell me to follow my heart, I need better advice!! THANK YOU!!

— Brooke

Dear Brooke,

Okay, follow your brain.

Breakup Girl

P.S. Hint: reread your letter.
P.P.S. Hint: BRIAN.


November 22

Today my girlfriend got an abortion

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:22 am

Love and loss on August 31, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

Today my girlfriend got an abortion. We had talked about it and both agreed that it was the lesser of two evils, the other being pregnancy. We are both young and I will be going away to college in the fall. I went to the clinic and sat with my g/f in the OR while the procedure was going on. Then on the drive home I began to feel a sense of loss, despair. I thought that I had prepared myself, I was more worried about my g/f’s emotions. But I had forgotten about myself.

I want to be strong but it’s very hard for me especially with the added stress of my leaving and being 2 hours away.

The questions are:

1) How have male partners dealt with abortion in the past?

2) Would I be a bastard to break up with my g/f after she has had time to get over the abortion?

Thank you.

— James

BG’s advice after the jump


November 21

Suspicious Minds

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:32 am

Caught in a trap on August 31, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,


My girl of 15 months went to a conference 5-6 hours drive away. She left Tuesday and was supposed to be back late Thursday night or Friday depending on how much money she had left. We were trying to sort through our problems at the time. Her ex-husband and former “soulmate” lived in the city where she was going. We talked about that. She assured me that it was completely over 4 years ago, and that their only contact would be when she dropped off (on arrival) and picked up (at departure) their 7-year-old child. She also has a 16-year-old from another man. She is in her mid 30’s.

Wednesday night she had already checked out of the hotel where the conference was at, and where she was supposed to be staying, when I called her. The hotel said she checked out at noon. I had last talked to her at 2 or 3 PM. She did not tell me that she had checked out. She did not come home Wednesday night. Thursday she called and left me a message, in reply to my worried queries to the conference coordinator, saying that she had checked into this other hotel Wednesday night. Her message also said that she loves me. She did not try to reach me at home later or set a time to chat. She did not come home Thursday night. I left her messages.



November 18

Fun for all ages

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:46 am

Straight to the point on August 31, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I am seeing a guy who is older than me. He can go to bars and clubs and I can’t. Do you have any ideas on good dates that he would enjoy?

— PA Girl

Dear PA,

Yeah, I got a million (sports games, sports activities, going to movies, renting movies, eating out, baking cookies, etc.).

Does he?

Just making sure that when it comes to fun, you’re not doing all the work.

Breakup Girl


November 17

Married without children

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:49 am

Lacking mom genes on August 31, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I’m stuck so I thought I’d write…I’ve been with the same guy (my first love) for 13 years and married for ten of them. I’m 30, he’s 37 and we met when I was 17. He’s considerate, kind, caring, funny, intelligent, a hard worker and throughout the whole period we’ve been together we’ve rarely argued. He’s my best friend, a wonderful lover and my family think he’s great.

Unfortunately though, there’s a problem…He comes from a *large* family and has often mentioned the idea of having kids. I, however, have never had a maternal streak, have a successful career and a huge desire to travel extensively. I NEVER misled him about this…..I always made it perfectly clear right from the start that I wasn’t “motherly” and at the very least couldn’t begin to contemplate starting a family without having travelled and achieved what I wanted to do in life first. Things have become increasingly rutlike over the past year and it’s reached a point of stalemate. He’s not content with the childless life and won’t travel because he wants kids, and I don’t want family (if at all) until I’ve done everything I want to do in life and in my career. He’s mentioned that he thought I would change as I grew older but I haven’t (at least not in the way he would have preferred.)



November 16

Getting the message

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:23 am

Un-mixed signals on August 31, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

How do you get a guy to catch on that you like him? I”ve emailed him, called him, been to his house, even told his best friend, and what other people seem to think is that he likes me too. I understand that he just ended a sort-of relationship a week or two ago and that he says he doesn’t want a long relationship because he can’t stand people for that long, and I agree. I’d just like to try something to see what develops. I don’t know what more I can do besides walking up to him and outright telling him, but I’m still unsure whether he’s being deliberately obtuse or if he’s incredibly unobservant. We are both going to be seniors in the same high school so I will be able to see him hopefully occasionally at least (it’s very large). So, should I just wait for him to notice (which could be after we head off to college at this rate) or attempt something a little more direct?

— Brittany

Dear Brittany,

He knows.


Breakup Girl


November 15

It’s starting to get to me

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:39 am

Why Not Me?New thoughts on August 31, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

This may sound absolutely ridiculous to you. In fact, it sounds that way to me as I type it. You see, BG, I’ve been reading this site for a while, and it irks me to no end when people wire about how lonely they are, and how some of them feel as though they need another person to be complete. I’ve always been content with my life and myself, and I never thought I needed a man. Lately, though, I’ve started to feel very lonely (I’m ashamed to admit it, but I even shed a few tears a few hours ago). Why, you ask? Well, I have been without a man (a date, even!) for over a year. It’s starting to get to me. I mean, I’m even starting to wonder what’s wrong with me that no one is interested (or the only people that are, are the guy friends that you just want to keep as that … friends!) I guess some motivational words about hanging in there and having fun on my own are truly needed right now. Thanks for listening, BG!
— Deborah

BG gets motivational after the jump!

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