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February 10

You probably don’t want to know

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:58 am

Having trust issues on September 21, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

First of all, thank you so much for writing this column!! It really helped me through the days that I was depressed after my boyfriend of 11 months unexpectedly broke up with me. We had been broken up for four months when we had a really big talk and decided to try again. We’re a month into this stage of our relationship and it’s been going really well. We have one issue, though. He thinks that he shouldn’t have to tell me about anything (sexually) that he did during the four months that we were apart. He thinks that I should just trust him when he says that he has not done anything that will put me at risk. He claims that he doesn’t want to hear anything from me– but I already told him that I didn’t sleep with anyone else– and doesn’t like to think of me as having ever been with anyone else. I think that he just doesn’t want to tell me that he was with other girls– doesn’t want to hurt my feelings, admit to casual sex, whatever. I think that it is important to know, though. He claims that it is just curiosity and that I should be content with the fact that he cares about me and no one else.

Help!! Am I being too pushy? Am I being unreasonable?

— Confused

Dear Confused,

Another chance to reiterate my policy on this: don’t ask, don’t tell. Do you trust him about the not putting you at risk part? If so, then clench your fists and drop it. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: don’t create some false gold standard of full disclosure and ask each other more than you really want to know. The answer will likely be: more than you really wanted to know.

Breakup Girl


February 9

My husband has changed

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:33 am

Growing apart on September 21, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

Damn it. I can’t believe I’m writing this.

I am currently married to a person I have been with for five years. We have an almost two-year old son whom we both adore. My husband is not a jerk. He’s not abusive. He’s not distant or cold or boring or loveless. He even gets my jokes, for god’s sake. My mother thinks he’s Mr. All Time Wonderful (“the son she never had”, only she likes my brother a lot as well).

When we met he was an economics major and heading to do his masters in pure math. I had messed about in high school and so had to do “time” in college before I was even able to get into a University program. Things have turned out rather well for me. I’m finishing up my degree (in English lit and Religious Studies) this year — I took time off to have our son — and will probably begin my masters next fall. I’ve also ‘fallen in’ with the literary crowd round here and there is pressure to publish from other published people (I write poetry so we aren’t talking big bucks here). My husband now has a fairly good job as an accountant and rather than taking a masters he’s gone the route of professional designations — which is no bad thing in and of itself.



February 8

I have a feeling I may be ugly

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:11 am

Making a move on September 21, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I like this boy I barely know, but I know him well enough to know his name. We are both in the same grade, 8th. I’m not the type of person to ask someone out, I’m afraid I’ll be rejected. Plus he’s going out with someone and I doubt he knows who I am.

All the other people say that I should flirt with him, say hi and stuff, but it’s hard on me cause im kinda shy. What am I supposed to do, walk up to him and just say, “Hi!” That’s kinda awkward for me.

His girl’s locker is in the same aisle as mine and he’s there. I never said a word to him, same for him to me. But if he breaks up, I KNOW for a fact that he won’t go with me. He likes those preppy girls that wear their hair in a bob, a messy ponytail, flares, (I wear flares) with those plaid or checkered button up shirts that they wear over white tees.

NO guy has ever asked me out in 2 years! I have a feeling that I may be ugly. When I look in the mirror, I look fine, but when I look in the 3-way mirror I look demented! My nose is crooked and everything.

What can I do to make it *normal*? How can I make myself look and feel better??




February 7

True Confessions: Sleeping With Your Ex … Means Breaking Up All Over Again!

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:35 am

truecircleDear Breakup Girl,

You published a letter of mine a few months back about remaining friends with the ex. After that I took a few months of a breather away from him, minimal contact, no phone calls etc. This was fine for both of us. But it couldn’t last forever, as his friends are also mine, and they’re really good about not letting him have custody even though he lives in their town and I live an hour away.

Anyway, by the time we saw each other again, we had each lost about 60 pounds. He got this great haircut that totally changed his look. Basically we each looked completely different and much better, and we were both much happier overall as well. (Singlehood has been sitting well with both of us). So needless to say, we both got really, um, curious.

Making a long story very short, we ended up sleeping together. A couple of times. It was SO much better than it was during the relationship, except for maybe at the very beginning when it was still all new. I know what a bad idea this is. What I just wanted to say, and to pass on to your readers, is this:

The reason it’s a bad idea to sleep with your ex is NOT that you will despise yourself the next day or hate yourself for being so weak or anything like that. The reason is that you will remember what it was about him/her that you fell in love with in the first place (that smile! that sense of humor!) and it will reopen old wounds that you thought were well healed. In other words, you will basically have to go through all the emotional work of breaking up all over again. That, as well as resisting the siren song of possible reconciliation and trying again. Don’t do it! It’s not worth it! Unless you’re the kind of person who also likes to hit him/herself over the head with large heavy objects repeatedly. Being over someone is a precious, and precarious, thing that should hopefully last forever. Even the greatest sex only lasts for a night or a day or whatever.

BG, keep up the good work. Hope your own love life is a bit more sane, or stable, or whatever, than my own and those of some of your other readers.

— A Somewhat Wiser Susan

Dear Susan,

THANKS. Couldn’t have said/not done it better myself.

Breakup Girl

This advice was originally published September 14, 1998.


February 6

True Confessions: The Letter That Never Got Sent!

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:51 am

truecircleDear Breakup Girl,

Eight weeks ago I wrote you a letter regarding my recent breakup with a wonderful guy. I was feeling guilty because I broke up with him for financial reasons. I’m a single mom and was going broke (half) supporting my ex. When I tried to submit the letter, it wouldn’t go. As I was trying the 2nd time, the phone rang. Yep, it was him. He said he’d been working the last 6 months to get in better financial shape for our future. He was so sincere, and had made so many changes, that I went back to him. Now we share the bills equally, and are getting ahead already. We are engaged to be married, and I wonder if it had to do with the letter that never got sent. Well, thanks anyway.

— Not Guilty Anymore

Dear NGA,

1. Who-HOOO! Congratulations.

2. All other second-timer wannabes: heads up! Don’t just tell your re-intended that you’ve changed — or, worse, that you will. Hint: proof helps. This gentleman may still lapse back into [in this case, financial] problems here and there, but he demonstrated a clear willingness to acknowledge and take them on. That’s the difference.

3. You guys should still actually send your letters.

Breakup Girl

This advice was originally published September 14, 1998.


February 3

True Confessions: Every Guy I Love Is Gay!

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:50 am

truecircleDear Breakup Girl,

I have an almost ridiculous problem. Although I am sixteen and have never dated, I have fallen in love a few times. And no, not the kind of two-week-obsession we teens are vulnerable to, but fawning over boys for up to three years. And while I am kind of big (and beautiful, thankyouverymuch), I am not shy or unpopular. In fact, I’ve become friends with these guys most of the time. The reason I have not dated is this (and I am 100% not kidding): Every guy I’ve loved has turned out to be homosexual. They are open about it and comfortable with it, and I guess I would be, too, if I hadn’t fallen head-over-heels for ’em.

I guess my questions are these: Am I wrong in expecting a nice guy to be straight? Are the only gentlemen left in the world not interested in women? And how can I know when I’m falling for someone who can love me back?

— Frustrated

Dear Frustrated,

Okay, let’s don’t slip into the “all of the good ones are taken or gay!” lament. I know TONS of nice straight gentlemen who are totally interested in, um, my friends! What’s really going on here, I think, is that you think you’re going out on some high-drama limb, but you’re really playing it safe. That is: if these guys don’t go for you, you have a really good reason. Hey, Frustrated, that’s excellent Rejection Protection. Sure, maybe these boys have some innate qualities that you really do dig. Identify them in these guys, and then look for them in someone straight.

Breakup Girl

This advice was originally published September 14, 1998.


February 2

True Confessions: Office Hours With Professor Rebound

Filed under: Advice — posted by Abby @ 10:58 am

truecircleDear Breakup Girl,

I know that second guessing is futile, so I do hope that your advice might end my own obsessive practice.

The Story:

Last fall one of the professors in my department began making overtures: inviting me to lunch, inviting me to dinner, writing me constant e-mails, giving me small gifts. Perhaps I am a more naive graduate student than most, but I remained uncertain of his professor’s intentions, questioning why someone so accomplished (and sixteen years older) would be interested in me, so not accomplished (and sixteen years younger). Well, of course, he was ‘Rebound Man,’ going through a divorce with his equally accomplished wife of fifteen years, who is, rather unfortunately, in the same field as I (at another university, thankfully).

Our ‘relationship’ continued until the end of the semester, when it was apparent that I was not going to end my relationship with my long-distance boyfriend of five years (it’s true, I behaved horribly, I know), nor was I going to have children. Two things that were obviously important to this professor.



February 1

True Confessions: I Hate Seeing the Cozy Little Family He Has Created!

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

truecircleDear Breakup Girl,

I have two issues/questions. The first is about getting over the breakup of my marriage. I am in the process of getting a divorce.

It is hard for me because we have a child, and I don’t get to say see ya and move on. I have to deal with him almost daily on visitation or money issues, and he is living with his girlfriend with whom he cheated while we were together. I hate seeing the cozy little family he has created without me, but I want my son to be able to continue to see his dad. Any ideas on how to deal with all this?

The other issue is that my friends want to set me up, and I would like to get out and about again, but I have been a stay at home mom, and haven’t had much of a life lately. I don’t know if I am ready, even for Transition man. Transition man, by the way, has been defined to me as the guy you don’t take home to mom and dad or your kids as the case may be, but who keeps you company in a rough time. I am definitely not looking for anything more, it will take me awhile to get past the betrayal and history, but I would like somebody to take me to the movies, etc. Where does Breakup Girl suggest I start?

— Looking for Transition Man

BG’s advice after the jump!

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