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May 16

Friends to lovers and back again?

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:39 am

Not feeling friendly on October 12, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I’ve been reading your column and I’m under the impression that you’re a genius. So I now leave it to you to help make some sense of what happened, and how to understand why she resolved things they way she did. This girl Nicki and I did finally get together and went steady (after a years long courtship) during my second semester MBA year. When school was over I took her over to England for a week and took her out to see ‘Beauty and the Best’ and ‘The Phantom of the Opera.’ We had our own apartment to stay in for that whole week…and during that week she got to see all the sites, traveled to all the pubs, and toured everything with me…It was an investment that seemed well worth the money and effort I put into planning it. We had fun, she professed her undying love for me, she called it our little honeymoon before I went off to start work. So what happens? No sooner than when everything is going perfectly and smooth do things turn bitter.

I came back to College to pack up and she tagged along with me…that was nice, all five days we tried to prolong the daparture for as long as possible, but it had to be done…I had to work and start my next phase of life, which was 1000 miles away. As I left we promised each other to make this Long Distance thing work out…Well, not even a month had passed when she decided that she is too young to hold out for this and broke up with me…and hey get this. She still wants us to be friends like we used to be. I agreed like the spineless man that I am, I didn’t want to lose everything with her, you know.

But, just to prove the point that it is useless to figure out a woman…I though we were fine and could deal with this until she decided that deep in her, she knows that we’ll get back together again (Her words). And so she breaks up with me because (I think) she still wants the freedom of being able to play the field. So this works all too well for her, if she only meets up with Jerks, then I’m it!!! If she meets up with someone nice that she likes and takes care of her well, then I was a safety net that didn’t need to be there all this time. How wonderful and inhumane is this logic. Get this — she said she’s just doing this for me and that she doesn’t want to be the one to hold me back. Ohh well, women always use this kind of excuse to make themselves feel better for their actions. I also later found out that when she went back up to school a couple of weeks early, her ex boyfriend came up to see her and stayed for two weekends with her. They were by themselves in this apartment.

Anyways, I must be boring you with this story so I’m just going to get right to it and pop the question. I know this question I’m about to ask really has no answer…and countless scholars before you and I have pondered into this and drove themselves mad, but I’ll ask anyways (Why? Because you’re a genius and I don’t think you’ll drive youself insane, although Genious is one step away from insane. But you’re a superhero, so this makes me feel better…) Anyways, Why do women always want to be friends after they tear you apart?

Well, enough of me venting…I’m over it, I’m just not completely understanding it. Thanks a bunch!

— Joe

Dear Joe,

Some more clarification about what constitutes a girl thing (see above). Being hard to figure out, wanting to be “friends,” and not wanting to “hold you back” are not woman things, they are relationship things. You are a straight guy, so your relationships are with women. Hence your conflation of the two. Trust me, your letter coulda been written by either gender, about either gender. And here’s your answer: People talk about staying “friends” because (a) they don’t LIKElike you, but they still like you, or (b) they’re trying to be nice. That’s pretty much it. So please don’t start using that fall-back “Women are Impossible!” refrain as a “reason” not to date (or elect) us, okay?

Breakup Girl


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