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April 10

Too much information

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:04 am

Inconvenient truths from February 2, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I just broke it off with the guy I was seeing and the reason that I gave him is that we didn’t click. But I also thought that he was annoying. So I told him the truth about that and now he hates me for being honest. Did I do the right thing?

— Turtle Girl

Dear Turtle Girl,

Ah, the old “We don’t click.” As Buffy might say, “You wanna vague that up for me?” It is indeed a maddeningly fuzzy thing for a dumpee to hear. Dumpees: you always want to know WHY, like, in the form of an itemized list of grievances. First of all, sometimes dumpers really don’t know why; “gut feelings,” “chemistry,” and “click”-age are mysterious, yet perfectly legitimate phenomena. But when dumpers do have reasons, well, you think you want to know, but you really don’t (much like how we think we want to know how many people our partner has slept with).



March 13

Better than its looks

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:08 am

Studying vibeology on January 26, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I’m a 19-year-old guy who has never had a girlfriend. I admit, I’m a bit dorky. I’m a computer engineer at NJIT, plus I’m short (5′ 5″) and skinny (115 lbs.) and not good-looking. However, I’m a gentleman, caring, kind, decent amount of money, non-drinker, non-smoker, hard worker, and intelligent. Okay. I’m sure I sound like an even bigger loser now, but is there anything I can do to get girls to notice or maybe even like me? What exactly do girls look for in guys? Thanks.

— Leery

Dear Leery,

I AM NOT SAYING YOU’RE UNATTRACTIVE. But I’m not gonna lie to you: you are going to have a harder time with Step One (Being Noticed). Societal standards of beauty, yada yada yada. And women — just like men — do tend to notice looks first (except in cyber-encounters, in which case they notice…fonts). AND women — just like men — have been known to do dumb things just because of how they feel about how someone looks.



January 14

The cure for what ails you

Filed under: News — posted by Chris @ 9:19 am

If you are not yet sick of science stories that tell us Love is strictly a chemical reaction, Monday’s New York Times had an interesting piece on some research being reported in the new issue of Nature.

When a female prairie vole’s brain is artificially infused with oxytocin, a hormone that produces some of the same neural rewards as nicotine and cocaine, she’ll quickly become attached to the nearest male. A related hormone, vasopressin, creates urges for bonding and nesting when it is injected in male voles (or naturally activated by sex). After Dr. Young found that male voles with a genetically limited vasopressin response were less likely to find mates, Swedish researchers reported that men with a similar genetic tendency were less likely to get married.

Writer John Tierney is much more interested in using the research to develop an anti-love vaccine that could inoculate people against quickie marriages and other ill-advised pairings. Is there something he’s not telling us?


January 5

Me love you looooooong time

Filed under: Psychology — posted by Rose @ 3:45 pm

Falling in love is kinda like coming down with a fever: it creeps up on you, makes the cheeks run red, and the best remedy for it is to spend lots and lots of time in bed (hummina hummina). Then the fever breaks. In fact, for a long time running scientific wisdom has been that the fever might run its course in a mere year; after that, it’s dunk yourself in an ice bath, get a pacemaker to calm those heart flutters, and settle into a more platonic, less charged life with lovey.

Now a new study suggests that for a lucky few, that bloodsugarsexmagik passion is more akin to a really, really fortunate case of herpes for which there is no cure.

“Brain scans have proved that a small number of couples can respond with as much passion after 20 years as most people exhibit only in the first flush of love. The findings overturn the conventional view that love and sexual desire peak at the start of a relationship and then decline as the years pass.”

Only about 10 percent of the couples studied were found to pump equal amounts of dopamine through their systems when shown a pic of their betrothed as they did a couple decades prior. The researchers dubbed these couples “swans” because swans mate for life, but I mean, gag me.

No word from the study on the why and how of all this, but this primer on how to pucker might prove helpful.


December 5

Broken Heart Bob

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

Classic LetterToday we present the original “loft-builder” letter from January 19, 1998, which inspired Paul The Intern’s origin as well as this classic animation!

Dear Breakup Girl,

The thing I fear most in life is “I just want to be friends.” Or “I don’t want to ruin our friendship with a relationship now.”

I have been trying to get to know these women in college. I did all the things a “nice guy” does. I helped move big stuff into their dorm rooms, set up computers and bed lofts, what have you. That’s how I am: When I like a woman, I try to help her out. Well…then I get to be her best friend. I’ve tried not to be a “nice guy,” but I just can’t. It’s instilled deep within me. So what can I do to not be the best-friend/older brother/father/confidant and be someone’s boyfriend?

— Broken Heart Bob



August 14

The Battle of the Buds

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:42 am

Classic LetterYou’ve got a friend on January 9, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,
For some reason, whenever I meet someone that I find cute and interesting, we always end up buddies when I would like more! How do I get past this and not feel rejected — and not lose a good friend?
— Everyone’s Buddy

Dear Everyone’s Buddy,
See, Jilted Guy?! This is the girl version of the Nice Guy thing — and yeah, it smarts. Wouldn’t it be nice, once in a while, to be intoxicatingly mysterious, to have men come up to you and say, “Friends, schmends, I must be your lover!” instead of “Hey, buddy, howaboutta game of horse?”

But try thinking of it this way: maybe there’s nothing wrong at all. Maybe, for some cosmic reason, you just happen to be the kind of person for whom serious relationships start out as — and develop most soundly from — friendship. If you trust that this will naturally evolve when it “should,” you’ll be playing a mean game of horse with your devoted hubby while Miss Tedious — I mean, Miss Terious — wishes she had more true friends.
Breakup Girl


July 24

“Mulder, it’s me.”

Filed under: Treats,TV — posted by Breakup Girl @ 1:00 pm

FOBG Rebecca Traister’s ode to Scully is more than worth a day pass to Salon.com’s premium offerings. After all, you’ll need something to last you till tomorrow.


Dana Scully was not standard television beautiful, but a diminutive pre-Raphaelite, pale of skin and red of hair, who could give equal amounts of soul to lines like “Nothing happens in contradiction to nature, just in contradiction to what we know of it” and “Well, seeing as how it’s Friday, I was thinking I could get some work done on that monograph I’m writing for the penology review: ‘Diminished Acetylcholine Production in Recidivist Offenders.'” A woman who, when asked by her pestering partner to examine a cadaver’s head just one more time for a set of horns, can snap on her gloves and mutter “Whatever” like she really means it.

And, about TV romance — or at least spooky chemistry:

The pairing, based mostly on the dynamic between actors Anderson and Duchovny, crackled, and the show had at its core a professional relationship that was not just sexually, but romantically, electric. Of course, back then, when we all walked a mile to school and programs started the season in September and finished them in May, slow-burn television relationships burned really slowly, especially in comparison with today’s short-attention-span theater, when an unrequited prime-time couple can maybe make it to sweeps before kicking off their panties. Not only did the sparks between Mulder and Scully fly fast and far, but the drawing out of their relationship allowed their audience to fall for them too, despite the irritating imperfections of both character and plot.

See you at the movies!


February 10

The Nice Guy Defense

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:05 pm

Classic LetterFrom the December 1, 1997 column…

Dear Breakup Girl,
Hey, I’m the guy that got the sledgehammer to the heart this time! What is it about them loving you, but not being in love with you and just wanting to be friends? I’m such a nice guy, you just don’t want to fall in love with me? What’s up with that?
— Jilted Guy

Dear Jilted Guy,
Ah, the Nice Guy thing. Definitely a fair question. There are two situations in which women employ the Nice Guy defense. One is used to explain why you don’t want to go out with someone in the first place. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you; on the contrary, it means she honestly likes you. But it does mean that for her, something about the two of you together fails to create that inexplicable combustion called chemistry. Women get the “nice” dis too, by the way. If you don’t believe me, just observe the Janeane Garofalo character in “The Truth About Cats and Dogs” (unless you’ve seen it already, which could explain why your ex called you “nice”).


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