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June 6

Force-Quit, Restart

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:48 am

Robo-LoveCoded messages from October 19, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I don’t know what to do. My girlfriend of a year and a half has just abruptly left me. I had not been able to contact her in about 4 days due to conflicts with my work and school. Finally I get a hold of her, and she just drops a bomb on me. “I want to see other people” and “I need to find myself;” furthermore, she is already dating someone else without even contacting me to initiate a breakup. This just came from nowhere! I broke down at work, my life was shattered. I begged her for explanations, and none were offered. I don’t know why she has done this.

We met when she was a junior and I was a senior in high school. I helped pull her out of a deep depression created two years prior by a previous boyfriend who date raped her. She had dated no one since, and she reclaimed her virginity for those two years. Yet she was always downcast, antisocial, and she wrote the darkest poetry, which she shared with me. One day in our Physics class, I sensed her pain and all I did was extend my hand. I’ve never understood why, but she responded by placing hers in mind. We later spent many nights talking and crying. I felt her every emotion, I could truly empathize. We entered a relationship, and soon we fell in love. I have always feared that as I’ve watched her heal, grow, recover, and mature, that she would one day be strong enough to move on. I feared that I was just some kind of tool to get her out of depression and to a point in her life that she no longer needed my help and companionship. This past Sunday has seemed to confirm my most haunting thought.

But everything seemed so perfect with her. We shared so much and bonded in so many ways. The only thing that ever strained our love was distance. I went away to a college about 2 hours away (which isn’t so far that things should just end). We survived a whole year of commuting and staying committed, and staying in love. She graduated and enrolled in a college near her home so she could keep her job and live at home. With me still going to school 2 hours away, it seemed understood that we would continue the long distance relationship.

But something has happened, and I haven’t a clue what that something might be. (more…)


June 1

A summer breakup

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:43 am

summerromanceThe opposite, from June 15, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

Love you, love your column! THE love of my life destroyed me last summer and I still haven’t gotten over him. I have dated a whole bunch of men, tried to keep busy etc….but can’t stop feeling that I have lost the best thing I ever had. I just keep thinking I don’t want him to be happy because I am not. I thought I was doing well for a long time but lately it has all come back to me. Help me! I want my ex out of my head.

— Hopeful to Heal

Dear Hopeful,

You did lose the best thing you ever had. Until that point. And at this point, it’s all coming back to you because, well, you still know what you did last summer. I mean, really, the teeniest things — the whiff of a scent, the note of a song — remind us of loves and losses; how ’bout when that reminder is … the sun ?! And so, even at this time of increased slothitude, you’ve got to do more than “keep busy.” You’ve gone past the statute of limitations for “distractions.” You are still just treading water, gulping brine into your empty heart and lungs. You said it yourself: you do not want him to be happy because you are not happy. This is the problem: not getting over him, but changing what’s around you. What will make you happy (no fair saying “him”)? Grad school, a road trip, new curtains? Figure it out. For real. And at the risk of sounding glib, DO THAT.

Breakup Girl


February 27

All out of love

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:36 am

So lost without you, on January 26, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I have been in love with my girlfriend for the past four years and am still very much in love with her. Unfortunately, she has decided she is no longer in love with me. We have lived together for the entire time; now we are apart for the first time. She is my whole life. How in the heck am I supposed to fall out of love with her?

— Rich, Lost in Love

Dear Lost in Love,

Oh, Rich. If Breakup Girl had to answer only one letter this week — this month, this year — it might well be yours. Your question speaks for all dumpees, ever.

On the other hand, Breakup Girl secretly wishes she could yell at her intern for losing your letter. That’s because (a) she wishes she had an intern, and (b) now that you’ve raised the eternal question, she hesitates to say that she has no easy answers.



February 20

Drive-by tackiness

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:29 am

The Tacky Factor Day! Tackiness highlighted in blue

Dear Breakup Girl,

I had this wonderful relationship with a …well, a jerk now, but at the time I thought he was great. We were even discussing marriage (obviously, not very seriously). On our eight-month anniversary, he called me at work and broke up with me. We exchanged stuff, and all was quiet for six months, until just a little while ago on my birthday. He drove by my house to put a birthday card in my mailbox. My question is: why didn’t he mail it, especially since I live an hour and a half away from him? The only message inside was “Happy Birthday,” scribbled, and his signature. Should I call him, or just leave him be? Explain this situation to me, Breakup Girl!

— Zoe



January 16

I want u back

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

Classic LetterHigh school drama from January 19, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,
I really like this guy who dumped me like three months ago. And I asked him why and I got like five different answers. I don’t know which one to believe. And I really like him a lot. I tried to ask him out personally, but I chickened out and had someone else do it. He just says no or drops the subject or something. Someone asked him why he wouldn’t go back out with me and his answer was “Because…just because. I gotta go.” How should I go about getting him back? Or should I just forget about him (which would be pretty hard)?
— Confused

Dear Confused,
Guys, guys, guys: STOP HAVING OTHER PEOPLE ASK PEOPLE OUT/BREAK UP WITH PEOPLE FOR YOU. Also, no notes. These procedure never work accurately or efficiently! I know they are all standard forms of high school dating communication, but if you ask me, they should have gone out with the rotary phone. I bet you the kids on “Dawson’s Creek” don’t do dumb stuff like that! Then again, they’re all dating grownups. But still.
Breakup Girl


December 26

The 4 Cs of heartbreak

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

Classic LetterThe rules of disengagement from December 29, 1997

Dear Breakup Girl,

My girlfriend told me that we just don’t “click” anymore. I’ve always tried to be there for her, and I loved — still love — her more than anything else in the world. More than I thought I was capable of loving. I mean, I was in the jewelry store the other day learning of the 4 Cs of diamonds, hoping to present her with a ring after the New Year. I want to be with her so badly. The only thing I want more in all the world, though, is for her to be happy. I’ve always tried to be there for her. Always tried to offer a shoulder to cry on when something went wrong, or encourage her when making a new venture, or join in her cheer when all was right. She has always done the same for me. We always tried to be equals; neither of us ever “dominated” the relationship. If anything went wrong between us, we always worked together to make amends. Our friends thought we were made for each other.



December 19

Making History

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:38 am

Classic LetterRepeating themselves on December 29, 1997

Dear Breakup Girl,

For two years in a row I have been dumped on December 1 (true fact). Do you think the secret for me is to find love is to skip town next time 12/1 comes around?

–Dumped in December

Dear Dumped in December,

Skipping town will not help. December 1 is recognized – internationally and historically – as (and here’s Breakup Girl’s positive spin) a day of independence.

On that day in history:
(1640) Portugal regains independence after 60 years of Spanish rule
(1821) Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) declares independence from Spain
(1918) Iceland becomes independent state under the Danish crown
(1973) Australia grants self-government to Papua New Guinea
(1978) President Carter more than doubles national park system size (“needed space”)
(1991) Ukrainian people vote for independence
(1997) Dumped in December writes to Breakup Girl

The best I can tell you is next time – and yeah, buddy, these things come in threes — check Any-Day-In History to determine how your breakup actually fits into a grand historical timeline. You might also find some solace in the fact that your ex shares a birthday with, say, Mussolini, or Charo.

Breakup Girl


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