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October 26

Wait and see?

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:49 am

Taking it slow on August 24, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I’m 28, I’ve been dating a guy for about three weeks, we’ve gone out 5-6 times, and I enjoy going out with him. But, hmmmmm…. I don’t feel any great overwhelming, surrender to me romantic attraction at this point. I thought I did initially, but even at the time I think I knew it was Affection Deprivation Syndrome (I hadn’t had any male-based attention in about 5 months after a pretty painless breakup). The problem is, I have always been a slow burner as far as men are concerned. I go along thinking so and so is a good midnight breakfast buddy and then one day I’m making my apartment lemony-fresh and thinking of something he said and laughing or out with a group of people and wishing I was with him and I can’t get him or the way he makes me feel out of my head. So I don’t know. I feel like this has the potential to turn into that, but I can never tell (time frame on these feelings is usually 4 – 6 months). The thing is, how do I tell him I don’t feel it now, but I might feel it in a little while, but I can’t be sure? Is this impossible? Is this leading him on? From what I know of him so far, he’s got his heart on his sleeve 24-7, so the friend thing would be really hard for him to handle, even though I would work on that level. And I would never string him along as a backup man (I know how bad that feels from past experience). So what can I do?

Kickin’ it Slo-mo Style

BG’s answer after the jump!


May 10

His feelings are stronger than mine

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:06 am

Finding a balance on June 29, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

Is there a moral or ethical imperative to break up with someone you KNOW to have hopelessly stronger feelings for you than you have now (or may ever have) for them? Or is the burden on them to take the information they have been given (accurately reflecting this emotional imbalance) and make their own decision as to their life and if they get hurt along the way, it really was their fault anyway?

— Chris

Dear Chris,

You and Jamie Summers have a lot in common. Rather than supplying equally legalicious commentary, let me take this, prose-wise, in the opposite direction:

Let the person know. Let it sink in for a while; see what happens. Don’t look for some “imperative;” see how you feel. If and when “guilt” exceeds “fun,” you’ll know what to do. Just promise to say it in English (and without parentheses).

Breakup Girl


February 9

I Cannot Tell a Lie

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 2:15 pm

(But Sometimes I Can Leave Stuff Out)

Dear Breakup Girl,

I can’t figure out how to tell my boyfriend I want to break up without hurting his feelings. He has really bad breath, aggravates me about if I like him or not (which I did until he annoyed me with the question too much), and he wears makeup to cover acne (he thinks I can’t tell, I guess). What to do?

— Darlene



June 11

Reason #2347 why BG is co-ed

Filed under: Psychology — posted by Breakup Girl @ 6:33 am

A study at Wake Forest University of more than 1000 unmarried young adults ages 18-23 has found that the emotional roller coaster of romance has an even greater effect on the mental health of men than of women. “Surprisingly, we found young men are more reactive to the quality of ongoing relationships,” said sociology prof Robin Simon, who found that men experience both greater stress when things are rocky and greater “emotional benefits” when things are rocking.

“Surprising?” Maybe, but only against strong, silent stereotype. For one thing (as Simon notes), men are more likely to rely on their galpals as their primary source of intimacy; gals, meanwhile, have their own galpals.

Simon also notes that (paraphrase) “strain in a current romantic relationship may also be associated with poor emotional well-being because it threatens young men’s identity and feelings of self-worth.” While men are more affected by the quality of an existing relationship, women are more affected by whether they’re in a relationship or not. From a summary: “So, young women are more likely to experience depression when the relationship ends or benefit more by simply being in a relationship.”

What this says to BG:
1. These results jibe with the letters we get/got.

2. Chicken vs. egg/nature vs. nurture? These results might do away with some stereotypes, but to what degree are the findings caused by stereotypes — or at least cultural assumptions, proclivities, etc. — to begin with? That is:

(a) women are “supposed” to be the emotional CEOs of relationships; are young men not raised with the same tools to manage them?

(b) Women, arguably more than men, get the message that they’re “supposed” to be in a relationship, no matter what; this, at least as much as internal factors, could explain why the study found breakups leaving women more bereft. (This also explains a lot of this.)

All of the above speaks to BG’s emphatically co-ed mission. Even though men represent 5o% of the partners in straight relationships, romance is  — still — usually considered WomensStuff ™. That’s dumb. Men — obviously — have questions, not to mention feelings. Let’s work all this stuff out together, according to what we need, not what we’re “supposed” to want or have. K?


October 23

Wrong place, Mr. Right time

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:06 am

Two ships passing on March 9, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I am living overseas and I met a guy over the holidays who was just in town for two weeks. I met him one night and we just clicked. I didn’t want it to happen since I knew he would be leaving, but it did. I always believed that when you find that right guy you will know from the moment you meet him, and with him I got that feeling. It was amazing. Now he is gone but we do keep in touch with e-mail and when he can call he does. The problem is that I know there’s a 95% chance that I’ll never see him again. Now whenever I meet guys I just can’t get interested in them no matter how great they might be. Should I just forget my first love and move on, or should I let time take its toll. I feel so empty without him, though.

— Lonely Without Him



April 8

Profiles in ambivalence

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:37 am

Here, your weekly installment of Ask Lynn, BG’s alter ego’s column at MSN.com (powered by Match.com). This week, we meet “A Little Worn Out,” who has hit the all-important three-month mark with her online man. (Yes, seems they’ve actually met in person.) That’s the good news. Here’s the less good: she happened (not “happened”) to notice that his profile, three months in, was still active. And that he’d recently been online.


Of course, her fella could have logged in in order to show off “Worn Out” to his mother. Right? Hello? Anyone?

Or … crap. What should she do? Read Lynn’s response, and then come back here to comment!


March 11

Now at MSN.com: How do I express my true feelings? Is a motel room quite the right setting?

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 5:28 am

Here, your weekly installment of Ask Lynn, BG’s alter ego’s column at MSN.com (powered by Match.com). Today, we meet “Helpless in Love,” who has met the person she has been looking for her “whole life,” she says. “I can talk to him about anything and in return he tells me everything… I’ve had boyfriends and thought that I was in love, but it was nothing like this. I think of this man as my best friend, my confidant. He makes me feel sexy and pretty. How,” she asks, “do I express how I feel?”

Catch? What catch? Well, there’s this: how might HIS WIFE express how she feels?

Lynn has pretty strong feelings herself. Read on…


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