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February 11

The Constitutional Convention

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:24 am

What are the principles governing dating? How have the “rules” been amended? Two letters from people seeking to form more perfect unions.

Dear Breakup Girl,

I’m in the process of ending a four-year relationship (ten years together overall). Due to severe heartache, I’m not looking for a more serious relationship. However, should there be an occasion where I agree to date someone from time to time, I’d like to know the “rules” of the game. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the dating scene. What are the rules these days? Are women supposed to let men make the first move/call/email? Are women supposed to play hard to get? Dating was much different when I was 18!

— Joy

Dear Breakup Girl,

I’ve been divorced one year, and I’m totally confused about “dating in the 90s.” (I’m bald, average looks, late 40s, overweight.) I don’t know what is expected of men today. Do you have any advice on: meeting single women, asking them out, phone calls, dinner, movies, cards or flowers, kissing, sex, week-end trips, over-nighters, and looks?

— Lost in the Midwest



January 14

Don’t be a dating don’t

Filed under: Advice — posted by Paula @ 12:58 pm

A steaming cuppa joe and a little righteous indignation make for a stimulating morning, which is why I do all my blog-reading before noon. In other words, I was all prepared to be annoyed by this Lemondrop post — “Hey Ladies, Can You Stop Doing This on Dates With Me? Thanks” — but I have to say, Redacted Guy gets it mostly right. Most of his first-date tips spring from simple good etiquette — don’t be snippy with wait staff, don’t keep checking your cell phone — and some are perhaps targeted to the clueless amongst us, male and female, who can’t pick up subtle clues about when it’s time to move on.

I appreciate that the palpable exasperation behind this list of “don’ts” doesn’t translate, as it so often does elsewhere, to gender-flaming and meanness.

So! In that spirit of learning and not just griping…what are your top out-on-a-date “don’ts”?


June 10

Date night, 1933?

Filed under: Treats — posted by Breakup Girl @ 12:23 pm

Via Broadsheet:

Today, as we know, all that’s required to be a good husband is to take your wife to a show, let her mother move in and lead the free world as a symbol of hope and change. But now we have evidence that some degree of enlightenment has long been expected of the male helpmeet. Witness this recently exhumed 1933 “Test For Husbands” (via Fark), which — while stating, in parts, the should-be obvious — is not quite as fossil-icious as one might expect. It assigns 1 demerit each for transgressions such as “objects to wife’s driving auto” and “snores” (and 5 for “tells lies, not dependable” and “flirts with other women while out with wife”), while awarding 5 points each for “gives wife ample allowance or turns paycheck over to her,” “frequently compliments wife re looks, cooking, housekeeping, etc.” — and, yes, “has date with wife at least once per week.” (Thirty years later, Don Draper: FAIL.) Precisely what kind of date is not helpfully specified. Today, thank goodness, we have Rick Santorum for that.


February 20

The Tacky Factor

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:30 am

Remember my rant about manners? Here — out of courtesy — I’ll spare you the trouble of clicking all the way back and just repeat I said: by “manners” I don’t mean complicated fork systems and all the other stilted stuff they do in “Titanic.” I mean bottom-line respect, graciousness, civility. See, Hillary Clinton consults Eleanor Roosevelt; Breakup Girl consults Miss Manners (who, she hastens to add, is very much alive and well). Although the popularity of yoga seems to have made New Yorkers a tad less snappish, I do agree with the magnificent Miss M. that the decline of polite, dignified, respectful behavior has contributed to the decline of society at large and of romantic relationships – as well as to the rise of ickiness in breakups. Reminds me of a passage from Patricia Wells’ divine book Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. When the daughter complains to her mom that she “doesn’t know how to love,” her mom responds: “Good God, child! … Do you think any of us know how to love? … Do you think anybody would ever do anything if they waited until they knew how to love? … Forget love. Try good manners.”

Don’t take that “forget love” thing literally. Here’s the point: don’t ask yourself: “What bad behavior will love — or lack thereof — excuse right now?” Ask yourself: “What good manners make this whole mess a little easier for everyone right now?”

The instances of tackiness that appear belowhighlighted in blue — speak for themselves: listen to them.

Oh, and you third-party bystanders/confidants are not exempt: just for the record, secretly tape-recording a lovelorn friend’s phone conversations and turning them over to a Washington attorney is tacky.


Tacky communication

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:27 am

The Tacky Factor Day! Tackiness highlighted in blue..

Dear Breakup Girl,

I am a 36-year-old woman who’s seeing this guy, 30, for about two months. I saw him last on a Sunday evening and I called him on the following Tuesday evening but did not get a return call. I have called him several times and asked him to call me and asked what happened. What did I do? I‘ve even seen him at a bar and he totally ignored me. It has been a little over a month now and I have heard nothing. From your experiences, what would you say happened? I realize I’m better off but hate the feeling of being ignored for no reason.




January 13

The Recently Deflowered Girl

Filed under: Advice,Comedy — posted by Chris @ 8:56 am

Young ladies, not quite sure of the proper behavior post-deflowerment? Have we got the hilariously droll parody of an etiquette book for you! This 1965 jem by Mel Juffe and Edward Gorey (!) was recently rediscovered through the magic of the internets. Click the picture for its complete posting by Accordion Guy.

The Recently Deflowered Girl


January 1

We miss manners

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 7:54 am

Classic LetterRinging out the old on January 5, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

After several weeks of dating, she called and said that I didn’t give her the “click” that she was looking for. At that time, she felt it would be better to end the relationship and say goodbye. Now, after three weeks, she calls me and asks me to a New Year’s outing. As I had no plans for the evening, I accepted. It’s her birthday on January 1 — do I get her anything?

— Dwight



July 29

When a Post-It just isn’t enough

Filed under: News — posted by Maria @ 7:54 pm

Those dirty rings! As part of their application for the Evil League of Evil, the sly devils over at Boston-based wireless communications provider Mobile Sphere have created a no-cost (if you don’t mind a few ads) service called SlyDial that allows you to call directly into someone’s voice mail — ring-free. It’s being marketed mainly as a tool to help bizzy people who have never heard of email return calls without ever interacting with other humans small-talk time-suck. But according to the “SlyDial Situations” section of the service’s website, it will also help you avoid certain uncomfy conversations in particular: calling in sick when you’re fine; explaining your credit card bill to your parents; wishing a friend a belated (like, 3 AM) birthday. Hmm. If we think really really really hard, could we also come up with some other applications in the area of love (or lack thereof)?

Oh wait! SlyDial beat us to it: “You are dating quite a few people at the same time. You don’t want to leave them all text messages because there is nothing romantic about that. But a nice voicemail to each would score you points.” Mmmm. Now that’s romantic.


July 1

Now at MSN.com: Dutch much?

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:13 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 “Very Puzzled,” who asks Lynn to resolve yet another age-old question: “Who pays for the date?” VP, it should be noted, is new at this … again. A single 40-year-old woman, she’s been in school and out of the pool for a while. Now that she’s back, she writes, “I find that most men I have met expect ‘Dutch treat’… . When did the world change so much? Am I just meeting stingy guys, or is it now the right etiquette for me to expect to pay my own way even if asked out? Am I just too old-fashioned to date?”

Far as Lynn is concerned, the central who-pays question can be answered in three little words. (But, of course, she adds a few more.) Check out the whole Q&A, and then come back here to leave your own tips. (I mean, if your date paid the bill, you should at least offer.)


May 27

It’s not you, it’s me, eh?

Filed under: News,Psychology — posted by Maria @ 2:14 pm

Maybe it won’t surprise any of you to find out that roughly 50% of Canadians — reputed to be the politest people in the Northern hemisphere (the Minnesotans being too polite to challenge them) — break up in private places, mainly their own homes, so as not to embarrass the other person. (Or, um, because it’s cold outside?)

The Vancover Sun article bearing the news — based on a recent poll by Ipsos Reid — quotes psychology professor Guy Grenier as saying, “I suppose that’s probably a good indication of relationship etiquette.” I suppose. But just because a breakup happens in private doesn’t mean it feels private. I mean, the most humiliating place I was ever broken up with was in my own bedroom. Would have been private, I guess, if there hadn’t been a PARTY going on downstairs. I’ll cry if I want to, thanks!

By the way, call me an impolite New Yorker, but aren’t they focusing on the wrong half of the respondents? I mean, where are all those other people breaking up? Gretzky’s?

(By the way #2, the comments section here would be a good place to share your own good/bad/ugly breakup-location stories. Especially you, our neighbors to the north.)


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