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May 17

Internet puppy love

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:12 am

Getting real on October 12, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

My problem is with my net friend of one year. I’m a 16 y/o girl and I feel so incredibly confused! My net friend, he lives across the country on the west side and I know that we’ll probably never meet until we’re older, providing that we still keep in touch. He and I are not into that whole net girlfriend and boyfriend thing which is what’s causing my confusion. Over the course of one year, I’ve started to like this boy so intensely that I’m scaring myself. I keep trying to tell myself that he’s not real, he’s just a name, but I can’t get myself to believe it. We don’t have a net romance thing going and I don’t want one. The prospect of us being more than just friends is always lingering over our heads and it makes me feel sad that I can’t be with him. He’s so special to me and I haven’t felt this way about anybody! I don’t know how it feels like to be in love with someone, but if it feels like this, then it’s heaven! It’s like he’s my soul mate!!! Should I tell him about how I feel about him? I’m afraid he’ll think I’m a freak and cut ties. For some reason this is making me feel very embarrassed and none of my real life friends know…nobody knows except me. Could this feeling of intense infatuation be partly because I am so inexperienced with boyfriends? I’ve never had one before. Also, I’m not the most popular kid on the block but I am well liked by my peers. I’m not painfully shy, or extremely introverted. I really want to meet this boy just to know whether he and I are compatible in real life but I get scared sometimes when we have nothing to talk about, that we’ll lose contact and we’ll never get the chance to meet. This person has changed me emotionally, has taught me so much about myself and has been there just like a real life friend has. But he’s not a real life friend!! and that’s what’s killing me inside. Please help me! Thanks a lot.

— Toula

Dear Toula,

You’re right about one thing, wrong about another. You’re right when you suggest that your “lack of experience” with boyfriends may intensify your infatuation. But Toula, you’re wrong when you say — though I know what you mean — that he’s not a real-life friend. If he has, as you say, changed you, taught you, been there for you, well, that’s plenty real enough for me. Enjoy, savor, and treasure what he has to offer, and you’ll be that much more ready for someone in the flesh.

Breakup Girl


September 22

A new chapter

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:17 am

falllogoPlaying it smart on August 17, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

This is going to be kind of long, since I have several questions for you. First, it would be easiest if I set up some background. I am 14 years old, I will be 15 in September. I am heading to college this fall in Florida. I currently live in Maryland. Back in November, I was on Yahoo chat and I met this guy. I’ll call him John. He is 16. (Yeah, I know, here it comes! :-) He and I seemed to get along, and– you probably won’t believe this– we spent 9 hours on a chat room reciting movie lines from “Pure Country.” OK. That was fun, and all that kind of thing. I put him on my email list, to get all the junk and stuff I sent out. Back in February, we both got ICQ and started chatting. On February 12, he asked me to be his netgirl. I accepted. (Just wait, it gets better.) Well, for a while there we were talking almost every night for about 3 hours, until his and my work interfered. Also, during that time period (Feb.-April) he was emailing me 2-5 times a day. (BTW, he lives in Iowa) Now, we chat about once every 2 weeks (if that often) and I have gotten two, count ’em, emails from him since June 17. I know I am starting to sound a bit obsessive….forgive me, it’s late. :-) He and I have the same interests, but we are different enough to not be clones. I feel totally comfortable talking with him, and I consider him my best friend as well as my boyfriend (which is what our relationship has been upped to). We share the same morals and views on most things, he respects my parents’ views, and wants to consider us engaged. (All of this I am relaying as of 2 weeks ago, our last chat.) He also listens to me, takes my opinions seriously, and has a great sense of humor. (Did I mention that he is cute too???) So, from every standpoint, he is “Mr. Right.”

Well, except for a few things.



July 22

The Internet is a long distance

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:44 am

longdistanceThe IRL deal of July 6, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I’d first like to know what you think of “long-distance” relationships… how often they work out, or if they should be avoided….and secondly, what you think of “long-distance Internet” relationships.

Let me explain my situation a little bit….

I got online a little over a year ago, and shortly after doing so, I met this really funny guy in a chat room that I enjoyed talking to. It didn’t take long for us to become really good friends. We talked alot over a period of about 5-6 months before we both realized that our feelings for each other were growing into the next stages after friendship. I started falling in love with him!! We had exchanged many, many photos of each other, and started talking on the telephone a bit. We talked very regularly and frequently for the next 6 months or so… making it known to the world of our love for each other through web pages, and silly stuff like that. He made me so happy! We were “cyber-engaged,” and most of the things like talking about having an “online wedding,” being engaged, and being together forever were HIS ideas!!! I really loved them, too…and the more he told people how much he loved me and wanted to be with me, the more in love I fell with him! After over a year of talking/chatting, and getting to know each others minds and souls, we agreed it should progress to the next step of actually meeting each other! The biggest problem was that he is on the western coast of the US, and I am on the eastern coast! But he finally got a plane ticket to come see me… and after having this ticket in his possesion for weeks, and only a month and a half away from the day we would meet, (on Valentine’s Day no less!!), he broke up with me!!! I am absolutely devastated, and am having a hard time dealing with what I feel.

His excuses were that:

1.)We are too far apart, and long distance relationships don’t work. He thought it was best to end it now before he hurt me anymore!

2.) I am ten years older than him, and have a child… which is nothing new, he knew that a year ago when we met!

3.) That he is just starting his life, and won’t be able to pay me the attention I deserve because he’ll be too busy…. and that wouldn’t be fair to me…

4.) That he thinks I’m a psychotic looney because I shared the fact that stress and my over active emotions make me sick to my stomach when I’m upset! He says that isn’t normal, and I must be psychotic! But the fact is, I don’t handle rejection very well, and I am a very emotional person. (Something else he’s known for the past year!!)

5.) I am too jealous, and he thinks I am “obsessed” with him and not in love with him.

The fact is I AM in love with him!! I don’t want to lose him because he thinks it “might not” work out in the future because we are so far away… he is young, scared, confused, and allowing outside influences to tear us apart. He could be throwing away the best thing to ever happen to both of us!! I really need some help and/or advice… He says it’s best it’s over, but I can’t let go!!! All I want is for us to be like we were, and for him to come see me in a month and a half! I at least want the opportunity, and the chance to see if the sparks fly like I have been dreaming they will!!

Can you help me?

— Reptile

Dear Reptile,

Oh, dear. I hate to run down the battery on your dreams, but — brace yourself — it just doesn’t sound to Breakup Girl like this is a happening thing. I am really, really, really sorry.

I am not saying that long distance relationships don’t work, nor that cyberrelationships don’t work. But let me try and put this situation in perspective:

People who have actually laid eyes on each other and spent time together have trouble mustering the chutzpah to make an actual commitment. Never mind having to make good on a promise that — though, yes, it was very real for you — technically existed only in the ether, not IRL. And you know, there are some things that do make sense/exist only out there in cyberworld; how long would Jennicam last if the idea was for people to actually look in her window? Also, the “outside influences” you dismiss as trivial are <gulp> real-life; in fact, they — distance, phase-of-life difference, etc. — are problems that non-cyber couples face. He got the willies when he realized that he was going to have to face them. And for whatever reason, he is not willing.

Also, on a totally different point, some of the things he said to you were not very nice.

Now, I’m not going to say anything dumbass, preachy, and too-late like, “You shouldn’t have fallen so hard in the first place.” You did, and I’m sure you felt feelings — finite though they may need be — that others have indeed only dreamt of. So go ahead and save — treasure — your emails and other cyber-keepsakes. If it hurts too much, hide them for a while. BUT. You should also, when you’re ready, take this as an opportunity to consider, for yourself, exactly what drove you to fall so hard, to make such earthbound plans with someone orbiting in cyberspace. I am not saying “Bad Girl, you messed up, now go think about what you did!” I am saying if you want a real-life partner that badly — no matter where you meet him — well, some reflection into this episode will give you useful insight into the next one. Which , ultimately, is not a bad use of all that bandwith.

Hang in there.

Breakup Girl


February 24


Filed under: media,Treats — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:42 am

These days, the stories we hear about kidz and the technology are often cautionary tales: strangers! sexting! TEXT NECK! But Nancy Schwartzman — producer and director of the in-the-works film xoxosms — wants to tell a different, more salutary tale:  about  (young) people forging relationships that may start as virtual, but are very, very real.

“xoxosms is about first love, long distance and Skype. It looks closely at one young couple who — like many — met online and fell in love before ever meeting each other,” says Schwartzman. “There’s a tension between their ‘digital intimacy’ and real life, and the film explores the way the digital world, full of intimacy, bonding, sweetness, is a way to mitigate the hard stuff of growing up and having sex. A way to be close without things getting too confusing.”

The documentary tells the true love story of Gus and Jiyun — a home schooled 19-year-old from a religious family in small-town Illinois and a 19-year-old Korea-born New York City art student — who met nearly a year ago in possibly the only place two people so different might ever find each other: The Internet. Over the past 18 months, they have built an intensely intimate world via Skype, AIM and iChat. They are each other’s very first loves, and through the Internet, they have established a connection that feels as real as if they were right there beside each other.

Help xoxosms have a happy ending! You can kick in a few bucks here to help Schwartzman & co. complete their project. (They’re already over halfway there, with 19 days to go!) You can share your story at their Tumblr, “Without the Internet We Never Would Have Met.” And you can watch the trailer, oh, right now!


November 12

My friend’s online romance is a FAIL

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:21 am

Missed connections on April 27, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

For around a year a girl who I’ve become really good friends with has been in love with this guy from overseas. We both are mad internet fans (she met this guy on chat). I know it probably seems really interfering but I am so worried about her because she gets so upset whenever she doesn’t hear from him for a while… this may sound crazy to non-net addicts (are there actually any?!?!) but there it is. I’ve been trying to be supportive of her but I’m getting really angry with him because I’m the one (along with another close friend) who’s left to comfort her when he doesn’t e-mail/come into chat/phone for extended periods of time. THEN when he DOES talk to her it’s always about bloody computers! (He works with them.) It is really bewildering for her because one moment he says he loves her and wants to be with her blah blah blah and that he wants to come over here soon and the next he pulls on this “I’m too old for you… you need to experience more in your life!!!” I wish he’d just be consistent and let her know whether it’s yay or nay. I really don’t know what to tell her anymore and I’m looking for advice.

— Unsure and Worried



November 4

Still ranking on Internet dating? Really?

Filed under: issues — posted by Breakup Girl @ 12:28 pm

Folks, this is getting as old as the people who allegedly lie about their age on the Internet. Are we really still slamming internet dating? It’s kind of like saying cell phones are bad, or “technology.” In the latest crabby smackdown, Rhodri Marsden, writing in The Independent, “reveals” the “truth” about Internet dating: things don’t work out more often than they do. Stop the presses? Because um, that is also true of bricks-and-mortar dating as well — it’s probability, not cynicism — not to mention, well, life. Saying that he has — aha! — found people who’ve been bruised by Internet dating! is like saying he’s found people who have been bruised by…dating. Duh. Everyone said it was handy. No one said it was magic.

To be sure, there are differences, concrete and ineffable, between dating online and IRL. Each has advantages and disadvantages. The fact that you can likely “meet” more people online than off does translate into more rejection: again, that’s math. And the Internet probably makes for more colorful before/after bait/switch experiences, but that’s because of the built-in online -> real-life progression; that’s story structure, folks. (Said it before: you mean all the people you meet on singles hikes tell the truth from day 1?) So to throw the Internet babes out with the bathwater is, to put a fine point on it, just dumb. So, too, is — if you’re single and would like to change that — not making Internet dating part of a diversified meeting-people portfolio.

So, enough. I’m outta here. Because BG spends some of her time online, and some of her time “getting out there.” See?

(h/t The Awl)


May 17

This week at Happen: Dating when you’re disabled

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:46 am

MSN.com, Match.com, HappenMagazine.com: they’re in a healthy and satisfying 3-way relationship. Meaning that you can find MSN/Match.com’s “Ask Lynn” columns –penned by BG’s alter ego — over at Happen now as well.

This week Lynn responds to Hoping It Works, a fellow who’s online relationship is ready to go IRL, only he’s left out certain information about himself. No, it’s not that he’s gained 20 pounds since his profile pic shot on Spring Break ’96 — it’s that he is has a disability.

I don’t know how to bring this up into casual conversation because we have not had that many online conversations. I’m concerned about saying too much or having too many rules that will turn her off, but if I don’t say enough it could cause a situation that’s dangerous for me.

What to say and when to say it? Read the full letter at Happen for Lynn’s take, then add your own in the comments or experiences below!


May 7

Teachable memento

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:57 am

Giving him a hand on March 23, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I met a lady online last June and we hit it off and met in August. In October she let me know while visiting her that she just wanted to be friends. We had gotten pretty tight up ’til then and it hurt like hell. My problem is that during the courtship I gave her some keepsakes and some gifts. I told her when she knew I wasn’t “the one” that all she has to do was return the keepsakes and everything would be cool. Well it is now March and no keepsakes (pics from my childhood and a plaster cast of my hand at 2 weeks old). We talk occasionally and I have been politely letting her know that returning them will help me get closure. She has given me no other indication that she wants anything else. What should I do?

— Want It Over With in KC

Dear KC,

Tell her you’re coming over for the keepsakes; then make yourelf a sign that says: FOR PETE’S SAKE, DON’T KEEP YOUR KEEPSAKES AT YOUR GIRLFRIEND’S HOUSE. Then cast it in plaster.

Breakup Girl


April 6

Spacebook status: single

Filed under: Comedy — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:55 am

In the future…Allie pretty much has dated the last man on earth — and he broke her heart. Even as the biological clock ticks for her entire species, can Allie find love on DateAHuman.com? Tune into this camptastic A-Handmaid’s-Tale-meets-Earth-Girls-Are-Easy Web series (featuring FOBG Phil Lamarr) to find out!


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