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July 2

How to turn someone down nicely

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:25 am

Being nice on October 19, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

With all your immense wisdom, can you PLEASE let us in on the secret of turning someone down nicely? There is nothing I hate worse than trying to explain to gentlemen friends that I’m not interested. Is it all right to tell a tiny white lie in these situations? Like, “Actually, I’m leaving for a remote area in Africa tomorrow so I can’t go out this weekend?” Well, you get the point. Please help!

— Not Interested

Dear Not Interested,

The Africa thing is risky, as a plucky suitor may up and offer you his international cell phone.

Here are some examples of acceptable lies:

1. “I had a great time.”

2. “Dinner? Well, actually, I think it would be so much more meaningful if you came over and acted out a new dramatization of Diana’s Last Days that I’ve just completed. I’ve already highlighted your lines in pink. How’s sevenish?

3. “I’m not in a very relationship place right now.” (As in, standing here, right now, talking to you.)

Basically, though, NI, it’s not about lying, it’s about not telling the whole truth. If that’s what it takes to be nice. And early on, that’s all you owe your gentlemen callers. No Explanations — and definitely no elaborate Excuses — but simply a “You know what, that’s very kind, but I’m going to pass. Thanks, though.” In this case, being clear, even blunt, is being nice.

Breakup Girl


April 16

This week at Happen: Did she read him wrong?

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:24 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 hears from a gal who asks, How do I stop caring? She was hurt by a guy who hasn’t spoken to her since they did the deed:

The date before was wonderful, the sexual chemistry was great. I understand that one night does not mean any sort of relationship whatsoever. What I do not understand is his apparently not wanting to even speak to me afterwards.

What’s going on with this guy? How can she deal? Read the full letter at Happen along with Lynn’s response, then give us your own thoughts below!


March 27

We’re all in this together

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:26 am

Finding comfort on September 28, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I’m too shy to ask guys out. I’m afraid they’ll say no and humiliate me for the rest of my life. What should I do?

— Daisy Girl

Dear Daisy,

What you should do is know is that this is the exact same fear that has kept guys from asking women out since the dawn of history.

Now do they seem less scary?

Breakup Girl


March 21

Debating what to do

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:50 am

Going Greek on September 28, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

Last year, I had a really big crush on this guy and I asked him out. Well, he had a girlfriend, and since I rarely saw him, I was able to get over it. Fast-forward to this year. Turns out he’s in two of my classes. I have to see him every day and on weekend trips (for debate, one of the classes we share). He still has a girlfriend, I think. The problem is, I just can’t get over him. He’s cute and smart (he quotes Plato) and all that. I just want to move on!

— Amanda

Dear Amanda,

That is totally annoying. In fact, “Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable” (Laws, 808). Unfortunately, all there is to do is keep things platonic with him and set your sights on someone else in the Republic.

Breakup Girl


March 13

From friends to … that’s it, sorry.

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:09 am

Going no further on September 28, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

One of my friends is totally in love with me but I have no feelings for him whatsoever. How can I tell him that I don’t like him without losing his friendship?

— Julianne

Dear Julianne,

The best you can do is this: break it to him sweetly but clearly. As in: “I have the hunch that you might like us to be more than friends. I think it’s important to tell you that I’m totally sorry, but I just don’t feel that way. Which also means that I love our relationship the way it is, and I hope that’ll still work for you too.” So if you do still want to be friends — and he can deal — then prove it … gently. Make an effort to keep everything the way it was — in terms of hanging out, talking, whatever you do together — but turned down one notch. This will let him know that you meant what you said, but it will also give him space to get over what you said. And wait a while before you get all Good Person and try to set him up with someone else. He may not be ready … and you may find yourself oddly jealous.

Breakup Girl


March 9

From friends to … missing him

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:32 am

Striking out on September 28, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I am very close to one of my guy friends. He is one of those very friendly, touchy, huggy guys, who is wonderfully nice to everyone. Well, over the past months I have developed very strong feelings for him. I think about him all the time. A few days ago I couldn’t deal with it anymore so I told him I couldn’t see, talk, or be around him anymore because I had feelings for him. He was stunned. It’s been over a week and I haven’t seen him. The problem is that I REALLY miss him and now I just feel depressed. What should I do? I feel like I’ll always love him. It’s getting in the way of meeting new people. Now I’m wondering if I did the right thing.

— Jenna

Dear Jenna,

Oh, girlie, I don’t know if you did the “Right” thing, but I do know that you did what felt right at the time. And now, yes, of course you miss him. It’s almost like you’re going through a breakup with someone you didn’t even get to go out with! I guess what you’re gonna have to figure out is, which sucks less: not being WITHwith him, or not being with him at all? If he is indeed as generous with his heart as he is with his touchy huggy extremities — and indeed I bet he is — I’m sure he’d understand if you went back to him and told him that you don’t want things to stay this way. Which reminds me: you say he was stunned — are you quite sure he’s not interested? Or did you just freak out and split before you had a opportunity to see the gears turning? It’s worth looking into. But if not, well then yes: you do need to lick your wounds, mourn, and smart for a while, and then get back out and try and meet new folks, no matter what. That’s the right thing.

Breakup Girl


March 7

From friends to lovers … or, like, NOT

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:12 am

Making a move on September 28, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

First of all, kudos on a kick butt website. I’ve spent many an hour cruising through and reading your hilarious and right-on responses.

Okay, after my necessary genuflecting, I have to go on and say that I feel pretty much like crap now. I just had one of those moments, those moments that get etched into your mind for the rest of eternity, so when I sit down and think, when I’m 83: “When did I feel really, *really* stupid?” And then this will come rushing back in technicolor, and I will emit an “Oh, yeah.” I’ll keep this short, since I basically have one question. You are the Miss Manners of the heartbroken set, so I thought you would be able to answer it for me.

I had been coveting my new Friend-Boy for about a month or so now, and the crush pretty much began with our friendship. We had that sort of vague Hanging Out type of thing going on, which you can do with Friendly-Only people, as well as with the I-Really-Want-to-Get-to-Know-You-Better folk.

I couldn’t read him, and didn’t have the cojones, in the beginning, to ask him to qualify his side of our dynamic. He was excruciatingly shy, so if he *was* interested, I wouldn’t have been able to tell (but I tried, let me assure you). So all in all, I just today asked him what was up bluntly, he just today answered bluntly, and I am now grappling with the searing burn of rejection. You’re right, it *sucks.* Okay, though, at least I know.

So, my question is this: (more…)


February 3

True Confessions: Every Guy I Love Is Gay!

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:50 am

truecircleDear Breakup Girl,

I have an almost ridiculous problem. Although I am sixteen and have never dated, I have fallen in love a few times. And no, not the kind of two-week-obsession we teens are vulnerable to, but fawning over boys for up to three years. And while I am kind of big (and beautiful, thankyouverymuch), I am not shy or unpopular. In fact, I’ve become friends with these guys most of the time. The reason I have not dated is this (and I am 100% not kidding): Every guy I’ve loved has turned out to be homosexual. They are open about it and comfortable with it, and I guess I would be, too, if I hadn’t fallen head-over-heels for ’em.

I guess my questions are these: Am I wrong in expecting a nice guy to be straight? Are the only gentlemen left in the world not interested in women? And how can I know when I’m falling for someone who can love me back?

— Frustrated

Dear Frustrated,

Okay, let’s don’t slip into the “all of the good ones are taken or gay!” lament. I know TONS of nice straight gentlemen who are totally interested in, um, my friends! What’s really going on here, I think, is that you think you’re going out on some high-drama limb, but you’re really playing it safe. That is: if these guys don’t go for you, you have a really good reason. Hey, Frustrated, that’s excellent Rejection Protection. Sure, maybe these boys have some innate qualities that you really do dig. Identify them in these guys, and then look for them in someone straight.

Breakup Girl

This advice was originally published September 14, 1998.


May 18

Picked up, then dropped

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:14 am

Feeling rejected on July 6, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

First things first, I couldn’t stop laughing at your response to “Rocket from the Couch!” The entire office had to investigate what I was giggling about.

Anyway, to make it quick, there is this guy that I have a tiny crush on. He works at the local coffee shop and I see him almost every day. Finally, after numerous smiles and “Hey, how’s it going?” he asks what my name is. Of course I ask his and everything is great. He asks for my phone number about a week later and I am really excited. He even calls me and he comes over to my house for a weekend BBQ. He meets all my friends and everything is dandy. I see him the next day and he says that he will call that same night and that we could “hang out.” WELL! He never called me again and I haven’t seen him since. No, no, no, I will not go into the coffee shop. I have found a new coffee shop to get my daily fix. But Breakup Girl, my self-confidence is shot. I feel like a loser and I feel really rejected. I can’t stop thinking about java boy and I feel like I am going crazy! I’m also really pissed off … at him! What can I do???

— Melina

BG’s breaks it down after the jump


April 4

Dating with OCD

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:19 am

A non-romantic obsession from June 15, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I am lucky enough to have a wonderful, sweet, and generous man in my life. We have been together for two years and, being in our early 30s, a potential for marriage is on both our minds. The problem is that he has obsessive-compulsive disorder, a condition that dictates most of his actions. When we first met, he was doing all right. He told me about it and I was fine with it, mostly because I hadn’t seen the effects of his condition on his life. In the past six months, he has been spiraling down into the depths of this disorder, and for a time, would not come near me. I can’t begin to tell you how painful it was to be so thoroughly rejected by such a loving person. It got so bad that we did not see each other for a month. When I told him that I wanted to break up, he finally started in a therapy program (including medication). Maybe this is selfish of me, but I am not sure if I can handle this condition in my life. I promised that I would not leave him until he was stable again and we could talk about it. The reality is that his “minor” mental illness is a very difficult thing to deal with and I am not sure that I would want to commit myself to it for the rest of my life. It might help him deal with the condition, but I don’t think that his anxiety will ever go away. I feel so guilty about wanting to leave him and there is a part of me that believes that I’ll never meet anyone as wonderful as he can be again. Is this stupid? Am I wrong?

— Miki

BG’s response after the jump

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