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July 23

I’m not worthy!

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:48 am

Psyched out on October 26, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I am 16 and in a relationship with a 20 year old. He is smart, funny, ambitious….and sensitive, caring, thoughtful, vulnerable. And I am DESPERATELY in love with this adorable guy. And he is always telling me how much he loves me. But I don’t feel worth it. I feel like sooner or later he is gonna realise I am not worth the trouble and I am not as great as he thinks, and dump me. And the thought scares me to death. I still live with my parents and although they accept our relationship, they really don’t approve, and have thrown some obstacles in our way. If they had any idea that I am having sex with him, it would be hazardous to his health, even though I am very much the instigator. (I finally bedded him via daring him to christen the backseat of my parents car, because I know he can’t say no to a dare !) My insecurity makes it difficult for me to see him, knowing that one day, all the things that he fell in love with me for will be all the reasons he falls out of love with me.

He gets offended so easily, and he admits he has a habit of taking things the wrong way from past experiences even though he knows I don’t mean them that way. And when he gets offended, I hate myself and wonder why he bothers with me. I have a short temper and several times I have verbally taken my anger out on him when I am mad about something else, and I see how much it hurts him, yet I never learn. He has such a gentle soul, and I seem to hurt him all the time. I feel tactless, thoughtless, and basically like a downright mean person. I love him so much it is going to kill me when it ends, but I know it will end and this makes it harder. A couple of days ago, we were on the phone quite late, and as he gets up at 6 a.m, he has to go to bed early. During the conversation that night, he had mentioned several things about me which were not good.



April 4

She can’t take a compliment

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:45 am

Breaking the cycle on October 5, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

Love your column, long-time listener, first-time caller, etc., etc., posture, pose, whine, wheedle.

I have the perfect relationship. I’m engaged to my high school sweetheart, who is intelligent, witty, well-read, and fun to be with. And, of course, as an added bonus: she’s gorgeous. Sorta like moving into a cool, inexpensive apartment and finding out that it has a dishwasher.

It may sound as if Ms. Perfect is just that, but she’s got an annoying flaw. She has absolutely no self-esteem whatsoever. She’s constantly belittling her appearance and her intelligence.

I’m fairly certain that it’s not a “fishing for compliments” thing. If she is looking for compliments, then she’s got a *really* high quota: this trend reared its ugly head well into the relationship…she’d had over a year of “gosh, you look nice today,” “you’ve got really pretty eyes, dear,” “hey beautiful,” and other such compliments. (We’ve been dating for nearly five years, and it didn’t really start until midway through the second year.)

At first, she stumbled awkwardly over them, and I could tell that she just wasn’t sure how to react…then she started deflecting them with either self-hateful remarks, the ever-popular “oh you’re just saying that,” or simply a scathing “whatever.”

Telling her that her rebuttals to my compliments are causing me angst causes her to lapse into a depressed self-flagellation, where she berates herself for being an “awful bitch” and offers to break up so that I can find someone better.

She’s 5’2″ and 120 pounds, and she calls herself fat. She’s got a 3.8 GPA and considers herself dumb. She’s the most wonderful human being on the planet and she thinks she’s Leona Helmsley.



March 5

Zilch self-esteem

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 11:25 am

Finding yourself on September 21, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I just moved from Florida to Virginia. And, even though I have moved before, it was never before I hit puberty. I have zilch self esteem. I don’t know how to get over it. I know, be yourself, be nice, be friendly, etc., but I don’t want to be the cookie cutter girl. I want to be myself, even though I have no clue what that is. I am so shy. I don’t hold conversations very well, my mind goes blank like I am meditating or something. I don’t know what I want to do. I want to travel, but whenever I bring up something, my parents give me some discouraging remark or a lame excuse. You probably get tons of letters, so I’ll get to the point, I need to know how to get over myself. This letter is probably just plain silly, but any advice would be greatly appreciated.

— Nicole

Dear Nicole,

My two cents: Anyone who tells me she has zilch self-esteem — and then apologizes for a “silly” letter — is right. Yes, Nicole, you’re definitely having a tough time. But there is a light buried somewhere in the U-Haul, you’ll see …



January 5

Never had a relationship

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:07 am

Getting ugly on September 7, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I am 22 years old and never had a relationship. Every guy I met has used me for money and sex. I have always been so nice and caring, the most sweetest person to men, even helping them out financially when they need it. (I don’t want to get into the amount of money I gave men, because you probably will be shocked.) From the age of 17, I started sleeping with men just for the hopes of a relationship, so they’d like me, etc., plus they told me all the things I wanted to hear. Me being very shy and unattractive, I would become very happy from hearing a compliment. I also learned that if I said no to sex, the guy would leave and I’d never see him again. However, last year one guy did not accept “no” and I was raped. The whole court ordeal lasted one year and I was not able to date anyone. Yes, I did go to rape therapy for that year. It helped, because I still didn’t give up on men after that. I basically just dealt with it and accepted it. When I was finally able to start seeing men again, my friend hooked me up with this guy. It took me a while to trust him, but finally I did and I slept with him (which was a pretty big step for me at this point). Of course, he didn’t want to be my boyfriend, but to me that was “normal.” I just blamed it on my looks. I found out he was married. This devastated me because again, I trusted someone and shame on me. I think I have heard all the lines by now. I saw another guy for two weeks right after the married one, but he didn’t want to be my boyfriend either, even though I spent every day with him. I took care of him when he was sick in bed for several days. I gave him rides all the time in my car. He told me he loved me, even though sometimes he put me down about my weight and how I looked. But I never slept with him, so he ended up leaving me. He got in a relationship with some one else within a matter of days. I could go on and on about the many other guys I’ve tried to be with, but I’ll spare you the misery. They all have practically the same scenario, same ending. I really feel that all I am good enough for is sex and my money. It hurts to think that all I did for each guy didn’t mean nothing to them. Sometimes it hurts to look in the mirror. Please help me.


BG’s advice after the jump!


November 14

I know I’m not pretty or anything

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:40 am

Why Not Me?Don’t go changin’ on August 31, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I am very shy. I know I’m not pretty or anything but I’m 16 and never had a boyfriend. I have low self-esteem and that is why I’ve been told I can’t get a boyfriend, and the guys I like never like me back — they always like the skinny show-all types. My friend who is pretty, all the guys stare at her. My question is how to attract the guy I am interested in without changing myself.

— Depressed

Dear Depressed,

Staring and liking are not the same. “Skinny show-all” and “self-esteem” aren’t either. But otherwise, you’re on the right track: don’t you dare change — or show — a thing. And no, don’t just “be yourself, blah blah blah” — be even more of yourself. Do the stuff you love; really really enjoy it; be good at it. Excellent boys will not stare; they will notice.

Breakup Girl


November 8

All my friends have boyfriends

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

Why Not Me?Trying to fit in on August 31, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

My problem is that I don’t have a boyfriend. I know this may sound stupid, but it kinda upsets me. All my close friends have boyfriends, but I’ve never had a good relationship with a guy. I’m only 16, I know, and have kissed a few guys but none really like me, that I know of anyway. All my friends are really pretty too, and I’m only average (but on the plus side of average, I think…) so I think no guys want to settle for me when they COULD have someone like them. I DO have low self-esteem, I know that, and this doesn’t help matters at all. I’m fairly smart, but not a geek, and am in what is considered the “cool” group. I play in a band and stuff like that and have heaps of friends, but can’t seem to get a boyfriend. I know you’ll probably say, “You’re fine the way you are, yada yada yada,” but what should I do?

— Jayne

BG does NOT say she’s fine, after the jump!


October 17

Too close for comfort

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

Just trying to help on August 24, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I have a female friend, K, who is dating R. Well, sort of dating… she’s been trying to end it for about 6 months (that would be about 1/3 the time)… the problem is, she cares for him, and she senses how much he cares for her, and feels guilty trying to end it. So there I was, minding my own business, just being her friend… and I saw how hard she was struggling and, being the enabling personality I am, I got to helping her deal with some of her self-esteem issues etc… and we got to be closer friends… now — before you think you know where this is going, we’re still just friends… but we’re friends in a way that I’ve never been friends with anyone — and the closeness of it disturbs both of us at times…



October 11

Planned obsolescence

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

In for repairs on August 24, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I have a great and mysterious power. I can sniff out women who are still on the rebound, even if the breakup was years ago, and even greater and mysteriouser, I have the ability to wave my magic wand of fixing, and make everything better. Then it comes back and bites me on the ass.

Am I being obtuse? Let me clarify.

I have been in two serious relationships, and a two close-to-serious ones (I’ll explain what that means later). For reference purposes, let’s call them SR1, SR2, CTSR1, and CTSR2 (aren’t I original?). In all cases, the lady love in question’s last boyfriend was a total jerk (to hear them tell it). SR1’s was physically abusive, SR2’s was completely insensitive and mind-gamey, CTSR1 and CTSR2 both had exes that cheated on them. (I hate referring to them in numbers, because each was amazing in her own right, so from here on in, when I say “she,” I mean “they.” But anyway.)



May 17

Scared to move on

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:00 am

Still smarting on June 29, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I’ve been in a state of depression for the past year. It has been just over a year since my girlfriend walked out on me in a restaurant, never to be seen again. I found lots of your advice helpful; and I even couldn’t resist sending your “Wish You Were Here” card.

I was very much in love, and then nothing. I thought of marrying her, and looked forward to having children. I guess I’m better off in the long run, but as you know, it still hurts.

Around Christmas last year, she sent me a letter telling me how wonderful I am. I took this as a sign that she might want to get back together, but she just responded that no, that wasn’t her intention, she just wanted to “wish me the best” and “by the way, I’ve met this really nice guy.”

I’m very hurt, sad, and angry. I know I should move on, but it scares me so. When you give someone your heart and soul, and they reject it after a 2+ year relationship, one hesitates to get involved again. I’ll visit your pages for more inspiration from time to time. You’ve made me feel a bit better, but there’s still a long way to go to regain my self-esteem. Thanks for listening.

— Michael

Read BG’s reply after the jump…


July 27

She blinded me with … science

Filed under: Psychology — posted by Chris @ 9:42 am

In Nerve.com’s new “I Did It For Science” piece, “Boob Power,” contributor Bianca Merbaum puts her chest to the test. In her obvious, but entertaining, experiment Bianca attempts to gather petition signatures for a ridiculous cause with and without cleavage. The results will not shock you. What’s more interesting is the discussion by the bright Nerve commenters, who go meta on the narrative:

“rb” writes

Let’s look at the bigger picture… In the end this is a short story (and an entertaining one) about one young woman’s attempt to come to terms with and understand part of her body that has affected her self image and self understanding her entire life.

“PCE” writes

…I must point out that when you switched from Rackus Minimus to Major Boobage, your own behavior changed as much as that of your subjects. I think that is the most important message of this article. When you act in a manner that says you are comfortable with yourself, and how you look is not something you should apologize for, people will always respond in a more positive way. …

And if you want to go even more meta, yes, I clicked on link to this article because it said “boobs.”

Read it for yourself here.

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