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July 13

I’m haunting my ex!

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

It Came From The PastBeyond “staying friends” on October 28, 1998...

Dear Breakup Girl,

I am doing okay except that my friend has a problem. I have a friend who has been having trouble with his girlfriend. She is five years younger than he, and just moved to school about three weeks ago. Oh, did I forget to mention that he is my ex? Yes, we are doing the “friends” thing, and so far, after failing a few times at it, it is finally working out.

You see, part of his problems with her center around me; she does not like the fact that he hangs out with me, calls me, and even (by some sort of a fluke, out of our control) stayed in my room at school last weekend (he slept on the floor on an inflatible mattress — very innocent. He would never cheat on her, and I would not allow him to with me.). When we get together we spend a good chunk of our time discussing her and his problems with their situation.

We have a very honest relationship, and always have, and I have told him many times that I think this girl is dragging him down. I only hear the negative things about her, and I, quite frankly, did not treat him poorly while we were dating and haven’t since we have become friends. We are best friends, and I don’t think she realizes how important we are to each other. He doesn’t place limits on whom she can hang with at school, and he doesn’t think it is fair for her to do that to him.



May 16

Friends to lovers and back again?

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:39 am

Not feeling friendly on October 12, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I’ve been reading your column and I’m under the impression that you’re a genius. So I now leave it to you to help make some sense of what happened, and how to understand why she resolved things they way she did. This girl Nicki and I did finally get together and went steady (after a years long courtship) during my second semester MBA year. When school was over I took her over to England for a week and took her out to see ‘Beauty and the Best’ and ‘The Phantom of the Opera.’ We had our own apartment to stay in for that whole week…and during that week she got to see all the sites, traveled to all the pubs, and toured everything with me…It was an investment that seemed well worth the money and effort I put into planning it. We had fun, she professed her undying love for me, she called it our little honeymoon before I went off to start work. So what happens? No sooner than when everything is going perfectly and smooth do things turn bitter.

I came back to College to pack up and she tagged along with me…that was nice, all five days we tried to prolong the daparture for as long as possible, but it had to be done…I had to work and start my next phase of life, which was 1000 miles away. As I left we promised each other to make this Long Distance thing work out…Well, not even a month had passed when she decided that she is too young to hold out for this and broke up with me…and hey get this. She still wants us to be friends like we used to be. I agreed like the spineless man that I am, I didn’t want to lose everything with her, you know.



March 26

Conversations with an ex

Filed under: Advice — posted by Abby @ 8:13 am

Unresolved feelings on September 28, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I went out with a guy for 4 years. Two years into it, when I was 24, I found out I was pregnant. Pretty bad timing since I was about to move to another city and he was about to go on tour with his band. We were both broke. We hadn’t really decided to break up, but he had insisted he wasn’t interested in maintaining a long-distance relationship (although it turned out we did, a sloppy on and off one). We knew that I was pregnant for a week before I had my abortion. In that time, we didn’t discuss it very much. Although I wasn’t entirely against having a child, I couldn’t picture ourselves together. I’ve always been pro-choice, so although it was a painful decision, I felt at the time it was the right one. I was pretty sure I would have to do it alone, and I didn’t think I could be a good mother in those circumstances.

He and I have been apart now for about 4 years. I, for some unknown reason, am still very attached to him. He lives on the other side of the country and just became engaged to someone else. I am with someone else too who I enjoy a lot, but am not in love with. Me and the long-distant ex- had been talking on the phone, in the hopes that we could build a friendship that could continue after his marriage. During our last conversation, he asked me why I had had an abortion since he had been ready to have a child. I am pretty sure that he never told me that back when we had an option. We might not have discussed it as much as we should have, but then again, we never discussed anything enough which is probably one of the reasons the relationship didn’t work out.



February 23

Now is not the time for healing

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:11 am

You say you want a resolution on September 21, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

It’s been just shy of two months since my ex-fiance and I broke up. He’d been cheating on me with some girl from the Internet as a way of avoiding the fact that we weren’t getting along as well as we used to. The relationship was troubled way before Ms. Naughty Chat came along: she was just the catalyst for what I didn’t want to believe was the inevitable. He’d given up on me long before I’d given up on him… he calls it “being further along in the grieving process” which frankly makes me want to puke from all the pop-psychological flavor of the statement.

Despite all that both of us did to f**k things up between us, both of us (really, truly) do want to be friends, because we were actually really good friends before everything fell apart and it would be a waste to not try to get some of that back, even though the romance will never be there again. (I miss him like that, too, but I don’t trust him in that department anymore.)

Part of the problem with this is that I feel that a lot of stuff between us is unresolved… there’s a lot of unanswered questions about why and when and how that he hasn’t answered yet. He says that it’s as answered as it’s going to be (i.e. hardly at all) and that we should try to move on. This reminds me of that ugly-ass statement that floated around in the political world a few years ago: “Now is a time for healing.” Except that politicians only said it after things like the Rodney King verdict and after bombing some country. The implied thing here is “Okay, I know I’ve just punched you in the gut, and you really either want to know why, or punch back, but NOW IS A TIME FOR HEALING, meaning you’ll just have to be a good sport and get over it.”



February 7

True Confessions: Sleeping With Your Ex … Means Breaking Up All Over Again!

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:35 am

truecircleDear Breakup Girl,

You published a letter of mine a few months back about remaining friends with the ex. After that I took a few months of a breather away from him, minimal contact, no phone calls etc. This was fine for both of us. But it couldn’t last forever, as his friends are also mine, and they’re really good about not letting him have custody even though he lives in their town and I live an hour away.

Anyway, by the time we saw each other again, we had each lost about 60 pounds. He got this great haircut that totally changed his look. Basically we each looked completely different and much better, and we were both much happier overall as well. (Singlehood has been sitting well with both of us). So needless to say, we both got really, um, curious.

Making a long story very short, we ended up sleeping together. A couple of times. It was SO much better than it was during the relationship, except for maybe at the very beginning when it was still all new. I know what a bad idea this is. What I just wanted to say, and to pass on to your readers, is this:

The reason it’s a bad idea to sleep with your ex is NOT that you will despise yourself the next day or hate yourself for being so weak or anything like that. The reason is that you will remember what it was about him/her that you fell in love with in the first place (that smile! that sense of humor!) and it will reopen old wounds that you thought were well healed. In other words, you will basically have to go through all the emotional work of breaking up all over again. That, as well as resisting the siren song of possible reconciliation and trying again. Don’t do it! It’s not worth it! Unless you’re the kind of person who also likes to hit him/herself over the head with large heavy objects repeatedly. Being over someone is a precious, and precarious, thing that should hopefully last forever. Even the greatest sex only lasts for a night or a day or whatever.

BG, keep up the good work. Hope your own love life is a bit more sane, or stable, or whatever, than my own and those of some of your other readers.

— A Somewhat Wiser Susan

Dear Susan,

THANKS. Couldn’t have said/not done it better myself.

Breakup Girl

This advice was originally published September 14, 1998.


January 12

True Confessions: Before, Mr. Right – After, Mr. Hyde!

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:44 am

truecircleDear Breakup Girl,

Help. I have acquired an extraordinarily complicated personal life.

Two months ago, it was like a Frank Lloyd Wright structure, all clean lines and good sense. Then my bf of six months broke up with me for another girl he had known for preCISEly forty-eight hours (no standing in the way of true love, I guess). We were determined to stay friends. It was a difficult break-up for both of us; we cried a lot, I was upset and mad and he was just … in love.

The friend thing quickly fell apart because his new gf goes rabid at the thought of me, and because now that I was no longer the primary female in his life, this previously conscientious, thoughtful and sweet man started being none of the above. I won’t get into specifics, but he started demonstrating aspects to his personality I would have been much happier never to have seen.

This really scared me. Before: Cool guy. After: Hyde. Who knew?

Now it seems that the planets have realigned and every man I ever knew before him has reasserted himself in my life in their single states. The ex love of my life who lives far away is going to be in town for a month. The guy I lived with in university and who lives even farther away is in the country for two months. The guy I had a huge crush on at my first job and who had a girlfriend is now single and making it clear that he’s interested. A guy who I would have dated had I not met Hyde who then started dating one of my friends called me the minute he found out about the breakup and said (I quote) –“It’s not serious between us. She knows that. So do you want to go out for dinner some time?” Then there’s this sweet boy who lives far away who keeps asking me to come and visit …



May 4

My prom date is seeing someone else!

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:02 am

promtagMoving on on June 1, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

My boyfriend broke up with me about three months ago for (at the time not much of a reason other than “I love you but I need to do this right now” and “I am bored”). Quite contradictory, I know, but anyway…we have remained close friends throughout this and now we are going to the prom. Then he drops the bomb that he is seeing someone and is that OK? I feel heart-broken again because I didn’t think he was moving on quite yet. I feel like we are extremely compatible and are meant for each other, I truly believe that. It seems that nobody (not even me) understands our relationship. Here is the question: If I am “supposed” to move on and am not, then does that mean that this love that I have fallen into is meant to be? I am not obsessed or anything, I just want to know if there is anything left to do!

— Jolene

BG schools Jolene after the jump …


September 3

Staying friends: It’s not working for me

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:53 am

The engagement is off on April 20, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I broke up with my fiance, whom I had been with for seven years, via letter last November. (Via letter because doing it face-to-face or by phone would have resulted in one of our world-famous knockdown dragout screaming battles… anyway, that’s not the issue.) After the breakup we sent letters back & forth for several months, each of which was progressively more hostile. He was mad at me and I had this sort of righteous indignation thing going on.



August 30

Staying friends: friend-ship vs. friend-ly

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:00 am

Negotiating the peace on April 20, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I happened upon your site the morning after my girlfriend dumped me. Your advice columns (and seeing that “I’m not the only one”) have really helped me through this. I hadn’t been in any kind of romantic relationship for four or five years before this one, and I was pretty broken up about the whole thing. But now I can almost sit back a little and think about it. One of the things my ex said in her “can I talk to you” talk was that (of course) “its not you, its me”, and “we can still be friends.” Not having had this work for me at all in the past (the friend-afterwards part) I don’t know how to try and make it work. I’d really like to be friends (and not just friendly, as a coworker mentioned most of his “let’s be friends” relationships went), but I just don’t know how to make that work.

I think my ex has done a lot to help the process, by listening to me a couple of times I’ve wanted to talk/vent, and by being very understanding of my need to talk with her at times. The result is that I don’t despise or hate her, like I have with other exes, and from what I can gather and what I feel, this is a good start to some sort of “friend”-based relationship.

So is there any thing I can do to help facilitate this friend (re)building process? I know that I’m not completely “over her” yet, and I don’t want to seem like I’m too attached. I think she may have already moved on to someone new, and I don’t want
to get in the way. So how do I go about making sure she knows that I am (will be) available for a friend, but not give her the wrong idea, or affect her current relationship (if any)?

— Chris



August 27

Staying friends: mature or masochistic?

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:52 am

Eternal questions from April 20, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

Staying friends: mature or masochistic? My ex wants very much for us to be friends, and I’m a little torn over it. I can’t imagine not seeing or speaking to him. It would be like cutting off a limb. But I’m finding myself still hanging on his calls and e-mails. If I don’t hear from him for a week I get upset. Some of my friends think I should just take a breather from him, but I really want to stay in touch, and I have lots of friends who have nice Jerry/Elaine things with their exes. The other thing is that he left me to go back to his previous girlfriend, who he’s still with. So right now, I don’t think there’s much chance of us getting back together, much as I might dream. I also know that it always takes me a while to get over people whether I see them or not. Do you think I’m torturing myself unnecessarily?

— Lilygirl

Dear Lilygirl,

Yep. What you are pursuing right now is not friendship, it’s I Can’t Believe He’s Not My Boyfriend. Of course you can’t imagine not seeing or speaking to him right now; I mean, he was your boyfriend — I imagine you’d gotten kinda used to seeing and speaking to him. But listen, we have to be really careful about what “friends” means after a breakup … and about the best way to get there. Advice for everyone:


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