Home Breakup Girl To The Rescue! - Super-Advice from Lynn Harris




Big To Do
About Us

September 7, 1998   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

Hello there, BG. I love your site...it has really helped me put some things into perspective. But, I still have a predicament on my hands that I haven't been able to shake for quite some time now, and I've never really written publicly to ask for answers but here goes:

I am currently living with someone I met on the internet a little over 2 years ago. It all started like so:

I met her on IRC, we emailed and spoke on the phone for about 2 months, I ended up taking a trip out to finally meet her, we hit it off, 1 month later she moved to my city to live with me. Then I moved with her to her city for about 6 months. And finally now we have settled in SF and are living in a decent sized studio apartment (and paying an insane amount for it BTW). Anyways, we have always gotten along great and I really care for her, as I know she does for me. But I almost think she cares about me way more than I do.

Well in the past few months, I have really started to evaluate my life with her and how I came to be where we are today. Before her, I had been in only 1 relationship for a 3 year period. And I am talking I have only ever dated OR gone out on A date with 1 other person. So needless to say I am a very monogamous person and history has proven me to commit to long term relationships. Anyways, she is 26, I am 22. As I look back I notice that about 5 months after my prior relationship was when I started hooking up with my girlfriend now. Directly out of high school, I started my relationship with my ex, and then went directly into this one. Well, I'm really starting to feel a lot older than I am. I am planning on going back to University to get my degree, and as bad as this may sound, I would really like to do it single. Not because we don't get along, but because I really feel a big part of my "young and carefree" life has been taken from me due to the fact that I:

A- Am dating someone 4 years older than me who has calmed down now and is starting to get ready for the whole life-long commitment thing (actually has been talking about it for at least 1 year now)

B- Have never truly had a "singles" life due to my back-to-back long term relationships.

C- Knowing her personality, I know that I wouldn't be able to devote as much individual time to my studies and well anything else that I really want to do by myself if I were with her at that time. Even now this is a big problem.

I guess basically what I am saying is that I feel like I need for myself to be a free bird, no strings, do what I want...have time to myself (which I get NONE of by the way due to the fact that we live together and have for so long that she has gotten used to how things have been together and it is the norm I guess.)

Anyways, before we moved to SF, we had a big discussion and I almost broke up with her because even then I felt as if I was being held back from experiences I felt I needed at this point of my life.

My problem is I know how much she loves me....More than just a lot. She always goes on about how she could never ever imagine her life without me. She mentions marriage passively, and how we'd raise our children in the future. I don't say much, and I know I should be straight with her about my feelings where that's concerned but at this point, 2 years into it, it feels like too little too late.

I know it sounds bad, and I may come off as sounding jerkish, but I really feel like at this point in my life, my needs are starting to become abundantly clear to me, but I just don't have the heart, or even the knowledge of how I should approach this. I basically have come to the realization that she is not my soulmate, although she feels we are. And I know that sooner or later I will break down and have to break it off to pursue my own happiness. Not that I'm unhappy now, but I will resent her a whole lot if I just bite my tongue and stick it out. I already resent her a little for not giving me my personal space.

I just really feel trapped. On top of all of this we have shared a LOT of expenses including the computer on which I am sending this to you from. Please fill me in on the best way to approach this. I don't want to devastate her, but I feel at this point there is no avoiding it. And to know that I might cause her so much pain, I just can't deal with that. But at the same time, I need what I need. Please help.

-- Helpless

Dear Helpless,

If you're trying to, like, get Breakup Girl's permission to break up with your girlfriend, you have it. I was convinced even before you got to the A-B-C part. You're going to all this great length to justify your feelings (and impending actions) because you feel like a jerk -- but you're not. Precisely because you have made such a "good," reasoned case for the split. Clearly this is not a callous whim.

But that doesn't mean the breakup won't hurt. Like the Dickens. As in, it'll be, like, Dickensian. We are talking Bleak House. Helpless, it's a breakup.

Then again, here is one thing that will help. You do know why you want out. Trust me, you do, and trust me, this is rare. She won't like it; she won't, like, agree; and it's likely that she won't even really "understand." But at least you will be spared -- to some degree -- that heinous, gut-wrenching <"But WHY?" ... "It's just how I FEEL!"> impasse. Trust me, this is major. You will get less defensive and less second-guessy; she, ideally, will be devastated, but not (as) frustrated (trust me, they're different). Heck, you could even write down a version of what you've told me and give it to her (as a supplement, not THE statement). You're in better shape than you think you are.

Also, I have a funny feeling that this business will not take her totally by surprise. She mentions marriage/kids and you clam up? She's noticed. And the more you clam up, the more she goes on about being unable to imagine her life without you, right? Yep. She's grabbing, grasping, trying to hold on, sensing the slippage.

And about the stuff (expenses, computer, etc.). Well, that does make the situation messier, but it is one of those burn-that-bridge-when-you-get-there kind of things. If you like, go ahead on your own and make a list of the stuff you've shared with suggestions for how to divvy things up. Get a head start on the practical and you may be able to sidestep at least some of the emotions that who-gets-the-Mac will stir up.

Oh, and remember, you as the dumper cannot be the one to help the dumpee through the breakup. Nice, yes; Nightingale, no.

It will, for a while, be the worst of times. But I'm with you: it's for the best.

Breakup Girl



blog | advice | comics | animation | goodies | to do | archive | about us

Breakup Girl created by Lynn Harris & Chris Kalb
© 2008 Just Friends Productions, Inc.
| privacy policy
Cool Aid!

Important Breakup Girl Maxim:
Breakup Girl Sez

Advice Archive
BG Glossary
Breakups 101

Web BG.net

Hey Kids! Buy The Book!
Available at Amazon