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October 4, 1999   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

I have a girlfriend, I really love her, and she always tells and shows me that she loves me too...but there's one problem. I'm not very popular in my school, and she is. She doesn't want anybody to know we're dating; she tells me that it's because the people in the school would talk about her life and that she likes to be more reserved, but she had many many other boyfriends before me, and everybody knew about them. She doesn't admit it, but I think she's ashamed to be seen with me. She won't even kiss me in public -- only the people closest to us know -- and that really really hurts me. She says that she loves me more than she loves herself, but I think I can't stand this situation. What should I do? The only time I confronted her with this issue, she got very angry and we had our first fight.


Dear Lex,

Ooh, are you dating Cordelia? She would kiss Xander only in the broom closet. (Until he bought her a dress.)

Or let's say you were dating Charisma Carpenter: girlfriend would be allowed to keep things on the downlow, if only to shield you both from the flashing lights of the paparazzi.

But otherwise, yeah, there's a lot wrong here. And I can imagine how much this must smart. Lex, it's like I told Stealthy: if high school were a game like rock, paper, scissors, then Popularity would beat even Love.

Actually, BG had a friend who was dating Really Nice Musical Theater Guy, which of course meant social DEATH at his Bonehead Academy ("I got only 600 combined on my SAT, but it doesn't matter because my ancestors at Harvard go back to 1600."). And yeah, it was hard for her. The guys teased him in front of her; other girls went along with it because they were in front of the guys. But you know what? She held her head high. And I am telling you that -- while few had the chutzpah to admit it -- people thought even better of her because of it. I am telling you.

Clearly Girlfriend is not that girl. Not yet, at least. I did notice that she said she loves you more than she does herself, which is way telling, and also spares me from having to say anything like "she needs to love herself first." But there you go. No wonder she doesn't have the belle-of-the-balls to be all, "Everyone, this is Lex. Lex, this is everyone." (Or at least to admit there's a problem, like Insecure about Something. It's a start.)

In any case, I think you've got to muster up some gumption here, too, though I'll bet you're scared of angering -- or losing -- her. You don't have to "confront" or accuse: tell her the way things are simply hurts. Ask that you two -- gradually, if it helps -- go public. Or else, actually. Because I'm sorry, but "showing you she loves you" like, under cover of night, does not count. She wants to show you she loves you, she shows her face in the lunchroom with you. I know know know you love love love her, but someone who acts as if you're not good enough for them is simply not good enough for you.

Breakup Girl



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