Hey there, all you lovely people! Did you miss me? I missed you. I’m sorry for my prolonged absence – sometimes life just does things, you know?
I promise I haven’t been completely ignoring you guys, and I really have been intending to write more posts. In fact, I have one RIGHT NOW that took me a bit to get together. It’s funny, a few days ago I got an email from a gentleman who ended up taking my advice, and now he’s unsure about whether the relationship he’s currently in is going to continue. I want to make it very, VERY clear to this particular dude: this post is a coincidence and not necessarily the advice I’m giving you as per your question. I need a bit to figure out what I would do and also to get more info.
Without further ado, here’s how to break up with someone!
Let’s get something out of the way right now. Breakups suck. There’s no good way to break up with someone, and in my own experience, at least one person ends up being really hurt. They can be messy, and they can really ruin your day, but hopefully these tips will make it a little easier.
1. Be Direct! Waffling can only confuse the issue. If you’re gonna break up with someone, it needs to be a real breakup. It needs to NOT be friends with benefits, or “close buddies” or “we can still be friends”, because odds are if you’re breaking up with someone, you don’t want to be their friends.
2. ABSOLUTELY NO POST-BREAKUP SEX. Nothing about this scenario will be good, I promise you. Post-breakup sex leads to confusion, and confusion leads to awkward situations where you’re not sure what your status might be. Or, weirder, it leads to that gray area of “are we or aren’t we back together?” None of these places, none of the confusion or anxiety about that confusion, makes it okay to boink your very VERY recent ex.
3. Stay strong! You had a reason (or three) for this. I’ve noticed that, by and large, people don’t want to be dumped. It’s something about how rejection is awful and hurtful and blah blah blah. When they’re put in this position, they are prone to doing dumb things, like promising you they’ll change, or that they want to “work this out”, or that they will get back together with you as long as there are other guidelines or rules. Guidelines and rules in relationships are fine, but if you are setting out specific conditions for getting back with someone, things can get hairy. They’re never conditions that stick. That change they promise you isn’t change you can believe in (SORRY MR. PRESIDENT). Sometimes, your douchey ex needs to stay your douchey ex. You broke up with them because of something. Stick to your guns. Chances are you’ll be much better off for it.
I once dated a lady I thought was the shit, and we hit it off and were very clear that the relationship would be over when she moved away for school. Well, that plan lasted a whole two weeks after she moved, and then we were long-distancing like it was our job. That ended in lots of tears and her sleeping with several other people. It isn’t exactly the fairy tale I envisioned, am I right? If I had stuck to the plan of “no it is totally over and that’s okay”, I would have avoided the ridiculous feelings I had after I learned she was cheating on me. It’s okay to stay broken up with someone, no matter what they say to the contrary.
4. Be careful with your rebounding. This might go without saying at this point, but do NOT try to have rebound sex with your ex. Or any ex. That shit is WEIRD and it can get really weird. I don’t recommend it.
Sometimes rebounds can be good, but sometimes you can end up projecting feelings about needing to be with someone (like your recent ex), and then your rebound becomes more of a commitment than you were expecting (or maybe that’s just what I do, but whatever). It’s okay to be wary of feelings with other people, as long as you remember that even the person you choose to rebound with deserves common decent respect. Be clear with them about getting out of a relationship recently, I can almost guarantee it will prevent horrid awkwardness and uncomfortable conversations down the road.
4.5 Don’t feel you have to have a rebound. There’s an odd expectation that getting out of a relationship means you get to run around and have tons of sex with other humans… And then reality happens and most of us don’t get to be that lucky (haha, pun intended). Rebounds aren’t for everyone, and they’re certainly not something you should feel you have to do. Nobody wrote that it was required for breakups, and look – I’m writing the exact opposite! It’s okay to just take some time to yourself without running off to bang someone else. Trust me on this one.
5. Take some time for you. This is probably the thing I forget most after a breakup, because I’m usually very worried about what the other person is thinking or feeling or doing (or WHO that other person is feeling or doing, if you know what I mean), so I spend more time obsessing over that than taking care of myself in ways that work for me. Give yourself room to mourn the loss of a relationship if you need it. Go out with friends if you need it. If it settles some part of your soul, go get wasted and sloppy-drunk and pass out on your own apartment kitchen floor. These things are okay, because breakups suck. Just try not to make the more self-destructive things super habitual, because that can get very dangerous.
You guys, breakups are the worst*. There’s nothing fun about a breakup. More often than not, there’s nothing good (at the moment of breakup) about your situation. (*Notable exceptions include abusive or awful relationships, in those cases breakups are AWESOME). There are things that make them easier, and things that make them harder. In my own experience, doing the opposite of the things listed above make breakups harder.
I hope this helps, if this is what you need. Be good to yourselves and each other, and keep being safe.
Hello, dear readers. I’ve had a lot on my mind the past couple of weeks, and unfortunately for those of you who come to this blog for it’s original purpose, relationship advice wasn’t part of my thoughts. For the next paragraphs, please forgive my soapboxing and frustration; I’m just really appalled by all of this. I have a lot of feelings about all of this, and I’m telling you right now that this isn’t going to be a funny post.
For those of you who’ve been living under a rock the past few weeks, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the Trayvon Martin case. Quick recap, for those who don’t know: 17-year-old Martin went to get snacks one night in Sanford, Florida, got followed by a neighborhood watchman, and ended up being shot to death by said neighborhood watchman.
It’s kind of a big mess now. I think that’s putting it really mildly. There has been a lot that’s come to light, including the 911 calls made by George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who killed Trayvon Martin. I don’t know what your personal feelings are, but if I hear a police dispatcher say that I don’t need to be following someone, then I’m going to listen to that person because they’re probably pretty sure of what they’re doing. The other extremely disturbing part is that you can plainly hear Mr. Zimmerman use a racial epithet, which was censored on many major news outlets. If you want to listen for yourself, a couple of minutes into it you can hear Zimmerman say “f***ing c**ns”, which is a not-so-nice way to refer to African-Americans.
As if the direction from a police dispatcher to leave the kid alone wasn’t reason enough to be upset, the neighborhood watch rules also explicitly state that watchmen are not to carry firearms. But we’re not paying attention to any of that.
What’s great is that there has been no sign of Mr. Zimmerman in the last month (Martin was killed on February 26), but friends of his have come forward. An African-American man named Joe Oliver has been interviewed in several places and pretty much keeps saying Zimmerman isn’t racist because well, obviously Mr. Oliver is his friend. It’s a very classic “I’m not racist because I have a friend who is a person of color” excuse. And that’s what it is. It’s a crappy excuse that is only making a crappy situation worse, and that’s really frustrating. For some reason in the United States, it’s seemingly not racist unless you’re a blatant, explicit white supremacist. That’s such BS.
There has been a lot of talk about Florida’s firearms legislation, including what “stand your ground” and “castle” laws mean. A castle law comes from the old term that “a man’s house is his castle” and thus he has a right to defend it. So for a castle law, you can use force on any intruder (Indiana has included cops as intruders in a recently passed piece of legislation!) With the “stand your ground” law, essentially, if you feel threatened in a public place in the state of Florida (literally anywhere), you can use deadly force, so long as you assert you felt threatened. And then you can walk away.
There’s also a smear campaign happening against this dead boy. I really can’t think of anything more disgusting than pointing out he was suspended from school for having marijuana. He’s dead. He got shot to death by someone. Isn’t that enough? I’m disgusted that people are choosing to pick on a dead child, when relevant authorities are refusing to investigate the case. It’s horrible.
The other horrible part is how incredibly racist we’re all being about this. George Zimmerman has family of Hispanic or Latino descent, so there are talking heads on television who are now asserting that white people have done nothing wrong and do nothing wrong. It’s basically being made into Trayvon Martin’s fault because he went outside wearing a hoodie when it was cold at night. He was probably really weirded out by a strange man following him for awhile. He was probably REALLY concerned when that same man got out of his car and approached him, or when they approached each other.
Instead of being concerned with the dead teenager who was probably scared shitless in the last minutes of his life, we have people like Geraldo Rivera saying not to let Latino or African-American males walk around wearing hoodies. He quite literally said, “the hoodie is as much to blame for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman.” REALLY?! Ugh.
I realize as a white American woman I have a bit of privilege behind me, I don’t deny it and I try to be aware of it. However I think a lot of people are missing the point – regardless of who felt threatened, why don’t we let this come out in a court of law? If Mr. Zimmerman and his friends and family are going to protest on behalf of his innocence, do it where it really will matter. Get the acquittal and then get help for that itchy trigger finger.
I’m really mad about this, and I think it’s an important conversation we need to have. I’m not against responsible gun ownership, I’m not out to infringe on one’s right to own or carry or use a gun. I think, though, if you shoot someone, and especially if it’s a mortal wound and they die, you should go to court. If you’re innocent, let the evidence show it.
Hey everybody, thanks to you guys wanting more of my fabulous advice, I just broke 2,000 all-time views on this little blog!
That’s pretty spectacular, and I’m really really flattered.
You know what else is awesome? Suggestions! Don’t panic, I have some posts coming up, but if you have questions or suggestions or you just want to say “hello”, leave a comment or email me directly at gaygirladvice (at) gmail.com
Really, from the bottom of my heart, thanks for reading this.
I hope you all had a fun, happy holiday week or so with your families! I know I did.
I know that for some of you, “family” doesn’t necessarily mean your biological family. It might mean an adopted group of humans you get along with better than the people who birthed and helped raise you. But at any rate, I hope whatever you did and whoever you did it with made for some great times and memories. Did you score any great loot? I got a pile of gift cards and my mom made my girlfriend hand-knitted wool slippers
That being said, let’s get down to business.
Not too long ago, my pal Aaron had a conversation with me about his ladyfriend. Unfortunately it was not such a good conversation. I mean the subject wasn’t good, it was kind of depressing. It was about when a good time is to drop The L Word. (insert pic of TLW cast with “no, not this L word”)
His girlfriend said she loved him. This is great, right? Well, I think it’s great, but I’m kind of a sap and I love mushy stuff (If you ever tell anyone, I’ll deny it). The tricky problematic part comes when the second person is either not ready to say the L word, doesn’t feel like they are in love, or offers some other response that isn’t “OMG I LOVE YOU TOO”. So what’s a dude to do?
If you’ve never been in this kind of situation, here are some sample responses from two of my favorite humans – my girlfriend, and the person who usually makes my delicious iced mochas, Kelly!
Girlfriend says: “I probably wouldn’t but maybe if that helped me realize that I was, in fact, in love with them too, then I would say it back. Imean, didn’t that kind of happen with us? I’m always the first to fall in love anyway, so…”
Kelly: “Eventually it’s gonna get awkward for her and she’s gonna keep saying it and being like “What the hell!” I don’t know, he needs to figure out what he does feel and if he doesn’t feel that way maybe he’s just wasting her time. How long have they been together? How old is the dude?”
First things first, don’t panic. It’s okay to not be ready to say you love someone. It’s also totally okay to not be in love with someone! That’s the great part about human emotions – we can’t really force them, we just have to learn how to deal with them in their own special way. I strongly advise against saying it unless you’re ready (and ESPECIALLY don’t say it if you don’t love that person) Seriously, that should go without saying but it unfortunately DOESN’T go without saying. Some people are just stupid about repeating things they hear back to someone, especially when it’s considered a horrible awful thing to NOT say it.
Second, give her some SPACE. Saying something big like “I love you” is a big deal and people need time to react, even when they’re the ones saying it. This is especially a million percent true if the person who said it doesn’t get the response they hoped for right away. So what is an appropriate course of action for this situation?
My girlfriend probably said it better than anyone else could (except maybe for me): “ideally someone would sit you down and be like, ‘Hey I’m in love with you how do you feel about that?’ and then you’d have the opportunity to voice concerns on the matter and maybe talk about how you do love that person or maybe you’re really really slow to fall in love with somebody because of XYZ but when somebody’s just like ‘I love you’ it’s kind of hard to build a discussion out of that or be rational about that.”
I know that love and emotions don’t qualify as rational, but right now let’s realize that you can speak rationally about irrational things. That’s a little deep so I’ll leave that alone, but really, it is A-OKAY to wait and cool down before talking about something big like being in love.
Here’s some really important advice for EVERYONE to follow: if your dudefriend (or ladyfriend, I obvs can’t judge/discriminate) doesn’t say “I love you” back to you right after you say it for the first time ever, DO NOT PANIC! This is a big deal for them, too – it’s not easy to hear someone confess love, because I honestly don’t think anyone truly considers the fact that someone other than a parental unit loves them in a big way. If you don’t get a response right away, remember to chill out about it. Being upset won’t make them say it out of anything but guilt, and that is SO unhealthy I can’t even come up with a good comparison.
Also, remember that they might just plain old not feel that way. Once again I turn to my trusty pal Kelly to bring this one home:
“I also think I’d be comfortable enough to say it, or maybe comfortable enough to tell them I’m not ready to say it”. (And then she sang Haddaway’s “What is Love?” and the conversation stopped being productive)
To summarize, don’t freak out if someone you’re dating says they love you. (Wait. Freak out if it hasn’t been a longer term thing. If you’ve been together a week, don’t be declaring undying love. There’s NO way that’s a real thing.) Don’t smother those people bugging them about why they think they love you or whatever, unless you are really trying to change their minds. And try to keep it comfortable and intelligent, don’t insult anyone and don’t break anyone’s heart. Most DEFINITELY do not mess with someone in a vulnerable love-declaring state. It’s rude and I guarantee you’ll lose all your friends forever.
Okay boys, I told you this was coming. And you know what, I think you’re ready for it.
Today we’re gonna talk a bit about the cold shoulder. This is a common phenomenon among members of my gender(sorry!), so I’m gonna walk you through what it is, why it happens, and what to do to make it stop.
So the cold shoulder. What the hell is it? Urban Dictionary has some, um… interesting definitions for it, but I define it as a general withholding of love and/or affection. To go into a little more detail, if someone close to you stops communicating with you seemingly out of the blue, or for instance if they act mad all the time but just around you, they’re probably giving you the cold shoulder. Also, there’s glaring. Lots of glaring. Glaring is key. If someone glares at you but doesn’t talk or say why they’re mad, this is a huge symptom of the cold shoulder. And so is any of this.
But why, you’re asking, does this happen? What went off in her brain to make her this way?
Okay first of all, it might not even be her. It might actually be you, in which case, put on your big-boy pants and get ready for what I’m about to tell you. This all stems from a communication problem, in the most basic sense. Maybe you said something she didn’t take as a joke, maybe you didn’t say something. Maybe you forgot her birthday/your anniversary/to let the dog out/whatever. It doesn’t matter what it was, it matters how you handle it.
This brings me to my next point… How do you handle someone who’s giving you the cold shoulder?
The best advice I can give you guys is to not do ANY excuse-making, especially not before you find out what is wrong. This could be a mix-up, a simple misunderstanding of terms. This could also just be a really, really simple mistake on your part. The key to all of this is finding out what it is, and even if you don’t think it’s a big deal, that doesn’t matter. Do you value your relationship with whoever is angry at you? If you had been enjoying certain privileges and now are not, would you swallow your pride and apologize like an adult to get them back? (Pro tip: If you’re answering “no” to either of these questions, stop reading and piss off. This blog is clearly not for you.)
For those of you still with me, remember it’s always always ALWAYS easier to apologize for a small issue as soon as you come across it. Always. This is how we keep things from being blown out of proportion.
I asked around to some of my friends, to figure out what they do when someone’s giving them the icy glare of anger. The vast majority of them asked me what I did to sabotage my relationship now, but after assurance that this was for research and a few laughs, I got some pretty awesome answers (I have great friends, basically). The overwhelming response was “ask what you did to deserve this and go from there”. Like, literally all but one person said this – we’ll get to that in a minute. Dear Katie and Flannery had the wisdom to recommend doing something extra-sweet or super-nice in addition to a sincere apology. Rachael and Josh said a heartfelt “I am SO sorry for ______” will save a lot of headaches from popping up and reduce the drama in your love life.
What intrigued me was the response I got from my buddy Kim. She didn’t recommend asking what was wrong – her exact words were “confront them”, which personally sends up red flags, but everyone has their own way of dealing with things. The rest of her reply seemed a little counter-intuitive to that whole “maintaning a relationship” thing at first. She said, “If they won’t give you an answer, then do the same thing they are. At least that’s what I’d do. Or ask someone else who knows them well if they know what’s wrong.”
This was a really good reminder that you might not always get the answer you need from that person. They might not be ready to talk about it, in which case I say stick it out, they might be looking for an excuse to break up with you, in which case I say let them break up with you like a grown-up. They might even just be waiting for you to figure it out on your own because they think you’re smart enough. This last case? Definitely ask the friends if you’re stumped. Seriously.
So let’s recap a bit in the “what do you do” department, because this is a lot of stuff to remember.
1. ask what’s wrong – be really REALLY nice and don’t make assumptions
2. take some time to cook up a spectacular apology
3. apologize. Be honest, tell her how you feel about this, listen to what she says.
Now for some really, REALLY crucial stuff, okay? Don’t EVER start in on her with the “well you did THIS and THAT that one time” routine, even if she does it first. Sometimes she will just need to vent about past transgressions and such. Sometimes she’ll try to bait you into doing it – remember these words, gents. Always remember, too, that relationships are built and not made, and it’s one step at a time. This is also how a lot of relationship troubles can be solved – one thing at a time. Focus on the issue at hand, and keep your eye on getting through it. I think you’ll find you’re a lot happier overall.
But wait, you might be saying, I forgot a step, didn‘t I? Isn’t there some magical way to avoid the cold shoulder altogether? No. No there is not. Believe me if there was a way, wouldn’t I have told you by now? Everyone gives the shoulder, and it’s something we all have to get used to – sometimes, life is just a bitch.