Friday, August 31, 2018

His Girlfriend Dumped Him. What Now?

Washington Post advice columnist Carolyn Hax is on vacation. To celebrate she has chosen to regale us with some of her oldies but goodies, her old but good columns.

Here is a letter from a young man who just got dumped by his sometime girlfriend:

My girlfriend of a year and a half just broke up with me, saying she needed space. We both just moved to a new city (her for school, me for job/her). I don't know many people here, and we spent virtually all our time together, partly by design, partly by necessity. She indicated that it was too much pressure to deal with school, a social life with her new friends and a serious relationship. We talked pretty openly about marriage, and the breakup came as a shock. How do I respect her wish for more space while letting her know that I very much want to continue our relationship?

Ship without a Rudder

Hax understands that the young man is too clingy and too dependent. She also understands that his former girlfriend knows this. So she suggests that the girlfriend does not need to hear that he wants her back. Thus, that further expostulation would not only be futile, but would persuade her that she has made the right choice.

Here is the Hax reply:

I very much suspect she knows very much that you want to continue your relationship. Very much.

But if you need to reassure yourself, tell her in your exact words — at the same time you explain that you’re going to respect her wish by stepping out of the picture, unless and until she welcomes you back into it.

It’s a bummer, but not as big a bummer as your relationship was becoming. By your own admission, you were totally dependent on her. Unhealthy, with a capital unfair. How long before you donated your entire sense of self to the relationship cause? Assuming you hadn’t already.

Even in a situation where no one would expect you to have a rudder independent of hers, you needed to have one anyway — even if it was a hobby or your job or a complete and unforced (and therefore not at all guilt-inducing) comfort with spending long stretches alone. Anything that takes the burden of your happiness off someone else’s back.

So. Release girl, find rudder. When pain becomes ache becomes void becomes action becomes a life, you’ll look back on this giant leap and see it as merely an opening step. One I doubt you’ll regret.

Sensibly, Hax does not offer the obvious observation. The girlfriend did not bail on him because she needed space. She bailed because she had found someone else. Admittedly, such news would not have brought joy to the rudderless young man, so we accept that she was being tactful and considerate.

As for what he should do about it. The laws of contrary opinion suggest that he should do exactly what he does not want to do. Remove all traces of her presence from his space. And then, unfriend her on Facebook and stop following her on Instagram. Next, he should block her number. It’s the only way that he will ever learn to stand up for himself.


Lou Siefer said...

He needs to shave his head, get some tattoos, and ride a Harley. Then he will get all the pussy he can handle.

Sam L. said...

He needs to get a life. His own personal life, this time.

Anonymous said...

"She bailed because she had found someone else."

Very good!

sestamibi said...

Not necessarily. But either way, he should bail and move on.

Johann Amadeus Metesky said...

Sometimes renting makes more sense than buying or leasing.

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day a fetus is just a cum stain