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Getting Over a Breakup

April 29th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in Dumped

Dear Bitter Single Guy: I’ll try to keep this short and sweet.

I started a relationship with a girl who works for the same company as me about a year ago. It was great for some time, but we went on a break (yes, I know it was a bad decision) and when we got back together it was never was the same.

Last week, she broke up with me and it has not been an easy road for me. Going to work reminds me of her (although we don’t work in the same office or area) and everyone in my office knows her really well. She comes up in a lot of conversations too. I just can’t seem to escape her right now.

While I know I will heal and move on, I haven’t been on this end of a break-up in a few years. I have tried to keep myself busy and hanging out with friends to move forward, but it is slow moving.

That being said, here is my question: what are some of the things that I can do to help with the healing process? Thanks. ~Looking To Heal~

Dear LTH: Doesn’t getting dumped suck? The Bitter Single Guy thinks that this is as much about personal control as anything…by which he means that even when both parties are aware that a relationship has run its course, the one who takes control and ends it usually has an easier time than the one who gets dumped. Yes; the BSG thinks that getting dumped sucks.

LTH, the short version is what you already know; it takes time. The good news is that there is nothing you can do to keep time from passing and the sting of this breakup from fading. In the meantime, the BSG cautions against brooding. Sitting at home thinking about what you (or she) could have done differently isn’t even mildly helpful at this point.

So the BSG wants you to start engaging in activities that take your mind off the breakup. This could be going to see a lot of movies (this is the one for the BSG…a half-way decent movie provides a ‘reset’ for the BSG’s brain when he needs it); it could be engaging in some meditative activity like pottery (just seeing the spinning wheel of wet clay makes the BSG drowsy, but for some this is meditative); or this could just mean doing things that make you feel good about yourself and your life, like spending time with friends who make you feel good or spending time with family (if that makes you feel good).

In short LTH, take some time for yourself. Do things that make you happy so that while you’re waiting for time to do it’s good work, you’re providing yourself some self-care.

Good luck. ~BSG~

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She Can’t Let Go

April 29th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted in Dumped

Dear Bitter Single Guy: I was dating a very nice man for about 8 months.  We met in AA.  He is also a former marine and a veteran.  We enjoyed, what I thought was, a very happy relationship.  We saw each other two or three times a week which we both were comfortable with.  He introduced me to all of his friends and made me comfortable in his home.  We took trips together and were just as happy hanging out at home as going out.

Although he was hesitant to express his emotions verbally, the sex was great and we were very compatible.  Everything seemed to be wonderful up until about a month ago.  Out of nowhere, he would not return my calls.  When I called him, he said he would call me back and then he wouldn’t.  I have emailed him a few times, but no response.  My question is – should I confront him face to face? I don’t want to confront him in a negative way.  I would just like to know (1) if he is ok and (2) to please explain what happened.  I am consumed by this. I think I deserve to know what happened.  What do you think?  He is a wonderful, caring person who gives freely of his time to help others.  I am completely perplexed and hurt by the fact that he cannot (and will not) communicate with me.  Can you help BSG – Please!  Thanks very much in advance. ~Feeling Shut Out~

Dear FSO: The Bitter Single Guy knows firsthand (from several occasions) what it’s like for a date to simply go dark and it’s one of the most frustrating situations he’s ever experienced, so he feels for you FSO.  Here’s the BSG’s advice:

First, find out if he’s actually OK. If you know he’s out there in the world (working, living, etc.) and not lying in a ditch somewhere then check this off the list. If you don’t, contact one of those friends of his you met. Resist, at all costs, the urge to ask the friend what happened to your relationship. The friend will, if s/he has good boundaries, opt to stay out of it, but if not you can expect this friend to side with Disappearing Drake.

Second, craft a written communication that indicates that you know he’s OK (you checked that in #1 above) but don’t know why he’s stopped communicating. Express your feelings and let him know that you assume he won’t respond to your letter/email, but that you wanted to close the relationship from your perspective. This is the tough part. You’ll send this letter expecting that you’ll get a response from him, but you HAVE to believe that you won’t. If he’s resisted this long, your letter isn’t likely to get his attention.

Third, go through the grieving appropriate for the end of a relationship. This will be harder because you won’t know why it ended, but here’s the key: THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT. The BSG says this without hesitation. If something happened that resulted in this man not wanting to be in relationship with you, but which he was unwilling to talk to you about, then it’s entirely his issue. Seriously FSO, hear the BSG on this .You’ll be questioning yourself here and wondering what you could have done differently and the answer is nothing. This could be over something you did or said, or something in his life, or this could just be how he ends relationships. Either way: NOT YOUR FAULT.

The BSG doesn’t recommend confronting him, there will be no good resolution to that conversation. ~BSG~

Bipolar Breakup

April 26th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in Dumped

Dear Bitter Single Guy: I’m a 20 year-old college student with lots of issues.  I have Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder.  The first two have been kind of obvious throughout my life, but never diagnosed until last year, which was when all of this started happening.  To make things much shorter, I have been hospitalized in a mental health facility 4 times in a period of 7 months, 2 for suicide attempts and 2 for near attempts.  I have had extensive therapy; more (painful) medication changes than I can count, and even had to take a semester off of school to get myself out of it.  Then I thought I had it all figured out and went back to school rarin’ to go.  Turns out this was not the case, and I’ve been deep in the throes of depression for several weeks now.  I consider it a success that I have not attempted again, but it’s really ridiculously hard to get up in the morning.  I find myself crying and sleeping all day and skipping classes.

Throughout all this, my boyfriend has stuck by me for 3.5 years (incidentally, my first boyfriend).  We have been in a long distance relationship for 2.5 of those years, and it has gone relatively smoothly.  It’s been incredibly difficult to learn to do normal people things, like go on dates, eat at restaurants, and interact with his family, but I’ve done the best I can, and have improved exponentially.  He’s also the first (and I thought last) person I had sex with or did anything at all sexual with, I hadn’t even been kissed before.  We even talked about marriage and the long term future.  The reason I say all this is because this relationship is really really important to me.  And he broke up with me yesterday.  He did so because he couldn’t handle the bipolar thing anymore.  I gave him plenty of outs before, when I was in the hospital watching me in the ICU, I said I wouldn’t hold it against him if he wanted out, but every time he refused and said he would stick by me forever.  He even signed a letter to this effect.

I get where he’s coming from, if it was me, I might do the same thing.  I get that it’s really hard to watch the mood swings and be worried that the next time you see me might be in a coffin.  But he did promise he was in this for the long haul.  I am utterly distraught.  So, what do I do?  Do I just try to get over this and don’t date until I’m sure I’m emotionally stable?  Do I try to get him back?  Do I wait until I’m stable, and then try and get him back?   Do I just enjoy being single for a while?  Do I kill myself (kidding)?  Seriously, what do I do? ~Looking for Balance~

Dear LFB: Firstly, the Bitter Single Guy wants to dampen his normally chipper responses a little to provide some pointed advice. The BSG believes that suicidal ideations (including jokes about them) are always to be taken seriously. While the BSG himself doesn’t have the array of daily difficulties that you are working through LFB, his first response is that if you are having suicidal thoughts, please get professional help right away. That’s the final game changer in your letter: the one from which there is no recovery.

That aside, the BSG wants to say that he appreciates the uphill battle you have against these disorders. Mental health is stigmatized in our society, which makes recovery and day-to-day life even harder than if you were suffering from more easily sympathizable disorders. Keep working LFB.

OK then…THAT aside, the BSG is going to provide advice for your relationship just as he would for someone without your extra hurdles. Here goes:

  • At 20, you’ve had the same boyfriend since you were what…16?
  • For the past 2.5 years of your 3.5 year relationship (that’s 71% of your total relationship time to day) you’ve been in a long-distance relationship.
  • He’s leaving you and you’re devastated and (understandably) a little miffed that he’s gone back on his word to stay with you forever.

Welcome to the world of normal relationships, LFB. There are more people struck by lightning in cornfields than have stayed in relationships from their teenage years until they die. (by the way, the BSG also thinks that your point about the next time your BF sees you might be in a coffin is frankly a little selfish. Ask your therapist about that for more detail.)

It’s normal (and expected) that our personalities develop in our late teens and early twenties so that we become more of what we’re going to be, and it’s quite appropriate for people to grow apart even if they’ve signed contracts to stay together forever. Think about that contract for a moment. If, when presented with the contract, your boyfriend had said “I don’t think I can commit to forever”  how would you have reacted? Yeah, the BSG thinks you would have dumped him, too.

This is normal LFB and given the tough row you have to hoe, the BSG is actually pleased to help you see that you get to have all the normal ups and downs in love that the rest of us have. Yes, the BSG thinks you should get more emotionally stable before you decide to participate in a relationship again. Good luck, LFB. ~BSG~

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The BSG is famous

April 20th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted in Random Crap

Whoo hoo! The nice folks at NursingSchools.net have named the Bitter Single Guy’s Relationship Advice as one of their 100 best Men’s Health & Fitness blogs!

Yes, the BSG is now in the esteemed company of the Wall Street Journal Health Blog and the Balding Blog. Esteemed company, indeed.

Keeping Her Ex’s Picture

April 19th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in What The Hell?

Dear Bitter Single Guy: My boyfriend was looking through my phone and saw a picture of an old boyfriend in my pictures. He asked why I saved it and I said that my pictures automatically save; he knew that they don’t though. He hates lying but I felt pressured and lied. I love him with all my heart and really don’t know what to do. We’re going to talk tomorrow and he said if I don’t have a reason for lying that we’re done. I have no feelings for the guy in the picture I just forgot it was on there and I’m lost without my boyfriend. I really don’t know what going to happen but as of right now I have no reason for lying just because I always save my pictures. Please help me! ~Picture Saver~

Dear PS: The Bitter Single Guy is not fooled here. He sees that you are distressed and is (of course) sad for that, but you dance around the issue here. You received a picture from an old boyfriend and made the conscious choice to save it. Whatever your reason (nostalgia, eye-candy, shopping for your next boyfriend) you haven’t told the BSG or your boyfriend why you saved this picture.

PS, you’re wringing your hands and wailing about how important your boyfriend is and how you love him with all your heart, then you say you have no reason for lying. Well gracious PS, that’s just hooey. Of course you have a reason for lying or you wouldn’t have lied. It’s more likely that you’re just not willing to tell either your boyfriend or the BSG what that reason is.

The BSG recommends being honest and he means actually honest which could be:

  • I think my ex is hot and liked the picture so wanted to keep it.
  • I think about my ex sometimes, even though I’m happy in our relationship.
  • It seems sometimes that you’re willing to throw our relationship away because of something as petty as  a lie about a picture on a phone, so I like to keep my options open until I think that you and I are more stable and by the way, what were you doing going through the pictures on my phone?

Yes, the BSG took a swipe at your boyfriend there because that seems like an important piece of this pie as well. ‘Fess up, PS. Your life will be easier.

~BSG~

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