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The Breakup Series Part 1: Relationships End

April 29th, 2011 | 7 Comments | Posted in Tips For Love

The Bitter Single Guy wants you to know that he’s no sideline coach; he’s actually out there in the dating jungle trying to make it happen just as most of you are.  Recently (predictably), the BSG himself became single again (it’s a pretty consistent state for him), and one of his friends was devastated. Seriously devastated. The BSG, as he read her email, was pretty sure that she wept a little on his behalf while she was writing it.

“Oh BSG!” she said (although using the BSG’s actual name), “I thought you had found THE ONE! You must be crushed as I am crushed for you <insert sob>. I hope your hunt for Perfect Love is finally successful very very soon.”

The Bitter Single Guy explained to his wonderfully empathetic friend that he’s not among those who believe that there is a “one”. Rather, he believes that there are “many” or at the very least “several” and that the merging of lives has way more to do with timing than anything else. The BSG was also reminded that his friend has for years complained that her marriage is passion-less and soul-crushing. Yay for finding “the one”!

The BSG wants to tell you a little of what you may already know about this idea of permanent mating or as it’s more commonly known: marriage. Now, the BSG won’t enter the brouhaha regarding whether same-sex marriage should be allowed  because he thinks all that is silliness. But marriage itself is supposedly the nirvana of relationship permanence that we’re all supposed to be working toward. C’mon, you know the drill! Somewhere in your 20’s you start dating and soon (but not too soon!) after that, you get engaged, spend tons of time and money planning for a wedding (nearly breaking up several times in the process), and finally getting married and getting yourselves a litter of young-uns who you spend the next several decades managing and launching into the world. It’s the way the world works, right?

Well, no. Not really. Sometimes there is (gasp!) divorce and then RE-marriage. Sometimes there is divorce and (don’t say it!) singlehood! The short version about all of this is that relationships end. Let’s think about some of the previous reasons for marriage, shall we:

  • Ensuring sexual exclusivity to keep bloodlines “clean”
  • Breeding captive farm labor
  • Perpetuating the idea that women are exchangeable for cows and land

And since some of those are becoming a little outdated (although the BSG thinks there is something to this idea of breeding a captive labor pool), people are increasingly realizing that as they grow and develop and change, that sometimes their relationships don’t change with them and SOMEtimes, they realize that they would be happier (hold onto your hats) OUT of their relationships than IN them. (shocking, the BSG knows)

Yes gentle readers, the BSG has learned that when relationships aren’t fun any longer, sometimes people opt out of them as if their relationship were an email solicitation they had been receiving every month for years until one day they realized they could click on a little “unsubscribe” button at the bottom of the email and that mild monthly annoyance would simply go away! OK, probably most relationships aren’t quite that bad, but you get the BSG’s drift.

Unfortunately though, ending a relationship carries the stigma of failure. You failed. You failed to stay in a relationship even though you were unhappy. And the logic that makes the BSG’s blood run cold every time he hears it employed: “I’ve already got [enter random number] years invested in this relationship, I can’t give up now!” Yes, that’s the logic that the BSG wants you to employ: you’ve already been miserable for 5 or 10 or 40 years, how could you possible give up on misery now?

By the way, the BSG wants to clarify here that the absence of misery is not happiness. If you’re sailing along numbly in your relationship and a little voice reminds you that there was a time when you laughed often and generally felt good about yourself and the world, you should listen to that voice and not to the voice that tells you that you’re “content” or “on auto-pilot” or “waxing the tadpole” (sometimes the voices are unclear in their intention). The short version of this: the absence of disease is not health and the absence of misery is not happiness. Think about it.

So the BSG wants to turn the Big Finger of Failure around and point it at people who are failing to make themselves happy! That’s right gentle readers, the BSG hereby grants you full forgiveness for your relationships that didn’t last forever and those that won’t last forever in the future. The BSG grants you the power of owning your own happiness and wants you to come in and out of relationships in a way that makes you happy, even if that means staying in a relationship for decades…if it’s working, the BSG says go for it!

Look for the BSG’s next installment in his Breakup Series: So You’ve Decided to Dump Someone!

Don’t Teach a Pig to Sing

April 27th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted in Stay Or Go?

Dear Bitter Single Guy: Do you think it’s possible for a BSG to move on from their bitterness and fear?  Especially a BSG with a great big heart that wants love more than anything else in the world but is terrified of the prospect.

For those of us that have fallen for a BSG how do we know if our guy, given time, can fix himself?  How do we help him in this task?  Is that even possible? Or how can we best judge when it’s hopeless and best to move on ourselves?

Part of me thinks that if I were my BSGs “right one” I wouldn’t have these questions to ask.  The other part believes that time heals all. ~Hoping for Hope~

Dear HFH: Does the Bitter Single Guy understand that you’re hooked on a man who you perceive to be mired in bitterness and fear in a way that prevents him from being happy in a relationship (specifically, a relationship with you)?

Step away, HFH. There is an old adage that one should never try to teach a pig to sing because it doesn’t work and just annoys the pig. Not to infer that The Object of Your Affection (TOYA) is in any way pig-like, but what you did in this letter to the BSG is throw your own expectations and assumptions all over TOYA as if you understand what he needs better than he does.

If, in fact, this man is buried in bitterness (which is only a bad thing if it lasts an unreasonable amount of time, given that the definition of “unreasonable” changes based on the circumstances) and if, in fact, you have only his welfare in mind then as his friend you might recommend he find himself a therapist or similar outside helper.

However, the BSG is pretty sure that you’ve decided that because TOYA isn’t interested in being with YOU then he must have some leftover bitterness and drama that’s preventing him from wooing you. Whether this is true or not, trying to get him past his reluctance to date you by tagging him as bitter and fearful will only irritate him (thus, the pig reference).

By the way, if TOYA has actually agreed to be in a relationship with you, then the BSG has to say that the pig was asking for it (so to speak) and you aren’t to be blamed for your involvement, but the advice remains the same. Getting over bitterness is everyone’s private journey, although a therapist (or very skilled friend) can help provide motivation for the journey. ~BSG~

Dumping a Friend

April 25th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted in Dumped

Dear Bitter Single Guy: I have a bit of a problem, which I haven’t encountered much before, involving a female friend (I am also female) whom I met through my son, who is at primary school.

This woman is intelligent, talented, friendly and was pretty much instantly very enthusiastic about a friendship with me (ie she very much initiated it) initially based largely on getting our sons together to play.

To shorten a long story, she is also , as my partner puts it, “trouble”. Within a week I knew about every affair she had had or was planning to have, though I know and like her (now) ex husband. Many of the relationship dynamics and scenarios she described to me were disturbing or I just felt uncomfortable with. I did try to be diplomatically honest (most people say I have a skill for being direct but kind) about what I thought, but some of it was just too way out for me to feel comfortable giving my honest opinion on with a relative stranger/very new acquaintance.

In combination with this, she began calling me “her best friend in ……”(place where we live, and where she had recently relocated to), and being generally very familiar and enthusiastic. She has a tendency to say things like “Oh- of course you’re like that/do that- you’re exactly like me/I know you/your crazy like me…”(??)when I don’t feel that she knows me well at all. Some of that feeling on her part seems to have been increased by the fact that we coincidentally attended the same school (at different times) and know some of the same people from that time (now about 20 years ago!).

One mistake I feel I made was that at this time, I accepted an offer of free storage for some furniture for several months, while I was between houses, and living in a very small flat. It felt like I increased the sense of a bond, and a deeper friendship than I perhaps wanted, because I needed the storage.

Anyway, things continued on for some time; I found her company intense and sometimes uncomfortable, but just tried to pace myself so that I saw her when I was feeling able to handle it. I mean what do you say to someone who has just *adopted* you as an “instant best friend” ?? New one on me.

Recently, she finally broke up with her husband, whilst my partner and I married. I have seen her minimally, but she was at my wedding; I had mentioned to her that there was some family tension, and could she please kinda “mind” what she said to my aunt, who was at her table. She ended up getting drunk on martinis and saying “So, I hear the family doesn’t speak to you!”, as well as telling my aunt and cousins all about her divorce and sexual exploits(they are very conservative, which was obvious).

This was not a total disaster on its own, just kind of an “extra straw” on the pile at this point.

Our sons still really like each other. It’s starting to be really uncomfortable when I make yet another excuse not to get together, or don’t return calls straight away. I ran into her accidentally recently, and that was awkward.  I feel like it’s gutless and mb a bit mean to just “cold” her, even if it’s gradually, but I am not sure I even feel close enough to her to want to share my real feelings about the whole situation.

I have written a letter, but not sent it.

How do I break up with her???? ~Want One Less Friend~

Dear WOLF: The Bitter Single Guy totally gets your situation here and he’s glad you wrote to him. What you describe is someone unable to grasp or exercise healthy adult boundaries which is unfortunate for your friend, but at the end of the day isn’t your problem.

The BSG also realizes (as you do) that you setting a firm boundary (since this woman is unable to) may have an impact on your son’s friendship. The BSG can see it now: you stop being friends with this woman and she, in her no-boundary sort of way, refuses to allow her child to be friends with yours since you hurt her feelings. This of course, would be her using her child to hurt your child and therefore you, which in the BSG’s opinion should come with a jail sentence but parents can legally use their children as pawns in various emotional games with no consequences besides a healthy therapy bill later in life.

WOLF, in the absence of Crazy Lady setting a useful boundary, you need to do it. You should, as you have mentioned, simply stop replying to her requests to get together. Now the BSG is rarely a fan of the “just stop communicating” method of ending a relationship (romantic or friend), but in this case, the BSG thinks the best way to avoid your son getting punished for Crazy Lady’s behaviour is to see if this will pass if you ignore it.

If she persists and you have a need to clarify the boundary, the BSG thinks you could start easily with a ‘I just don’t think we’re compatible as friends’ statement. This will shock her, either because it’s not the first time she has been friend-dumped, or because she can’t imagine what it’s like to set a boundary. Either way, with luck she’ll take this blunt hint and go away.

Overall, the BSG recommends against engaging in long conversations with her about why you’re not going to be her friend. He guesses that Crazy Lady is open to all kinds of personal interaction including arguments, so will be more than happy to morph her previous best-friend energy into worst-enemy energy.  Nope, the BSG thinks the best thing is to ease out of Crazy Lady’s life as quietly as possible. Certainly don’t invite her to anymore events where there are normal people and alcohol. ~BSG~

Predators and Prey

April 22nd, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in Dumped

Dear Bitter Single Guy: I met this guy about 3 months ago at a friend’s party, I didn’t pay him any attention or even talk to him but he asked my mate for my name. He added me on FB and we started talking and texting all the time, pretty much all day every day. We soon flirted all the time and said things to each other that friends definitely don’t. We also caught up a bit, went movies and cuddled and we kissed. He talked about me to his mates, like guys do when they are interested in a girl. And we have talked every day since until about a couple of weeks ago when all of a sudden he stopped talking to me, nothing had happened, we weren’t in a fight. We just had stopped talking. I left it and didn’t talk to him for weeks cos I was sick of saying hey and being ignored. Then I inboxed him on FB having a go at him as to why when I make an effort I get ignored and that he was playing and leading me on all that time and he got really angry and we are now in a massive fight. He said that all the things he use to say to me he was mucking around and it was supposed to mean nothing.

I’m so confused by what he means by all of this? If it really was a joke or if he was just that angry that, that came out his mouth and he didn’t mean it? And I’m not sure what to do next cos we are still fighting and I have tried apologizing for the things that I said. I’m confused, help! ~Annoyed By Boys~

Dear ABB: The Bitter Single Guy hears your frustration and he has to admit, on behalf of his gender, that boys can be a pain in the ass. You see, we’re not supposed to HAVE feelings, much less TALK about them. But the BSG speaks fluent GuySpeak, so he can definitely help you out here.

Waffling Walter did actually like you at first…more specifically, he liked the chase. He liked flirting with you and texting with you…it was all giddy and exciting back then. But then, once he caught you, the thrill of the chase passed and he found that he liked the chase more than he liked you. More specifically, he liked chasing you more than the day-to-day of you. This is no reflection on you, it’s just the way things work out sometimes.

The BSG hates to be the one to tell you, but this is over. Stop arguing, stop texting, stop inboxing him (the BSG loves the verbing of that noun, by the way), stop engaging with him. Spend some time being annoyed with him and telling your friends what a jerk he became. This is all part of getting over someone.

The bad news (or good news, depending on what you hope for) is that as soon as you disengage, Waffling Walter will likely begin the chase again. Do NOT start flirting and chatting with him again or the BSG promises you that this pattern will absolutely repeat. ~BSG~

Some BSG Readers are Cheaters

April 20th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted in Cheaters

OK Gentle Readers,

Overall the BSG has to say that he’s impressed. Some of you may have noticed the BSG polls that run just over there to the right. Well, given the amount of BSG readers who write in that someone cheated on them, he thought it would be appropriate to check in on that.

So it turns out that of the 405 of you who took the poll, fully 140 of you report that you have actually cheated on a boyfriend or girlfriend. Tsk, tsk, tsk, the BSG says to you 140 people.

That said, and this is the point where the BSG is going to turn this around a little on the self-righteous folks (265 of them to be exact) who reported in this poll that they HAVEN’T ever cheated, the BSG has to admit that his own vote is in the big red “yes” column up there and while he’s not proud of his philandering, the BSG believes that it’s too easy to criticize until you’ve walked a mile in a cheater’s shoes. It’s been many years since his cheating experience (in case any of the BSG’s exes read this) but he remembers it clearly and the lesson it taught him: Don’t be too quick to announce to the world what you’d never do (cheat on someone, watch reality TV, vote Republican, etc.). Sometimes your words come back to bite you in the ass (as the BSG learned).

So to the 139 other folks (besides the BSG) who have walked the shameful path of the cheater, think about what you’ve learned and know that being a better person is a daily exercise. To the 265 BSG readers who have not walked the path of the cheater, be careful how you judge your fallen comrades. Once they too thought it could never happen to them.


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