The Hook Up: Dealing with immature breakups


I recently broke up with my first-ever girlfriend. I’m in my 20s, came out relatively “late” and had never been (figuratively or literally) with anyone until this gal. We were together for several months, and had lots of fun times.

I began to notice incompatibility issues and communication problems and wanted to break up with her but wasn’t sure how. I spent two weeks crying and worrying and not sleeping because I was so afraid of hurting her. I texted asking if we could go for a walk, and she must have known something was up because she responded by jumping the gun, breaking up with me over text, and refusing to grant my request to talk in person.

I was honestly shockedI found her texts to be incredibly immature and dishonest. I know her motivations were rooted in her own insecurities and hurt from past breakups, but I still found this entire scenario very selfish. I wasn’t allowed to say anything that I wanted, and do it in person, and I still don’t feel like I have a lot of closure. I’ve tried to cool off and cheer up over the past few days, and I’m nearly there, but I need help becoming less angry and hurt, and more understanding. I have just now started to realize that I think she has Asperger’s, which would explain a lot of things. Is it bad of me to diagnose her with something in order to help myself move on? I wanted to be so adult-like and civil during the whole break up, and I didn’t even get the chance. And I don’t know how to process what happened. She wants to remain “friendly,” but I don’t know what that means, and I’m very confused by everything. Do I just need to cut my losses?

Anna says: Well, she sounds like a douche-canoe, but I would resist the urge to diagnose her (admittedly childish) behavior, even if it makes you feel slightly better about the nasty breakup. There’s no need to pathologize her when “asshole” will do just fine.

I also don’t see much point to trying to be friends with someone who feels that a text breakup is acceptable and then aborts all contact when you try to have an actual conversation about your months-long relationship. If she can’t be adult enough to deal with a conflict of this caliber, it won’t bode well for any kind of sustainable friendship down the road either. I’m confused about how she would even ask you to be her friend if she won’t speak to you. I’m envisioning a strange game of breakup charades where, every time it’s your turn, she just leaves the room and never comes back.

Cut your losses and be glad you got out before things had the chance to get really ugly. And in general, taking the high road is always better in the long run. I applaud your efforts to be fair-minded in the face of her emotional immaturity. Unfortunately for you (and civilization as a whole), there are no trophies or hugs from the Dalai Lama handed out for being a good person. But here’s an ((((((internet hug))))))!

I’ve had folks disappear on me post-breakup, and it’s definitely a jarring experience. It leaves you with a lot of questions, a lot of lingering doubts, and frustration at the borrowed books you’ll never see again. As I’ve said before about “missappearing” and (its male equivalent, “manishing”):

“You could drive yourself crazy theorizing why your beau disappeared, but I’d recommend you do that as little as possible. [Her] disappearance is not about youit’s [her] immature and cowardly way of dealing with [her] own issues, which I’m sure are plentiful. Does this knowledge help you feel less terrible about being shrugged off? Probably not. But you don’t need [her] explanations in order to have closure. Closure is something we cultivate on our own, like a Chia pet….Remind yourself that, even though the months you spent together may have been great, in the long run, you deserve far better.”

If she decides she wants to have an in-person conversation with you about your relationship somewhere down the road, then it’s up to you if you want to grant her that chance and possibly move things toward the direction of “friendly.” But you’re probably better off without.

I’ve been dating a wonderful boy for 6 months now, and he’s pretty awesome and I love him and I trust him and it’s all pretty great. But about a month ago (thanks to a gender and sexuality course I’m taking) I realized that I’m actually bi, which I always kind of knew but studiously avoided admitting to myself, let alone other people. Ever since, I’ve been REALLY wanting to hook up with another girlI just really want to explore my sexuality (and who can blame me? Girls are hot). I was toying with the idea of convincing my boyfriend to try a threesome, but when I came out to him, before I ever said anything about it, he told me he didn’t want any part of that. So now I just feel really conflictedI love my boyfriend, and I would never cheat on him, but I am also increasingly frustrated by how much I want to have a sexual experience with a girl. Am I just stuck, or is there some clever solution to all of this?—Bi with a Boyfriend

Anna says: Girls are hot. It’s true. And so is cleverness, but there’s no way to MacGyver your way out of this situation, I’m afraid. Basically what you have to do is decide whether your pretty great monogamous relationship outweighs your desires to play naked Canasta with girls. If it does, then you’ll have to back-burner those desires for the time being (until either you break up, or negotiate different terms of your relationship). Most people break up, so it’s quite possible your lady-boning will have the chance to blossom anyway, but right now it seems like things with your wonderful dude are going pretty wonderfully, and why would you want to compromise that?

It’s also possible that you might be able to convince your boyfriend to let you experiment, if not in a threesome, then on your own perhaps. You might want to reiterate how wonderful he is and how much you enjoy being with him, and to assuage any insecurities he might have at the thought of you sleeping with another person. But, after you’ve had that good talk, if he’s still not into the idea, then you’ll have to drop it. You can’t always have your cake and eat her too, as the saying goes.