Relationship

Dating Girl: Our relationship has come to an end.

Dear Dating Girl: I’ve been seeing this guy for a couple of months and I thought things were going quite well. We’re both extremely tentative about getting into a relationship, so we took it very slowly and all seemed well. He even told me he was really enjoying the way things were going. Then suddenly, out of the blue, he tells me in a very cruel way that he no longer wants to see me. No discussion. Just, “It’s over. I don’t want to see you anymore.” I’m completely floored. What the hell happened?
Shocked and Shaken.
Dear Shocked and Shaken: I’d say the guy is suffering from the old fear-and-flight reaction. Maybe things were going a little too well and he’s not ready for that. But you can forget trying to find out. And no blaming yourself. Both are futile exercises. I mean it. You must also resist all urges to call up your mob connections and have him taken out. And repeat after me: I deserve better, I deserve better. As far as I’m concerned, all humans deserve respect, even when they’re being dumped. Someone who can’t be decent about breaking up with someone can’t be decent in a relationship. Now get out there and buy yourself a hot new outfit and go dancing with your best girlfriends. Right now!
That was my first Dating Girl letter and response back on July 12, 1999, just over 13 years ago. Wow – that’s longer than I’ve been married.
Like the young woman in this letter, I was tentative about getting into a relationship with The Gazette. After all, I was writing my slightly more risqué weekly column My Messy Bedroom over at the now sadly defunct Hour magazine when The Gazette approached me for a more, shall we say, family-friendly version of a relationship column. Could I be as honest, as frank, as bold in a daily?
Ultimately it didn’t matter. Sure, maybe I couldn’t use the word booger back in 1999 (ed: can I use that word yet?) and I couldn’t advise you when it came to the more X-rated aspects of your relationships, but there was so much to explore without even getting into any of that, from how to meet someone to how to get over them.
Some letters were less universal in theme than others (I’ll never forget the guy who wanted advice on sleeping with his cousin), but I tried my best to make my advice such that anyone might be able to call upon it when needed. I didn’t always succeed, but just as with relationships, there is no reward without risk.
And when it comes to relationships, just as I wrote in that very first column, “as far as I’m concerned, all humans deserve respect, even when they’re being dumped. Someone who can’t be decent about breaking up with someone can’t be decent in a relationship.”
Now I’m getting dumped. Thankfully, I didn’t get dumped like the poor woman in the above letter. There was no, “It’s over. I don’t want to see you anymore.” It was completely respectful. I’m sad, but not floored. I am well aware, as someone who has been in the media for over two decades now, that the times they are a-changin’. I am thankful for my years in this space. I am thankful for all the love, support, criticism and genuine gratefulness I have received from you for helping you navigate your way through the weird, wonderful and sometimes painful experiences of love. Not all relationships are meant to last forever. It’s been a good one. Thanks.
Now I think I’ll go out and get a hot new outfit and go dancing with my girlfriends.

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