• Relationships

Ever Break Down In Public?

Last night I had a breakdown. In public. And out of nowhere.

Sure, this has happened to me a few times before, maybe in college while drunk at a party—but that’s when I was 18 and probably everyone else around me was already on the verge of crying anyhow or puking in the bathroom. And in the end, no one would remember the next day. But now I’m 24, a grown-up in as much as I am a working professional, live alone, and pay all my bills. So when I go out, it doesn’t seem in the cards that my much more responsible self would somehow get involved in a drunken drama.

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Seeing My Transgender Roommate Transition Changed Me Too

There’s a certain amount of brouhaha amongst some evangelical Republicans over a minor presidential appointment in the Commerce Department. Amanda Simpson will perform a job for the public benefit that I can’t define. I’m pretty sure most of the American public doesn’t know what the Senior Technical Adviser for the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security does. But, because she’s transgender, it’s prompted an associate dean at the extremely conservative Liberty University to propel himself into the media’s light to proclaim that, “This isn’t like appointing an African-American in order to try to provide diversity and right some kind of discriminatory wrong. This is about political correctness.”

Absurdly stupid. Because, of course, it should be no issue at all, because people are people, and work ought to go to the person whose experience best merits it. And stupidity compounded because I’m unsure how obstinately self-blinded someone must be to believe that transgendered people don’t face deep prejudice. The prejudice is dumb, as it is at all times, but especially so when directed at a scattered group with no agenda other than to fit in and be left alone. But I guess there’s always a learning curve. I had one.
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Dear Wendy: When Exes Rear Their Ugly Heads

My ex, who I dated for all of six months about three years ago, wants to reconnect. After the breakup, he moved far away to a completely different state and I haven’t seen or talked to him since he horribly ended it by taping a note to my car window. We weren’t together for very long but when we were, everything just seemed right. When he ended it, I was devastated. Well, he recently called me on Christmas Eve to wish me “Merry Christmas” and to ask how I’ve been doing. I’ve been dating someone else for a long time and I consider my new relationship to be very serious. Since he’s called, we’ve exchanged emails and Facebook messages almost daily and have talked on the phone occasionally. He’s back home visiting family and has asked to see me before he leaves. I told him I’d meet him for lunch in a few days, but I’m nervous about seeing him again and I’m worried that my old feelings will come back. He keeps telling me that I’m the last serious relationship he’s had and, since I’m taken, he’s going to have to either wait until I’m “back on the market so he can sweep me off my feet” or be single forever. What do I do? Should I stand him up and take the guilt, or confront my past in all of its not-so-glory-ness? — Second Guessing

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My First Crush: Bill Nye The Science Guy

Before JTT, Leo, Pacey, or Dawson, there was Bill. Bill Nye the Science Guy. My first crush.

I was about 8, and Bill was maybe a million years older, but that didn’t matter. My family wasn’t in the least bit bothered by this—in fact, my parents approved highly of our relationship, because they were much happier to see their daughter watching “Bill Nye the Science Guy” than half the other crap on television.
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Girl Talk: Have You Experienced Secondhand Heartbreak?

A couple months ago I discovered that the husband half of a couple I’ve known for years was leaving his wife for one of his grad students. I was shocked. I mean, I’ve had friends go through relationship ups and downs before, but this couple was one I’d always looked up to as a relationship ideal. It sounds cliché, but they seemed like the perfect couple. They were both creative, independent (yet also very supportive of each other) and seemed very much in love. They went on adventurous vacations, were both still super hot—hell, they even had a house with a white picket fence! How could they break up?! How could they do this to me?! Keep reading »

Social Media’s A Stage, And We’re All Merely Players

Hey, breaking news, guys: the paper of record has just discovered that social media makes breaking up harder than it used to be. In an article called “Breaking Up in a Digital Fishbowl,” The New York Times reports that in this day of shared email passwords, Facebook, Twitter and various other social media platforms, it’s nearly impossible to truly disconnect from an ex:

[The] idea of what it means to break up is [also] being redefined. Where once a spurned lover could use scissors (literally) to cut an ex out of the picture, digital images of the smiling couple in happier days abound on the Web and are difficult to delete. Status updates and tweets have a way of wending their way back to scorned exes, thanks to the interconnectedness of social media. And breakups, awkward and drawn-out in person, are even more so online as details are parsed by the curious, their faces pressed against the digital glass.

Even for those of us who have been spared messy online breakups, it isn’t exactly news that sites like Facebook redefine (and invent new) dating rituals that are complex and difficult to navigate. Though the article lacks any actual news, it does give us an excuse to revisit the issue, one that brings many questions to the forefront. Like: is the convenience of connection worth the price of our privacy? And: are we merely “performers” on the stage of social media platforms, continually changing our role as our relationships to the other players change and evolve? Keep reading »

Dear Wendy: Deployments Rock Relationships

I am a soldier currently serving a tour of duty in Iraq as an Army Reservist. I have also been with my girlfriend for about 16 months. We had it planned that when I got home we would most likely get engaged, move in together, and get married down the road. This all came at the preconception that I would come home and go active duty, taking her with me.

Well, during this deployment I have found that, utilizing the many programs offered to veterans, it is incredibly easy for me to stay close to home, go to college, earn a degree, and get paid to do so. I made this decision to take advantage of the opportunity, but my girlfriend seems to think that I made this decision without her and our relationship in mind. She got very upset and freaked out, saying I changed the dynamics of our relationship and she wasn’t sure whether I wanted to still get engaged or even continue our relationship and that she was “confused” about everything. She even brought up the subject of “ending it.”

In truth, I hadn’t considered all of this because, frankly, I thought she would be thrilled about not moving and having me closer to home. However, now that she brought it up, I’m not sure if she over-reacted or if I missed something important. I can’t help thinking that life would be easier if I got home, went to school, and didn’t have a relationship to worry about. I don’t want to hurt her because I do love her very much and I don’t want to lose her. I also can’t help thinking that continuing a relationship with somebody with whom I, apparently, am not communicating properly isn’t fair for me. I don’t know what to do with this and she expects an answer about continuing or ending. Please help me. — Iraq and a Hard Place

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Will Someone Please Give @NeedyGirlfriend A Book Deal?

S**t My Dad Says? Fake AP? They’re old news, bitch. The new must-follow Twitter feed in town is @NeedyGirlfriend.

The only thing to say about Needy Girlfriend’s insecurities is they are effing hilarious. Is she fat? Does her hair smell like hair? She wasn’t checking your texts; she was skimming your phone with her eyes. Needy Girlfriend doesn’t care if she’s just a friend—it’s unacceptable for you to be hanging out with that girl! Of course, no needy girlfriend would be complete without the emotionally unavailable man in her life who makes her feel insecure: @AloofBoyfriend. Not only is he blissfully unaware of all the things Needy Girlfriend frets about, but he doesn’t want to talk about it. We’re guessing these kids have their own book deal by the time Needy Girlfriend plans—err, accidentally has—her next pregnancy scare. [Needy Girlfriend and Aloof Boyfriend] Keep reading »

Girl Talk: Why Do I Always Try To Change Men?

I’ve been in therapy for, oh, almost four years, I think. I go once a week, for 45 minutes. I spend a lot of time talking about myself, obviously — issues I have from the past that I need to work on because they’re affecting me in the present (and potentially the future), as well as the usual topics I need to vent about (work, money, family, etc.) so I don’t go postal. But mostly, I talk about boys.

When I say I talk about boys, what I mean is that I talk a lot about the issues the dudes in my life are having, how they’re affecting me and, thus, us, and how improvements need to be made in order for them to be better partners. I play amateur psychologist during my little 45 minute sessions each week with my doc, diagnosing each and every one of these boyfriends based on the knowledge I’ve gathered as a patient myself. I have evolved and healed in innumerable ways through my own treatment. I was (almost) fixed, so let me fix them.
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Single Ladies Rejoice! Living With Someone Causes Weight Gain

Dang it, we knew there had to be a trade-off for getting sex on demand when you live with a partner: A recent Australian study of 6,000 women has shown that, after 10 years, the average gal gains 15 lbs. if she lives with a partner and 20 lbs. if she lives with someone and has a baby. According to The New York Times, “There is no reason to believe that having a partner causes metabolic changes, so the weight gain among childless women with partners was almost surely caused by altered behavior.” You know, like those post-coital pints of Cherry Garcia.

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