Dear Miss Lonelyhearts,
Before I came to Reed, I had a great girlfriend. I know you have to be close with your gf but we were super close... she used to call me all the time, sometimes even in the middle of the night. I knew when I left to come to Portland things would be different, but I guess I didn’t realize how different they would really be. So many things have changed since I left. We didn’t talk much during last semester, and I think things are pretty weird between us now. Even though I’ve lost contact with her, I’ve been hearing a lot about her from our friends that are still in the city.
Here’s the thing: ever since I left the city, my girl got a reputation for herself. I mean, everybody knows. She’s started wearing less and going out more, and I’ve heard from our mutual friends that she drinks glasses of champagne out on the dance floor. She even hangs out with some girls they’ve never seen before.
As you can imagine, Miss Lonelyhearts, all of this has got me down. She’s got me stressed out! My mind just goes in circles. I’m constantly thinking about how it was with her and all the things we did together. Most often, I find myself thinking about how she used to call me on my cell phone late in the night when she needed my love. I knew when that hotline bling that could only mean one thing. But now, she doesn’t need my love. I wonder all the time if she’s bending over backwards for someone else, or if she’s getting nasty for someone else. She used to stay at home and be a good girl. Now, she’s never alone! It seems like she’s always with someone else. In my opinion, she doesn’t need nobody else. She should just be herself! But right now, Miss Lonelyhearts, she’s someone else.
I’m not asking for advice on how to get her back. Ever since I left the city, she and I just don’t get along. She makes me feel like I did her wrong. Yet, I need help with this break up. She’s changed for the worse. I still like her; I think about her all the time. I care for her, but she’s not the girl I used to know. How do I go about this??
Let me get one thing clear: did you and your girl break up when you came to Reed? It sounds to me like, even if you never officially said the words, things are not the same between you two as they were when you were in the city. You haven’t talked in awhile, and you’ve both gone on to do new things with your life. You go to Reed now, and she’s meeting new friends and trying new things. This sounds to me like you’re both working to establish lives and identities outside of being in a relationship with one another, which is an important part of breaking up. It’s easy to think that all of your friends just kind of wait around for you to come home on winter break, but that’s simply not how life works. You need to recognize that, although you’ve gone to a new place and she’s stayed in the city, she has changed and grown as much as you have while you’ve been apart. I’m not surprised that you two aren’t getting along —it can be difficult to stay close to someone who doesn’t respect who you are anymore.
This might be hard to hear, Jimmy. You probably don’t like to think of yourself as disrespecting someone who you were very close to, but the way you’re talking about her is possessive and, honestly, pretty creepy. She’s hitting the town and living her life ... so what? It doesn’t really matter if you think that she used to be a “good girl” — the whole “good girl” thing is gross and patriarchal. Why is she only good when she’s sitting at home, doing what you want her to do? It sounds like you think that you know better than her what she should be doing with her body and her life. You say that she should just be herself but the thing is, that’s exactly what she’s doing. It just so happens that her being herself doesn’t line up with what you think she should be like.
She doesn’t call you on your cell phone late night because she doesn’t need your love anymore. Whether or not she has other consenting partners now, no matter what she may or not be doing with her body, it simply isn’t your business. If you really want to get over this breakup, you should call off your spies and de-emphasize her role in your life. She’s obviously living her life without you — when will you start to do the same?
Running out of pages in my passport,
Ask Miss Lonely Hearts at www.reedthegrail.com/submissions/