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November 2, 1998   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

Well, I like this girl my friends introduced to me, and I am so obsessed with her, I almost ran away from home just to see her outside with my friends. I doubt she feels the same way too, and I'm always depressed when I can't see her, and I don't want to call her cause I think she might say I'm annoying, and I want to get over her, but I don't think I ever can. I really want help. My school marks are falling and I can never concentrate because I really like her, the only way she said she would go out with me is to get to know me better, but I'm way too shy. If I can't win her, I'll need all the help in the world to get over her... I don't think anything or anyone can get my mind off of thinking of her for at least 1 second -- I really love her!!!!!!

-- A Depressed Soul

Dear Soul,

Uh-oh, kiddo. Do you see the itty bitty problem you've set up for yourself here? This girl gave you your mission -- to let her get to know you better -- but if you say you're too shy to try, then you've already chosen not to accept it. That's the immediate problem. The other stuff to think about, according to Belleruth, is this (it's heavy stuff, take it slow):

1. "I don't mean to get all negative-grownup-who-doesn't-understand on you, but remember that NO ONE is what you're cracking this girl up to be. I'm sure she's adorable and excellent, but you're putting her, like, above a pedestal. When you make someone this important, trust me, they always disappoint. It's not that people can't be truly superb; it's that they can be truly superb and still not live up to the humongous fantasy someone else has about them."

2. Which raises the next question: "Think about why you have made her into such a confection of perfection. By thinking only of her, what are you NOT thinking about? Is there something icky going on with family, friends, school, etc. from which thoughts of dream girl are an escape?"

Make a list of what else is bugging you in your life, sweetie. Everything BUT "not having her." Then ask [a teacher, a guidance counselor, a parent, a grownup friend] for help with that. Start grappling with that stuff, whatever it is, and your feelings about dream girl(s) will start to downgrade from Obsession to LIKElike. And more importantly, your feelings about Depressed Soul will start to upgrade from Shy and Annoying to, well, Shy and Worth Dating.

Breakup Girl



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