November 14th, 2012
Today’s bad advice comes to you from a popular online magazine, wherein a frustrated woman wants to demean and blame her boyfriend for her unhappiness in the relationship. She writes:
Dear “Jane”: My boyfriend is a freeloader, a moocher, and a lazy bum who’s depleting my groceries, my toiletries (my $30 shampoo!), and my patience. He clings to me 24-7. If I say, “Let’s take some time away from each other,” he refuses. The longest he’s gone without seeing me—I send him to his parents’ house—is one day. Then he’s back in my apartment. He’s a physical trainer but has no work, never pays for anything, smokes weed all day, and is on unemployment, and, on top of everything, I pick up the checks when we go out, and he borrows money from me. I’m so sick of it. He’s 30! I know he loves me unconditionally, but I can’t support a grown man forever. Please help me break up with him kindly, without creating resentment and anger. —Feeling Guilty but About to Explode!
Girl, Please: A 30-year-old blood-sucker is wound around your torso, ramming its proboscis into any place it can find a credit card, and you feel guilty? Get rid of him! There’s no way to detach a leech without causing pain, and, as you know, you must never remove a leech with salt, matches, or pulling.
How to Remove a Leech:
1. Put on a pretty frock and say: “Let’s go out to dinner!”
2. Call a taxi. Choose a restaurant famous for its Napa Valley cuisine. Order the $65 tasting menu.
3. After dessert, when the check arrives, tell the leech, er, your boyfriend that you wish him a long and happy life, but if he can’t pay for dinner—just this once—it’s over. He will work his anterior (oral) sucker at top speed, jabbering excuses.
4. On the way home in the taxi, he will declare he loves you “unconditionally.” Never mind. Just flick him off at his parents’ house. (He’ll be surprised to see boxes of his bongs and belongings stacked in the yard. There’s no need to explain that you arranged for friends to pack his things while you were at the restaurant. Just say, “Leech, the only thing you love unconditionally is my bank account.”)
5. Ask the taxi driver to honk the horn as you drive away. It’s your first moment of delicious, glorious freedom! (The wound will itch as it heals, so do not let the leech reattach itself.)
Dear About To Explode,
The reason your man is a leech is because you’ve allowed him to be one. No one can take advantage of you unless you let them. Blaming him for all of your problems, and judging him (without also looking inside yourself) is not only unfair, it is unkind, which is what you said you wanted to avoid.
If you really want to break up with him kindly, be honest with him, in a loving way. Explain that you feel taken advantage of and that you don’t believe this relationship brings out the best in either of you, and that although you know there is a lot of love between you, it’s not the kind of relationship you want to be in. And then stick to your decision. Be as honest as possible about how YOU feel, and avoid pointing fingers, name calling, and judgment.
And when the relationship is said and done, do some introspection. There is probably a reason you ended up in a relationship like this in the first place. Perhaps you like to “take care of” people, or you tend to want to “fix people,” or maybe you like to feel “needed or wanted.” None of this is bad, but without knowing what pattern you have that got you here in the first place, it will be hard for you not to repeat it.
What kind of advice would YOU give her? Leave a comment below.