Dear Miss Emily:

My girlfriend just broke up with me. We had been together nearly 3 years. She made me the happiest guy in the world and gave me everything she could offer to make me happy. I thought I did the same for her, but I didn’t.  I never laughed at her jokes, and hardly ever took her out anywhere. She loved going places. Last week, she said it’s over for good.. I flipped out because I didn’t expect it. I begged her not to break up with me. She was 100% sure she didn’t want to be with me. She then said she needs her space and we shouldn’t talk for a few weeks. I agreed but kept calling her 3-4 times a day.  I had time to think about my mistakes and I felt so angry at myself.  I never cheated on her or anything horrible like that, and she was always faithful to me. When I call, she will get angry at me and shout. She says she loves me more than anything in this world, and its so hard for her.  Then she shouts at me and tells me to leave her alone. She says that if she acts that way maybe I will get angry and forget about her, so its easier for her. I did get angry and didn’t call her for a couple of days. She called me, was nice,  asked how I was and got angry, again.  I don’t know what to do and she is really confusing me. She says she loves me and always will even, now, but then says it won’t work. I was on the phone to her for hours and told her where I thought I had gone wrong, and I will do everything to make myself a better person, but she says it’s too late. I always called her when we argue, and I think she knows this. But when I don’t call her, she calls me!  I’m very confused and I think I confused you. But please help me. What should I do?  What has she got up her sleeve?  She says there is no one else in her life.

----------------------Miss Emily’s advice-----------------

I don’t think she has anything up her sleeve, but she thinks she has a pain in her butt, and that’s you!  But now you have suddenly seen the light? You were with her for almost 3 years. You must have realized that, somewhere along the line, you weren’t pulling your weight. In fairness to you, maybe her jokes weren’t funny and, although she likes to go places, you are a garden-variety couch potato. You say she did everything to make you happy, but if she didn’t expect that in return, there lies the real problem.  It’s possible that she has repressed anger toward you, and is now just letting it out.  Breaking up carries a lot of emotion, and this is why she seems to contradict what she says.  I’m sure she does love you, but when she says it won’t work, it’s because she has taken a lot of time thinking about where it went wrong and why she needs more from a relationship.  When a relationship ends, it’s often like a slow death.  It may be that both of you will go back-and-forth, venting and apologizing until the final breath has been taken.  The best thing you can do, now, is take it a day at a time.  Talk to yourself, make peace with yourself, and avoid looking pathetic.