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The Hook Up is a weekly relationship advice column from MTV Act and the It’s Your (Sex) Life campaign, written by the very talented Kristin Russo and Dannielle Owens-Reid.
From the awkward to the complicated to the down-right-adorable, these girls have you covered. To submit your question about love, lust or anything in between, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you, and your question could be chosen for a future column! Plus, the first 30 people get free MTV Act shirts. FYI, in case you’re a little shy, all questions can be anonymous.
I’ve been dating someone for more than a year who I really like but parties a lot. I’m starting to feel like I might not be able to have this in my life. How do you know when you just have to break up?
You just know. I’ve been in your position a few times and believe me IT’S HARD. However, I think the fact that you’re saying to yourself “this isn’t what I want” is a pretty clear sign from your brain-head and heart-head.
It’s never fun to go through a break up and it’s even less fun when you both love one another, but sometimes there’s nothing else to be done. The two of you are at completely different places in your life OR you just want completely different things. Sometimes we can compromise, you could say ‘hey why don’t you go out this night and this night and we’ll stay in together these nights,’ but honestly, all that does is make it so you’re more annoyed if she goes out on an off night and she’s more annoyed that she can’t go to a party on a Thursday because of your “Rules.”
Follow your heart. Make a list. Write down your feelings. Do what’s best for you. Maybe you’re right, maybe you can’t have this in your life. Please know that’s okay, you are not ruining your only shot at love. You are doing the right thing by looking out for yourself. After all, you have to spend your entire life with YOU, better keep you happy. Right?
I absolutely agree. I think we, as humans, tend to make excuses when we want something to work. We are REALLY good at telling ourselves, “No, she’ll grow out of it,” or “It’s okay, I can work on myself so that I become okay with his behavior.”
Timing is everything when it comes to relationships. Yes, they might party less in five years, and yes, perhaps you will become more flexible in a few years… but you’ll have all those years NOW of disliking their behavior, which causes fighting, resentment, and ultimately leads to problems that won’t be fixable.
Talk to your boo and say to them, “Listen, it is starting to really bother me that you like to go out and party so much, and I don’t. I don’t think that you are doing anything wrong AT ALL, but I do know that it is causing a rift between us. Maybe we are too different to make this work. What do you think?”
Now, there’s a chance that they will look at you, eyes wide, and say “I have been feeling awful lately when I am out – it doesn’t seem like me anymore and I’d like to make a change. I can’t lose you and I can’t lose this.” If that’s the case, you guys should TOTALLY MAKE OUT, because that is super romantic and making out is awesome. If, however, you find in your conversation that you don’t see eye to eye – I agree with Dannielle, trust your gut and move on. There are so many different kinds of humans out there and you will be able to find the right combination at the right time so that you can be happy and make out constantly. Or whatever.
Todd: Is it better to come out to someone in person or through a letter?
It’s better to do what makes you most comfortable. For me, I wanted to talk to my dad face to face. I felt like I needed that for my own piece of mind. HOWEVER, I ended up writing to quite a few friends of mine. There was something about talking to these friends that made me feel like I couldn’t get out the right words with my mouth, you know?
Writing gives us a certain freedom that talking doesn’t. We have the ability to say exactly what we want to say and to answer questions before they’re asked. We can explain to someone exactly how we feel without hoping they’ll just “get it” based on the way we’re acting. We can express emotions we don’t even completely understand, which is nearly impossible in mouth-form.
Some people are really really good at talking, I am not. I’m okay with it, but I’m not awesome. Therefore, I choose to write because that is what’s best for me. Like I’ve said before and I’ll say again, You HAVE to do what makes you feel most comfortable. Coming out is a process, it’s YOUR process, this is totally up to you.
There is no “best way to come out.” I know that, in a time where you are unsure about EVERYTHING, all you want is for us to be like: HERE IS HOW YOU DO IT: STEP ONE BAKE A CAKE, STEP TWO EAT THE CAKE, STEP THREE TELL YOUR MOM, STEP FOUR DO A DANCE. And… while you can totally follow those instructions, I have to break it to you: There is no rule book, there is no guidebook, and usually there is also no cake.
What you should know is that, no matter which way you choose to express yourself, things are going to unfold over time and occupy much more than that initial “big reveal” moment. If you come out to someone in person, then you might encounter an awkward pause or two, say a few things you didn’t necessarily mean, laugh in a place that wasn’t even funny, or hug for a few seconds too long and then make a really bad joke. THESE THINGS HAPPEN. The ridiculous moments I have shared with friends when coming out to them in person are some of my favorite stories.
That said, you might want some more space and time for yourself or the other person, and I am always a fan of letter writing for that exact reason. Just make sure that, after you write a letter, you let the person know that you are totally happy to talk to them, answer their questions, ETCETERA.
You are going to do great, no matter what you decided to do. I promise. I have literally come out to people by panicking and shouting “I’M A LESBIAN” and then shiftily looking from side to side in awkward silence, and I am still a living breathing human (with those same friends) today. You know?
Kristin Russo and Dannielle Owens-Reid are the co-creators of Everyone is Gay, a website and organization promoting kindness between all people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. The views expressed in these blog posts are the viewsof the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of MTV, KFF or the It’s Your Sex Life campaign.
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