Ask Natalie: Breakup bonanza

“Dear Natalie,

I broke up with my girlfriend this weekend and I feel really bad now. I know it was the right choice, but I still feel down. At the same time I feel like I don’t deserve to feel this way since I was the one who did the breaking up.”

Just because you were on this side of the breakup doesn’t mean it was any less of a breakup. You are still single now. You still have a blank space in your life now that was filled until a few days ago. Don’t think that — just because you were the one who broke things off — you don’t have a right to feel whatever you feel. That’s the thing about feelings — no one should tell you which ones you can have.

Just because you were the one to pull the plug, doesn’t mean you weren’t in a relationship. You deserve the same love and hugs from your friends, the same ice cream and the same understanding when you need a cry. You’re a person too. I hope you feel better.

When things are tough, remember that it takes a huge amount of courage to end a relationship that needs to end. You will find love in a partner one day, even if it wasn’t today. 

“Dear Natalie,

My friend started dating my recent ex. She asked if I was okay with them hanging out and I thought I made it very clear that I was okay with them being friends, but not with anything more. She came up to me today and told me that they’re dating now and she hopes I can support them. As if. What should I do?”

First off, what a crummy friend. Second, what a crummy ex.

If you told them as clearly as you did me that you were not okay with them getting together and they did it anyway, I would let them go. You don’t need those people in your life. As much as I think that “dibs” on a person is a lame concept, your so-called friend clearly doesn’t care about you or your feelings. You said no, she said, “Too bad, I was just pretending to care about what you thought.” That shows a lot more about her than anything else. 

I would talk to your friend and lay it out on the line. Tell her that you cannot support them and that you thought you made that clear. Tell her that she is free to continue her relationship with your ex, but you won't be around. 

To quote Gretchen Wieners, “Ex-boyfriends are just off limits to friends. I mean that's just, like, the rules of feminism.” 

“Dear Natalie,

My friend is going through a breakup and I’ve done all the normal things to help them out, but I want to do something extra. Any ideas?”

You’re such a sweet friend! In my opinion, it’s the little things that can make all the difference. Make them cookies one day, take them out for lunch or send them fun videos about kittens and puppies. 

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It’s the things that get them day to day that will show your extra support. Keep it up! Friends need friends during breakups, especially awesome friends like you.

Need advice? Contact Natalie anonymously at and have your questions answered in an upcoming issue.