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"So I recently moved across the country with my gf for what I thought would be an amazing adventure. But since we’ve both moved in together things have changed. She’s different, and it’s been an emotional roller coaster. I have no friends here and I hate this city. We’re on the verge of breaking up and she’s crashing with a friend tonight and I feel so lost and hopeless and stuck. How do I get through this? If we break up, how do I not feel like a failure if I move back? I can’t do this alone."

- Question submitted by Anonymous and answered by Riese Bernard as a part of Everyone Is Gay: Second Opinions

Riese Says:

You’re not a failure, Doris! (That’s what I’m gonna call you. I’m gonna call you Doris. I was gonna call you Skyler but I changed my mind. You should read Doris Zine! It’s about being a human being just like you which brings me back to my point) You’re a human being! Doris, that’s all you are. Doris, I moved into a condo with my idiot boyfriend when I was 19 and everyone told me it was the worst idea ever and guess what IT WAS. and that’s just the only “time I moved in with somebody but shouldn’t have” story i can tell you on the internet, there are SO MANY MORE!

So Doris the point of this is — don’t feel like a failure. That is the last thing you should be worrying about right now, you’ve got to focus on breaking up and moving out, not on any negative self-talk. This is what life is: we try things, we make mistakes, we get hurt, we feel regret and we learn. Every relationship ends except the last one, you know? I know a ridiculously large number of lesbians who have moved cross-country for love (which I’d advise against, as a rule, but that’s another question, not yours!) and about half the time it works and half the time it doesn’t. I know some people whose “moved to a new place for a girl” stories would make you feel like you just won the relationship olympics, they are so awful.

Anyhow Doris, so what you’re gonna have to do is mobilize. Summon every little scrap of energy you’ve got inside you and funnel that into getting out of there. That’s gonna be hard and exactly how hard — like how often you’ll have to exist in the weird awkward space of we-broke-up-but-you-still-live-here which is THE WORST — will depend a lot on your financial resources and employment situation. I don’t know what those are so getting into specifics would take a long time, but in short — If you can afford it, just move home or move wherever your friends live and sleep on a couch and get a job and start again. If you’ve gotta stick around, definitely look into jobs where you might make friends, if possible, and go to autostraddle meet-ups. I don’t know how social people make new friends in real life, I’ve only made new friends via online, work or school, and I still haven’t made new friends where I live now, so my advice on new friends is laughable, really, BUT holy fuck back in my youth, that post-breakup space was often where I met the most awesome new  people ever — like most of my friends that I have right now — maybe because you’re just more open to things right after you’ve left behind a broken thing. Maybe you’re looking for the next thing, which could be a person or a home or a book or a popsicle. There will be a next thing.

Anyhow this has gotten really long but in short: everything’s gonna be okay, Doris! Break up and move out. It won’t be easy, but it will eventually, one day, be just another story you can tell when somebody asks you for advice.



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