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Editor's Note: The following three letters were finalists in our June 2005 Break-Up Letter Contest. We'd like to thank everyone who participated and voted. While the contest is closed, you can still read the top three letters below.
Help! I have been trying for a long time to break up with this friend of mine (we’ll call him Snickers because that is his real name. He’s not innocent and does not need to be protected). He just can’t seem to take the hint. We’ve been together for longer than I care to admit. We’ve had some wonderfully sweet times together. No matter how tired I get of my other friends, Snick is always there. At first it was okay. We were a pretty good team. But then he would just never go away. Sometimes I wanted to be alone, but every time I turned around he was there. For a long time I enjoyed having him in my purse or in my top dresser drawer. Then I realized he was keeping me from some very important relationships. I barely knew Apple and Banana, and Broccoli just didn’t feel welcomed when Snick was around. It would have been different if he liked my other friends. We could have all spent time together. But Snick became so selfish. He wanted to be the only one. I’ve tried to explain how I feel. He has become so possessive of me, wanting all of my time and attention. Frankly, I’m afraid of him. Sometimes I see him watching me from the pages of a magazine, from the TV, even from my own kitchen cupboards. I’ve become a victim of Snicker stalking. Please help me! If only I could make him understand there still is room in my life for him. But there are others I want to spend time with also. What can I do?
Your problem is not uncommon. Many people out there find themselves in relationships that are too possessive, too selfish. I can sense from your letter that you are very upset with Snick. Take a moment to calm down and think clearly. Snick is feeling threatened right now. He used to be tops on your list. Now you’re bringing in more Apples, more Whole Grains, more Green Beans. Of course Snick is going to try harder than ever to get your attention. My advice to you is not to shut him out entirely. Invite your other friends in so you can all get to know each other. Let him hang around. As soon as he feels your friendship is secure, he won’t be so apt to require all of your attention. Let him know you still care. Let him know that most of your time is going to be devoted to Apple and Broccoli, Whole Grains and the others. If he feels you still care for him, he will be content to share you with others.