September 2009 Archived
Even Those With The Best Intentions
Published: September 23, 2009 | | Submit An Inquiry

Dear Chivalry,

     I met a nice guy a while back, he relocated to be with me but then cheated on me while out of town on a business trip.  I am fantastic and not deserving of that type of behavior so we broke it off.

     He is still a dear close friend because he understands me so well and is very supportive of my artistic endeavors.  He has come into some money trouble and I have a spare room at my house.  Normally I feel like this would be a poor choice since it has only been a few short months since we split but I think I'm going through with it.

     What do you think?  I'm so torn about this because he is the sweetest most wonderful man I've ever dated while simultaneously being the worst.



Dear R,

     Be careful here.  Living with someone can be stressful under any circumstances.  By no means should you turn your back on someone you care about when they need help, but you have to admit, there are a lot of red flags.

     Simply put, it's very hard to think of a reason why any of this would be a good idea for you.  While I admire your ability to be so kind and forgiving after such a terrible episode like the one you mentioned, it really feels like you would be inviting disaster with a deal like this.  Feeling conflicted about it is completely understandable, it's good nature to want to lend a hand to someone in trouble.  But sometimes the affection you still feel towards someone you were close to can cloud your better judgment as to what is actually best in the long run.  Combining close living quarters with the apparent confusion over how you feel about him would essentially be, well, asking for it. 

     If there really is no other option and you do end up going through with this though, then the only real advice I could give would be to make certain things clear from the beginning.  Setting a specific time limitation on how long he stays in your house that you feel is fair and reasonable could be a good thing for the both of you.  Leaving things open ended and ambiguous always leads to arguments that most of the time could have been avoided with a simple talk.

     But before you make a final decision, try to give this some more thought.




Les Paul & Mary Ford - Four Walls
GHQ - Invitation In
Mark Borthwick - Wild Love
Natural Snow Buildings - Shininz Home
Gowns - When It Burned
Sparkling Wide Pressure - Invisible Morning Feeling
Belong - Who Told You This Room Exists?
Powdered Wigs - Answered
Indian Eyes - A Place To Live
Jandek - It's Your House

The Year Gone By
Published: September 15, 2009 | | Submit An Inquiry

Dear Chivalry,

     The past year has been chocked full of change, both happy and horrible.  I've lost two important people to me, one, a big, bright spirit who meant so much to me in so many different ways for so long, another whom I enjoyed talking to and teasing, who I was just beginning to get to know in that completely effortless, guards-down familiar way.

     Mourning has been hard work.  It's not easy to understand or control my feelings, or even find the time to sort through them... I feel like one year later, I'm just beginning to define the boundaries of the love and loss and sweet memories and sour missing, sort of like mapping the ocean floor.

     Talking with friends and loves has been my biggest solace, but I worry about being overbearing, seeming too emo or needy, or just not always being able to read where others are at in this process, when talking or joking, looking at pictures or listening to music is hurtful instead of heart warming.

     Thanks for any and all advice - and of course, for just listening patiently.

-- Good Grief

Dear Good Grief,

     I'm sure no one expects you to suffer in silence.  You should always be able to rely on your friends and loved ones for support in hard times.  Dealing with loss can take hold a hold on you in ways unexpected and undesired, so it's easy to feel like you can't control your own despondence.  

     It may be a fairly obvious suggestion, but it could be beneficial for you to try and channel these feelings into some sort of creative output.  Writing, drawing, performance, whatever shape it may take, the therapy that comes with artistic expression could prove invaluable. Of course, it would be up to you to decide if this is an appropriate solution for how you feel, but it could be a useful coping mechanism that can help take some of the weight off of your shoulders.

     I remember listening to a recording of an interview a few years ago.  A radio host was talking to a musician, and for some reason they started to discuss their age and the recent years in their lives.  The host explained that he was about to turn 24 and the musician (who was 25) commented somewhere along the lines of, "23, yeah 23 is a bad year, 24 is great though, just try to put 23 behind you and move on."  You could tell that he was comparing the host's life to his own in a sarcastic but honest way.  For some reason that little comment has always stuck with me as I've compared the past years of my life.  Of course some have been better than others, but usually full of change like you mentioned.  Whenever I hear someone say they've had a bad year though, I always think the same thing: next year will be better.  So try to move on from the past as best you can and know that things will get easier for you, eventually.

     Take care.




Black Heart Procession, The - Till We Have To Say Goodbye
Scott Walker - If You Go Away
Michael Nyman - The Departure
J. Spaceman & Sun City Girls - Farewell
M83 - Gone
Björk - Undo
Broadcast - Oh How I Miss You
Colleen - Your Heart On Your Sleeve
Kouran Kin & Sinkou Son - Songs In Grief
Calvin Johnson - The Past Comes Back To Haunt Me

There Is No Easy Way
Published: September 10, 2009 | | Submit An Inquiry

Dear Chivalry,

     How do you end a romance with someone you really truly love?

     I love him, I do...  It's just that I know we aren't in it for a lifetime of love and togetherness.  It seems so cliché but I want us to remain good friends.  I want him to know that he can rely on me just as he always has.  We were long distance for two years and are now living in the same city.  It has been two months since we've been 'back together' and I am not feeling the flips in my tummy or sparks when we look into one another's eyes.  Instead I see our differences outweighing our likenesses.  I find myself feeling nostalgic for what we once had and a sickness about how horrible I feel...  He moved back to be with me and has no family or friends in the area.  I just feel awful for having a change of heart.  


Dear XO,

     It would be fairly pointless for me to pretend that I can offer some kind of simple means that will make this situation easier for you.  As I'm sure you are fully aware, absolutely nothing about this is easy.  When you truly care for someone and you find yourself in this position, that time before you actually tell them how you feel, the time you're going through right now, can be incredibly draining both mentally and physically.  The immense and burdensome guilt you carry can feel completely overwhelming.

     I know that it's hard, but try not to beat up on yourself too much.  In so many ways, it's impossible to predict the future of the relationship you're in.  I'm sure that you didn't plan on things working out this way when you made the decision to be together again and live close to one another.  Sometimes our feelings change towards someone whether we want them to or not, and more than often we certainly can't control the timing. 

     Having personally been on both sides of the table, I'm really not sure what is easier.  Most would say being broken up with is obviously harder to handle, but I truly find both to be evenly matched, especially in a case like yours.  I have found though, that the longer you wait on your end, things just become much more difficult.  If you feel you have spent enough time with your thoughts and you've made up your mind that you no longer feel the way you did for him - you should be honest and tell him what's in your heart.  With any luck, he will try to understand where you are coming from and then you can begin to work towards the friendship that you have in mind.  This of course will not be easy either, but continuing on the way things are now sounds much more difficult.

     I hope everything works out for you.




Chuck Jackson - Getting Ready For The Heartbreak
Jens Lekman - I Am Leaving You Because I Don't Love You
Julie Doiron - I Broke His Heart
Vincent Gallo - When
Sharon Van Etten - I Wish I Knew
Scout Niblett - Kiss
Ashley Erickson - Changes In The Weather
Robert Wyatt - Raining In My Heart
Reiko Kudo - Together
Brian McBride - For Those Who Hesitate