How Do You Know When the Affair Is Over?

The Saturday Ask E. Jean

The Daily Quagmire

Before I was fired from Elle, the Ask E. Jean advice column solved five or six problems each month. Now, just for the Queenhell fun of it, we’re solving a problem every day—and like the famous New York Times crossword, as the week goes on, the problems get harder, juicier, slippier, and knottier.

And here’s the Saturday brain-bubbler:

And If It’s Over, How Do You Know It’s Over?

Dear E. Jean:

How do you know when a love affair is over?—Heart-at-War

Heart, My Heliotrope:

It’s as hard to know when love has gone, as to know when love arrives; but I believe you can date the demise of an affair from the first instant you begin making an ass of yourself over somebody new.

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Glamorous Reader!

But, Is It Over? Or Is Love Just Dull as Hell?

The Conflab is where we hash over the day’s quagmire—and where our roisterous community saves mankind. Today old E. Jean—who’s been shouting at correspondents for 28 years (and when not shouting, the dog is barking at the letter writers)—presents a fascinating dilemma signed by “Mrs. Fake-A-Smile” to the Bigger Brains of the Ask E. Jean community.

Mrs. Fake-A-Smile’s career is snazzy, her husband is a miracle, and, yet, she is unhappy. The question, Is It Over? suffuses nearly every sentence. Her letter arrived in time for today’s post, and she will be reading our answers, so let’s gird the frontal lobes!

Take it away, Conflab. There’s nothing at stake here except the happiness of two people.

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Tuesday’s quagmire is easy. Wednesday’s is hard. Thursday’s is very hard, Friday’s is really very hard, and Saturday’s is somewhere between hospitalization and murder. Solving problems is a lark and brings meaning to our lives by giving succor to our fellow humans.