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Dearly Beloved, But I Guess I’m Lonely Brokenhearted

In this week’s Dearly Beloved, the advice column from author Michael Arceneaux, a reader laments a situationship that went sour after one fight. He wants to know if he ought to heed the call to change from his sort of boo thang or just back away from the situation altogether. And no, he doesn’t call it a “situationship” himself, but well…read on and see what you’d call it.

If you want Michael’s advice, just email him at [email protected] with your question. Just be sure to include SPECIFICS, and don’t forget to start your letter with Dearly Beloved!

It’s a thing.

 

Dearly Beloved,

Hello, I don’t know how to start this but I’ll just go, I guess. I have been seeing a guy for about three months. Nothing was official, but we were doing everything a couple did just low key. No one knew anything except some very close friends. He decided he wanted to visit some family for a while and went away for a week. Before that he said he wanted something more with me and I was really excited but recently things changed.

Two days later, when he was gone, we had an argument. I didn’t understand his point of view because he didn’t explain it very well. Either way, the conversation is irrelevant. He told me that I was too emotional and that I had to grow up. He said I wasn’t trusting and I needed to open up to him more. However, he said he doesn’t feel emotions or empathy as much as everyone else. I just don’t get how he could change his mind so quickly after one fight. I’ve been through a lot of stuff during the time he left and from when he messaged me so I did react in a less logical way but… he made me feel like I’m not good enough.

That I should change and things might work out later on but he’s not willing to change himself either.

Sincerely, Broken.

Dear Broken,

While I get that the two of you behaved in ways that were like a relationship, unless the pairing is defined as a relationship, it’s not one. I can already imagine you may have read that and proceeded to boo and hiss at me, but hear me out. When you don’t have a relationship by name, it tends to be more along the lines of a situationship. As in, you do all of the things couples do but without the title. That sort of deal makes it easier for someone to flee, ‘cause after all, they’re not in a relationship with you.

That’s not to piss away at what you had with this person, though.

As someone all too familiar with situationships, I’m totally aware of what it’s like to act like a couple and care about someone like they are your partner only to be left standing in the rain like a member of any boy band from a music video. (I started to name Boyz II Men because one video came to mind, but I didn’t feel like explaining what Boyz II Men was to someone probably born in spring 1996. We didn’t all have older sisters whose CD collection you rifled through.)

Having said that, although I understand the sadness and anger you may be experiencing now, ultimately, you’re going to realize that he did you a favor. You know you better than I do or better than he does, so if in your heart of hearts, you feel you could stand to mature — as in be more trusting, be less emotional, et al. — then take some time to process that and make the appropriate changes. However, I think this is a guy who by his own admission lacks emotional intelligence and probably couldn’t stomach someone who reminds him of what he is seemingly incapable of producing.

Bottom line: if one argument scares him away, he’s not the one for you. Three months is a fair amount of time to figure out how someone is and how they would behave in a relationship. If he’s ducking you after one fight, you should just ditch him. You shouldn’t be contemplating changing parts of yourself to appease another who makes you feel less than. You would make much better use of your time finding someone who appreciates you, and by extension, make you feel even better.

In sum, fuck him. You’re welcome.

Signed,

Beloved!


Michael Arceneaux

Michael Arceneaux writes the “Dearly Beloved” advice column at INTO. He is the New York Times bestselling author of the newly released I Can't Date Jesus from 37 Ink/Atria Books/Simon & Schuster. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Essence, The Guardian, Mic, and more. Follow him on Twitter.