Question of the Week

QOTW: “Help! I Have a SWIRLING Question!” But…Is It, Really??

Matthew, a fellow Hokie of mine, told me to contact you about an interracial relationship question that I had. I am age 22, and graduated from Virginia Tech. My ex boyfriend, is a 22 year old white male who also graduated from Virginia Tech. We both ran track and field for for four years and dated for a year and a half. Both of our families were very accepting and loving of our relationship and our friends embraced us. Throughout our relationship, Jack would always talk about our future children, and the fact that he couldnt wait to marry me.I will try and keep this as brief as possible, but I wanted to give you some background on us. Me and Jack both shared seperate apartments, but I spent many of my nights at his place and we had a normal couple routine: he would go to class, I would go to work, and we would come home, eat, and sleep.


January 28, the night before my grandmother’s funeral, Jack broke up with me (drunkenly) over the phone because I accused him of being with a softball girl.  When I returned from the funeral, we were still technically broken up, but still acted like a couple. In February of this year, I picked Jack up while he was drunk and that night I went into his phone and found that he was texting four girls and was flirting. The texts were not sexual, but they were very flirtatous and one girl he met up with at a bar in Northern Va. Jack had a broken nose, and when I asked him how, he said due to playing a rough game of basketball. The real story is that, he met a girl online and went to the bar to meet up with her. She is a mother, and the father of her child, tracked her down, and broke Jack’s nose. As of last week, Eric was in court for this incident, and the man that broke Jack’s nose was found guilty.


Returning back to the story, I left town and returned home to Maryland because I felt at a loss after seeing that the man I loved would entertain texts from other women behind my back. My family convinced me to stay in Maryland and continue applying to law schools and also get my head right. Jack took the break up hard at first and we visited each other, talked the incident out. Jack kept telling me that I’m the only girl he would ever want to be with, and that texting the other women was stupid but he realized that I am the one he wants.


Fast forward to April, Jack takes me on a date in DC and we spend the whole day walking around Georgetown and Arlington.I also got to view his new apartment in DC and he asked if I could come stay with him two nights a week when he moves up here. When he returned back to Virginia Tech for his last month of school, something in him changed yet again and our phone calls decreased, texts decreased, and he started going downtown and getting drunk more often. My questions about this matter only pushed him further away, and he began to say that he was happy being single and that he isnt interested in anyone else, but he was too scared to jump back into the relationship again because he feared us being unhappy or that we would argue.


He also now has a job in DC and works fulltime, and he said he didn’t want to start the relationship before he started work because it was asking him to “fail”. His first day of work was yesterday, and I don’t know if he will actually follow through with his promises and dreams for us. Last week, I went to visit his apartment and met one of his roommates. We all talked, ate food, and toured the courtyard. He has two roommates and they are both single and have a party lifestyle. My fear is that he will follow suit and put me to the wayside. His birthday was last Thursday, but I did not want to get in the way of his plans or events with friends but we talked, and he went out to the bar with friends and returned home early. He did not make any Memorial Day weekend plans with me, but I guess he shouldn’t have felt obligated to. He did send me a picture of his niece and said “This is the outfit that me and you picked out!”.


I hold on to this false hope, and dream that he somehow is just going through a phase and will snap out of it.My flaw in the relationship, is that I’m very insecure at times and would accuse him of things if I got suspicious. He said it feels good now to not feel guilty or be accused/spied on of things.


Lastly, he also said he now has built friendships with women who are just friends, but I pray it isn’t anything more. While on the phone with him last week, he said he was texting a “friend” named Madison who he met five weeks ago at VT while downtown. I asked him a few questions and he said she lives in Northern VA during the summer and has one more semester left at VT. I don’t know if I should be suspicious of anything, but it is little stuff like this which leaves me confused. Have I waited to long for Jack to ask me back into the relationship again? What are your thoughts on this situation? He went from loving. loyal, and focused to confusing.








Anne, out of all the details you put into this letter, it was this line that stood out to me most: “I hold on to this false hope, and dream that he somehow is just going through a phase and will snap out of it.”


You know what that tells me? Your gut is still working, but your heart isn’t listening. But before I go on I must disabuse you of you initial notion. This is not a “swirling” question. This is a, should-I-stay-with-my-boyfriend-even-though-he’s-acting-like-a-douchebag question. Jack could be black, white, yellow or pink with purple polka dots, and my response would still be that it is time to drop this man-boy and move on. I know this is difficult–it sounds like this guy was your first real love, and when you were together you had dreams of the future. Often times however, when couples go through major rites of passages–graduating high school, graduating college, getting their first jobs, one or both partners may be itching to see what else is out there. That’s not necessarily wrong, and in fact it’s pretty common. But what is wrong is how your ex is handling it. Instead of being a man and just saying, “Hey, I wanna be free to date other people and get into drunken fights with baby daddies!!” he’s stringing you along, because while he’s showing every sign that he’s ready to move on, his ego and feelings of attachment to you reveals that he’s not ready for you to move on. In other words, he’s being a selfish bastard.


Quick rule of thumb, Anne. Don’t pay attention to what people say, watch what they do. Love is an action, and if your ex isn’t acting in a loving way, they what he says is just empty words.


Let’s take a brief assessment of what this man has done lately: He’s getting sloppy drunk to the point that he needs phsycial assistance from you. He’s engaging in multiple texting with different women while being deceitful to you. He’s cutting you out of important life events like his birthday–and it’s probably because he AGAIN wants to get drunk and troll for more women.  And after all that, you’re not even mad!! You’re blaming yourself, saying that you can be insecure sometimes. But from the sound of it, Jack(ass) is giving you plenty of reason to doubt his undying devotion.


Here’s what I want you to do, Anne. I want you to take a moment to do what I call the Relationship Equation. The equation is simple. Make a list of two columns, the first write all the things that your ex is doing NOW to make you feel loved and happy. The second, write all the things he’s doing to make you feel sad and unloved. Count the things in both columns. Whichever has the most items rules. If he makes you feel bad more than he makes you feel good, it’s time to move one, and that’s as simple as 1 + 1 = 2. What I DON’T want you to do is waste your twenties–the prime of your fertility, beauty and sexual allure–on a man who is not serious about a future with you. Don’t come back to me when you’re 30, bitter and worn out because he kept you on the hook.


Anne, please do the equation, but something tells me you already know the answer falls into the negative.





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