Desperately trying to understand the inscrutable mind of the college male? Real Live College Guy Joel (replete with a name way cooler than those of RLCGs Joe and Joey) is here to help you out, call you out, write you a poem to show you’re great and to stop worrying, etc. From major emotional drama to the minutiae of social interaction, use him as your one-stop shop for guy advice.
My boyfriend just recently dumped me. I was completely blindsided by it and devastated. He told me that his reason for dumping me was that he is dealing with a lot of family things that he needs to deal with alone and cannot have the stresses of a relationship on the side. I know that he is going through some stuff with his family, but I also assured him that I could be that person he could talk to and that could help him through it all. Though I was devastated from the break-up, I assured myself that if he needs time alone, that is his decision, and that I would always be here after he figures everything out. But, three days later he was at the bar day drinking with his ex-girlfriend who he dated for five years who does not go to our school. I could understand if he was hanging out with her for comfort, but I spent the entirety of our relationship hearing from both him and his guy friends how much of a psycho she is and how much everyone hates her. I guess what I'm asking is for you to help me make sense of the whole situation, or give me a suggestion as to what to do because I'm at a loss. – Lost at LSU
This sounds painful and I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with it. The good news is that it sounds as if you have been really caring and dignified in your communication with your ex-boyfriend. The bad news is that it’s probably time to turn away from the whole situation. Obsessing over what happened will fix nothing. It’s time to begin to think about your own individual wellbeing.
Let me apologize in advance for my bluntness. Whatever family issues this guy deals with, you could have been a significant source of emotional support for him. When he broke up with you, he closed that path of support. It was kind of you to say you wanted to be there for him, but you were there for him already and he rejected you.
He may genuinely believe this is something he has to face alone, which sounds noble but silly. It sounds probable that his family issues were just a component that he shared with you. There must be something else at work that led him to leave the relationship. He does not want to be with you anymore, whatever his reasons, but he should have had the courage to actually break up with you instead of hiding behind some external excuse. Personally I feel that the way he has communicated has led you on into thinking that the relationship could resume when his family issues were resolved. I’m really sorry to say that I don’t think he wants that. But he should have made that clear, and I think it illustrates how he might not be worth your time.
Don’t think you have done anything wrong. You would have provided support and he chose not to accept it. You will only emotionally harm yourself if you begin thinking about any mistakes you made as a girlfriend, and you really don’t want to fixate on his contact with other girls. I understand it’s especially awful knowing he was spending time with his ex, but he may very well have lingering feelings for her that he tried to distance himself from with past comments. Clearly he needs to figure some things out besides the family issues, and you shouldn’t let him emotionally drag you down. If he decides he does need your support, even just as a friend, he can reach out to you himself. You need to completely take yourself out of the picture. Try to avoid situations where you are in close contact with him or anything that might spur you to want to reach out, because it won’t lead anywhere.
You can’t make sense of a situation unless you have all of the information. This guy has given you little, so don’t bother trying to resolve it in your mind. Just do whatever you have to do to move on into a new relationship, with a guy who will communicate more openly and actually want your love and support. You sound like someone who deserves it.