Real Live College Guy Joel: Should I Hold Out Hope That I'll Get Back Together with My Ex?

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 broke up with me about two days ago. He says he still loves me and wants a relationship with me but right now he is not emotionally healthy enough to love me fully and handle a serious relationship. He says we'll wait and see what happens in a couple of months after he's been abroad and had time to soul search, so perhaps we're on more of a break than actually broken up. I truly believe everything he's told me. We've broken up before and always because of his same problems. Am I being naive for believing he can change and hoping we'll get back together? It's been very difficult for me because we still see each other the same amount as we did when we were dating. And he also tells me we'll stay friends no matter what. I love him immensely and I don’t want to imagine a life without him. I just want to know if I'm being stupid, can a person really love someone and in the process not be able to be with them? Am I being naive? - Confused at Claremont McKenna


I’m confused too. What does that even mean? Whatever his problems, I think you’re being jerked around, frankly, even if he is dealing with personal issues outside of your relationship. Moving on may be for the best. There appear to be two different possibilities here. The first is that something is seriously awry. He could be having family problems or even health problems like depression. He may feel that you shouldn’t be involved. At the same time, you care deeply about him, and his refusal to elaborate on his situation shows a lack of honesty. You are a potential source of enormous support, and he keeps refusing to lean on you. You don’t want a guy who refuses to trust you enough to tell you what’s going on when you’ve shown that you deserve that trust.

What really disturbs me is that this is a cycle. He may be genuinely troubled about outside matters, but it’s also possible that “not emotionally healthy enough” is a flowery way of saying that he’s confused about his particular feelings for you. We all get pretty confused about our feelings from time to time, granted, but this guy is a repeat offender. No healthy relationship can be totally ruled by uncertainty. I’m sure he has feelings for you, although perhaps not as strong as yours for him, but if he can’t commit to a relationship built on honesty then I’m not sure what another “soul search” will accomplish. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you wait around for anyone. I would feel less strongly about this if this hadn’t been a repeat occurrence or if the language he used were less vague and oddly dramatic.

You’re not naive and you’re definitely not stupid. You’re just letting personal feelings blind you to what’s best for you, which happens to everybody. I don’t know whether a person can really love someone and in the process not be able to be with her. I do know that this relationship seems to do nothing but hurt you. I’m guessing many of your friends feel the same way. It’s time to cut the ties. Don’t make any weepy e-mails or phone calls. Just stop talking to him. Go Gotye, is my new post-rejection motto. If there is any way you can avoid seeing him in the future, try. The silver lining in your situation is that he’s going abroad. You have time to heal. Stop living for some guy who isn’t even sure he wants you, and focus again on yourself as an individual.

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