August 26th, 2011

The Blackbelt: Vexed over Sex and an Ex

Dear Blackbelt,

My ex boyfriend and I were together for two years.  We had normal relationship issues, but for the most part, things were great.  We even talked about our wedding.  Admittedly, I may have pushed the topic, but he definitely brought it up on his own (he named this as a part of his reasoning for breaking up with me later). One week after having an “our future” discussion, he broke up with me, claiming “I care about you but I don’t think we’re meant to be together.”  His reasoning, among the aforementioned, was that he needed his own space and wanted to hook up with other girls.  When I tell people about this, they ALWAYS spout out, “Who was the other girl?” or “He was definitely cheating.”  I guess I’m wondering if his infidelity (or at least interest in other girls) is actually a logical and, most likely, true assumption.

– DG in CA

Dear DG,

The short answer

The Blackbelt hates to lay it on you like this…but you’ll never know for sure. Doubtful feelings like that are painful and may not go away any time soon. The good news is that there is a solution to this problem – but it will take time, and it won’t come in the form of an answer to your questions about his faithfulness as you may have thought.

Indifferent strokes

There will always be painfully unanswerable questions about past relationships. Was he cheating? Why didn’t she try to make it work? Why did he choose his toy trains over me? We can all look back on love gone wrong with vivid recollections of how crappy and helpless it felt to have no way of knowing information we would have done anything to know.

But then all of a sudden one day, you’ll be warmly surprised to find that the thought of him with another girl doesn’t hurt like it used to. You’ll reach the emotional promised land of indifference. But that day will only come once you have willfully replaced his emotional real estate in your mind with something or someone else. Time heals all wounds – but only if you use the time wisely.

If you continue to dwell on your unanswerable question, it won’t ease your mind about his faithfulness. Only actively pushing it out of your mind will. Find new activities to get into, or rediscover something that you used to do and have been meaning to get back to. Don’t rush finding a new man, but definitely leave yourself open to the possibility of letting new love develop.

We’re all wedding planners

No matter the truth about his faithfulness, you should not feel naïve or guilty about the hypothetical life planning you did with him. When you’re in a serious relationship, there’s a lot of conversational space to fill. A lot of long chats on the phone. A lot of Sunday mornings laying in bed together. A lot of commercials during the Daily Show (unless you’re smart and use DVR). With all of this time to talk, you’re going to cover a lot of ground – including your long-term plans as a couple.

Sometimes in restaurants, you’ll slowly realize that an hour has gone by, and that couple at the next table has been dead silent aside from their food orders. Those two people aren’t necessarily going through a rough patch – they may have just run out of things to talk about at the moment.

When you love the heck out of someone and they love the heck out of you, it doesn’t matter how young you are – the thoughts of marriage and children are eventually going to cross your mind. You’ll have thoughts about your wedding day. You’ll think about names for kids. There’s certainly nothing wrong with having these kinds of daydreams in your own mind, and then eventually verbalizing them with your partner when the time feels right.

Just make sure it’s someone worth daydreaming with.


For answers to all your love and relationship questions, email The Blackbelt

About the Author

The Blackbelt
For years now, young people have turned to The Blackbelt for advice and support for their relationship questions. Known for his breadth of knowledge, soothing way with words, and genuine interest in the problems of his anonymous readers, The Blackbelt is proud to be a member of the Socialtik family, and looks forward to helping you through your difficult love-related decisions.



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