August 19th, 2011

The Blackbelt: Work in the Way of Play

Dear Blackbelt,

I met a great guy 2 months ago, and we hit it off right away. Our first date was fantastic. He treated me like a queen – unlike my previous boyfriend of 2.5 years. Things were great for a while! He made time to see me and always called to say hello or that he was thinking about me. But things have changed now that he got promoted and is working longer hours, and we barely talk or see each other. I start a job in mid-September and have lots of free time until then, and all I want to do is see or talk to him before I start working. I know it’ll be even harder to coordinate schedules once I join “the real world.” He says his schedule will calm down in about a month…right when I start working. I feel like all the signs are telling me that I’m waiting around for nothing. I know I should enjoy being young, and go out and meet people, but I really like him and I’m just a relationship kind of gal. Should I go out and explore my options? How do I do that but still show him that I’m really interested in him? Help!

-LA in NY

Dear LA,

The short answer.
Before anything else – be careful that this situation doesn’t distract you from making a strong first impression at your new job. If you don’t feel like he’s pursuing you once his workload winds down, do your best to forget about him and move on.

Don’t drink the fate-orade.
The Blackbelt is not a believer in the notion that everything happens for a reason. Bernard Madoff happened. The BP oil spill happened. The last four M. Night Shyamalan movies happened.

You seem to be doing well in this regard already – but don’t fall into the mindset that a relationship with this guy will magically happen someday simply because it’s “meant to be.” Strong relationships require effort from all sides. If he doesn’t uphold his assertion that things will get better when his work thins out, any relationship with this guy never would have been worth your time.

Ration your stress.
Scenarios with unclear futures cause us a great deal of anxiety. We resist change, and we inherently fear what we don’t know or can’t control. We have enough actual problems today to start preemptively worrying about situations that may not go our way tomorrow.

Right now, you are afraid of what mid-September may or may not bring. But that hasn’t even happened yet! Live out your summer. Don’t close yourself off to another boy situation if you feel one developing. Love and appreciate your youth, and try to smile. This is a time in your life that you will soon wish you could have back.

Seek (excuses), and you shall find.
Eventually, you’re going to have to find a way to balance your love life with a hectic work schedule. This may not be the guy or the job to experiment with – but soon there will come a time when you’ll have to ignore all the signs that say you should give up on someone, and focus on the reasons that the right guy is worth all the hard work (in and out of the office).

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

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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