An Ode to Self Care

Illustration by Alex Hwee.

Shaun Jackson

Staff Columnist 

RLWR: Spotless Mind – Jhené Aiko

I’m stuck in a situation that most of my friends are telling me to get out of. Long story short is, my boyfriend cheated on me. Everyone keeps telling me that if he cheated once, he will cheat again. What if he learns from his mistake and regrets it?

Come on, sis…We are better than this. Having everyone in your ear telling you one thing can be annoying (and tends to make one rebellious), but if more than 90 percent of your friends are telling you one thing, there is probably a teensy iota of truth to it. However, relationships make fools of us all from time to time so if you want to take him back, that is completely your call to make. Keep in mind that regret is a very poor indicator of whether someone will make the same mistakes. When it comes to behavior, look for changes in patterns, not promises.

Four years into a relationship that’s not fulfilling me anymore. I can’t break up with him because it will hurt him too much. I’ve never had to do this and the idea of knowingly and purposely causing someone that much pain nauseates me. Where do I go from here?

First, I’m gonna say this once and you really need to pay attention: you are not responsible for his emotional state. You’ve obviously given this some thought and seem more than ready to break it off, so don’t allow yourself to be held captive by your boyfriend’s fragility. You owe yourself so much more than that. Breaking up is seldom ever easy, and you sound like you do care for him, so I don’t think you breaking up with him will come across as cruel. Remember cruelty isn’t a byproduct of honest words; it’s a product of how, when and why you deliver them.

So the guy I’m currently seeing tells me that he’s “head over heels” with me but refuses to be monogamous so he doesn’t “deprive himself” of any possible experiences he could encounter. Please, tell me what I already know.

Well, he’s selfish in a very typical way. I’ll give him credit for being honest, even though his honesty is meant to be self-serving. He’s not in love with you, but then again, you are not in love with him either. This isn’t about you feeling heartbroken, this is about you being upset you couldn’t cuff him. Good thing though, he sounds like a waste of time.

My friends are graduating and naturally leaving. Out-of-state, overseas and everywhere in between — I won’t be able to visit on a college student’s income. I’m starting to get really panicked at the inevitable reality of me being alone. What can I do?

Yep, it’s about that time of year. Granted things will change but it’s 2018 — communication has never been easier. Though it’s never the same as face-to-face interaction, it’s still possible to stay present and be connected. That being said, you have to make new friends as you enter this next stage of your life. This is something that is going to consistently happen every five to seven years, so don’t be afraid. Get comfortable with the idea of change. It’s phenomenal and you’ll be led to people you didn’t even know you were looking for.

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