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In a new feature I’m calling “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:
My ex-boyfriend and I dated for six months and it was a very bad relationship. I hadn’t seen him for three months when he texted me asking if I still had some of things. I replied that I did, and asked when he would like to pick them up. He then proceeded to tell me all about his new girlfriend he’s living and working with in a town an hour away (I knew he had moved a few months ago for a job) and how he wants her around all the time and he is so happy. I am trying to be happy for him, but I can’t help being a little jealous that he wants to spend all his time with her and wants to marry her. I had to practically beg him to spend time with me instead of his friends when we were dating. Is it normal to be jealous that an ex is treating his new partner better? I don’t want to date him again, but part of me wonders where this nice, attentive guy was when we were dating. He hardly ever let me spend the night (he couldn’t stay at my place due to pet allergies) and he’s already moved in with this girl! They’ve only been dating at most 2-3 months, so is this just new relationship excitement on his part? Is his attachment to her because he is in a new town with no friends to compete for his attention?
There’s also one other odd thing about the relationship. His girlfriend is black, and the entire time we dated, we always fought about how racist he was. He would say things like “I don’t believe in mixed race babies,” and that he thought we should restore segregation. He even ordered white power items from websites. This really has me scratching my head. Any thoughts? — Confused Ex
Laurel March 23, 2011, 2:08 pm
If he’s shoving in your face how “happy” he and his new girlfriend are, chances are he isn’t “over it” either. (I say “happy” because we don’t know her side of the story.) I think it’s natural to be jealous when our exes get with other people, even when in no way would we want to be back with the ex.
With my most recent ex, I was so glad to be rid of him, and did not want him back at ALL. Still, a few months after our break up when he got a new girlfriend, I was a little jealous. I thought it was weird, because I didn’t want him. I thought about it some more and realized that I was jealous of the puppy love thing, of him thinking she was the sexiest, coolest, most fab woman ever. Even though I didn’t want HIM, I did want that attention. And then I realized that I was happy I wasn’t in her shoes, because she had to be with him at the end of the day, and I didn’t.
Kat March 23, 2011, 2:11 pm
Maybe this is his attempt at proving that he “won” the break up?
DramaQueen224 March 23, 2011, 2:14 pm
It’s completely normal to be slightly jealous of an ex’s new relationship, however, you need to stop thinking about it and analyzing it! This guy is clearly an asshole: he didn’t treat you well, he’s trying to make you jealous by telling you how perfect his new relationship is, and he is/was racist. Good riddance! Give him his crap, delete all of his texts and lose his phone number. There are so many nice people in the world, spend your time thinking about them.
Green_Blessings_Goddess March 23, 2011, 2:18 pm
Confused ex, we don’t really know why, maybe a part of him is hurt and wants to toss in your face that he is with someone new, maybe he is not over you and misses you or maybe he has moved on and is mean and wants to upset you and say haha, I found someone else before you.
My question to you is why are you wasting so much time on this? We don’t really know and we never will. Why are you wasting your time on him? Meet him, give him his stuff and leave immediately after and have nothing more to do with him.
You had to beg him to spend time with you, he is an a$$Ho/e forget about him and be thankful you didn’t waste anymore time with him. He sounds like a jerk and like he is trying to hurt you or make you jealous and you are letting it work.
RoyalEagle0408 March 23, 2011, 2:18 pm
1- He’s not over things with you and is trying to prove he is.
2- You and he had a bad relationship, so maybe he wasn’t all that into you in the first place, which is why he treated you badly.
I know the second sounds harsh, but it could be the truth. I’m not saying it’s the nicest thing to do by any stretch, but that’s what I thought of.
Kerrycontrary March 23, 2011, 2:32 pm
I agree. Besides the fact that the guy is a jerk, it sounds like he just wasn’t that into the LW and is really into this new gf. Or he’s nutso!
Mimi January 21, 2017, 9:55 am
If he was so into a new person/relationship he wouldn’t feel the need to flaunt it. When you are secure about things you don’t go around screaming for attention about it. He’s an immature insecure little boy attempting to be hurtful because on some level he knows he messed up and doesn’t want to lose this person in his life even if they’re not going to be together. It’s a narcissistic form of control – makes him feel special while keeping her hooked in (control) so he has someone he can always go back to just in case. If they are always there he is free to take the person for granted and to abuse. Hunny run – he is an asshole and doesn’t deserve you. I would bet that you’re leagues above him and he knows it.
RoyalEagle0408 March 23, 2011, 2:33 pm
Definitely got something going on. I think regardless of why he’s doing this, the LW should be glad she’s done with him and continue to be done with him!
bagge72 March 23, 2011, 3:58 pm
That or he was with this girl while they were dating, and that is why he never let her sleep over, and never slept over her place. Maybe he just threw the racist stuff in to throw her off the tracks!
Lexington March 23, 2011, 4:05 pm
That’s what I was thinking!
Elle March 23, 2011, 2:24 pm
My guess is that he’s telling you all this to get your attention. If you give him the reaction he wants, it’ll be an ego boost for him. He might interpret it as ‘she still has feelings for me’. Don’t give him that.
The fact that he texted you (he initiated contact) after three months indicates that he wants the attention, and he’s still thinking about you. Don’t feed his ego, because it will come at the expense of your ego. Next time you talk and he brings up his new relationship, cut him short, or tell him about the great things happening in your life. (Do not say ‘I’m happy for you’, don’t say ‘How come you never did that with me?’ Just ignore it, because, frankly, you could care less).
When he comes to pick up his things, tell him that he only has 5 minutes, as you have to go hiking, yoga, whatever. You don’t have to be nice to him. He was an asshole to you. You have every right to repay in kind.
Addie Pray March 23, 2011, 2:31 pm
Good riddance – that guy is a freak! I say that all because of the last tidbit and, frankly, that’s enough to never want to see or talk to him again, end of story, forget about all the rest. But until I got to that last bit of odd information, I just kept thinking, “maybe he was just not that into you.”
sobriquet March 23, 2011, 2:31 pm
When I was 19, my boyfriend broke up with me because he thought I wasn’t responsible. So, I went out and got an apartment and a job and enrolled back in school full-time. I wanted to prove that I was, indeed, responsible.
Years later, when I was 21, another guy I dated (and only saw on weekend nights) told me he thought I was an alcoholic. He was one of those self-diagnosing types. I most definitely was not an alcoholic and I proved it to him by not drinking for 3 months straight.
My point is that your ex may be “proving” to you (and even himself) that he’s not racist by dating a black girl. And as far as divulging all those happy details to you about his new relationship, I guarantee that he is just trying to make you jealous. Laugh about it and shrug it off.
princesspetticoat March 23, 2011, 4:16 pm
I really like this.. it’s definitely a new perspective I wouldn’t have thought of.
And it got me to thinking… how does the LW know that the new gf is black? Since the bf now lives in another town, it’s unlikely the LW would have met the gf. Does that mean that the bf SPECIFIED the race of his new gf in a casual conversation via text?!? That seems really weird to me, but would totally make sense if he was, in fact, “proving” to the LW that he’s not racist.
ReginaRey March 23, 2011, 4:25 pm
cdj0815 March 23, 2011, 4:45 pm
Sobriquet what you say makes a lot of since. I am just keep wondering why the sudden change about race, especially dating. Just six months ago he was spouting racist remarks and now he is living with a Black woman. In all my years, with friends from all walks of life, I have never known anyone to have a change of heart that quick. What would make him change his mindset in such a short amount of time? I am Black woman, in my late 40’s (has dated Black and White men) and has never, ever seen or met anyone who has had a change of heart about race in such a short amount of time. That type of mindset dwells in the heart until some miracle happens in the person’s life to make them believe otherwise. I am really scratching my head on this one.
Ally March 23, 2011, 6:53 pm
My suggestion would be that perhaps he is just an ignorant or immature person. Sometimes people who haven’t yet/aren’t capable of forming their own opinions take someone else’s as their own. Perhaps he had a racist influence growing up, or a racist friend, but on getting to know his new girlfriend has realised that people are just people despite their outward appearance. I suppose it’s easier for some people to make assumptions or just accept an opinion when they don’t have personal experience.
cdj0815 March 24, 2011, 9:19 am
Thanks Ally. I have actually experienced people like that in my life.
Ally March 24, 2011, 11:56 am
Some of them won’t be worth wasting your time on, but others are more open to broadening their horizons. I think it’s just something you have to judge for yourself. Don’t let those blinded by ignorance affect you, pity them for being so small minded!
Fairhaired Child March 26, 2011, 2:15 am
I agree with this statement. One of my previous friends from middleschool through some of college was a “flip flopper” as I called her. She was very similar to the woman in Runaway Bride – where everything she liked/hated etc. matched that of the person she was with at that moment.
She dated two different Black men in highschool and then in college with a very racist boyfriend “mysteriously forgot that part of her life” and was also extremely racist to the point of where we stopped speaking because I had taken a Little (Greek family tree reference) who was a very proud black lesbian and and my then friend- made very rude comments about her when she was not around and I ended our friendship because I dont want to be friends with someone so easily swayed esp when it comes to insulting someone in my family (real family or greek-life family tree).
Her step-father was also extremely racist, but yet, whenever reminded of her past two relationships she would say “well they gave me really expensive gifts”.
It could be that the LW’s ex is also a flip flopper and mimicks those around him, and possibly because of his new job he may be working with different races or more of those said races that he may have “changed his colors” and was now open to being friends with them and met his new gf through a coworker or something and is now living of her like a parasite.(since the letter seems to indicate that he moved in with her and not the other way around).
Emjay March 23, 2011, 2:32 pm
People grow up, even in a short amt of time. Just because he is happy doesn’t mean you can’t be happy for him. I think when we “give” parts of our lives to people, we still stay emotionally connected, even in a subconsious way. This is probably the case. You are seeing a completely different side to this guy that he didn’t want to give you so now your feeling like “duh…..what the h*ll?” It is completely normal. Just wish him the best of luck, and cut off all other communication.
On the other hand, he might just be TELLING you these things, they might not be true, just to make you feel jealous and he is acting like an immature child in this case.
My ex (we were together for almost 3yrs before i walked out on him long story not worth posting) and his uncle moved in last year down the street from me. I have been with my current boyfriend for going on 4yrs now, and we have a house together. Well, he makes it a point (when he is not in jail) to walk down my block ALL the time with his son from his new relationship and brag to me about his girlfriend and his son (i have a very small chance of getting pregnant do to ovulation and it kills me inside and he knows it) just to make me jealous. I told him that i was happy for him but once a scummer always a scummer so leave me alone and i really dont care. Well when he realized it wasnt getting to me he started to leave me alone and back off.
So if it really is getting to you mail him his stuff via UPS and cut off all other communication. It does not have to be done in a nasty way, just be sure to tell him:
” Thats great, I’m happy for you, but please leave me alone because I have moved on in my life and I like it this way”
I hope my rambling helps……work is slow and i’m bored 🙂
ReginaRey March 23, 2011, 2:32 pm
Part of me feels that texting you about his stuff was simply a ploy to shove his new relationship in your face. That either means he’s not over you, or he’s extremely immature…or both. If you only dated him for 6 months, and now he’s so quickly moved on (and IN with…) another girl, I would guess your ex has a serious case of serial monogamy…you know, the people who can’t feel good about themselves unless they’re in a relationship at all times (and telling everyone else about it). And trust me, you should feel EXTREMELY glad that you dodged that bullet.
Honestly, an ex shoving their new relationship in your face is probably always going to be irksome. But what I think you need to concentrate more on is how to avoid dating a guy like this in the future…one who you have to “beg to spend time with” and who won’t allow you to stay at his place…and then who turns right around and moves in with someone else and uses it to make YOU feel bad. A relationship should never be about begging to spend your time with your partner – it’s about mutual love, respect, and balance. Clearly your ex wasn’t capable of those things, and all the better that he’s now out of your life…so just roll your eyes, laugh at him, and move on girl.
As for the racism…who knows. All I can say is, this new girlfriend is probably going to be writing in to DW about her “crazy ex” in a few months, too.
callmehobo March 23, 2011, 2:39 pm
RR- I read your last sentence and this is immediately what leapt to my mind….
I’m a strong, independent black woman who recently moved in with her bf of three months. However, when we started moving stuff into our new shared apartment- I noticed several of his moving boxes were labeled ‘White power’ and ‘KKK stuff”. Should I be worried, or should I just MOA?”
ReginaRey March 23, 2011, 2:46 pm
MissDre March 23, 2011, 2:47 pm
cdj0815 March 23, 2011, 4:47 pm
You hit the nail dead on!! I was thinking the samething. What is she going to do when she finds out about his past racist activities?
sarolabelle March 23, 2011, 5:27 pm
wasn’t there an DW column recently where the woman stated she lived with her 3 month boyfriend?
Emjay March 23, 2011, 2:50 pm
LOL! So tru…Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……I wonder if she is reading this right now going “Could they be talking about me?????????????”
Kerrycontrary March 23, 2011, 2:34 pm
It’s normal to be jealous when an ex gets a new girlfriend, but stop wasting your time on someone who obviously doesn’t care about you or treat you well. Even if he is trying to make you jealous, do you really care? Every relationship is different. He could’ve treated you badly, treat this girl great, and then be treated badly by a different girl. Don’t compare yourself to others and their relationships. MOA.
elisabeth March 23, 2011, 2:36 pm
RoyalEagle’s comment echoes what I’ve been thinking. Maybe he’s clicking a different way with his new girl. It doesn’t mean that you’re incapable of inspiring those feelings in other men, just that you and he weren’t as good as you can be with other people. You said yourself, it was 6 months of a bad relationship. He can’t be doomed to bad relationships forever, and neither are you.
That said, I’m feeling pretty bad for his new girlfriend! The racist behaviors you say he exhibited are pretty serious, and I’m not saying that it’s impossible to change, but for him to harbor no ill-will towards a black woman (that he’s now *dating*) in such a short time is hard for me to believe. That makes it sound like a really bad rebound for him.
Bottom line, though, LW, I think you need to MOA and don’t let it get under your skin. He’s your ex for a reason!
TJ March 23, 2011, 2:37 pm
He was not that in to you.
Plain and simple.
Does that suck to hear? Of course it does! But is it true? 95% chance that it is.
Perhaps he liked you in the beginning, but when things got serious, he realized along the way that he did not want them to be. So the logical thing for a guy to do is break up with someone, right?
Well, unfortunately, most men are not logical. They don’t want to come up to us and be like, “you’re great, just not great for me.”
He sounds like a coward who did not want to initiate the break up, so he figured he’d make the relationship as difficult as possible. He was mean, he didn’t come over, you weren’t allowed to come over a lot, etc, etc, etc. I’ll bet that you were the person who broke up with him, after trying to work through his b.s. (to show you were flexible and caring) but after six months you had enough.
Girl-you’ve had enough. Why is he babbling about his new girl friend to you? Because he is a fucking prick. Even if he is happy with her, he knows enough that hearing all bout it will bother you. There’s a saying, “The best revenge is a good life.” He’s trying to show you how good his life is after you, because it’s like he has the last say…or as I put it “the final fuck you.”
Give him his crap and don’t speak with him again. Better yet, say you lost his stuff and have a wine/burning party with your friends.
…But seriously, if you want to be a mature adult about it (I don’t always take that road…immaturity can be so fun) be civil and polite, give him a few minutes to gather his things and let it be the final time he walks out of your life (and don’t you dare let him walk back in!)
Jess March 23, 2011, 2:55 pm
I dont know, usually when I am not that into someone I dont have any desire to talk to them ever again after I finally ‘get rid of them’, much less take the time to rub my new boyfriend in their face.
maynard March 23, 2011, 2:40 pm
That last paragraph is really bizarre!
Golden_Key March 23, 2011, 2:40 pm
I agree with with all the commenters have said so far, but I think Elle brings up a really good point–he’s definitely doing this to get your attention, one way or the other. It really doesn’t matter *why* he wants attention, because he’s a total asshat. I mean, let’s be serious. He’s a racist (I mean, restoring segregation? Excuse my language, but what the fuck?!?) and treated you like crap. Both of those should not only be epically huge red flags, but total dealbreakers, IMO. So really, it just doesn’t matter why he’s being an immature jerk who wants to boost his own ego at the expense of your feelings. What matters is that you stay the hell away from him, move on, and try your best to not give this creep anymore energy. He really doesn’t deserve it, and you, dear LW, deserve much, much better.
TJ March 23, 2011, 2:48 pm
I love the term asshat…lol 🙂
Emjay March 23, 2011, 2:48 pm
OMG! U said it! Much better than my rambling response! LOL
LTC039 March 23, 2011, 2:45 pm
Do you know for a fact there is a new girlfriend? (Like through Facebook, etc…)There’s a very good possibility that he is lying to you. (Which would make him very immature). He clearly hasn’t fully gotten over you & is trying to stick it to you by setting up a reason to meet with you & then telling you “how wonderful” his new life is without you, when you never even asked.
On the other hand, don’t beat yourself up over the relationship you had with him. People have act different in different relationships. It has a lot to do with personalities. My ex and I had a horrible relationship (he was verbally abusive, barely wanted to spend time with me, etc…) but after we broke, he started dating this girl & they’ve been together for 3 years straight & they seem to click.
Clearly this guy is tactless, drama hungry, & immature…be glad you guys aren’t together anymore & focus on finding someone that is worth your time!
sarolabelle March 23, 2011, 4:34 pm
Yes, I think he is lying.
neuroticbeagle March 23, 2011, 9:47 pm
I agree. My first thought was is this girlfriend real or just a figment of his really screwed up head? This guy sounds
neuroticbeagle March 23, 2011, 9:50 pm
*controling and manipulative. Just like my computer that randomly posts my comments without letting me finish. At least I can turn this mother!@#$%*^! thing off when it gets too annoying.
lil March 23, 2011, 2:45 pm
He may just be trying to make you jealous and get a rise out of you.
It’s totally normal to feel jealous.
Don’t worry about what he’s doing now… as fast as this new relationship has moved already.. odds are that it won’t last either.
As far as the whole racist thing… maybe just maybe after only 6 months of dating you never really knew the guy after all.
There are many great men out there. So let him be “happy” and you only worry about your happiness.
_jsw_ March 23, 2011, 2:47 pm
Whenever someone is truly, genuinely happy in a relationship, they never brag about it, because that true, genuine happiness makes them just too content to worry about proving anything.
You wasted half a year on that racist jackass. Don’t waste another second worrying about why he’s trying so hard to prove to you how happy he is. All it means is that he isn’t.
HmC March 23, 2011, 2:55 pm
That’s such a great first paragraph, and so true. It’s like that biblical quote, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT
I’m hardly one to quote scripture but I’ve always liked that one…
Desiree March 23, 2011, 3:27 pm
I can’t like this enough. SO true. And it’s why my eyes always roll when I hear someone practically shouting their relationship happiness through a megaphone.
Hana March 23, 2011, 8:39 pm
Tom Cruise on Oprah’s couch?
convexed March 24, 2011, 9:35 am
Exactly…and I think when you truly are happy in a relationship, excited about and adoring of that person, you don’t feel right using them as a weapon against an ex, or as a means to elicit jealousy or prove anything. I think most reasonable, morally healthy individuals get an automated ‘bad feeling’ if they find themselves using the people they care about to manipulate others. Not only does your conscience kick in, but you aren’t interested in dragging your loved one into such petty shit. So, I think LW’s asshat ex isn’t reasonable or morally healthy, and the racist ideology seals the deal.
Don’t date racists. Don’t reward their malicious, disgusting attitudes by giving them one molecule of your heart, your energy, your time. If anyone so openly fosters beliefs that have their foundation in hate and fear, how can you expect them to turn around and demonstrate love, respect, tolerance, generosity to you?
All the rationalizing and attempted compartmentalizing in the world and the attitudes in the last paragraph of the letter would still be not just a hideously ugly red flag, but an absolute, unconditional deal breaker.
Give him his stuff, keep it to 5 minutes, send the fool on his way and out of your thoughts for good.
LTC039 March 25, 2011, 11:19 am
Agreed. The need to show off that profusely usually stems from some underlying problem.
AnitaBath March 23, 2011, 2:49 pm
Your ex is unstable, slightly crazy, and wants you to be jealous. You two obviously didn’t remain friends after the breakup, so he’s definitely not telling you all of this stuff in a, “Yay! Be happy for me!” sort of way. Instead, he’s telling it to you in a, “Take that. I’m shoving it in your face. Look at how “happy” I am. Be jealous! I need you to be jealous to feed my ego and prove that I can’t be forgotten that easily!” kind of way.
christinalovesdogs March 23, 2011, 2:49 pm
clearly he is a jerk. he wants to feel good about himself and see that you still long for him, which is why he is shoving it in your face. the more you feed into it and act like you care, the more he will do it. i say just cut him off- its easier than it sounds. you deserve someone who will WANT to be with you, and one who, at least, isnt a racist. the more energy you put into thinking/caring/analyzing him, the more you are wasting energy on focusing yourself and your new life.
HmC March 23, 2011, 2:50 pm
Why would you give a flying crap about what this idiot’s motivations are for?!
1- He treated you horribly in your relationship; him not letting you sleep over and making you beg to hang out with him are not ok behaviors.
2- He’s a racist.
3- He’s bragging to his ex girlfriend about *marrying* his new girlfriend after 2-3 months (maximum) knowing her.
If your depiction of him is accurate, this man is unstable and not someone that any good, intelligent person would want to be in a relationship with. You can’t and shouldn’t want to pick apart and understand the reason for his many ridiculous behaviors. There’s no understanding crazy. Thank your lucky stars you got out when you did, run away as fast as you can from any and all contact and don’t look back!
Elle March 23, 2011, 4:56 pm
I love this: “There’s no understanding crazy”. Now if I can only find myself a ‘crazy’ compass…
Katie March 23, 2011, 3:07 pm
anyone who needs to hate on an entire race of people obvioulsy has self-esteem issues and is only trying to make himself feel better. Trying to make you jealous of his new gf is also a sign of his insecurity. He is probably telling his black gf that he hated dating white girls lol. Seems like everyone gets a piece of this losers insecurity.
Just Max March 23, 2011, 3:08 pm
*scratching my head*
He sent a text asking for some things and you asked when he’d pick the things up. How come the conversation didn’t end with a date for you to hand the things back?
Him: “Do you still have A, B, and C?”
Her: “Yes, when can you pick them up?”
Him: “Thursday, at 6pm. By the way, my new girlfriend…”
Her: “Nice talking to you. See you Thursday. Good bye.”
It isn’t that hard to cut a conversation short.
maynard March 23, 2011, 3:21 pm
She doesn’t have to respond in order for him to send a few more texts about his new girlfriend
Hana March 23, 2011, 8:44 pm
Also, my boyfriend just has a problem with being rude. His ex was horrible to him but if she tried to talk to him he would have a conversation because he would feel bad asking her to stop. I, on the other hand, do not like being rude but have earned to stand up for myself and not let people take advantage. I’m trying to help him see the difference, and since then he has told his ex not to call anymore (in a tone she would listen too because previous attempts did not work) and she has stayed away.
sarita_f March 23, 2011, 3:14 pm
He’s not worth your time or energy. Just an eye roll, and putting his stuff out on the front porch for him to swing by is about all you owe him.
But I can’t shake this one thought: I just don’t get how two people could ‘fight’ about one of them being racist. I’m serious – what does a fight about being racist even look/sound like? All I can think of is:
Her: “You’re racist, you shouldn’t be racist”
Him: “I don’t care about your opinions, I want to be racist” or “No I’m not.”
Where would you even GO with that? What more is there to say? How do you get to the level of FIGHTING about something like that?
People are entitled to their own beliefs and all (no matter how strongly I think they’re wrong) but his actions in this aspect were pretty egregious. And you didn’t like his actions/beliefs, right? Yet you STILL ‘begged’ for him to spend time with you? You might want to check your own moral compass and/or sense of self-worth, to be so hung up on some douche like this.
Desiree March 23, 2011, 3:32 pm
Unfortunately, I know exactly how a fight about racism goes, because I feel that one of my close family members (who is otherwise a good person) is racist. These conversations, as you noted, however, always end in stalemate: very few people will admit to being racist. Some people just have different definitions of racism. So, no one is racist by their own definition, but they might be racist by another person’s definition of the word.
Katie March 23, 2011, 4:52 pm
actually A LOT of racist people will proudly admit that they are racist. Unfortunately it’s not something everyone is ashamed of.
SpaceySteph March 23, 2011, 4:21 pm
Agree with Desiree. Fights about racism are for sure futile stalemates, but they do happen. Usually it consists of non-racist person trying to point out logical fallacies (you hate all black people but you like so and so who is black) or trying to get them to give it a shot (come out to dinner with me and this black person and you will see he is not so bad and so by association not all black people are bad).
When my mom declared that “we don’t date black people” to me when I was 13, I tried several things to convince her that a. we had a lovely black live in nanny when I was a kid- she would let the woman raise her kids but not let us date a black person? b. there are worse things than her daughter dating a black person (like, maybe, an abusive man) and c. maybe if she met said hypothetical boyfriend she might like him.
It was, of course, a useless fight, but it went on for weeks. She didn’t like being called racist either. And yes, otherwise, my mother was a wonderful mother and a nice and intelligent person, but could not be convinced that her racism was rootless and illogical.
SpyGlassez March 23, 2011, 11:23 pm
My grandma who passed away last March at 90 was absolutely the sweetest woman in the world. My mom and aunts always said there could never be a better mother-in-law. I could go on and on about her (and I do, frequently), but that isn’t the point. My point is that she was someone who believed that gays SHOULD be allowed to get married. Yet she lived in a city with a fair amount of racial tension, and I can still remember her remarking, when a black family moved in next door, that they were so *nice* and how *genteel* they were, that she wouldn’t even mind if one of her granddaughters were to date a “nice, clean, presentable” black man like that, etc.
The point is that everyone has some point where they are racist, by others’ standards if not by their own. It can be useless to argue because it is very, very hard to change the minds of others.
Elle March 23, 2011, 5:02 pm
Maybe he was doing it to get her attention? Like he is now?
An ex of mine would say crazy things at times, to get my reaction. He was thoroughly enjoying grossing me out or shocking me. After a while, I stopped giving him the reaction he was expecting (well, I started to get used to it), so he lost interest. And dumped me 🙂
Hana March 23, 2011, 3:37 pm
I have had this happen to me twice before and I was hurt thinking about it, purely because I was wondering why I wasn’t treated that way. Until I ran into some common friends and found out with the first guy that a.) the “relationship” was through myspace b.) they had never met in person and c.) she was currently married and had no plans to divorce. Yet the guy was planning on moving to another state to be with her. The second time it happened the guy was telling me how he had met the perfect women, they loved being together yada yada. I found out he was lying, there was no other women. He was upset because even though he broke up with me, I didn’t try to get back together. So he wanted me to feel as bad as he did. (This was confirmed through friends/not just a thought) Of course, none of this mattered because the truth of the situation was they just did not want to be with me. They did, however, want me to want them. So they made up or exaggerated situations to try and get my attention. My advice would be to move on. Mail him his things back if you know his address and can get in touch with him, or if that is too painful leave them at a common friend’s place or just throw them out. If he is happy with someone else know that you will find someone else when the time is right and if it is a plea to get your attention, only you can decide if he is worth it. From the description and childish behavior I would say no, but to each his own.
nawilla March 23, 2011, 4:00 pm
“My ex-boyfriend and I dated for six months and it was a very bad relationship.”
Jealousy is a normal human emotion. That being said, the question isn’t ‘why is the ex telling me all this,’ the question is ‘why are you still listening to it’?
It was a bad relationship. It is over. Does he have any reason to tell you about his new relationship other than to screw around with your head? No. Do you have any reason to hold onto his stuff other than to screw around with his head? After three months (or however long it is since you actually broke up), NO.
When he called asking about his stuff (which is man-code for screwing around with your emotions so he can stroke his ego knowing he still has you on a string), the proper answer to that question was not a) sure, when are you coming over (so I can fantasize about us getting back together or how miserable you are), nor b) what’s your address so I can mail it to you (and find out where you live so I always have the option of ‘running into you’ or ‘throwing animal feces at your house’). The correct answer was c) I no longer have your things because you did not contact me about them for X period of time after our break up. You then wish the jerk well and hang up, never hearing about how wonderful his new girlfriend is, because why would you want to hear about him, much less her, if the relationship was so awful and unhealthy to begin with? He’s an ex-boyfriend of 6 months, not your parent, not a sibling, and not someone you are co-parenting a child with. MOA means actually moving beyond wasting your life worrying about what your ex is doing.
The ex is telling all this to screw with you. Don’t forget that you have the power to not listen to it.
Tracey March 23, 2011, 4:14 pm
He wants to either screw with your head or draw you into some unnecessary drama. Whatever the case, don’t take the bait. Tell him when and where he can pick up his things, have someone with you (a family member or close friend) at the appointed time as support for you. Do not engage him in any conversation around anything besides him picking up his things. If he talks about the girlfriend or anything else, say something like, “Thank you for sharing,” or “Okay…your things are right here/you can pick up your things at (date & time)….” Make sure the person(s) with you follow the same game plan. If you show him you won’t fall for any drama baiting, the more likely he’ll be to simply go away – if he even shows up at all. Good luck and hugs to you, and know you’re better not to have such a toxic presence in your life.
TaraMonster March 23, 2011, 4:14 pm
“I don’t believe in mixed race babies.” LOL. They’re not mythical creatures like leprechauns or unicorns that you can choose to believe in or not. I guess I’ll have to tell this to my future children. “Be careful. There are crazy people out there who might try to kidnap you to prove your existence. Always wear your amulet of protection.”
I know what he meant, but when you just read the sentence by itself… Lol.
Ally March 23, 2011, 7:10 pm
Unicorns are real I tell you! 😉
I had a colleague (unfortunately) who went even further than this and said that black people and white people shouldn’t have babies because they would come out… wait for it… “Stripy”. Yeah, seriously, like a zebra. She wasn’t even joking. I just walked away in disgust.
Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com March 23, 2011, 4:37 pm
It’s hard to even respond to this letter rationally because the last bit about the racism is so god-awful that I question whether I can relate to someone who chooses to date someone a racist for any length of time (I wouldn’t argue with him about it, I’d run for the hills as soon as I discovered it). BUT I’ll give LW the benefit of the doubt and assume that she broke it off when she discovered he was ordering white power items online…
That said, I’ve seen this pattern many many times with men in particular where they exit one relationship where they couldn’t commit only to go running headlong into commitment with the next person. Maybe they figure out something monumental from the first break-up and choose a better partner. Maybe, they just reach a point where all their friends are marrying and they suddenly fear being left out/alone. Maybe being single was not nearly as good as it sounded. Whatever the reason, it does happen a lot.
People who feel a need to brag or heavily “advertise” their relationships are often trying to convince themselves of something. Maybe he’s trying to convince himself he loves her, or that she loves him. Or maybe as Sobriquet guessed, he’s trying to convince himself and the world that’s he’s not a racist after all.
Luckily its not LWs problem anymore.
Quelle March 23, 2011, 5:48 pm
I have a question for you, DearWendy readers. And I’m uncomfortable discussing it with my friends.
I grew up in Eastern Europe. Back then, racial diversity was zero. Now there are people from other countries living there, but nowhere close to what it’s like in the US. I came to the US when I was 25 years old. I grew up surrounded by white people. I discovered that I’m only attracted to white guys. I’m not sexually attracted to guys from other races (Asian, African-American, Latino, guys from India). I do have friends from other races (men and women), but, for the life of me, I can’t imagine kissing a guy from another race. And I’m embarrassed to say, but after about a decade of almost daily interaction with people from other races, I still have troubles telling them apart (Calling an Asian guy by the name of another Asian guy, for example). I think it has mostly to do with my memory though, because I also routinely confuse white people as well.
Does that make me a racist? And how do I get over it? My dating options could be improved significantly if I would be attracted to all races 🙂
AnitaBath March 23, 2011, 8:23 pm
I don’t think it makes you racist. You can’t really help what you’re attracted to, and if you’re not used to picking out the differences amongst the appearance of different races, it means you’re not used to being around them. I’ve heard that “white” people all tend to look the same to some ethnicities as well. I think attitude counts more than anything.
HmC March 23, 2011, 8:33 pm
By my definition, you aren’t a racist. Like AnitaBath said, you can’t help what you’re attracted to. I’m straight, but that doesn’t mean I have anything fundamentally against women. There’s a big difference between being an accepting person of all other people in general and having certain preferences in your romantic life (like religion too, for example).
It’s weird, I grew up around predominantly whites and Asians (specifically Japanese) and those are the two races that I’ve found myself most commonly attracted to. I think recognizing and distinguishing facial features among a given race is also tied into what you grew up around… anyway I believe I read that somewhere once.
Quelle March 23, 2011, 8:56 pm
Thank you for your feedback.
SpyGlassez March 23, 2011, 11:57 pm
I’m only attracted to white guys. Men of other races, and women, do nothing for me. You can’t change attraction. It isn’t racist; it’s only racist if you think less of them for their race.
Also, have you ever considered that you might have a mild case of prosopagnosia? It means “face-blindness” and it is basically where you have a hard time recognizing faces. At the most extreme, people might not recognize their own face in a mirror. I have it or something like it, but mildly; I teach, but it can take me almost half the semester to figure out ways to pair names with faces. I usually have to have a trick for it (Mary always wears a gray hoodie; Sarah has long black hair; Glorious always has her hair in a bun; Michael has dreds). Basically, it may just be how your brain works.
AKchic March 23, 2011, 5:53 pm
I have experience in this arena. My 1st husband is somewhat like that, but worse. After I got pregnant (before we married) he then told me that he was the reincarnation of Adolph Hitler. There was a 13 year age difference. I was 18 at the time. This was going to be my second kid and he had already alienated my family from me. We married because he told me he would kill my other son if I didn’t. After we married, he told me he was God. He went as far as to threaten to kill my co-worker’s kids because they were 1/4 Alaska Native. I had him arrested 9 months after we married and I filed for divorce. This was 8 years ago.
To this day he does not have “girlfriends”. He has “wifeys”. He is never dating a female. He is “engaged” to them. He moved to another town because he burned too many bridges in the city where I live. The city he moved to has a high ratio of natives. His last three “wifeys” have been Native. All receive corporation checks. He isn’t dating them for love. It’s all about money and sex. He then tells his daughter’s mother (who I am friends with) and his mother (I’m also friends with her) that he is better off without me, that I was evil, that I was abusing him (he tried to kill me on a few occasions), and that he won custody of our son but I kidnapped him and he just didn’t want our son to be embarassed by having a mother in jail. He also alternates between death threats and the “our divorce wasn’t legal because I didn’t approve of it”.
Your guy is dating this woman and bragging to you for a few reasons. 1) she’s a steady lay. 2) to make you jealous. 3) he’s lonely.
Don’t sweat the mind games. It’s immature at best.
Katie March 23, 2011, 6:42 pm
“We married because he told me he would kill my other son if I didn’t.”
ummm sorry to but in, I know this was a long time ago… but if some dude said that to me I would go straight to the police. Not marry him!!! WTF
AKchic March 23, 2011, 6:58 pm
I was pretty much a prisoner there. There wasn’t much option. I’m just glad I got out of it with my kids and we’re all alive. Some might think I’m paranoid, overprotective or weird when it comes to dating; but those who have met my 1st husband or knew him – they understand exactly why I do it. There are three other women with a kid by him that do the exact same thing. We’ve formed a sort of support group with each other. Only we can understand the exact hell we all experienced.
neuroticbeagle March 23, 2011, 9:44 pm
Wow. Sounds like you married Charlie Sheen.
Lucy March 23, 2011, 5:57 pm
Because he’s an immature head case. You’re giving him exactly what he wants by spending even 5 seconds thinking about this. You’re lucky to be rid of him. Drop his shit in the mail, delete him from your phone, and move on.
CollegeCat March 24, 2011, 2:21 am
Here’s what I would do:
Considering it took him 3 months to miss his belongings, I assume he only left small items or clothes that he only uses on occasion (DVDs, CDs, books) rather than large everyday items that require heavy lifting (TV, futon, etc.).
If this is true pick and exact date and time for him to come and get his stuff. Pack all of his belongings in a box or storage bin labeled clearly with his name. Leave the box on your front step 15-30 min before he is set to arrive and find somewhere else to be for the next 2 hours. If he is still there by the time you get back he is putting on a show and his main motive was to see you/brag about his new life. If he and the box are long gone your thoughts on the relationship should follow.
P.S. you may want to leave a note on the box clearly stating that while you wish him well, you are ready to move on and that process does not include seeing him anymore.
JJ March 24, 2011, 11:18 am
LW-he is doing it to make you jealous and maybe even wanting to get back with you. Also,it just goes to show his immaturity level. I agree-let him pick up his things, be civil. After he leaves, delete all his contact info and move on. Personally, I don’t talk to any of my exes by choice, and I would feel a little jealous I imagine if this were to happen to me, seeing how happy he is and everything. I would also think of all the negative things from the relationship and be happy that he is not your problem anymore. I am surprised you were able to last 6 months with the way he treated you.
Allustriel March 24, 2011, 2:23 pm
I am the letter writer, and I just wanted to say thank you for everyone’s feedback! He came and got his stuff, and then tried to get me to sleep with him! I kicked his ass out and told him not to contact me ever again. I then blocked his number on my phone.
In reply to some of the comments, I know she is black because he told me via text, and several other mutual acquaintances have met her. Maybe he has turned over a new leaf, and if so, I wish him and his girl all the best! Reading the comments really helped me, and I have definitely MOA!
Hana March 24, 2011, 2:57 pm
Yay!!! I’m happy for you!
_jsw_ March 24, 2011, 3:00 pm
Well done, Allustriel! I’m also very happy for you – and sad for the one he’s with now.
TheGirl March 24, 2011, 3:48 pm
Sounds like he was trying to make you jealous! Good for you for not letting him weasel his way back in. Obviously, since he just tried to cheat on his current girlfriend, you did the right thing by getting out of that relationship!
Now go find yourself someone awesome who actually deserves you! : )
Eli February 6, 2012, 8:12 am
its amazing, the almost exact same thing happened me. But it told me that my ex never truly loved me. He used to chit chat when we’d meet as if i was just a common neighbour, even shook my hand when we would part.!! I think it was all to rise me. When we were together and it was bad, he would stand me up, insult and mock me then if i was upset i was told to Relax and take a fucking joke”!! I was tense around him all the time. He was so charming the first fewe weeks. Now i see that it was just the chase. But he did put thoughts into my head..”your the love of my life..i knew I was in love with you after our first day together”..Always remember how much i love you…i almost asked your father today for his blessing to marry you”. Its funny when i said this to my own father he said..”I’m glad you broke up, he was never good enough and you spared me the embaracement of telling him to Fuck Off”. I realise now that all this love talk is a way to emotionally control someone, to keep them hanging. He worked up the country but it was always an issue for me to visit him as if he didn’t want to let people know he had a girlfriend. Sometimes when i think of him i feel sick, in the end it was humiliating, our dates were a shag in his car up the hills then we’d argue before he left. We argued loads. There was no love. In the end i broke up with him by text because i knew i wasn’t happy. But then he acted all nice to me and took me to the cinema..and behaved like a total prick..quiet, sarcastic, no affection and then presumed to break up with me so i called him a bastard which in his eyes was unforgivable! I was having it very rough at the time, i had no job, living at home, debts, and a leg injury. Then 2 months later i was back on my feet and he starts calling me. Then one day i met him and he told me all about how happy his was with his new girlfriend and how they were living together and really happy. I actually felt nothing. I was happy for him in a strange way bcause we didn’t work. Life is too short. I was angry that he gloated but i thought if you want to behave like a man child, mammys boy then thats you, not me. Anyway i went away working abroad and we never spoke again and i met the love of my life. He is an incredible man and he makes me feel so loved and i have so much respect for him. Thats so important too. Repect. So like the song goes “We could keep trying but things will never change so i don’t look back”