COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987
November 8, 2017

I Need a Relationship Repair

Hey, Bonita…

Hey Bonita,

I recently had an argument with my (ex?) boyfriend. It was close to a really wonderful week together where we really connected and had so much fun. Long story short, during the fight we both said a lot of things that were hurtful and insensitive, but I definitely upped the ante and took things too far. Mind you, I don't mean or think the rude things I said.

I've tried communicating with him in the days following, but he has asked me to leave him alone. I want to respect what he wants and needs, which I have, but also want him to know how I really feel. He is very self-critical, and I don't want him to think he has done anything that he hasn't. Basically, I care a lot about him and will give him what he wants, but is there a respectful way and time frame for me to apologize and clarify without doing further damage?

Sincerely,

A Regular Asshole

Hey Asshole,

Yeah, that argument sounds painful and generally damaging to the state of your relationship. But you've already taken the first step: You recognize your mistake and want to atone for it. Since you express that you're both equally culpable for the current state of your relationship, I hope that he's feeling some regret and a desire to atone as well.

But we're here to talk about you, not him. He's upset right now and kind of stuck there, and it's his decision when he'll let go of his suffering and move towards forgiveness. I can't give you a respectful time frame, because now you're on his time. You put the ball in his court when you gave him the option to respond to you. You just have to wait for him to come around.

I think your methods, however, are plenty respectful and worthy of a response. I recently found an amazing resource through Leslie Mac, co-founder of the Safety Pin Box ally toolkit and co-host of the “Interracial Jawn” podcast. She recently put out an amazing infographic titled “Six Keys to a Real Apology.” You've already completed steps one, three, five and six—you've expressed your regret, you acknowledge responsibility, you've offered to repair the damage, and you've requested forgiveness. You're on the right track, and you're behaving like a good person.

I'm tempted to call him a brat for shoving you away after an argument and refusing to work it out, but that's his prerogative. He might be making a mad dash away from cuffing season—who knows. But you've done all the right things, and now it's his turn to accept your repentance. Good luck.


Bonita,

Is there a trend between cuffing season and spring-fling season? Are people more lovey-dovey and willing to accept flaws due to the fact they don’t want to be alone though the cold months? They can Netflix and fuck all season, ’til spring, when it gets nice, and pool season, and then ditch out and become the Athens whores we all are. Wanting to make sure every season is a stable one. POZ Patrol!

Love,

Paddy

Hi Paddy,

Even though I just used it in my previous answer, I hate the term “cuffing season.” Why can't people just, you know, go on dates and like each other and stuff? Too many games come out of language like that, and I think you might agree.

On to your question: Seasonal depression is certainly a thing, and I know that personally I pine for romance and partnership much more often during the cold season. I hope that people are being respectful and open-hearted in all of their intimate endeavors, but watch out for people who just want a warm body to snuggle until it's pool-crashin' time.

Athens is young and sex-positive—slutty in the most wonderful way—but it can be hard to navigate for the more tender-hearted of us. Communicate clearly with your romantic prospects about your dating style and what you're looking for. Let people know up front if you're looking for sex or if you're the settlin’-down kind. Clear, upfront communication is the easiest way to avoid broken hearts and used bodies.

Need advice? Email advice@flagpole.com, use our anonymous form, or find Bonita on Twitter: @flagpolebonita.

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