November 7, 2018

How Do I Respond to My Boyfriend's Harsh Words?

Hey, Bonita…

Readers: I’m back from a short break. I needed to take some time to shuffle a few things around in my life and refocus now that various clouds are lifting. I feel better and am getting active again—maybe drifting somewhere back towards normal.

It’s been over a decade since I experienced a depression as intense and dangerous as the one that bore down on me last year, and this summer it intensified in a seriously terrifying way for myself, my friends and my family. But lately I’ve been running after work and sleeping like a baby, and I actually left the house to attend this year’s Wild Rumpus, whose Facebook page reported that about 10,000 people showed up to show out.

I decided to watch the parade this year instead of walking in it, and I must say, Athens, that you are a weirdo, and I love you for it. My favorite costumes were definitely Locutus of Borg, The Girl With the Pearl Earring and everyone who dressed as Black Panther.

I’m having a great week so far, and I hope you are too. On to the questions:

Hey Bonita,

My boyfriend is usually very nice to me, but his personality can be kind of harsh at times. It’s usually nothing too bad. (He is not the nicest to waitresses, but what can I say.) But the other day, he snapped at me in a way that was really messed up and really bothered me. He doesn’t talk to me rudely ever, but I guess he was in a bad mood or I did something. He hasn’t apologized, and when I brought it up later, he told me it was no big deal and to forget about it.

Honestly, I am very mad at him, but I’m not sure if I want to confront him about this. The fights aren’t worth it, but I’ve had enough of his crap.

There are a few rather concerning statements for me here. First off, your boyfriend is demonstrating what might be my No. 1 red flag: being rude to servers or customer service representatives of any kind. For real—there are no second dates for bad tippers or abusive patrons over here. It’s just not the trait of a good person.

If yelling, or “snapping,” as you define it, is so out of the norm for him, then why do you say you’ve had enough of his crap? I think you’re at a very pivotal moment for your relationship, where you could either evolve in your communication with each other or split up. You’re allowed to be pissed enough to just walk away if that’s what you want to do, but it’s clear to me that you feel very disrespected and transgressed-upon, and that you want some sort of atonement. I think he owes you that, and I’d rather see you get what you want than go through a breakup.

You’re going to have to soldier on past any dismissive comments and get him to acknowledge what he did, even though that sounds like a tall order from this guy. Still, he owes it to you—he’s your partner, and he should be willing to listen to you and try for you. He should care enough for you to squelch his pride long enough to apologize, and mean it. I’d be very, very alarmed if he did not.

Where can I find some companionship with a nice lady?

Out in the world, pal! You’d be surprised how many people don’t understand how much socializing is directly related to your dating and sex life, even though it’s pretty obvious. You can’t expect a companion to fall in your lap. Go where the people you like will be, whether that’s a bar, a church or that bar named Church, and be yourself. Good luck!

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