Ask a Very Smart Brotha: Does He Love Me?!?

October 12, 2011  |  

Hi Champ,

I was with a guy for about a year up until recently.  We were nearly inseparable the whole time, with the exception of the last month or two.  I love this man, and I know he loved me.  In the beginning, he could not get enough.  He always wanted more time with me, more attention, more love, more conversation, more everything.  I was the hesitant one to begin with, but it did not take me long to realize that I was head over heels for this guy.  We seemed perfect together.  We did almost everything together, usually with him initiating the time spent, asking me to come over, meet him, call him, etc.  The relationship became more involved, and eventually he dropped the L word.  Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard it, but it was most definitely the most sincere.  From there we fell more and more in love with one another, and even had those heated conversations regarding marriage, children, futures and the whole nine.  A bit of a twist to the story is, we were an interracial couple.  Despite adversities, we were both completely comfortable with who we were and who the other person was.  Race never made a difference.  Both of our families would be shocked and most likely highly disagree, but at the time we were on the same page and knew we would cross that bridge when we came to it.

Long story short, he became unhappy with certain aspects of his life, and made several attempts to better himself in those areas.  Meanwhile, I supported his efforts entirely and saw him no differently though I know he wanted more for himself.  (If you love someone truly, you love them at their worst just as you do at their best).  I know he feels he has to better himself to feel like a man.  So for a month or two he put in hard work and during that time our relationship suffered.  It was a little rocky, but then seemed things were back alright.  Then, out of the blue, he says it’s over.  I could tell it was honestly an extremely difficult thing for him, but he said he had to do better for himself, and wanted to be able to help me, and that he was unhappy with who he was.  I was crushed.  A few days went by, and then we were back in contact and before you know it hanging out again, laughing again, doing all we did before.  Then, in an effort to better himself he moved.  As he left he said leaving me was one of the hardest things he ever had to do.  Some things, or feelings rather were up in the air, but to hear him tell it we were “best friends.”  He even said he may be making the biggest mistake of his life, but he had to do something different.  He put up this hard exterior and sometimes seemed like a completely different person.  He would say he can’t be in any relationship right now but could not bear to lose his best friend.  Then here and there he would say how much he loved me and wished he could do more for me.  When we were together we still acted very much like a couple.  But, then it’s back to the “best friends” relationship where we share everything, and kind of pretend there isn’t any relationship tension there.  So, does he love me and feel that there is still potential when he gets his stuff sorted out, is he scared of how we will be accepted or being a failure, or is friends all that it will ever be?  When a man really loves a woman, can he just “turn it off” and move on?

Still wondering,

Clueless Cookie

Dear Clueless Cookie,

Although I was lucky enough to be blessed with an outstanding education (from my parents and my schooling), I have to say that there were also several bad lessons I was taught and false things I was told as a youngster — lies that devastated me when I learned the truth.

None of them were as intentionally egregious as the assertion that love always conquers all.

If I sound upset about this, good. I’m pissed that I and the rest of America’s youth spent the majority of our childhoods being indoctrinated with false fairy tales, dangerous Disney movies, and bullshit bedtime stories about how love is all a couple needs to be able to make it through everything. I realize that it’s probably not the best idea to tell 6 year olds that true love doesn’t matter if the timing and the situations and your HIV test results are out of order, but we do need to start sprinkling a bit of reality into their lives. I mean, kids already have a Tooth Fairy and an Easter Bunny, so why not add a “Real Life Shyte Genie” to the mix too?

In your case, Cookie, while it’s possible that your boo was never actually in love and just looking for an out, it’s probable that he’s just another example of one of the most hard to understand but still completely relevant truths about men and long-term commitment/marriage.

Basically, many (if not most) men don’t want to make permanent plans with a woman until they’ve figured out what the hell they’re doing with their own life. You can be head-over-hills in love, soulmates and Shyte, and it won’t matter if he’s not settled on what he wants to be, where he wants to go, what he needs to do to get there and convinced that he’s at least on the right path.

So, to answer your question, yes and no. A man can love a woman and move on, but he’s not necessarily “turning it off.” He probably still loves you, but he’s just at a point in his life where finding his right footing is more important to him than building a relationship with you.

Now, with that being said, I wouldn’t advise you to “wait for him.” Although there’s a chance that he might have second thoughts and try to get back with you, he’s made his priority known, and you need to move on. Also, the best friends/still hanging out Shyte needs to stop too. If you still love each other but aren’t together, the worst possible thing you can do is still make plans to be in each other’s company. I know it’ll be difficult, but you need a clean break. If you don’t think I’m true, ask the Real Life Shyte Genie and I’m sure he’ll tell you too.


Damon Young (aka The Champ)

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  • Derek

    Way to go Champ!

    And judging from some of the other comments here, several MORE people need to get over themselves.

    I've been a longtime reader of your column. Until reading here, I would have had no clue that women are as clueless, brain-dead and mentally defective on as many of these topics and issues as their letters imply. The saying, "Women are so complicated that they can not believe how simple men are", it's so true.

    It's shocking and appalling some of the self inflicted nonsense and drama that these women put themselves through.

    Has anyone ever suggested changing the name of your column to "Retarded Females and the Self-Centered, Manipulative Men They Endlessly Choose to Love"?

    ps Can't wait for Wednesday!!!

  • Sandy

    That second chick is simply a master manipulator. Psych major I bet

  • lalala…

    I get it Champ for #2… but you have to admit that you sounded like a douchebag.

    Obviously, it's important for this chick that she hear the "I love you". At this point, she's not going to hear it. She can either buck up or leave. In essence, I agree with you.

    But doesn't anyone else think the whole "I don't know what it's like to be in love so I can't say it" is total bull? He is using it as an excuse to not say "I love you". I bet the guy has no trouble saying it about his mom, his favorite music artist or his favorite sports team. I couldn't be with someone who could say I love you about the Steelers and not about me after a year and a half.

  • Don’t know where ya’ll are getting this get over yourself stuff from. In my opinion, Champs advice was on point and realistic. Accept the thing you cannot change. Obviously dude, as Champ said, has made his priorities known. Any woman worth her salt upon realizing that she is not number 1 or pretty close to it understand that the relationship has taken its course. Yes, love may still exist but obviously its not what dreams are made of. He said he thinks he can do better. Classify him as delusional, pray for his deliverance, and continue moving about life as a confident, beautiful woman who is not pining for someone who doesn’t know her worth. Case closed.

    • Stella.

      That was supposed to be accept the things you can not change. Lo siento por farvor.

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  • guest

    Where is everyone getting the "he told her to get over herself "? He said no such thing at all….

    • guest

      Never mind! I just saw the second one.

  • Jimmy Swaggered

    College sophmores should be doing the 3 F's: Fightin', Fuccin', and gettin' Fucced up!!

    Stop worrying about your little "relationship" that probably won't workout anyways. Enjoy the recklessness of your early twenties.

  • Candy

    I have to agree with both situations. Being 'best friends' means you tell each other about everything. Almost the as you did when you were dating, right? You're not having sex, or going on dates, but your emotions are very much involved. NOT good, especially when he's trying to o him and she's going to remain emotionally caught up. She is no longer number one in his life and can't fool herself into thinking it can work. Number two….dear lord, that girl had a good thing going and messed it up. He's not even 21 an she wants him to know his mind and his heart right now even though his actions are saying what his head cant get yet. She even made him cry! Get over yourself is good advice.

  • weethomas

    Actually, the Champ was being nice here. He could have told #2 that she is after all only a sophomore in college now and their relationship isn't likely to survive graduation and as shortsighted as she may be at this moment, she might as well just break up with him and take a chance on finding a guy who expresses himself in a manner that she likes. . .

  • JustAshley

    Absolutely right in both answers.
    The first chick needs to let go of priority dude and move on. Don't try and be friends because you will never get over him.
    The second chick has this guy behaving as if he loves her, but he won't say it. It's as if she has her entire relationship hanging on the precipice of 3 seriously overly used words. People are always saying "I love you" without any idea as to what it REALLY means. She was about to crush his heart, but changed her mind once she was able to withdraw some tears and NOW she's confused over why he's acting differently?? SERIOUSLY? If I was in his shoes I'd behave differently too. I'd be giving her the super side eye, because she apparently has a hair trigger for the relationship ejector button. LOL. Tell me, does love kick you to the curb because a person can't/won't say 3 little words? What kind of backwards bull logic is that? She does need to "get over herself" and accept the relationship for what it is……if she hasn't already ruined it.
    And I'm one of those chicks whom might love you to death, but probably won't say it. I'm just not super-emotional that way. It doesn't mean that I don't love you. It just means I'm not so great at verbalizing my feelings.

    • Tooshy1

      next thing you know the girl in relationship numba 2 will be writing in sayin her man left her because of her constant bickering and nagging because he doesn't verbally express his emotions enough.

      some folks like to just create problems….

  • womenar4

    Both responses were dead on. The first letter is hard to hear the answer but that is the right one. Going through a similar situation myself I know that if a man doesn't feel like a man, there is nothing a woman can do to make him feel like one. The second letter is written by a young woman. Most women would be satisfied by a man who did all those things. Some people don't know how to say ''I love you" because they probably didn't grow up hearing it. I believe actions speak louder than words and he spoke to her in a way some women may never get. As always love Wednesdays

  • Oo lawdy,champ
    I’m split on the first case. I think they should stay friends… Even tho it might be emotioanlly difficult, I think she should give him 3 mos to change his mind… But he might just change it right back. Ugh, cutting it dry might be the best thing to do-… Damn

    Numba two-i don’t think she needs to get over herself, but she needs to get over those 3 words… I mean its 3 words or 1,000 actions inspired by his deep care and adoration for you… Which would you choose?

  • CeCe

    I was able to clearly see the advice that Cookie needed the most. This man has clearly shown what his priority at the moment is and it is NOT her, and to move on. What else do you need to know and do; wait around floating down a coulda, woulda, shoulda, maybe one river and possibly miss out on a relationship with somebody who is at the same stage in life she is. The Champ, clearly said that for a man to be ready to commit he needs to be comfortable with where he is in life and not stil trying to figure out how to get it right. This man is not there yet ,although he may have feelings for this woman and love her. Maybe the advice is hard to swallow and a dream killer but it is the truth as seen by an adult male… take it or leave it.

  • ThunderThighs

    Hopelessly Confused is Hopelessly Immature – as to be expected by a young woman in her first relationship. She needs to learn that while there are no shortage of men who are willing to tell you what you want to hear, there are few who are prepared to show you. This young man very well may not understand how to define love – and that is fine. He is a YOUNG man in his FIRST relationship. She stated that he is caring, supportive, trustworthy and works diligently to make her happy. If there is another set of characteristics required to be in a good relationship, please let me know.

    The Champ's response, while short, is accurate. She needs to grow up, get over her own insecurities and learn to recognize what a good man looks like. Otherwise she will find herself by herself.

  • raven

    @fabienne remember the girl did say this was her first relationship and she was confused about the situation which is why she asked for advice. And as far as the difference between I love you and I’m IN love with you, well don’t married men sometimes tell there wives that before they leave them?

  • Raven

    So, let me get this straight…this lady came to you “the champ” with an honest relationship question and all the “relationship expert” had to tell her is that she needs to “get the hell over herself”??? I wish I could offer some actual advice from the male perspective on both of these topics but sadly I’m not a man. I’m sure they’re not the only ones having these problems. Reading this was really a waste of my time honestly.

    • Nikki

      See Fabienne's response above. He basically SHOWS he loves her and she's all caught up in the fact that he doesn't SAY IT? REALLY? REALLY? Is she gonna be mad when he buys her a beautiful ring (that he can afford) but because it's not 3 carats, she's afraid he doesn't really love her?

      I'd rather be shown love and get all my warm fuzzies than to be paid lip service in those three little words….

  • fabienne

    Girl #2 needs to stfu i got to the he cried part n was done. The hell is the difference between saying i love u n im in love with u. Actions speak louder than words….get ovr urself before u lose this guy

    • OSHH

      Yes actions always speak louder, and love is a verb chile, plus people can say they are in love with you all day long, but treat you as if they could care less! Words are very cheap unless they are banked by action.
      People have to learn one anothers love language as well as their own.
      Just as everyone is an individual, they also have individual love styles = how they show and best receive love.

  • Prissy

    Oh wow! So what exactly is your advice again? LOL.. This doesn't seem like a sound answer to either of these people's letters. You can't just tell a person to turn off their feelings for someone and to just "get over it". If you truly care about someone you cannot just say "eff them". And I had to learn that because I was always quick to tell someone to get out of my life. When you get older, you can't handle your issues in that manner. I wish "The Champ" said something more meaningful in his answers to these folk. Geez

    • WunMsJay

      I think the first response was dead on! Some people ask for advice, but deep down it isnt good advice unless its what they want to hear. He told her NOT to wait for this man as he had made his priorities known, and she is second to his career and "bettering himself"…That is very sound advice. No need waiting around for someone who may or may not come around, because if its meant to be (whether you wait or whether you move on) IT WILL BE! The second response? Well…that may have left a little to be desired…lol

  • Charlene

    Wait a minute. This is the guy you want us to take relationship advice from? That lady was probably sincerely asking you a question and your response is for her to get fhe hell over herself? How rude! You’re fired.

    • Kia

      I'm sorry but I kind of agree with Charlene. That girl didn't realize she was challenging her man's manhood. She put herself in a vulnerable position and was very sincere. If I'm asking for advice I don't need to be answered with that tone (unless of course you're that close to me). Sorry…when I read that comment I also gasped at the screen lmao. I mean I expected something along those lines…but damn talk about brusque! Glad I don't send any letters lol!

      • Kia

        Plus he talks a lot about f*cking fairtales…I agree to some extent but damn he almost sounds kind of bitter. Hmmm…

    • Champ gave you the best advice to understand the mans point of view and as is typical with most women ya'll missed the point.


    lol nooo sah champ no do ar suh!!!