Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Am I Really Annoying Him?

Dear Damon, I was with a man and we have been off and on for the past year and a half, he recently lost his job and somehow that has changed everything between us. When we first met he used to love having debates with me just because we have different opinions and our information was always from different sources. He’s an information junkie but I’m a student. He used to tell me how smart he thinks I am and how he loves that I am so articulate but since losing his job he barely wants to be around me or communicate with me because he says I annoy him. The last time we spoke I asked him if he was still planning to come to my graduation, two hours went by and still no reply from him so I told him he no longer has to give a response I will take it to be a no. This infuriated him and he said it’s things like that that make him not want to talk to me. My question is can someone who truly loves you and want to be with you, which he claims that he does, find you that repulsive to the point where they don’t want to be around you or talk to you, or is something else most likely going on?

Dear Shelia,

Let me share something with you. When I respond to these letters, I usually try to stretch a two or three sentence answer into two or three paragraphs. I employ this tactic for various reasons—to give context to a certain point, to make an analogy so that a point is better understood, to riff about Love and Hip-Hop etc—but overall, the main reasons are to soften the answers and make them more readable. Even if a 300 word long question could be answered in three, I try to shy away from doing that because it seems condescending and (just as importantly) no one wants to read that.

Anyway, I’m bringing this up because I’m struggling to provide an insightful and non-condescending answer your question, because the answer is in the first sentence of your question. He lost his job. He’s obviously upset about this, and the emotional, mental, and financial strain of losing employment has begun to strain the relationship. Honestly, the fact that you haven’t made this connection—and you using hyperbole like “repulsive” to express a point as well as you taking a two hour gap in communication as a sign that he doesn’t want to be with you—shows me that you both might be a bit too young to even be thinking about serious relationships (and also kinda proves his point about you being annoying).

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