Today's letter comes from Kaylah. She's 22 and this is her first "serious boyfriend' ever!!! (She used the extra exclamation points.) Okay, Kaylah, I'm sorry for teasing. I know you are super-excited about the boo and just want some folks to level set your expectations. We are so here for you. BnB, it's a little wordy but bear with it...
Dear Chele (can I call you Chele? I kind a just did!!),
I'm 22, single, black and just finished my degree, a B.A. in Finance. I head off in January to start my MBA because what in the world would I do with an undergrad degree in Finance!! I don't know. Anyway, as you say, moving on...
I've been dating this guy. Isn't it always about a guy!? We've been seeing each other for close to a year. He's white which isn't really relevant, I'm just sharing. He's my first "real" like "serious" boyfriend!!! (read, first guy I've ever slept with, had serious feelings for, all that) His name is Corbin and he is awesome! He's gorgeous, smart, funny, popular, athletic. I'm kind of bookish but cute in a librarian kind of way. He's the outgoing one, I'm more introverted, I guess. Anyway, I think we match that way.
There are just have a few things that my girls have brought to my attention which I didn't think were a big deal but now I'm wondering.
So when we first starting going out, I was a little bit overweight. Twenty-five pounds or so. He didn't seem to care and liked me for me. We didn't go out a lot just hung around my dorm room and stuff. I started working out just to feel better about me. I ended up losing about forty pounds and I like not worrying so much about my weight. I can tell from the compliments and looks that I'm looking my best. Finally got my natural hair to grow out in cute curls but you probably want me to just get to the point?! At this point we did start going out more but I don't think that's because I looked better. The weather was better and I felt more like going places. He doesn't like to talk about our relationship, we just know we're in one. And he doesn't like to flaunt our relationship so we don't hang around his friends much. My friends say that is a red flag too but I think he just likes being private.
I'm getting to my point. Last week, I ran into one of his friends at a bar. He was kinda coming onto me and so I said, "You know I'm with Corbin, right?" He said he didn't know and was I sure Corbin felt the same way. Then he intimated that he was interested if Corbin and I weren't together. I told Corbin this and ever since then, he has definitely made a point of introducing me to his friends as his girl. Maybe it's more of a white boy thing? I asked him what he thought was next for us and he kind of turned the question back around on me. Now I'm wondering if he's in this or if I'm just convenient or what. Not sure what to think. Am I being naive or neurotic? Any advice?
-Kaylah in Florida
K (can I call you K, yep, I just did) ~ Girl. That's a lot of energy and angst you've got going there. My first bit of advice would be for you to take a deep breath. Woo and sah. Now, this is your first boyfriend. You gotta kinda feel your way around this one. And by that, I mean you need to ask direct questions and get direct answers. Questions such as "What is this and what do I mean to you? Where do you see this relationship going next?" It's not anyone's job to guess.
I have to admit that at a quick glance, there is some crimson-flaggery wafting about. What's with his good friend not knowing he's in a relationship and more specifically, with you? How coincidental was it that he started taking you out in public the minute you got fine? If it's not relevant that Corbin (we would have guessed from Corbin) is Caucasian, why mention it... twice? Waiting to claim you after one of his boys shows interest is not a white boy thing. It's a male thing. To him, your value is validated and enriched by his friend's attraction to you. Sucks and childish as all the damns but there it is.
I often say that people write in here when they already know the answer and just want validation. Kaylah, soemthing about the entire situ has you flustered. Step back and analyze that for a minute. What do you know and what do you think? Next, what do you want? Is this a relationship you want to take in B-school with you? And if so, why? You look good, you're about to be double-degreed, you're young, you're in Florida and more than one man has his eye on you. Just let that soak in while you decide what to do next. You decide. You. Don't wait for Corbin to tell you what he wants,you tell him what you want and he either steps up or steps to side. Go get your life, girl.
BnB, advice for K? Comments, musings, memories? Bougie brethren? Thoughts about Corbin? Do assist a young sister...