I broke up with my boyfriend just after the New Year. We met in high school and had been together since we both came out of the closet in our senior year. It was a picture-perfect romance. We were equally matched intellectually and physically. I loved him very much and he me for the last three years. We shared an apartment and went to SAC together. He graduated last May and I plan to transfer to UTSA this summer. Everything was great (I thought) till he came home one day and said he was leaving me and moving home with his parents. I was shocked and cried and begged him to stay (I was a little hysterical). He didn’t. Since then I have dated a couple guys and slept with a few more. Nothing serious, just fun rebound flings. Two of the guys I slept with were our friends, and now he is calling me a slut. More embarrassing is that the guys I slept with are taking his side! They are spreading gossip about me, too. What should I do? I think he’s jealous that I am moving on and he is stuck at home with his mommy and daddy. Do you think he wants me back? If we do get back together should I let him move right back in or should I make him wait?
— The traumatized ex
Dear Trauma Boy,
Did you leave something out of the story? What makes you think he wants you back? Do you still want him back? Your relationship would need a little more work than just determining a move-in schedule. I strongly recommend disassociating yourself from anyone who calls you a slut. You say you are moving on, so do it. Regardless of your actions, he should treat you with more respect, especially if he wishes to reunite with you. You might want to seek out a therapist, chat out a few things, and work on your perspective of the relationship and your ex-boyfriend. You are in school, so they should have a cheap or free counselor available.
Try not to fret the name-calling. Unhappy exes love to throw around the s-word. You could point out that if you are a slut, he and your friends are nothing but shameless slut-fuckers, and that is totally worse than being the slut. You are just trying to reestablish your self-esteem and calm the storm of your devastated heart. These other guys are dirty opportunists taking advantage of the situation. That isn’t completely true, either, of course, but it makes my point: No one is innocent in these situations.
For future reference, casual sex with friends post break-up is almost always a bad idea. Friends who want to have sex with you right after the end of a long-term relationship have either been in love with you for years, lack a moral radar, or both. I think three months is the minimum wait period, unless you were previously having an affair with them — which is a different column altogether. Clearly these guys are not your friends. I hope the sex was good at least.
People who know you and the situation well and really care won’t be judging you by what these guys say. True friends might be concerned. Ask their perspective on your current lifestyle.
If you don’t want to be called a slut, the best thing to do is not sleep around. It doesn’t really seem to be working out that well for you anyway. There are other options: Focus on school and take up a gay hobby like going to the gym. Working out will help release some tension, improve your health, and make your ex rue the day without marring your rep. If you are going to play the field, make a few rules, like no one-night-stands and waiting till the third date to put out. You can still chase guys, but you won’t run up the condom bill so fast. Yeah, that’s right, play safe!
Chin up, pants up, and much love,
Your Uncle Mat