Section: Opinion

Dear Emily 5/5/16

Dear Emily,

So here’s the deal. I’m really into this guy but he’s about to graduate. What’s the best way for me to send him the message that says, “Hey, if you’re looking for one last, desperate, probably underwhelming hook-up, I’m your girl”?

Sincerely,

Lemme Smang It, Boy

Dear Smang It,

These are my favorite, and least favorite, kind of questions to answer. Partially because damn, do I feel that. Do you know how sad I am that we’re not having “Last Chance Dance” during Senior Week? Let’s change that, y’all. Anyway, these are also the hardest questions to answer, because you’re not right in front of me and I can’t grill you like I grill my roommates after they fight with their significant others. So here’s a laundry list of questions: Do you give a shit if he says no? Will you ever see him again? Do the potential benefits, if it doesn’t work out, outweigh the embarrassment? If you don’t give a shit, if you’re not going to see him again after Kenyon, if the potential positive outcomes outweighs embarrassment, I say go for it. If he’s hot.

As far as how to go for it, you’re going to have to be blunt. We don’t have any time to waste. Flirty laughter and banter can only get you so far. Find him in Peirce or Wiggins and make a conversation and make him know you’re interested. Touch his arm, give him your number, say he should text you or the two of you should meet up. If you happen to get drunk on Friday, text him or find him and smang it girl.

I have faith in you. You’re just going to have to be overtly tryna. And honestly? It’s about time we’re all extremely honest in our tryna missions. I’m attracted to you, you’re attracted to me, let’s smang is a whole lot more interesting than some half-hearted conversation via text. Just go for it, and if he rejects you, there’s always wine.

Love always,

Emily

Dear Emily,

I’ve recently come to terms with an emotionally abusive relationship I had years ago. I’ve acknowledged for the first time it was emotionally abusive — my ex-boyfriend ridiculed me for wanting to do ANYTHING that didn’t involve him. When I brought up reservations about our relationship, he guilt-tripped me for making him feel bad.

Now, I’m seeing another guy, just casually. I find it’s very hard to trust him. It’s difficult for me to say no to him, which is a big fat red flag. I think these are residual effects of my past relationship because I’m having a lot of the same feelings I did in my previous relationship, and I’m not sure how to reconcile them. How can I comfortably navigate conflict with an intimate partner? How can saying “no” become easier (especially when I’m not sure if I want to say “yes” or “no”)? How can I tell when someone is being emotionally manipulative, or when I’m just getting defensive? Most important, how can I tell that it’s time to stop trying and just cut the cord?

These are lots of big questions. Tackle what you can. I have faith in you.

Sincerely,
Tears of hysterical laughter, or sobbing?

Dear Tears,

I’m so sorry to hear about your past relationship; we focus a lot on physical abuse in domestic violence, and not as much on emotional abuse. I’ll preface my answer with this: I’m obviously not a counselor. Drinking wine and giving relationship advice doesn’t make me qualified, in any capacity. So I’d suggest making an appointment at the Counseling Center.

You have to recognize that these are two different men. If this new guy is trying or starting to pull the same stuff as your ex, get out. If he has the potential to be emotionally abusive, or already is, dump his ass. He’s negatively worth it. A big part of this is you’re going to have to come to terms with your past, and understand why it happened. You’re also going to have to think about what you want, independent of what he wants. That’s the important thing. Perhaps your past has left you with reservations; this means you’ll have to feel out his character, and your relationship, to understand if you’re reacting negatively to him because he is just an asshole, or because you’re projecting your fears from your past relationship onto him. If it’s the first, like I said, leave him. But if you’re unsure of your bias, try and take a step back and look at the facts. Get out of your head about it. Or ask someone close to y’all what they see. Hell, you can tell him about your past if you’re comfortable with that. Maybe if he understands your hesitation, he’ll sympathize or change his behavior.

As far as cutting the cord, I’m not the best person to ask. I advocate for cutting it early, but when it comes to my own life I give 22nd chances to guys. I let guys walk over me like kids trampling stars on the streets of Hollywood. But you shouldn’t, and deep down I know that, too. Here’s the thing — you can walk whenever you’d like. If you’re tired or you’re uncomfortable or you’re just sick of it, walk away. But try and stick around if he’s a good one. They’re pretty rare these days.

Love always and forever y’all—this is my final column,

Emily

Emily Sakamoto ’16 is an English major with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in messing with people’s personal lives — whether they ask for the advice or not — from North Oaks, Minn. Contact her at sakamotoe@kenyon.edu

Still need advice? Contact Emily post-grad at emilysakamoto94@gmail.com.

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