Love Letters: What’s The Best Way To Be A Support System?


Well, one major holiday down, a couple more to go. Hopefully you survived Thanksgiving with your relationships intact.

If not, that’s what I’m here for!

Got a relationship question? I’ve got a snarky answer.

Send your inquiries to, or find me on Twitter @etbowser. Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname. 

Here’s today’s question:

I’ve been talking to this guy for about two years and right now he doesn’t really know what he wants, which is fine. He has the tendency to put himself down and considers himself undeserving of me. He doesn’t get much support from others. What’s the best way to be that guy’s support system? Because I only care what’s best for him.

System Supporter

Good for you for being so ride-or-die for your dude. It means a lot to guys, even when we don’t say it.

However, I do take umbrage with your first statement right off the bat:

“I’ve been talking to this guy for about two years and right now he doesn’t really know what he wants, which is fine.”

Actually, that’s not fine. After two years, Imma need that brother to know what he wants. This ball of mud we’re living on has flown ’round the sun twice and, judging by your sincere email, you’ve been by his side the whole time. It’s clear what YOU want – a stable relationship. It’s weird to me that my dude still seems unsure.

There are clearly insecurities that are eating away at him, and those insecurities may run deeper than your relationship. In order to be his support system, you’ve gotta go back to that first sentence – what DOES he want?

Why does he feel so undeserving of you? Is his money funny and/or his change strange? Family issues? Struggling to move on from an ex? Worried about the fate of minorities in America now that our president-elect spends his nights trolling Twitter and making up conspiracies instead of actually trying to lead the country like he conned people into believing he’d do?

Sorry, that last part is probably just me.

But you can’t be the support system he needs if he’s not willing to open up. That’s where that four letter word comes in, the same one I bring up in every one of these columns – T A L K.

Trigger an open, honest dialogue about what’s holding him back and reassure him that you’ve got his back – just like you’ve done for the past two years. It might take awhile to get him to open up; I’m guessing this one tends to shut people out of his true feelings. But your perseverance will pay off.

I’m glad you’re being so supportive, but he’s got to do his part too. That starts when he stops feeling sorry and starts speaking up.

Question No. 2:

Should I be offended that a potential Boo wants to take me out for coffee for our first date?



Now I know it’s been a long time since Old Man Edd went on a date – there were no DMs to slide in back then. But is meeting for coffee now considered insufficient?

Playa please.

Listen, a brother doesn’t have to feed you Thanksgiving in a limo or fly you over the Eiffel Tower to constitute a date. And are you even sure this IS a legit date? Most times, meeting someone for coffee is more of a “get to know you and make sure you’re not a psychopath” deal, not something you need to cop a corsage for.

Regardless, you need to backflip out of you feelings, join that brother for coffee and see what’s good. It’s WAY too early to expect anything more than a conversation.


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