Dear Bearded Confidant,

I have a boyfriend now, and I have  been seeing him since August of 2000.  I thought everything was perfect until  recently when we got into a fight because he is upset that I have school  (full-time) and work (part-time). Whereas he was understanding before, one  day I told him that I needed some time for myself, and he just snapped.  I  told him that even though I love his support and love being with him, having  so much to do, sometimes you just need some alone time.  Well, suffice to  say, he said some harsh things to me. Even though his comments hurt; he was  angry (so I kind of understood) but I'm a very emotional person and when I  began to cry he told me that I shouldn't start that mess (crying) that's just  how women act and if he wanted a whining B*^$H, he would have been with a  girl.  That really hurt and 2 months prior to that, he said that he loved me.    I haven't spoken to him in about a week (because of the b*^$h part).  I do  miss him but my pride and hurt prevent me from seeing him again even though  he calls and tries to come over.  What should I do?

Dear Craig,

If your boyfriend can't respect your need for time alone, he is not ready to make this relationship work. And if he is not able to understand your emotional side, then he is not capable of connecting with you on more than a superficial level. He clearly has problems of his own, and I'm not knocking him for that. He has likely learned over the course of his life to suppress his own emotions. But that is an issue he needs to work out, and the last thing you need right now is to be abused for being human. I would tell this man to take a hike. At this point in your life you need a more understanding and nurturing partner, and in the meantime you can manage just fine on your own.