RANDOM FACTS: Offering some random advice to the lovelorn


Columns offering advice to the lovelorn have been appearing in newspapers since the 1890s. Intellectuals turn up their noses at such sentimental drivel, but we have a soft spot for drivel of all types so we’re going to give advice to the lovelorn a shot here in the Random Facts space.

We start with three, authentic lovelorn questions we received from people who live here on the Shore. 

If you have your own questions about love gone wrong, send an email to [email protected].

My babies’ daddy

is ignoring his babies

Dear David, 

I broke up with my babies’ daddy and now he doesn’t want to see the kids. 

How can someone be so spiteful? 


Wishing for a better babies’ daddy

Dear Wishing, 

Your babies’ daddy might come around and realize all he’s missing out on by not participating in his children’s lives. 

But whether he does or not, you need to resist the temptation to tell your kids what a snake their old man is. 

That never works out for you or for them. 

Instead of casting shade on their father, facilitate their meetings with him whenever you can. 

They can reach their own conclusions about their father when they come of age. 

Meanwhile, you, by being supportive instead of negative, will come out as a hero.

She broke my heart and then

invited me to the wedding

Dear David, 

How do you recover when the girl you’re in love with thinks of you only as a friend and then she announces she’s getting married — and then she invites you to the wedding?


Broken-hearted with the wedding bells blues

—Dear Broken-hearted, 

You’re young now but when you become fully a man, people will judge you by your character. 

And how do you develop the kind of character that others admire? 

By suffering and surviving heartache. 

To never have loved and lost would make you one-dimensional and uninteresting. This is character-building so go ahead and wallow in self-pity for a while and then suck it up and carry on. 

Also, don’t go to the wedding. We don’t want to hear about you on the 6 o’clock news.

The Marines took my man

Dear David, 

My Marine and I were supposed to have a one-week reunion, but he was called back to duty after only one day. 

How do I get over that?


Wanting to break my man out of the Marines

Dear Wanting, 

Your Marine’s heart belongs to you but all his other body parts belong to the Corps. 

The best men are men who keep their oaths so let your Leatherneck keep his oath to the Marines and just think how sweet that reunion will be when it resumes.

The writer is a copy editor for the Eastern Shore Post. He is the author of 12 novels, including “The Crying Heart Tattoo,” which was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. He lives in Accomack County.

Previous articleANOTHER VIEW: Revisiting the Christmas season of a century ago
Next articleJim Evans wins Virginia Clean Water Farm Award