Dear Miss U,
This is my first LDR and my girlfriend lives 3,000 miles away. I am curious to your insight on allowing my girlfriend to hang out with a previous “friend with benefits.”
I don’t know their full story, but her profession deals with pro-athletes, and he’s one of them. They had been hooking up just prior to our meeting but then we became head over heels for each other and began the relationship.
She claims they are now just friends and that she intends to hang out with him again (outside of work responsibilities) and to trust her. However, I can’t come to terms with this “friendship.” And my gut wrenches thinking about it.
I worry if they hang out, it will only take a “spark” or strong past emotion to arise, for him (or her) to make a move. He doesn’t know me or owe me anything and she has a very flirtatious personality.
How can I trust her and her intentions?
How do I stop thinking about the worst case scenario?
How can I tell her that I am uncomfortable with this friendship in a way that doesn’t make me that jealous/untrustworthy boyfriend?
Any insight/advice is very appreciated.
New To This
I’m a big believer in not trying to control our partners or choose their friends, but when it comes to situations like this I feel that the person who wants to hang out with a recent ex/bed buddy ought to be willing to make a few concessions to help their partner be comfortable with it. Sometimes, no matter how much we trust someone, our mind will play tricks on us and drown us in anxiety, and it’s nice if our partners are willing to throw us a rope occasionally.
When I’ve been in your position in the past I gently explained how I felt and asked that my partner only see his ex-bed-buddy in public places, preferably in a group where possible. He thought that was pretty reasonable, especially as a couple of his bed buddies were quite reluctant to stop the intimate side of their friendships. I suggest asking your partner to take similar measures, at least until you have a chance to meet him and develop some kind of friendship of your own or otherwise reach some modicum of comfort with their friendship.
Beyond that, when I start speculating about things that needlessly upset me, I check myself and redirect my thoughts.
He’s not actually running late, he’s snogging on the client couch with Cece from HR. “Uh, reality check Miss U, he’s probably waiting in line at the coffee machine so he can sip a brew on the commute. Now stop being ridiculous and do something useful!”
I always give myself a benevolent or even humorous scenario that is much more likely to be taking place than cheating (because let’s face it, if he wanted to have sex with someone else he’d come home and ask me,) and then find something to occupy my obviously under-stimulated brain.
As to how you can trust her, you just … do. Fake it until you make it if you have to, but relationships can’t survive without trust. If she wanted to be with this guy she would be, but she chose you instead. That needs to be enough.
Dear Miss U,
I recently got offered my dream job in a hospital in DC. I am now moving 7.5 hrs away in two weeks. My boyfriend and I have been dating for about a year now. We’ve introduced each other to family, talked about marriage and kids and even combining finances. When we first started dating I had mentioned that I would do anything to get my dream job even if that meant moving out of state. He said he was okay with that but that he doesn’t do long distance relationships.
Fast forward, and he still says he doesn’t do long distance relationships and has already said this relationship will not survive. Is he not willing to try and make it work? He has tried with two previous relationships but I don’t think it’s fair that he won’t try it with me. I’m a big believer in speaking things into existence and feel like he’s already doomed this to not work. If he thinks it won’t survive, why not just break up? Should I be optimistic or should I prepare myself for the worst?
Wishful in DC
If he doesn’t do long distance relationships he better get ready to pack his bags and move with you! I think he’s pretty clear on how he feels about doing the distance, and I think I can guess why his previous attempts were not successful. If he’s not willing to put an effort into this relationship then I’d recommend making a clean break. In my opinion, it comes down to support: I feel that his unwillingness to give long distance an honest chance is, in a way, a reflection of his lack of support for you and your career goals.
I wish you all the best on this exciting stage of your life, whether or not he chooses to be part of the action. Don’t let him (or anyone else,) shit on your rainbow!