It was difficult to not have my family’s support, and after a while I had had enough of being treated like a door mat. We broke up on Christmas 2015. Around June/July, I heard he had gotten his ex-girlfriend pregnant. I was in complete shock. He messaged me in the middle of October apologizing for the way he had treated me when we were together. He asked if we could be friends, and I accepted his apology. Despite all the bad times, he was my best friend and I have never felt anything stronger than what I did for him. Eventually we met up, had coffee, went to dinner and caught each other up on our lives.
He is now studying and working to support himself and his daughter who is due in twelve weeks. When we were together, he could never hold a job, and now he has a job and he’s getting his life together and he really seems genuine. I’d like to get back with him, but I have so many things to consider: 1) He’s having a baby; and 2) My family members absolutely hate him with a passion and will be disappointed in me if I tell them we are talking again. I want this to work because I do love him and do want to be with him, but what should I do? And if I do decide to progress further with him, how do I tell my family? And how would I even go about discussing/helping with his daughter? Please help! — Impressed With His Job
Let’s recap: In the early months of your relationship, your boyfriend cheated on you at least five times and you stayed with him. Over the next three years, he was very emotionally abusive, and you stayed with him. Then, he was physically abusive, and you stayed with him. It was only after your family stopped supporting the relationship that you decided to leave, and, soon after that, he got someone else pregnant. And now you think it would be a good idea to get back together because he has a job? Oh, honey. He’s still the same abusive shit-head he always was — he’s just on exceptional behavior with you at the moment because he’s lonely and he knows he’s got super-slim pickings because who wants an abusive, cheating shit-head teenage dad as a boyfriend?! I hope not you! This guy’s a loser. Look, a good litmus test for whether you should MOA is if you’re too ashamed to tell the people who love you the most whom you’re dating, which you clearly are (and for good reason!).
Just because you “have never felt anything stronger” than what you feel for this guy doesn’t mean he’s the right match for you. You’re what — all of 18? There’s a lot of stuff you haven’t experienced at 18; it doesn’t mean that what you have experienced (like loving this loser) is the best that will ever happen. I mean, God, shoot us all now if our love lives peak at 16 — especially if a chronically abusive, serial cheater is what we consider the best it’s going to get. Never has this phrase been more accurate: IT’S GOING TO GET BETTER. A chronically abusive serial cheater is NOT the best you can do, I promise. Job or not, this guy is pretty much the worst you can do. MOA, lose his number, and aim higher next time.
Basically, this other guy and I sort of fell into a relationship. He’s a year older than I, and he’s really great: funny, kind, and always walks me home. Here’s the problem: I’m his first girlfriend and, on our fifth day of dating, he dropped the l-word.
I really like him and I’d like to continue dating, but I don’t want to lead him on. He’s a great guy and I’m not sure I deserve him. I’m not sure our relationship is old enough for us to have a serious discussion about whether or not we have a future; our friends don’t even know we’re dating. Should I break up with him? — Not In Love
Yes, you should break up. You’re wanting a super-casual rebound that makes you feel better about your boyfriend of four years cheating on you right as you started college. This rebound guy is all super-eager and excited to be getting attention from you and wants to strike while the iron’s hot and lock you in while you’re feeling vulnerable and not thinking clearly. It’s a manipulative move and you shouldn’t fall for it. Be kind, but be firm: “Your telling me you loved me was too intense for me. I like you and have been enjoying hanging out with you, but I’m nowhere near having the feelings you say you have and I’m not interested in speeding up our relationship. I was enjoying a casual, fun relationship after the break-up of my four-year relationship, and I don’t want to lead you on thinking this is more than that. I think it’s better if we part ways now before either of us gets hurt.”
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.