The issue is that he still remains close friends with the girl he slept with before me, and it is clear she still has feelings for him. It’s also kind of painful for me to have to see her every day knowing that they had a physical relationship and maintain a close emotional one. She texts him all the time asking him to hang out and she is very flirtatious with him at work. A few weeks ago they went out for drinks after work, and he told me she asked him “what happened with them” and was talking about how she thinks they connect, which I think is a really inappropriate thing to ask someone who has a girlfriend. Clearly what happened is he got a girlfriend, but I don’t get the feeling she respects that.
When I brought up my concerns about her to my boyfriend, he was really understanding but didn’t seem to believe she still likes him. I don’t want to ask him to stop being friends with her, as he clearly values her friendship (not to mention he moved to this city recently and doesn’t have a lot of friends) and has no interest in her romantically, but it bothers the fucking hell out of me. He says he picked me over her, that he loves me, and that I am a very important person to him, all of which I know is true, but I just can’t get over his friendship with her. I don’t know if the problem lies with me, if I just need to make peace with it and move on, or if maybe there is a part of him that enjoys the attention she gives him. Is it reasonable for me to ask him to stop being friends with her? — Work Love Triangle
No, it isn’t reasonable for you to ask your boyfriend to stop being friends with anyone, especially considering you’ve been dating, what, a few weeks? I mean, I wouldn’t even ask my husband of 5-1/2 years to stop being friends with someone, even if it was someone I knew he’d slept with and whom I believed might still have feelings for him. What I would do is make it very clear how uncomfortable I was with his being friends with someone who had so little respect for me and our marriage, and I would ask what he planned to do to help make me more comfortable with their friendship. I would suggest you do the same, framing your discomfort not as jealousy but rather as concern that this other woman doesn’t seem to understand or respect his relationship with you. HE may know you’re the one he picked and YOU may know that, but it seems that this other woman still thinks she has a chance and that she is much more interested in a romantic relationship with your new boyfriend than in a platonic friendship.
I don’t think it’s reasonable or appropriate that you ask your boyfriend to stop being friends with this woman, but I absolutely think it’s reasonable to suggest you be included in their get-togethers (drinks after work, etc.) until you feel more comfortable that this woman understands and respects your relationship and position in your boyfriend’s life and until YOU understand and respect HER position in your boyfriend’s life as a platonic friend/colleague who is no longer harboring a desire for a romantic relationship. If comfort and mutual understanding can’t be established across the board in, say, a month or six weeks (at which time, one would hope that, if this other woman only wanted to date your boyfriend, she would have given up), you might want to consider moving on since it would then seem that a conflict of interest was impeding the success of your relationship.
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