In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:
Three months before we started dating, he and his live-in girlfriend had a heartbreaking break up. They were soul mates, best friends, in love and meant for each other. They as a couple were loved and adored by everyone; they were cute and very likable. The reason their relationship ended was because she was dealing with depression and he could not give her support the way she needed. She felt he didn’t care, she projected anger and they both closed off from each other. He was passive and confused and she was upset and sad. They kept communicating after the break up and still ended emails with “I love you.” He stopped emailing her because he needed space and time to heal but intended on reopening their communication after a short time.
A few months later, we started dating, and about a month after that she emailed him asking what was going on with them. He didn’t mention me and just apologized for being busy and told her that he missed her. It’s been three months since that last email, and she tried getting in contact with him once more, but he avoided it. We talked about it once, and he said he didn’t know what to say to her or how to explain himself to her. I think that he felt like he let her down emotionally and failed to be there as a boyfriend and friend for her. Their relationship has no closure and still has emotions left and right.
Although I’ve never met her, it seems like she and I are fairly similar in interests and characteristics. Sometimes I think my boyfriend only sees the similarities of her in me, and not all of me. I did some internet snooping that I’m not proud of, but noticed a lot of things that scare me. First off, he still has photos of her and him in his Facebook and flickr — tons of them. There are none of me and him. Next, I noticed that he and I do the same things that they did, have the same cutesy nicknames and cutesy language that they used and we even do the same poses in photos that they did.
When I’m not thinking about this, our relationship is so great — lovely and ideal. But when I do think about it, I can’t shake this awful feeling in my gut. Is it out of line for me to feel a little crazy here? I wonder if he still misses her and still loves her. I wonder if he’s only dating me because I remind him of her and he wants to prove to someone that he can be a good boyfriend. It tears me apart to think about him still missing his ex and using me as some sort of coping method. Am I not being rational or understanding of his position here? — The understudy girlfriend