I’ve been dating a wonderful guy for a little less than a year. He’s patient, supportive and level-headed and we’ve been coping extremely well with being long-distance for about five months (just a few hours drive). I really couldn’t ask for more.
I imagine us heading for marriage one day, but I’m having trouble getting over one issue. He has several female friends, a few of whom he’s slept with in the past. I admire his ability to be friends with exes (I’ve left on good terms, but haven’t stayed in contact with mine) but I just can’t understand how a male-female friendship can be so close that he would fly across the country to visit a woman (second time in less than year) and travel alone with her. At some point, I feel like friendships must be modified to respect our relationship.
I want to be clear that I have no cause to mistrust him, he’s made his commitment to me clear and makes substantial effort to make our relationship work. I’ve only brought up the issue once and briefly in an argument, but I didn’t go into detail about my feelings.
How do I overcome this? Am I justified or just insecure? — His Significant Other Woman
Your boyfriend travels with a woman he used to have sex with and you’ve never had a conversation about it? He visits her at least twice a year and you’ve never asked him to reassure you that their relationship is strictly platonic? If that’s truly the case, it would seem the main issue here is your lack of communication. After almost a year together, you should be at a place where you can broach subjects that may feel uncomfortable. This is especially important when you’re long distance and everything hinges on the quality of your communication.
I gotta to tell you, if my long distance boyfriend of less than a year were flying across the country to spend one-on-one time with a woman he’s had sexual relations with in the past when he could be traveling to see me instead, you better believe I’d have all kinds of questions, and I find it unfathomable that you haven’t voiced your similar concerns yet. Why haven’t you talked to him about your feelings? Why do you think you may be unjustified in feeling the way you do? I’ll repeat: your long distance boyfriend of less than a year has made multiple trips across the country to spend time with a former sexual partner. And you haven’t talked to him about it? WTF?
Something just doesn’t add up here. I’m not so old-fashioned as to believe straight men and women can’t ever be platonic friends — even ones with sexual history together; relationships are fluid, after all, and I’ve heard of former partners who transition into being “just friends” really well. But those friendships are rare and are almost always trumped by new relationships — especially when those new relationships are still in their first year. There’s just something fishy about a guy who would choose to travel across the country to see a former flame rather than travel to see a current flame. (Seriously, how many guys are going to travel long distance for NO sex, when they can travel a shorter distance and HAVE sex?). Unless there are some extenuating circumstances you haven’t mentioned. Is this woman dying? Has someone she loved died? Did she have a huge, blow-out milestone birthday party to which she invited everyone she’s ever been friends with (and, if so, why didn’t your boyfriend invite you to come along)?
The truth is, I can only think of a handful of reasons your boyfriend would make his ex a priority — and traveling across the country twice in one year is making someone a priority, as far as I’m concerned — and most of those reasons don’t bode well for your relationship. What is most clear is that you need to talk to your boyfriend immediately about how you’re feeling. And he needs to have words that reassure you that you have no need to worry. And the next time he wants to go visit this woman, you should ask to go with him. His reaction to that request will tell you a lot. If you’re both so important to him, he should want you to get to know each other. And if he doesn’t — if he wants her all to himself when he sees her — that would be a major, major red flag and one that, for me, would be enough to make me MOA.
Tread carefully here. There are some holes in this story I don’t want you falling into…
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