Your Turn: “I Don’t Want to Be Her Mr. Right Now”

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:

I wrote to you previously about my girlfriend and me, who began living together after a few months of dating. She had discovered raunchy text messages I sent to a female friend. We had a long discussion about everything and acknowledged that yes, we did move in too soon, and a lot of our relationship insecurities stem from, I guess, our concerns about the relationship moving too fast. Honestly, I never really appreciated how effective an open line of communication is to remedy a problematic relationship because things are wonderful now. We have not stopped living together but have built in time into both of our schedules so that we can have “date nights” and do romantic things together so as not to suck all of the fun out of the relationship in less than 120 days. Additionally, we have built in a time at night every night just to sit and talk to each other about how we are feeling and any concerns. It has been incredibly helpful. Things have been getting better, however, we had another major blow out last night.

Six weeks ago I was handing my girlfriend a drink while she was texting, and I oversaw a text to her best girlfriend that said, “So and so — he was my one.” I kept it in for a long time, but then just recently I went to answer her phone because she was sleeping, and it was a mutual friend and after missing the call, a text popped up from a different guy she used to date, whom she has since then stopped dating, that basically said that she missed him and she missed her and they both wonder about “what might have been.”

I had enough. So I approached her about, and she basically said that she was close with both of these individuals, but she would never trade me for anything, that I am her rock, her one and she loves me and wants to be in this relationship for the long haul. The fire has died down, but I’m still not sure how to feel about all of this. I do love her, and she said to me that she wants to be with me for the long haul but I told her that I don’t want to be just her “right now guy” until one of these other guys decides that he messed up and wants to be with her. She says that that will never happen, but I’m not sure how to feel. Help me. – Still Tired and Stressed


  1. If you’re having these major issues after only four months, you need to move out and MOA. If you’re having these major doubts, you just need to end the relationship.

    1. I agree. The first few months of a relationship are all sunshine and roses and perfect bliss. If you’re having these problems already, you two are simply not compatible. Relationships are work, yes, but they should not be so much drama. This isn’t healthy.

    2. I absolutely agree. Why would anyone want to live with so much drama so early in a relationship? LW, if you don’t crave drama in your life, move out and move on. This is just crazy…

    3. lets_be_honest says:

      You know, that seems rash, but I don’t like dealing with drama in my very long term relationship and sometimes question if the headaches are worth it/can I tolerate them forever (99% of the time I know I can and will and want to, fwiw).

  2. I could hardly even follow this letter. It´s way too early (and Monday!) to try and descipher this on my own, so I´ll wait for a few more comments.

  3. MOA (move on already) – the fact she is entertaining those texts is a bad sign. Fickle people will fuck you figuratively…

    1. Also wanted to commend you for your ability to openly work on your relationship issues.

      1. theattack says:

        Really good point. We should give LWs credit for this more often.

      2. theattack says:

        Or wait, were you being sarcastic?

      3. No – not sarcastic. He came a long way since his last update which is why I’m not ridiculing the hypocrisy of the situation here, haha. The shit she is doing is a little more damning for the relationship as a whole (imo) because it involves prior exes with feelings involved…however…I may just be pessimistic due to a similar recent circumstance that happened to me.

        Regardless I think the writing is on the wall though. The guy should get out.

      4. Avatar photo says:

        The trust issue is hard to overcome, but it says a lot when two people can compromise and try to work on their relationship. I think it’s so easy to say MOA, but it’s easy to forget about communication. I not going to say this relationship is or isn’t salvagable, since there’s some very serious issues going on, but I like the idea of working around two busy schedules to make the time for each other.

        I think too many people rely on it just happening, when in reality, it takes effort from both parties. Thanks for pointing that out Budj.

  4. Eve Harrison says:

    Seriously, dude. 4 months is not worth this much drama. Maybe 10 years, or 2-3 years. But four months? I am also curious about the financial aspect. Did you move in with her because you needed someone to share the burden of rent? This is completely random but I know of friends who have done that and many of those relationships went ka-poot. Either way, it seems like you’re putting it a lot for a relationship that should already be over, which is exactly why I suspect a possible financial aspect.

  5. She is texting an ex-boyfriend she misses him. That generally means she misses her ex – not a good sign if she is with you. No amount of “closeness” makes it okay to tell your ex you miss them and you wonder what might have been with them. It is just not appropriate. It doesn’t sound like if she is completely committed to you – or maybe this is some revenge thing for your earlier behaviour – either way – it doesn’t look like this is a relationship for the long haul. If you want to put in a lot of work and time and money you can both see a therapist to determine how both of you can rebuild the trust lost in your relationship. Or you can acknowledge that some bells can’t be un-rung – you do not have two point two kids, a lab and goldfish and can at least untangle your lives with relative ease now – as opposed to later. Sometimes relationships don’t work. Clearly you have been taking steps to try and fix it – but sometimes the best fix it to admit it didn’t work and go your separate ways. Think of this time with her as a gift going forward. This relationship taught you how to communicate effectively with a partner – and that is something you can apply in your next relationship with a girl that is completely interested in being with you – and only you.

  6. Wait, wait, wait. Forgive me for being a bitch this morning, but you’re the same guy who was writing in telling us you sent inappropriate texts to a woman, and now you’re complaining she did the same thing? That was only 3-4 weeks ago that you wrote in, so 2-3 weeks BEFORE that you saw texts from her to someone else.
    So basically, you saw texts from her to some other dudes, you sent some raunchy texts to another chick, and now you are hurt. I’m trying to be understanding here, I really am. But the thing that irritates me is that you does the same thing, and it’s cool, you’re better now, she does it and basically says the same shit to you and you’re not sure you can believe her. Why should she have believed you? You can’t give her the same courtesy? Try to be as understanding as you expected her to be.
    Bottom line, I think this relationship is over, move the hell on and quit torturing each other.

    1. I think that they should stay together, if only to isolate them from the rest of the population.

  7. kerrycontrary says:

    We all told you to break up before and we are going to say it again : MOA.

    Everyone want to hear about my problem? I have no power and its 95 degrees and there’s a bat trapped in my kitchen. Happy Monday.

      1. kerrycontrary says:

        Until they give you rabies! Which it might have already given me while I was sleeping. Or it’s a bird. I couldn’t see because it was pitch black.

      2. When Arturo and I were staying with my MIL over one summer there was a family of bats that lived in the space above one of the windows (luckily she´d covered the window just before we moved in, before that they´d get in the apt all the time), and every day at dusk they´d go climbing down the netting and take off. That was pretty cool, but if I´d known there was a chance they could get in I would NOT have stayed there.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        Arturo? LOVE IT!

      4. Yeah, Painted Lady baptized him. 🙂

      5. Bats OUTSIDE are cool. I love bats! They eat bugs!
        Bats inside… Probably not cool.

      6. I don’t know…they are so small…and cute…and batman…

        I think the annoying aspect is there weird ass flight pattern. Hard to easily catch them without one flying into your face on accident trying to evade you.

      7. The other day I was reading about bats, apparently there´s one that comes with a wingspan of up to 2m. I think I would die if I saw one like that.

      8. Lol – that would be freaky…but I think those ones are in Africa? Could be off…I’m mostly using information I gathered from Ace Ventura 2….

      9. Hmmm not sure. I was just reading up about them to prove a point to Arturo.

        My sister posted some pics from her trip to Indonesia the other day, and in one of them my niece and nephew are holding a huge bat, so maybe they´re from around there somewhere?

      10. Yeah they are called fox bats!

      11. Those are the ones that eat fruits and look like a fox ^_^ they have them in Temaiken :D, but i never got to see one opening their wings 🙁

      12. Can you believe I´ve never been to Temaiken???? Supposedly we were going to go with a bunch of people this weekend, but I don´t see it happening. 🙁

      13. whhhhat????? you never went there? :O you should!!!! if the sun decides to come back 🙂

      14. I know, we´re so slack. Just a couple of weeks ago we went to an ecological reserve/petting zoo that is like 15 mins away from our house, so getting to Temaiken (like an hour and a half away) is going to be difficult hahaha.

      15. I love bats. At Disney World they have the giant bats that are HUGE and they aren’t even technically contained. The place where you walk in to see them has a wall that is open with big stone columns but no windows. You can stick your hand right through. They were so hot when I was there though that they were just hanging out fanning themselves with their wings. I stood in there for like 15 minutes just watching them.

      16. I just looked it up and they have the Large Flying Fox Bat (wingspan of about 4.9 feet on average) and the Rodrigues Fruit Bat (smaller, but the largest species of fruit bat). If anyone here is on my Facebook, I have pictures of them and a video of them fanning themselves on there.

    1. A bat? Ew. I´d be freaked out.
      And awful being without power with that heat.
      I promise not to complain anymore today.

  8. theattack says:

    I really don’t think you have much room to complain about it when you started this pattern in the first place. Learn to act right and maybe you can find someone else who will too. You need to either decide you’re cool in a relationship without trust or MOA, because you can’t fix something like this so early on.

  9. I think that you are dating a serial monogamist and may very well be one yourself.

  10. Shoe is on the other foot, eh? I don’t want to harp on this because the LW seems to have learned from his mistakes, but this is reminder to consider how you’d feel if the other person treated you how you treated them.

    That aside, I think it’s time to MOA. If you guys are looking toward a future together, which I assume you are since you live together, it’s not going to work with her missing her ex like this. At this point in a relationship, she should be all about you, not reminiscing on what might have been. So, find someone who is deliriously happy just to be with YOU and don’t move in so fast.

  11. FUNNY. Funny how you forgot to mention in this letter that there is a 6 year old child involved.

    MOA. You are trying too hard and it doesn’t even seem like you are happy in this situation. Your letter doesn’t really make too much sense either. “we have such GREAT communication, everythign is going awesome, but OOOPS, I “accidentally” saw text messages from her to another person about other guys, then OOOPS I “accidentally” missed a call on her cell phone from a friend in which I saw a text message from a guy blah blah blah”.

    Please. You are snooping because you don’t trust the relationship.

    And she has a six year old child involved.

    MOA, it’s only been a few months.

    1. Also, am I the only one that thought the LW was female? Was that mentioned somewhere, or am I just assuming the LW is a woman?

      Either way, dude or girlie, MOA.

    2. lets_be_honest says:

      Oh wow, that’s right! LW, get the hell out of there and grow up. You and your gf.

    3. Do people have phones that when a new text pops up that they can see the whole text conversation? I know on my phone, and on Iphones, this isn’t the case. It does seem like he used this missed phone call as an excuse to look through that text message. He seems to find ways to do a lot of snooping on her phone, so there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of trust going on with these two, even with their new found communication skills.

      1. I don’t think you can accidentally see anything. I think the LW was snooping and doesn’t want to admit it

      2. Actually…my handcent sms app absolutely turns my phone screen on and shows a quick text reply window that shows pretty much the entire text on my screen. Kind of annoying…but it is perfectly possible to be grabbing someone’s phone for a mixed call and have that pop up and have it very hard to ignore what your eyes just processed.

      3. *missed.

        I can’t wait to go to hike school, Billy.

      4. Yeah it only shows that one text that they sent though, doesn’t it? Or does the whole text conversation come up?

      5. Ok, you all took this wrong, I understand that the message that somebody sends you will pop up on the screen for iphones, or on the upper task bar for androids, but it doesn’t show the whole text conversation, just part of what was sent at that time, see he would have had to open on the text message to read the whole thing.

      6. I have a Droid and the lines of text do pop up on the notification bar on the top of the screen. This is only when they FIRST pop up, though – and only if the screen is unlocked and on. So it is actually possible that if he had just answered the phone and still had it in his hand, he could have “accidentally” seen the text.

      7. My droid does that too. If I click the button to check the time, and unlock the screen then it will scroll across the top, but it is only the first line, so then you have to wait for the second, and third to pop up.

        I forgot about that.

      8. My iPhone shows probably the first 140 characters of the text on the screen when it comes through. So yes, in many cases when I get a text message I can see the whole thing without even opening my phone.

      9. lets_be_honest says:

        Yea, but can you see the message that’s being replied to? I can’t.

        FYI-You can actually change that setting in your phone for privacy sake. Mine just shows I have a new message.

  12. Yeah, this is all very weird to me, so you were sending inappropriate text messages, and at the same time she was as well? You guys aren’t meant for each other, you are two of the same people that move too fast, and turn to other people when something is wrong in your own relationship (by this I mean the dirt texts). I
    t seems like you guys were trying, but I would like to know how hard you were actually trying, I mean it’s been only a couple of weeks since your first letter, and somehow magically you went from blow-ups in front of the apartment staff to everything being absolutely perfect and talking about everything? Now all of the sudden you are having blow-ups again? I don’t know, maybe you guys rushed that too, and tried to much to quick, and didn’t have real conversations because you were forcefully trying to make this stuff work.
    Either way this seems like a pretty dysfunctional relationship, and you need to get out of it, because I have a feeling you will both drag this on forever, and probably cheat on each other along the way.

  13. With all due respect, it doesn’t sound like either one of you is quite ready to be in an adult, committed relationship with all the trimmings. Move out, that way you can text whomever you like however you like, and she can do the same. And both of you stop looking at other people’s phones – geez.

  14. Such sensless drama.

    I don’t think you “accidentally” saw anything. Just admit you were snooping. I don’t “accidentally” see anything on my fiance’s phone or his email or the computer etc. He often asks for me to input his password to check his emails and I hit do not save on the password or whatever, and I tell him flat out that I don’t want any of that information, when relationships have been troubled in the past, I have stooped to snooping and I refuse to have access to any of that information.

    It’s also a respect thing. He moved to Colorado for school, and I won’t even open any mail or cards (we received congratulations cards after we became engaged) that are addressed to him without calling him first. I don’t pick up his phone (unless it is his parents) and I don’t even think to look at any texts.

    There is no trust and it’s only been a few months. This is a disaster that you need to just walk away from.

    1. 6napkinburger says:

      When it rang and I was closer to his phone/he was in the other room, I’d look at it and tell him who was calling and he’d either tell me to answer it, tell me to send it to voicemail or run in to answer it. I think that’s ok.

  15. OK, having reread this letter, the original letter, and the comments, here are my thoughts:
    1) The original thread was where I coined WWS 🙂
    2) It was also where Budj dumped AP 🙁
    3) Seriously? You improved your communication so much that you “kept in for a long time” having seen a text that annoyed you?
    4) Admit you snooped.
    5) Please, for the sake of everyone involved (esp. the kid), either MOA or actually (both of you) work on your relationship, quit the pathetic texting, etc (I hope you´ve stopped trying to “cheer up” your friend.

    1. In my defense AP’s flirting with other men on the internet and talking about cheating on me openly was doing numbers on my self-esteem.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        Maybe you should’ve talked to her about it before just publicly dumping her for the whole world to see.

      2. IKR? How many times do we have to say that communicationis so important, say something already? 😉

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        Trying to coin a new abbrevation are we? I like!

      4. Haha no, I can´t take credit for that one!

  16. I am actually on the fence on this one. They’ve only been together for 4 months. That’s such a short amount of time that I think it IS somewhat reasonable for one or both to still be working out certain “kinks” – like wondering what “could have been” with exes (seriously, don’t we all do this sometimes? No one else does this?) ESPECIALLY after discovering that your boo sent “raunchy” texts to a “friend.”

    The problem is that they’re trying to be too serious too fast. They implied a certain level of commitment when they moved in together, ESPECIALLY given the fact that there is a kid involved. But I mean, 4 months?! Are they really supposed to be 100% SURE about each other after 4 months?

    So I don’t have an answer.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Even though you came to no conclusion, I agree with all your points. Maybe this comment will foster a good evaluation.

    2. Excellent point. I didn’t know how I felt about this letter. But I like what you have to say about it.

      LW – maybe take a few, or a hundred steps back, evaluate the relationship and proceed with caution.

    3. Not after four months, but if you are having trust issues after only 4 months, I think there is a huge problem. The honey moon period is four months.

      I’ve been there with the trust issues which is why I refuse to know any passwords of my fiance’, if we run into troubles (as every relationship has ups and downs, mine too) I’d rather talk to him than be tempted with passwords and snoop. I don’t think I would anymore, but I haven’t been put into a situation where I don’t trust him, so I don’t know if I would be tempted again. I just make sure that my mind is clear in that I would never disrepsect him like that.

      I agree that they moved way too fast, but I don’t remember having these issues within four months of anything… I think you are blinded by the honeymoon phase, problems come later, as you get to know each other

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        I think what you’re doing about resolving your past trust issues is great.

      2. thank you 🙂 lets_be_honest

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        Yea, while its all fine and good to try and just trust, etc., some people just can’t help themselves and end up snooping. I love that you have essentially just made that close to impossible so when you’re feeling weak and might snoop, you can’t. Go you!

    4. Yeah I agree, I would say maybe that they need to take a step back, and get seperate places to see if this is going to work.

      1. Yeah, it was just too much too soon. And they both acknowledged that, so that’s a step. I really don’t know if they can make it work or not at this point, or if it would even be worth the effort. But I think to demand this level of commitment after only 4 months of dating is kind of absurd.

  17. painted_lady says:

    Look, one of the best pieces of relationship advice I’ve ever gotten is actually from my boyfriend, from before we were dating, and he gves this advice to people still: if you have to “work on” stuff in the first 6 months of the relationship, you shouldn’t be in the relationship to begin with. People should be on their best behavior in that time period, and either they have so many issues that they can’t be on their best behavior, or that *is* their best behavior. Either way, you are so fundamentally incompatible or at least one of you is so fucked up that it’s never going to work.

    1. Yeah, maybe we should add to that advice “if you have to write to an advice columnist twice in the 1st six months of dating, you shouldn´t be in the relationship either”.

      1. painted_lady says:

        Good point. Yeah, that’s a pretty good indicator that this is not going well.

      2. JK, that. was. awesome. best response ever. Two letters to advice columns within the first six months of dating = MOA.

  18. landygirl says:


  19. ele4phant says:

    I remember thinking with your last letter that your relationship sounded like a train wreck. You have not convinced me otherwise with this update.

    As many others have mentioned, at four months things should be going pretty great (also at four months, you probably shouldn’t also be living together)? I mean yes, dysfunctional habits may be being laid down, but they won’t emerge until the new relationship excitement wears off.

    I wonder if this letter is even real? I mean, is this someone’s joke?

  20. lets_be_honest says:

    In honor of the much-missed ToM, Happy Canada Day all! Eh!

  21. I have mixed feelings on this one. In many ways I think this is a trainwreck that will only get worse. But I also can’t say much since I stayed with my boyfriend after he cheated in the first few months–we’re still happy over a year later, but I had many reasons for staying. From reading your letter, it doesn’t seem like you have much reason to continue this relationship. Both of you have made some mistakes and sure it’s normal to be questioning a relationship a little bit, but it just doesn’t seem right. It seems like you all moved too fast and you don’t know how to get out of it–especially since you live together. I think it would be best to cut your losses and get out of this relationship, and gain some maturity before you get in another relationship.

  22. AndreaMarie says:

    It’s not about you or your girlfriend, it’s about her 6 year old son! Moving in after 2 months without a child is pretty reckless, but when there is a young child in the mix it’s down right irresponsible. One of you really needs to find a new place to live.

    Yeah you guys moved way too fast with this relationship! Instead of running to play house you should have slowly developed the relationship. Took sometime to date! Neither of you are in a commited, exclusive relationship with each other. If you are happy in your relationship you don’t text an ex “what could have been” because you don’t care because you are where you want to be. You both have emotional baggage from previous relationships. You both are continuing to need the attention, emotional crutch, whatever from someone outside of your relationship. It’s time to pump the breaks, move out, and get your lives together. Take it slow, start dating, and let the relationship grow so both of you can decide if this who you truly want to commit to.

  23. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

    She’s sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo just not that into you, dude. Sorry, but it is what it is, man. Now normally, I’d quote Madonna here and close with some snappy, timeless, diva insight. You know, something like… “Don’t go for second best, baby!” But sadly, you’re not even second best here if this tangle of texts is to be believed… You’re like third best, maybe even forth best.

    Hmmmm. Oh, okay, sticking with the same Madonna hit, jumping ahead only one lyric… “You’ll do much better, baby, on your own / Baby, on your own…”

  24. fast eddie says:

    Everybody is seeing this as a big problem, I don’t. You both have a have a history and that’s inrfertering but your talking about it which is good. IF you can resolve the issues one by one and focus on the future the problems will pass. Give it some time and it could work out to something to laugh about down the road. From the sound of it I didn’t see any deal breakers. The source of the problem is you went too fast and didn’t have your ducks in a row when she moved in. You already know that but it bears repeating.

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