DEAR KELLY: I looked on my boyfriend’s Instagram recently and saw that he had liked all of this girl’s pictures for like the past six months. When I asked him about it, at first he lied. Then he said his buddies did it, then he said he had done it and felt bad because they had been texting and talking for like three weeks. He admitted they’d been flirting but nothing had happened yet.
He met her when he went to his cousin’s birthday party and she lives in another town. He said that he really likes me, but he feels like he wants to talk to her, too, and he doesn’t want to tell her he can’t talk any more. He said that because they live in total different towns, I shouldn’t feel threatened by her because he doesn’t even know if or when he’ll see her again, but that he should be able to talk to her as much as he wants.
We’ve been together for four months and I thought he really liked me. My friend told me to ask him if he would be OK if I did this, and he said it’s different. He said he just wants to get to know her, but if a guy was talking to me it would be different because he’d just want to hook up with me. He admitted he’d be angry if he found out I was talking to another guy, and that he’d break up with a girl who did that do him.
I don’t like this, Kelly. I think I’m being jealous if I tell him not to talk to her anymore. I think I’m going to be paranoid and wonder who he’s texting every time were together. Because she doesn’t live close, should I allow him to talk to her as much as he wants because it’s not like they can be together. Or do I say, “No he can’t talk to her or I’ll break up.’ ” I’m caught and confused.
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DEAR BREI: If you feel caught, let me untangle this for you. Distance doesn’t have anything to do with whether or not he will develop feelings for her. The fact that he’s trying to use that to persuade you to let him flirt with a girl in another town says that he isn’t ready to be in a relationship. It’s simple. Once you cut the relationship loose, you will no longer be caught or confused – you will be relieved.
I’m all for people having friends of the opposite sex. It’s healthy and normal. But he didn’t say he wanted to be her friend. He said they had been talking, flirting and he wasn’t ready to stop talking to her even if he knew it upset you. Never did you say he said they were just friends. Why share your boyfriend with someone just because she lives in another town? You deserve better.
The fact that he said nothing has happened yet (key word) means that something could happen in the future. He’s not guaranteeing you this won’t happen, just that it hasn’t happened so far. If he wants to pursue her, fine, but not while he is still with you. Don’t set yourself up to wonder or worry if he’s still talking to her. Even if he tells you he isn’t, would you totally believe him?
Put on your big-girl pants on and break up. Stand up for yourself. Clearly he wants to have his cake and eat it too. If he’s in high school, it just means that he is not ready for what is involved with being in a committed relationship. No big deal. It is normal to like different people, just not when you are telling someone you are a couple.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to date different people at your age, just not all at the same time. Don’t let yourself get sucked into thinking it’s OK for him to see where this goes with her while still calling you his girlfriend. Be more than someone’s fall-back plan.
One last thing: His battle cry of “It’s different” is a bunch of hooey. Please don’t let him get away with playing this card. It is not different. If he wants to talk with other girls, he has no right to tell you that you shouldn’t talk to other guys. Please, spare me.
Hold your head high and bid him goodbye. And do yourself a big favor: Don’t look back.