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Dear Breakup Girl,
Deal: seeing boy for six months, not serious (i.e. never really considering
future possibilities) although we spent all our time together. All. He met a
girl who lives far away, decided he is 'in love' and has been conducting a
long-distance relationship with a woman he has met once. Of sorts. He still
sleeps at my place (though there is no sex) and we eat together, walk the dog
together, trying to proclaim to the world and to ourselves how comfortable we
are with being ... Just Friends.
His girlfriend (somewhat understandably) goes ballistic when my name is even
mentioned, and so he no longer mentions my name to her.
He is completely infatuated with her, but is completely completely unwilling
to change things between us. He says that because we are no longer actually
having sex, he is not being unfaithful to her ... though we still sleep in the
same bed and I wake with his arms around me ... I know that's terrible, but
HE'S the one who has changed things so shouldn't HE be the one who is
responsible for making sure things change?
I tried to tell him that I needed some time and we needed to establish some
distance between us so that the relationship could settle and his new one could
grow, and he got So Mad and so upset and we cried on the phone every night for
days and days and fought and cried and made up and it just seems to me like ...
well, it seems to me a lot of things are true.
A. He really likes this girl a lot.
B. He is completely unwilling to be alone.
C. I am not going to get over this unless I enforce some time apart.
D. Which makes me feel pretty sad.
E. We are still way too tied into one another emotionally.
I have tried going out on dates with other people -- he gets really jealous.
It's hard, too, because he still wants the same privileges in my life while
there is another person who is more important to him than me! I am at my wit's
end. What should I do? Do I already know? Do I have to stop seeing him? Boy is
that ever hard. It makes me sad and sick and it makes him the same. What on
earth is the solution to this?
I think it would be better if his new girlfriend and I got to know each
other and I am open to that but she is not and in fact said that if she ever
meets me she wants to do physical violence to me (I, however, am a pacifist.
And shorter than she). Which also upsets me, because I am worried that she will
work it so that I am completely out of his life. I don't want that. I can't
imagine it. He has told her, and they have had a number of arguments about it,
that he refuses to not have me in his life. It's so hard and strange for all
three of us and I know that but ... any action seems incredibly permanent.
I would really appreciate any advice you can give on this untriangle.
First of all, his girlfriend needs to chill.
You can't tell her that, unless it just so happens that she's reading
this and knows who she is, in which case you are a very clever girl; and you
can't tell the Boy to tell her that because technically, it's none of your
business. So I'm just saying. Not that Long Distancers don't have rights, but,
well, she has no right to threaten you, even if she's just talking a big game,
which I'm sure she is. Geez, the two of them have met once! Maybe they
are"in love" -- okay, it could happen -- but it seems mighty early
for her to be laying down such laws. It's all a little much. More to the point,
if she's got a problem with his past or present, she's got to take it up with
him, not you.
Breakup Girl, however, IS going to take things up with
you. First of all, NOOOOOOOO, I don't think you and his girlfriend should
"get to know each other." That's one of those things that sounds
noble on paper/the screen but actually causes more problems that it's worth. It
also -- even if you don't mean it to -- comes across as a little patronizing on
your part. As in, "Hello, dear. Yes, I'm the close friend and ex who's
here to tell you you have absolutely nothing to worry about; I just wanted you
to be able to put a face with the person whose saline solution is in his
medicine cabinet and whom his dog likes better than you. Enchantee." Also,
she wants to hurt you. It is not the beginning of a beautiful
So yeah, maybe you do need to step back a bit. Not to
nobly give them their space, but because, well, see C., above. Backing off
temporarily doesn't mean he's out of your life permanently. Au contraire, in
fact. Finding a foothold without each other can only help your friendship when
you step toward it again. And by the way, if you guys do stay friends --
just friends -- then Miss Distance will just have to deal. She is not
allowed to "work it" so that you're out of his life. This is going to
sound flip, but you wouldn't want to be friends with someone who would allow
that to happen, anyway.
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