I have this great boyfriend. We live together, he is never not able to be found, he buys great gifts for me and my daughter. He does home improvements to my home, mows my lawn and constantly tells me that he loves and adores me. And his family is great to me and my daughter too. Here’s the kicker. I know for a fact (because I snoop) that he goes online and meets girls. He gives out his number and corresponds with them, but as far as I can tell, he never really meets up with them. How can he when we are together all the time? He never has guy friends that he goes out with. He never goes out with anyone but me. When he is home, he keeps his phone turned off so I can’t see/hear who is calling. BTW: He’s a cop and works the midnight shift. I have caught him before sending dirty texts to girls that he says are friends (that I guess he meets online) and tells me this is no worse than using a 900 number. I think he does it just for sexual stimulation. Since I found this out, he has blocked texting on his phone for me. Part of me wants to dump him, but on the other hand, he is really good to me. If I didn’t snoop, I would have no reason to question his whereabouts or his love for me. Is this kind of behavior acceptable? Am I dealing with a nut? Or am I crazy to put up with it? I feel like anyone I meet will have some sort of issues that I will have to deal with, and they may not be as good to me as he is. — Cop’s Girlfriend
I’m going to say something that’s probably going to be a little controversial: I don’t think you should dump your boyfriend. At least, not right away. You need more information, and you need to decide for yourself what you’re willing to put up with, and then you need to set some ground rules. First of all, I don’t condone snooping. If you have reason to be suspicious, it’s always better to confront the person in question. But since you’ve already snooped and found incriminating evidence, it’s time to talk with your boyfriend about why he’s sending dirty texts to random women … and what else he might be doing with them. If he says it’s nothing more than dirty texts for sexual stimulation, ask him why he needs additional stimulation. What is it about your sex life that’s lacking?
If your boyfriend’s unfulfilled in the bedroom, are you willing to step up your game? Or … is it easier for you to let him get turned on by random dirty texts? I’m asking this because your letter suggests you might be OK with it. If that’s the case and if you’re happy to have your boyfriend around for love, companionship and help around the house, but aren’t interested in fulfilling his sexual needs as much as he’d like, perhaps it’s time to set some ground rules about where and how he gets sexually stimulated elsewhere. Like, maybe porn and 900-numbers are OK in your book, but real women he meets online are off-limits. Only you can say for sure what your boundaries are.
In a society where open relationships, swinging, and polyamory are becoming more mainstream, I don’t think it’s fair to say you’re “crazy” for putting up with behavior that is a little left of center or not what’s necessarily considered “normal.” I do, however, think you’d be crazy to put up with any behavior you find disrespectful, hurtful or dangerous. It’s up to you to define what that behavior might be and whether you can trust your boyfriend to stay within the boundaries you set. I would also suggest that if you have any reason at all to believe he may be having sex outside your relationship, you need to get tested for STDs and be sure you always use protection.
I got out of a long relationship a few months ago, and while I’m enjoying dating around, I am not looking for anything serious. Well, about a week ago, I met a guy that I had a pretty amazing instant connection with. We’ve hung out twice, and while we have not done anything physical, we have talked about our mutual feelings for each other. The thing is, he is not single. He is in an open relationship with a girl he has been with for four years. On one hand, I think this is perfect, because I don’t want anything serious right now, and am not trying to involve myself in something that will lead to a relationship. At the same time, I can’t deny the possibility that I could potentially fall for him (although honestly, that’s really projecting at this point), and I don’t want to end up in a complicated love triangle type of situation. Is the potential fun and enjoyment I could get from this kind of fling worth the risk? Or am I just setting myself up for a disaster? — Newly Single
My immediate reaction is that you’re setting yourself up for disaster if you were to engage in a relationship — sexual or otherwise — with this man. Having no-strings-attached casual sex is all fine and well, but just how casual can the sex be if you have an “amazing connection” and “mutual feelings for each other” after only a week? If you want to “date around” and avoid complicated relationships because you’re recently single and aren’t ready for anything serious, I’d stay away from a potential love triangle or anything else that has “drama” written all over it.
*Do you have a relationship/dating question I can help with? Send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.