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He's cheating -- on MySpace

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  February 2, 2009 11:00 AM

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Today's letter is about faking it online. Let's help.

Q: I've been living with this guy for several months after dating for more than a year. He tells me he is committed to me, loves me, and intends to spend the rest of his life with me. I feel the same way. My problem is that he maintains a MySpace page and continually adds women "friends" who then post suggestive comments on his page. He's got over 100 of these women. Although he is on MySpace daily, he has not updated the page to reflect he is in a relationship. It still shows him as single and looking for dating opportunities and serious relationships. It also overstates his income and understates his age. If it matters, we are both over 40, divorced, and each have children in college. I've told him I don't appreciate his continue contact with these women who think he is available and find it offensive to me. He says it is his way to "socialize.” Should I just ignore it or is this an indication that he does not care for me and is not truly as committed as he says?
-- Chele, Haverhill

A: Chele, do not ignore this. It’s weird. And crummy.

Do I think he’s going out and sleeping with these women? Probably not. I’m pretty sure he’s just playing pretend. He’s hitting mid-life. He just upped his commitment level to a woman (you) by moving in with her. He wants to play “I’m still young, rich, and single.” Understandable.

That said, he is lying – to you and to these women. He’s not just “socializing.” He’s playing a computer game, a Sim City, of sorts, where he can be whoever he wants to be. The problem is, MySpace isn’t Sim City. It’s a network of real people, some of whom are local. MySpace is not a game.

Your guy should understand why this behavior hurts your feelings. No one wants to commit to a partner who’s cruising for chicks on MySpace.

You’re allowed to draw the line. You’re allowed to talk to him – calmly – about alternatives for his fantasy life, ideas that satisfy his needs without making you feel bad.

If he can’t compromise, perhaps he really is “looking for dating opportunities." Either way, your concern is justified. And it may only get worse. What happens when he discovers Facebook?

Readers? Is he allowed to cruise MySpace? Your thoughts for Chele, please.

To catch up on last week's letters and Wednesday chat, visit Boston.com/loveletters.

-- Meredith

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81 comments so far...
  1. Unacceptable! I don't agree with Meredith's advice to talk to him about it; even if he does get rid of the MySpace account, the fact that he was behaving that way in the first place raises a huge red flag. Who's to say he won't take his cruising from the Internet into the Real World?

    If you are already divorced, why put yourself in a situation that could potentially lead to the same thing? Move out and find a new, better man!

    Posted by ed00 February 2, 09 11:30 AM
  1. Fantasy is often more fun than reality. But the reality is his fantasy is harming your mutual reality. It he wants continue to play fantasy on My Space, tell him he will in reality he will have to go find a New Space in which to live.

    Posted by Raffi February 2, 09 11:53 AM
  1. don't care if he maintains a my space account - although over 40 and doing it seems a little bit childish and immature to me -- but if he's going to -- he should at least tell the truth on it -- i.e. - in a committed relationship, real age, real income -- he must not have a whole lot of self esteem if he's got to lie about who he is to a computer screen

    Posted by laurie February 2, 09 11:59 AM
  1. RUN AWAY! i dealt with a similar situation a few years back. we met on myspace and were dating seriously, but he never changed his status to "in a relationship". he ended up cheating on me with someone he met online. when they subsequently began dating, i noticed they both had "in a relationship" right away. i'm sure she made him, since she knew his nature. beware a guy who doesn't want to be designated as "ina relationship". it is disrespectful to you! and even if he's not cheating on you physically, it is a sort of emotional cheating in my opinion.

    Posted by boostonlifer February 2, 09 11:59 AM
  1. The whole thing would make me uneasy. Someone who demonstrates that low opinion of themselves is usually too much work. I think he needs some professional help with his self esteem and I recommend that you really consider if he is worth the work. I'd probably say not. A lot will depend on his answer.

    I found out my committed other was going to AA and NA meetings to listen to women's stories and then fantasize about them (he actually wrote about it on his business blog). He's not really interested in sobriety. He instantly became sad and pathetic to me, and to be not pathetic myself, I backed away from the burning building until I could run as fast as I can.

    I'm not sure yours is that bad, but something isn't right with that guy.

    Posted by Kitalreadypreassembled February 2, 09 12:06 PM
  1. It's pretty bad he won't even update his relationship status but to pretend he's younger and makes more money too? The guy just sounds like a delusional fool. Talk some sense into him and if he's not willing to give up his pretend life for a real one then it's time to walk. Some people need a push in order to grow up apparently.

    Posted by DI$CO February 2, 09 12:09 PM
  1. If the man needs an outlet, then let him have it.
    If it means once in a while a pretty girl will comment on his page then let it be.
    When a man is in a committed relationship it means just that. So long as you know he's not cheating, then it's just his way of maintaining his self confidence.

    You don't once in a while check to see if you still have "that effect" on men?

    Don't box him in a corner. He needs his own space. He has already moved in with you and committed to you.

    Posted by Rational February 2, 09 12:10 PM
  1. MySpace and Facebook are great for finding and being found by long lost friends and keeping up with friends and family. As you said, it is not Sims in real life. Being alone is not worse than being with a liar and manipulator. Having a date or being able to talk about "my boyfriend" is not enough reason to accept this.

    Posted by JB February 2, 09 12:21 PM
  1. Sure he is allowed to use MySpace (or Facebook, or etc.) but he should be truthful in his info. And if he is on it everyday he should also be updating it to indicate that he is now in a relationship.

    Posted by my2cents worth February 2, 09 12:26 PM
  1. Oh, Chele,
    I'm sorry to say this, but you DEFINITELY should not be living with this guy, and he isn't worth dating either. If he's blatantly, unapologetically lying about himself on MySpace, how can you ever trust him? How does he justify the fake age, single status, and income? I don't agree with Meredith--there is no point in trying to compromise because he doesn't love you enough for it to work. (Meredith, have you ever offered a boyfriend fantasy-life alternatives?!!!) The notion of "ideas that satisfy his needs" strikes me as a hopeless time waster. He's a middle-aged boy, and he likes MySpace toy too much to give it up for you. I know it will be hard, but run, run away, before you feel stuck in your shared living arrangement.

    Posted by sympathetic February 2, 09 12:33 PM
  1. He can cruise myspace if he wants. But I wouldn't put up with that crapola. If he feels this way (He tells me he is committed to me, loves me, and intends to spend the rest of his life with me. I feel the same way), why does he need to do this (he maintains a MySpace page and continually adds women "friends" who then post suggestive comments on his page. He's got over 100 of these women. Although he is on MySpace daily, he has not updated the page to reflect he is in a relationship. It still shows him as single and looking for dating opportunities and serious relationships).
    My advice to the poster--he may be into you, sweetheart, but he's not committed so if that's what you want, get out now

    Posted by ash February 2, 09 12:37 PM
  1. I think it's kind of sad, really, that a 40-year old man with grown children has to play out this bizarre fantasy life on MySpace. It's beginning to sound like the plot of a Lifetime movie. "She thought she knew who he was...they became friends online...now the awful truth comes out in the compelling Lifetime Original Movie: 'I thought he was young and rich, but he's really middle-aged, broke, and living with his girlfirend'" Please...you are far too worthy for this nonsense. I would run (not walk) in the other direction as fast as possible.

    Posted by justathought February 2, 09 12:45 PM
  1. Chele says that he says he's in a committed realationship-doesn't sound like it to me if he still has the single status on his myspace page. If she has explained her feelings to him and doesn't see the light and won't change the status then she should get out of the relationsship-plain and simple.

    Posted by Viv February 2, 09 12:46 PM
  1. He's still has a myspace account? That's reason enough to show that he's not cool. Myspace is so yesterday. Move on.

    Posted by Bob February 2, 09 12:48 PM
  1. Socializing is when you talk about the Sox, or the Super Bowl, or what happened on “Lost” last week. You talk about your job, your kids, and funny things you’ve done, like accidentally brushing your teeth with hair gel. Flirting is where you make suggestive comments to members of the opposite gender. He’s not socializing…he’s flirting. And it may be harmless, like flirting with the receptionist at the office or the coffee girl at Dunks. What’s more telling is his desire to misrepresent himself. As a whole, humans crave validation. Some of us get it internally – in other words, self confidence. The rest of us get it from other people (which is why so many of us care what a total stranger thinks of us). Remember that song from the 80’s with the line, “who do you want me to be to make you sleep with me?” – suggestiveness aside, its pretty much the same thing: “who do you want me to be to make you like me?” He is presenting himself as a man that he thinks most women would like possibly to validate his own id. I would guess he probably has low self-esteem and a poor self-image. In his MySpace World, he is young, rich, and single.

    Men have an amazing way of separating love and lust (we women can learn from this – it might just make our lives easier). Men can “lust” after another woman, but still love their wives very much. Women tend to think you can exchange one word for the other. In other words, his flirting isn’t a sign he doesn’t love you. However, it likely isn’t going to stop. Ask yourself this question: “If nothing changes, if the way he is right now, today, stays exactly the same for the next fifty years….can I live with that?” Just freeze him in time and imagine living exactly like it is right now for the next 50, 60, or 70 years. If you don’t think you could stand him on MySpace for the next half-century….you have your answer.

    Talk to him. Let him know it bothers you. A lot. Ask him to change his profile to reflect the truth. He may do it. He may also continue as Young/Rich/Single behind your back. As the Scouts say, “be prepared.” Don’t give him an ultimatum. Convince him that if his MySpace friends knew the real him, they’d like him just as much. It may work, and it may be worth the effort. Or, it may fail miserably. You can’t know until you try. If nothing more, at least you will have made the move forward, which is better than stagnation.

    Posted by Anonymous February 2, 09 12:48 PM
  1. Men need to fantasize and feel that other women want them. It is good for our ego and it can be fun. That being said, he should update his status to "in a relationship" and not "looking to date". If he won't even do that, then it may be time to move on.

    Posted by WildMan February 2, 09 01:16 PM
  1. This is a classic he's-just-not-that-into-you guy. Sorry. Go find someone better who will appreciate and love you.

    Posted by 40-year-old husband February 2, 09 01:21 PM
  1. I agree. Turf him out of your apartment and find someone who can publicly say "I'm in a relationship" when he's in one.

    Posted by Jane February 2, 09 01:28 PM
  1. The biggest problem here is not his lies, or the potential for problems down the road, but the fact that he does not care that this bothers you. If he loves you, and you claim to be hurt, he should care. If he does not, you are better off without him.

    Posted by Nancy S. February 2, 09 01:32 PM
  1. DUMP HIM ASAP ! I gave the benefit of the doubt to my ex wife who said she was "friends" with an ex and they continued outside the computer room. I only found out what was really going on when I gave up my life, friends, job to move to the midwest so she could be closer to her "family" but the BF was an added bonus. This was after we had bought a home etc. GET OUT now while you still have your sanity and find someone who is looking for the same things in life you are. Until he finds someone to replace you it will be too late for you.

    Posted by KT. February 2, 09 01:34 PM
  1. I didn't know Wilt Chamberlain was on MySpace. Look, if the roles were reversed, how would he feel about you contributing to the happy endings of over 100 guys? I didn’t think so. The guy is a child and if you were younger, or more confident in how great a person you are, you would turn out the lights on Jack the Zipper. And this is just the tip of the iceberg…What has he done, what will he do when he’s confronted with a decision during a personal encounter? He’s single…and he’s shouting it out every day. It's like Amityville Horror...Get Out!!!

    Posted by Johnny Bumpah February 2, 09 01:39 PM
  1. The "women" are probably fake, just like you get on Craigslist. The ones with the micurl email addies.

    Posted by reindeergirl February 2, 09 01:41 PM
  1. Over 40 on myspace??? What a loser!!! I suppose you both live together in his mom's basement? Who pays the internet access fees or does he hack in to someone elses? I suppose he probably is "looking for a job" after being laid off at the video store he worked at too?

    Seriously, go find a real man that doesn't spend free time surfing internet social groups. Tell him to spend time looking for a nice place to take you away or a restaurant to try. Research a subject and learn something. Or better yet, have a conversation or go out instead. Internet is not a social thing, it is a cowardly way to avoid real social interaction.

    Posted by neil February 2, 09 01:41 PM
  1. This is definitely unacceptable, and you're not overreacting if you tell him to change his profile and to stop posting suggestive comments. It's completely inappropriate and dishonest of him to be doing this. The other issue, of course, is that it's impossible to completely trust him if he's going to be like this. In fact, I would say that chances are, it's his attitude that's the problem. So you can monitor his MySpace all you want and try to enforce new rules (such as, "You have to update your relationship status," or "Stop posting suggestive comments"), but so long as he thinks this is an acceptable behavior, regardless of what you think, he's going to keep doing similar things.

    I'm not sure what course of action I would recommend, however. If you didn't live together, or hadn't been dating long, I might suggest to just dump him. However, you ARE living together, and you HAVE been dating for a while, and so that might not be the first course of action. So I would talk to him, making sure to focus less on what he's doing ("You're lying to women!" "You're being a jerk!") and more on what this means for you ("I feel unable to trust you, since your profile information is innacurate, and you're flirting with other women").

    And if he doesn't think your concerns are valid, and he won't stop, or he changes what you've asked and then finds another outlet for this weird behavior, you've gotta dump the jerk. And I know how much it sucks, but if he's going to make you feel like this, he's just not good for your health and happiness.

    Posted by sabend February 2, 09 01:46 PM
  1. Yeah, this is not good. You should think about keeping your options open, as he apparently is. This guy's got cheater and me-first written all over his behavior.

    Think about it this way, he knows it bothers you and still, he won't give it up. What is he willing to do for you? Probably nothing. That's not love, that's self satisfaction.

    Posted by hippydippy February 2, 09 01:48 PM
  1. Wow. “Throw him overboard” eh? Is he saying all that you want? Yes. Is he doing all that you want? Yes. Is he sneaking around behind your back? No. Does he feel that this computer stuff is even an issue? No. Wow, what a rotten guy!
    I suppose you don’t want him talking to ladies at work either? Or at the gym? He’d better not sign up for any on-line games where he lies and says he’s an elf either!
    I see the problem here: he said he loves you so therefore you’re the boss of him forever and he can only follow your “prince charming” script --but you obviously haven’t spelled out all of your rules.
    Print out your rules, nail a copy to the wall and tell him “my way or the highway, you insensitive jerk!” Then he’s sure to realize exactly what a lucky guy he is.

    Posted by Dr. Phil February 2, 09 01:49 PM
  1. Get out! He obviously has issues with committment and given his MySpace page has lies on it, I wouldnt be surprised if he has been lying to you as well. A relationship of a year isnt that long to sacrafice..... time to move on.

    Posted by pimpletucker February 2, 09 01:55 PM
  1. I had a friend who went on to myspace to check out a potential date and found out he was in a relationship. Basically, get out. You, like my friend deserve better.

    Posted by hollahbackgirl February 2, 09 01:59 PM
  1. Intervene IMMEDIATELY.

    My wife of 8 years ended up cheating because of a similar addiction to MS. Meredith is exactly correct when she says it's like a SIM type game! My stay-at-home-mother-of-two was 'reinvented' through a MS profile page... and she got plenty of unappreciated attention. I told her the messages she was getting were disrpectful, but she just brushed them off as 'innocent flirtations'. I told reminded here that we were married and that there's no such thing as an 'innocent' flirtation.

    A month went by and one night, while I was at my best friends bachelor party, she went to a 'reunion' party with some old HS friends. Long story short: she ended up having too much to drink and making a big mistake with one of the guys there (that she'd been messaging on MS). We're working through it, but two years later it still haunts me daily.

    Posted by Matt February 2, 09 02:02 PM
  1. it's a free country, if you date an a##hole that's your fault.

    Posted by ah February 2, 09 02:03 PM
  1. I don't think he is committed when he is portraying himself single to other women. I think if the opportunity presents itself he will meet up with one or more of these women. I wouldn't stay. Good Luck.

    Posted by Lisa February 2, 09 02:07 PM
  1. I found out I was going steady (a woman chases a man until he catches her) when my girlfriend looked at my log-in history on a mostly-for-dating site and told me she didn't like it. Worked for me. We didn't have MySpace (or Craigslist) when I was doing this the first time around. Her comfort boundary is not the same as my late wife's; mine is not the same as her ex-husband's, but what was important isn't the specific level of online flirting, but that we found behaviors that made the other comfortable.

    Posted by Fishwood February 2, 09 02:21 PM
  1. Advice: create your own myspace account, then post a fake picture and start "suggesting" to him yourself. If he bites for real, you have your answer. He is immature and should probably cut it out, but at his age it's most likely because he likes the attention he's getting.

    Posted by danishred February 2, 09 02:22 PM
  1. He should def change his status to "in a relationship".

    Posted by Sue February 2, 09 02:27 PM
  1. Either:
    a) start your own myspace page, behave similarly and check his reaction, or
    b) see if he's willing to marry you.

    Posted by honestman February 2, 09 02:28 PM
  1. He WILL cheat on you if he hasn't already. Been there. My live in boyfriend hooked up with at least two chicks he met online through a similar page. He lied to her and she thought they were in an exclusive relationship, until she followed him home one night! We broke up, I moved out, years later we got back together, got married and just last week, guess what I found on the computer??? Oh yeah, more chicks! They don't change!

    Posted by yndysd February 2, 09 02:36 PM
  1. You should date a man who is proud & honored to be in the relationship with you, which doesnt seem to be the case here I'm sorry. We as women, need to stand up for ourselves and respect shouldnt be a hard fought battle. Look for man who treats you as a queen not as a doormat.

    Posted by hot pancake February 2, 09 02:36 PM
  1. wow yndysd,

    You are pretty guliable huh?? or just desperate.
    If he just does it for fun and messing around online who cares? If he acts on it, different situation.. But I guess if you don't like it, tell him to stop or you are leaving?!! pretty simple.

    Posted by Josh26th February 2, 09 02:55 PM
  1. he's over 40? and he's on myspace? with girl "friends"?

    yeah. ok. good luck with that.

    Posted by run away February 2, 09 03:14 PM
  1. Great Reality Show: Create fake page (suggested by danishred): and start flirting to see if partner bites. Follow with recorder to the "meet" and video the encounter. Like "Cheaters", but totally online. Bad Boys, Bad Boys.

    Posted by Iggy February 2, 09 03:17 PM

    Posted by Anonymous February 2, 09 03:25 PM
  1. Wildman said it well and it is the bottom line with guys.
    "Men need to fantasize and feel that other women want them. It is good for our ego and it can be fun." The only problem with this is that once we peel away the layers of embellishment which is so profound these days, the harsh reality shows its face and then the fantasy is shattered. It is what is so very appealing about these networking sites for people who cannot relate to or make their own reality better. But alas, there are always future victims in these grass-is-always-greener pastures venture into the garden of evil. For people who lack depth or sincerity, there will always be another pasture on which to play out a fantasy about themselves or others. So many profiles are full of 'LOOK AT ME' 'I'M SO WONDERFUL' with only the pictures that paint (or sell) a story.

    It's so very obvious that this guy has zero respect for your relationship. I'm truly sorry for you. Imagine how others view your relationship when they visit his page. We all choose how we behave and how we promote ourselves & our relationships. Very embarrassing - I hate to see people treated like this. It is very important how your significant other treats us when no-one is looking. Imanine what he does when not online painting himself available! His attempts to appeal to other women in a virtual way tells all I need to know.

    Cut your losses and be thankful you are not married to him.

    Posted by Marj February 2, 09 03:25 PM
  1. Are you kidding me? Get rid of him. I met a guy on myspace...same thing...listed himself as single, put himself younger than he was...not by much, but still the same lied about his age. I was seeing him casually for months...and found out he is married. There is NO reason why he needs to be doing that unless he is looking to take something one step further. Consider yourself lucky you aren't married to this guy and move on and QUICK!!

    Posted by Deb February 2, 09 04:13 PM
  1. You aren't married to the guy. My suggestion: talk to him, and if he is unwilling to change his behavior, leave him.

    If what he is doing is upsetting you, then you need to leave for your own sanity.

    There is nothing wrong with men and women talking to friends of the opposite sex on MySpace, Facebook or any other online networking site. If it's legit and a friendship based on a similar hobby or something, that is fine.

    But if he's lying and has seemingly nothing in common with these women, he is clearly just looking for attention.

    Myself & my BF have MySpace accounts. We met that way. We love and are open and honest with each other. Both of our default pics have both of us in them, we both have in a relationship as our status and both refer to each other in blogs and on our pages frequently.

    We both have friends of the opposite gender that we know on and offline that post to our pages. Occasionally they might post some generic "sexy" MySpace comment but we both roll our eyes at them. All of the opposite gender people on both of our pages (all of the same gender people for that matter) are folks we either 1. Know offline, 2. Bands, Actors, Authors we are fans of or 3. people we do not know offline but have some significant thing in common with.

    HOWEVER... by contrast, my ex refused to change his status to in a relationship until I finally flat out asked him if he wanted me to change mine back to single. He despised it when I had pics of the two of us on my page. He had all kinds of web cam girls signed up to his page and most of their pages were mindless ads for porn. Nothing in common with them, they were just "eye candy"

    Hence why he is my ex. ;)

    All men like hot chicks and all chicks like hot guys. Nothing wrong with that. If my BF wanted to have the Kate Beckinsale Fan Page on his MySpace or if I wanted to have the Johnny Depp page on mine, neither of us would care. Looking at attractive people is part of human nature and most people don't mind if their sig other has a "thing" for a celeb. Because there is a level of "they aren't really real" and "they aren't a threat". It's safe.

    But when you are finding local, scantily clad, sexually explicit, "supposedly" REAL people and adding them to your page for no reason other than "ATTENTION FROM SEXY PERSON", there is a problem with your relationship. Either he feels like he isn't getting the attention from you OR he has some serious personality issues that lead him to seek all this attention online.

    With my ex, it was a general theme with him of fear of committment. He thought any man who gets himself tied down to one woman was a "p*ssy" (his words) and that any woman who demands her boyfriend stop chatting with the webcam girls online was a "nagging [female dog]". Well, my NOW bf (and I think most normal men) think my ex is a fool.

    I'm not saying for sure your BF thinks like my ex. But it sure sounds like he has some of the same behaviors.

    Talk to him. And if he doesn't stop, that should tell you all you need to know. There are plenty of other, often better ;) , fish in the sea.

    Posted by neverwhere February 2, 09 04:15 PM
  1. He should not be lying about his age or his availability. If he won't correct that behavior, get rid of him. He can't be trusted.

    Posted by 42yearoldmale February 2, 09 04:15 PM
  1. I dealt with this situation with a girl I was dating. She didn't even volunteer that she had a MySpace page. I found out myself when I checked MySpace just for the heck of it. She chased me for months. She insisted that I was "the one." Yet, her relationship status was "single" throughout our relationship and she had hundreds of guy friends on her page. She was even inviting some of them to go on trips with her. Disgusting. She turned out to be a liar, a cheat, and rather promiscuous. Don't let this go. MySpace has made cheating very easy.

    Posted by John February 2, 09 04:39 PM
  1. You take men "as is". You can't change them. You maybe able to get him to end his behavior on myspace but he'll resent you for it and find another outlet for his "socializing". I had a similar experience in a previous relationship. He did things online that I didn't approve of and when I would confront him, he would stop one thing and end up starting again but in a different format to satisfy his need for validation. I also lived with him and it took a great amount of effort to finally move out and move on. We are still friends but I've learned my lesson.

    Posted by April February 2, 09 04:40 PM
  1. I wouldn't bother talking to him about it at all; asking him to "correct" it or stop what he's doing would be a waste of time. If he has so little character or integrity that he would do this in the first place, that is the only clue you need to who he is. Even if he stopped the nonsense, and you accept his explanation for this behavior, he's still a liar with a questionable value system.

    Posted by nan February 2, 09 04:52 PM
  1. April, the good men do change. Not character, that's immutable, but behavior. A less secure partner might need the reassurance of more chaste online behavior. Chele's boyfriend might not realize that what he sees as just a game feels very real to her, and she may need to state it more strongly than that she doesn't appreciate it. Guys do not instinctively know "The Rules", and the rules vary from relationship to relationship (for instance, in real life, contact with former lovers, ok or not?). Online the rules are newer and even less well understood.

    Posted by Fishwood February 2, 09 05:01 PM
  1. It seems to me fair for you to post something on his MS page yourself -- not the kind of junk he posts (lies about your age etc.) but a warning to other women that he is in a relationship and some of his information is not truthful. If you don't want to do it, get one of your real friends to do it. That's what good girlfriends are for.

    Posted by Betsy February 2, 09 05:08 PM
  1. It seems strange he's doing these things when he's supposedly committed to you. This behavior is out of integrity (saying one thing and doing another), and reveals someone with a low self worth, hence the creepiness factor. If you want to be with such as man, that is up to you. If I knew a woman who put up with stuff like that, I would be less likely to date her.

    If he was operating congruently, he would tell you that he isn't into you (in so many words) up front, and be dating many women at once until he evolves to a point where he can honestly feel he is ready to enter a committed relationship.

    Posted by Joe the Plumber February 2, 09 05:42 PM
  1. What a tool. Find a real man.

    Posted by bling February 2, 09 05:42 PM
  1. This is unacceptable behavior and belies your statement that you are in a committed relationship - you may be, but he isn't all the way in. I think men often don't get that cyber-cheating really is cheating. I think fishwood makes a good point - I think that you don't enter a relationship to change a person, but you can give them a chance to show you who they really are. Tell him that this is not okay and ask him to change his designation to "in a relationship" and accurately report his age and income. He can certainly maintain friends but suggestive comments either way are out of bounds. Don't make an ultimatum (no one likes those), but make it clear that you won't put up with it. I think it is possible that he may really cut it out once he realizes what is at stake. If he keeps it up, he's told you who he really is and you need to end the relationship.

    Posted by Nancy G February 2, 09 05:48 PM
  1. Find someone that is not interested in this type of stuff. Honest. I went out with someone like this and it could even be the same guy for all I know. He was a complete player. Why would you want to be with someone that is surfing My Space and lying about his stats. Total loser if you ask me. When a guy is "really" into you, he does not need to surf My Space for additional attention. I would break up with him and fast. He will not change. Do not waste your time!

    Posted by sue February 2, 09 05:55 PM
  1. He's just not that into you.

    Posted by JoneV February 2, 09 07:25 PM
  1. i want to know what peoples opinions are on their wife having there ex boyfriend as one of their friends on one of these facebook/myspace websites. we have been married for some time now, and she recently added her ex boyfriend as one of her friends on one of these social/networking sites. they were in a long nasty relationship and i know this - 5 years ago. me and my wife have been married for 2 years now.
    i have had my ex send me a friend request but i just clicked ignore, but now she is friend's with her ex, and has still yet to delete him as a friend even though i mentioned something recently and she said she would delete him

    I trust her, but just want some advice or input about this matter.

    Posted by patsguy February 2, 09 07:33 PM
  1. what is this? a self righteous christian blog? cut the guy some slack. is a relationship a form of emotional prison? lincoln freed the slaves, last time i checked. Who says this whiner is any prize? If she wasn't the kind to be spying on him, he might not be posting. Maybe she is an obnoxious, overbearing wench, but you folks all read 1/2 the story and go " Springer" on him.Shaddup and mind your own business, go check your own husbands blogs. If you find something on it you find offensive, maybe you should be cooking his dinner, instead of online with your nose in someone elses business

    Posted by dave February 2, 09 07:35 PM
  1. You should dump any man who is in his 40's and on myspace - he is an idiot with way too much time on his hands.

    Posted by dave February 2, 09 07:37 PM

    Posted by TJ February 2, 09 07:58 PM
  1. Try pudding.

    Posted by Bill Cosby February 2, 09 08:44 PM
  1. A little bit of flirting and/or exaggeration online? OK. If you had found the odd suggestive or flirtatious remark from another woman, I'd join those who say, "Eh, let him play a little." and agree it was probably harmless ego stroking.

    However, *hundreds* of seemingly random, female "friends" who leave suggestive messages is a red flag. I wouldn't be surprised if you learned he is actually cheating offline. Either with some of his MySpace friends or the countless escorts and skanky hos who sell or give it away on other sites. (Craigslist, anyone? )

    It sounds as though with MySpace alone he has invested some serious time and emotional energy collecting these "friendships." Immature and odd at best. At worst? I wouldn't be at all shocked to learn he has a little addiction.

    Posted by K February 2, 09 08:45 PM
  1. A little bit of flirting and/or exaggeration online? OK. If you had found the odd suggestive or flirtatious remark from another woman, I'd join those who say, "Eh, let him play a little." and agree it was probably harmless ego stroking.

    However, *hundreds* of seemingly random, female "friends" who leave suggestive messages is a red flag. I wouldn't be surprised if you learned he is actually cheating offline. Either with some of his MySpace friends or the countless escorts and skanky hos who sell or give it away on other sites. (Craigslist, anyone? )

    It sounds as though with MySpace alone he has invested some serious time and emotional energy collecting these "friendships." Immature and odd at best. At worst? I wouldn't be at all shocked to learn he has a little addiction.

    Posted by K February 2, 09 08:46 PM
  1. He's a loser.
    Dump him.

    Posted by Shecky28 February 2, 09 08:51 PM
  1. You're lucky he's so open about his activities. He's "cheating" in plain sight. It could be worse, you could be dating someone who has anonymous sex with truckers at various rest stops in Western Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Or how about someone who frequents oriental "health spas" only to perform intercourse with a surgically enhanced Korean woman who was probably brought here against her will. I say you have it pretty good Chele.

    Posted by Dave February 2, 09 08:51 PM
  1. I would agree with the folks who say that each relationship has its own "rules" but whatever they are need to be followed by both partners. I wouldn't call his behavior "acceptable" or "not acceptable" as an arbitrary concept but the fact that this upsets you is what matters. I certainly think it's a rational thing to be upset about. I'm sorry you're going through this. I know it's way more complex than we can glean from a couple paragraphs but whatever the result is I hope you end up happy. Good luck.

    Posted by solvera February 2, 09 08:52 PM
  1. Here's what I think: I think every woman in America should be given a copy of He's Just Not That Into You, and asked to read it over and over until she can quote whole paragraphs.

    I am all about therapy and psychobabble, really, I am. But "alternatives for his fantasy life"? That's rationalizing the crappy, disrespectful, dishonest, creepy behavior of a loser into some sort of legitimate alternate reality. He's lying to over a hundred women - real, human women, some of whom may well think this guy is their next serious boyfriend. He's lying in a sort of pathetic way that evidences his self-esteem issues; oooo, that's attractive. He doesn't care that this is disrespectful to you or that it bothers you (as well it should). What is the good news about this guy, again?

    Honey, run, and get some counseling for yourself while you're at it, to try and figure out why you would put up with this for five minutes.

    Posted by MelissaJane February 2, 09 09:20 PM
  1. Maybe you bore him?

    Posted by Robert February 2, 09 11:30 PM
  1. I went through just about the same thing. Turns out the reason he had his status as "single" was because he was fishing. Well, he caught someone, and I left him immediately. And I haven't regretted it once. I would cut my losses if I were you. Having a significant other isn't worth going nuts wondering what he is up to all the time.

    Posted by DJC February 3, 09 12:07 AM
  1. Dump him! He obviously has issues. You deserve better! My ex husband left me for a women he met online. We had been married 11 years and had an 8 year old child. Don't waste years of your life with a low-life. Get out while it's easy to get out.

    Posted by Kim D February 3, 09 01:53 AM

  1. He moved in with you after being devorced. This means he is really into you. Men like women to want us. Even though we are in relationships. This does not mean we want to cheat. However, it is not fair to hurt your feelings to achieve this. Ask and he will change it.

    Posted by Doug February 3, 09 04:06 AM
  1. I was with a guy like that a few years back. Loved him dearly but was peeved that he seemed to be "trolling." In the end, I left him and I've now married someone who is totally committed to me and wouldn't do anything to mess up what we have. What a difference! I thought I had it good with the last guy but I didn't know what I was missing until I had the courage to leave him and find someone who was more interested in me than phantom prospects on the net.

    Posted by Linda February 3, 09 06:48 AM
  1. Any person IN a relationship who doesn't let the world know is definitely up to something or not really into the relationship. I know a girl who was married less than a year.... didn't put that she was even married on facebook.. why? Because she was cheating on her husband!!! The hubby didn't even know she HAD a facebook page!

    It's sickening and you deserve so much more than this 'man' will ever give you!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by Kimberly M February 3, 09 06:58 AM
  1. Sounds like my ex-husband. Says he's 10 years younger than he actually is and has an account on MySpace and uses Craigslist. Get out of this relationship while you still can!! There are plenty of decent men out there who are actually grown up!

    Posted by Charlotte February 3, 09 08:41 AM
  1. myspace is for teenagers. why do you want to be with an emotionally retarded 40 something year old? you deserve better.

    Posted by cut him loose February 3, 09 01:35 PM
  1. ha a guy i met online did the same thing 2 me on facebook instead of saying he was in a relationship, as my status indicated, he would say it's complicated as his status...even after i asked him about it...granted we hadn't met yet but were planning on meeting up soon and had talked on the phone, IM'd, texted all day everyday. one day he said he needed some space to think things over i thought he was lying to me when he said one weekend we were supposed to meet up he had other obligations and then he said he needed 'space' and that was the last i heard of him. this was weeks ago. so in retrospect the 'status' thing is pretty important. if it's not such a big deal then he should just do it. update the status. the others are right hon you should seriously kick him to the curb. if that doesn't get him to change his ways hey he should move in with one of his myspace friends lol.

    Posted by christine February 3, 09 01:43 PM
  1. You people are nuts. 95% of profiles on MySpace aren't 'real'.

    Let me get this out there:

    Porn isn't cheating.
    Flirting isn't cheating.
    Chatting with someone you've never met, isn't cheating.

    THERE IS NO CHEATING WITHOUT PHYSICAL CONTACT! Fail to understand this and you will be continually disappointed by your significant other.

    Posted by Phil February 3, 09 02:08 PM
  1. It all comes down to whatever boundaries we want to put on our relationships and that is a mutual consideration. Stepping outside those boundaries is wrong and understanding human nature is not the problem - the problem is that this particular situation shows that he not only isn't into this woman but is acting like an animal lacking in self control.

    This particular guy obviously doesn't have respect for the relationship and people who use 'human nature' as an excuse for flirting or opening the doors for the possibility of other entanglements and NOT acknowledge that it endangers a relationship. To ignore dangers or tell someone to suck it up as though there is something lacking in the 'betrayed' who believes they are in a committed relationship and behaves as such is juvenile at best. We all know instinctively what is right, righteous and wrong.

    Phil....As far as 'porn isn't cheating' - it may not be cheating perse, but I will argue that it can hurt relationships or worse it can hurt those from ever having a healthy relationship. I have asked many guys (in their 40's) who have viewed clips like girls being tossed around guy-after-guy spread-eagled being you-know-what in a locker room if they could picture their daughters being treated like that at their high schools or colleges. {I saw this on my nephew's computer - he's 13} Depending upon the level and quantity of porn involved, it could ruin relationships. It represents a rather lowlife portrayal of what women are all about and too much of that pictorial etched in a person’s mind often distorts things when it comes to actually having a real relationship.

    I don't expect young men to even think about what it is like to raise a daughter and think about guys treating her like a 2-bit whore. There is something very lacking in that girl's life and it is truly disconcerting on so many levels. Guys getting off on that stuff often enough stimulates not only the brain below, but affects the brain upstairs and how they view sexuality. Seriously, when I saw that clip all I could think of is what that young girl was actually going through with guys jerking off in the background waiting for their turn. I can tell you this - she wasn't having fun. Just because she's willing to do it doesn't make it ok.

    So, I am not surprised that there are a bunch of guys who think women are worth nothing more than a piece of meat. What I find alarming is how many women have become enablers in this sense.

    Posted by Marj February 3, 09 04:46 PM
  1. He's probably boning your daughter

    Posted by Me February 4, 09 01:55 PM
  1. Phil youre an idiot. by your definition phone sex isnt cheating, or online cyber sex.
    any woman who thinks like you phil, deserves you, and is probably cheating on you or their mate as well.
    Pron isnt cheating , unless you hide it from your spouse or SO. if you cant share it, you shouldnt be involved in it.
    And flirting is one thing, sexually suggestive postings or talk is not flirting.

    Marj- i think you cover for the girl you aw in the clip you watched. parents today do not care it sems about thier daughters and their sexuality. look at their dress. i canot tell you how many 14 year olds i have seen in any mall, me and my wife will be out and you see these group of girls all with short short and supr low cut jeans with words like lick me, or delicious or naughty across thier butt. while wearing belly shirts. Ive seen hookers in vegas that have more on than these girls. but moms still take the girls to these stores. thee is an epidemic of teen and preteen girls sending nude picture of themselves to boys. unsolicitied.
    I would like to give all the moms and dads out there one piece of absolutley rock solid advice.
    If you cant get to that computer and look atthe screen in one or two second without the child knowing, then youre in denial.
    If you get close and the child switches screens. beworried. I was over a friends house and i had just fixed his computer fro the upteenth time because of viruses. i went into the computer room to check it out before i left for the night and his dighter immediately at tabbed like crazy and looked like the catthat caught the canary. Rather than cause any kind of incident i said good night and walked out. but people if you doubt what i say go online to a sharing site like ares or if your antivirus s good do a search on teen porn, and you will se things that boggle the mind and most of the time these are sent in by the kids themselves.
    if you doubt your kid is the same. i have a test for you.
    beised the obvious alt tabbing. chekc the history on the internet browaser they use. if the histroy and cookies is cleaned every night. (problem!*)
    If youre getting viruses and a lot of popups, (problem)
    If your child locks or blocks the door, or shifts the furniture so tht they face the door with the screen away from the door. Problem!
    Seriously folks. parents need a wake up call. remember im sure you thought myspace was harmless, yetthey just kicked 90 thousand pervs off the other day. so up until then they wee out there. Good luck.

    Posted by Steveh February 4, 09 05:16 PM
  1. Great Blog!

    Posted by Extagen March 13, 09 06:21 AM
  1. Great Blog!

    Posted by Extagen March 18, 09 07:45 AM
ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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