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She's chatting with someone she dated

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  October 5, 2011 08:38 AM

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Hey there. No chat today. I'm in New York -- and I'm actually meeting with someone about our next Love Letters event, which will be Dec. 15. Save the date. It will be lovely. Details soon. We will chat again next week.


Q: Hey Meredith,

I'm engaged and getting married soon. We've been together for a few years. Before we met, my fiance went on a couple dates with "Steve." She stopped seeing him because he was very busy with his job and wasn't really looking for a relationship. A couple of months later she met me and we started dating. Things got serious pretty quick. She told me about Steve but said she was done dating that kind of guy. She does tell me that once in a while she will text him but it's just to say hello.

Anyway, she recently saw on Facebook that Steve is getting married. She thought it was funny because he didn't seem like the type to settle down.

The other night she was on the computer looking at wedding stuff. I also suspected she was messaging someone, but I didn't say anything. She said a couple things about Steve, so then I knew that's who she was talking to. I don't mind her briefly talking to other guys but this was going on for a long time and it was kind of upsetting me. I didn't want to start a fight so I didn't say anything. She kept the screen turned slightly away from me.

I don't snoop but obviously her behavior was a little out of the ordinary. So the next morning I logged into her Facebook page and the whole conversation was still there. Basically, they started talking about the wedding and then Steve said he really did want a relationship with her but by the time he realized it, she and I were already serious. She kind of implied that if he had said something she might have left me for him. I'm not sure about that part though. She then told him that if she wasn't in the situation she is in right now, she would "be there in a heartbeat."

There are several things that bother me about this conversation. I really don't like that she purposely hid the conversation from me. That's never a good sign. I don't know how to feel about the "I'd be there in a heartbeat" remark. I understand that everyone gets tempted -- it's human nature. But I would have felt better if she didn't admit she was tempted.

I don't want to bring this up to her because she will get mad at me for snooping. I trust my fiance but this does alarm me. I also am angry that Steve is getting married and he is sneaking around, too (I assume his fiance doesn't know about this).

Any advice?

– Hoping I'm Wrong, Massachusetts


A: I'm sorry, HIW. Getting married is a big deal. No one should have to deal with this kind of thing when they're so close to making a huge commitment.

The good news here is that your fiance's crush is on an imaginary man. She only went on a few dates with this Steve character. She learned that he was getting married through Facebook, so she's obviously not in his inner circle. She's invented Magic Steve, the guy she could have fallen for had she not met you. Magic Steve doesn't really exist, and on some level she knows that. She told him, "If I wasn't in the situation I'm in, I'd be there in a heartbeat." That's very different than, "Just say the word and I'll ditch the guy I'm with."

My advice is to keep the snooping to yourself for now. But when you're having a nice moment with her, admit your insecurities. Try, "I'm so in love with you, but every now and then I freak out about whether you want this – especially when you bring up Steve. I don't want to be the crazy, jealous fiance, but is everything OK? Am I what you want?"

Try not to accuse. If you're nice, you're more likely to get honest answers. My guess is that this thing with Steve is her way of working out all of her premarital what-ifs. It's not ideal, but for some people, testing boundaries is a part of the commitment process.

Wait until a pleasant moment and then see what she has to say -- about you and the marriage, not Steve.

Readers? Is she cheating? Is Steve a real threat? Can you imagine what letter she'd write in (because I can)? Is this simply a Facebook problem (that it's so easy to talk to anyone, whenever)? Should the LW make rules about whether she's allowed to talk to Steve? Should he admit the snooping? Discuss.

– Meredith


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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.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

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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