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Am I too controlling?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  July 3, 2012 08:38 AM

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Q: I'm a guy and in my early 20s. I'm educated and have a great career, and by most accounts I am an attractive person.

I've been seeing this girl for a few months but we have a history together. We dated for a while before. Let's just say I was immature when we first dated and we both had just gotten out of prior relationships, so it ended.

A few months ago we went out again and hit it off. That's kind of how we are. If we're together we have an amazing time. When we're not together, we're fine as well. She goes out, I go out, and at the end of the day, everything is fine. I am absolutely in love with her.

When we first started to hang out again, we were obviously seeing other people. During that time she was seeing a friend and he had asked her to come visit him. He had asked her to make this trip before she and I were back together. I was not OK with it, but she went anyway, which I understood. When she got back, she told me that they hooked up, etc. I couldn't see past what she had done. Then I realized she was free to do as she wanted. Eventually I got over it, and we began to talk again.

Fast forward to now and we're exclusive again. Due to our history, we can't exactly take things slow. We're together most of the week and talk whenever we aren't. Everything is pretty much all I could ask for and more. Except for one major issue. She still talks to this guy. He texts her all the time and she always texts him back. I tried to respect that maybe they are just friends until I found out (sort of on accident) that he talks to her in a manner that I would talk to someone I was interested in dating.

He has asked her to visit, which she obviously declined. My issue is that she never mentioned why she cannot visit him, or why it might be inappropriate for them to talk all the time. I feel like because of the distance, she thinks that I should not feel threatened by anything. My issue is that distance aside, I think there is something wrong with this.

At one point not too far back, I told her how I felt. I said that when she hooked up with him, it hurt me. After a bit of apprehension, she agreed that she should stop talking to him.

Fast forward to today and they are talking again. She lied to me about it at first, but then told me that I have nothing to worry about and that she cares about me more than anyone she has ever met. He has now asked her to Skype (seems trivial, I know) and I am not quite sure what she is going to do. She said she wouldn't, but she also said she would no longer speak to him.

I am kind of in a jam here. On one hand I know that nothing will ever develop between them. On the other hand I felt slighted. Is it fair of me to not be comfortable with their friendship, or am I being too controlling?

– In Limbo in Boston

A: You're not too controlling, ILIB. She's hurting you for no good reason. Sure, she's allowed to keep old friends, but this guy wants to be more than friends. She knows it. And she seems to like the drama. I mean, why else would you know about the whole Skype thing? I understand that she wants to be honest with you, but she keeps bringing him up. It's unnecessary.

She should be making responsible decisions about him on her own so that you don't have to know and stress about every little detail.

I want you to tell her that you're sick of talking about this guy. The whole issue has become boring, hasn't it? Let her know. You just want to focus on your own relationship.

See how it feels to take him out of the discussion. It should bring you relief, and it should empower her to figure out what she's doing and to behave like a grownup.

If it doesn't, and her actions continue to drive you up a wall, take a step back from this. You're both young and learning so many lessons. She's learning about her priorities. You're learning about boundaries. If those priorities and boundaries just don't match up without constant discussion about some guy in another state, you have to walk away. And that's OK. It doesn't mean that you did anything wrong. It just means that this isn't working.

Readers? What's happening here? Should he end this? Is he being too controlling? What's the other side of the story? Am I right to tell him to stop focusing on this guy to see what it's like with no drama? What should he do? Help.

– 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.
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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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