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Jealous of his online friends

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  March 1, 2013 08:16 AM

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I'll be interviewing Janeane Garofalo at the Globe today. As some of you might remember, she is a friend of Love Letters. If you have a question for her, tweet me. And feel free to watch the interview online.


Q: Dear Meredith,

I'm 29 and have been in a wonderful relationship for the last 4 years. We live together and are best friends. I love him with all of my heart, and we have discussed marriage and children as things we both want for the future. We are generally happy together and love spending time with one another.

Here's the "but." He has these online friends that he talks to daily. One of whom I know is a girl, and I do not know her. I feel uncomfortable about this, and when I have expressed my concerns, he tells me that she is a friend of a friend of his who I do know, and says "it's my private life" since he does not have many friends in real life. He also doesn't have much family either -- most of them live far away and he doesn't talk to them anymore for various reasons.

He does not chat with her every day, and I know for certain that he does not see her because we are together every night of the week, and besides which, I trust him. But when I know he's talking to her, I feel empty and sad -- like he's cheating on me emotionally. On the flip side, I have guy friends who I talk to occasionally that he has never met, but we don't chat regularly, and it's usually over a silly Twitter message or Facebook status reply.

I am probably making a mountain out of a molehill, so I feel a little silly writing in about this, but I wouldn't be writing if I didn't feel bothered. Part of the problem too, I think, is that I've lost touch with a lot of my college and high school friends. I moved north to live with him, and my family and all my old friends are further south, at least an hour's drive away, which isn't too bad on paper, but in reality it's a bit of a hike. I've been able to make friends through my job, which is great, but since he works at home, I think he feels isolated a lot, which explains why he connects with "friends" he has online.

I'm certainly not looking to end this relationship by any means. I am extremely happy aside from this one issue, but I'm not sure how to cope with it. When I talk to him, I hit road blocks. Any advice from anyone else who has had similar experiences would be wonderful. Thanks for reading.

– Not Sure in NH


A: This is about you, not him, NSINH. You miss your friends and family, and you're still adjusting to your new life up north. Meanwhile, your boyfriend works from home. He needs this online community to get out of his own head.

It's time to start making that hour drive to see friends and family and to accept that you're not going to know every little detail about your boyfriend's relationships. I mean, what's the alternative? For him to show you his messages? Would you want him looking at yours? Do you really want to be his only close friend? Would you feel any better if he saw these online friends in person all of the time? Something tells me you wouldn't.

The more you round out your own life, the better. You've turned this woman's relationship with your boyfriend into an emotional affair, but it sounds like she's just one of the many friends he messages throughout the day. Don't let your imagination get the best of you. Just work on growing your community so that it's not all about you and him all the time.

Readers? Is she making a big deal out of nothing? Is this woman a threat? Do they need more mutual friends? Does he owe her a better explanation? 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.
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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