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Should I reach out to his new girlfriend?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  February 12, 2014 07:54 AM

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No chat today. I'm still out of town.

But it's Day 3 of Romance Rumble 2014. Keep in mind that we'll host a screening of the winner in a few weeks. With popcorn. And Ty Burr.


Q: Around five years ago, I was in a long-distance AND online relationship. Before you ask, it started via World of Warcraft. We'll call him "Justin."

Justin was fine until after I went and visited him across the country. After that point, he became controlling and extremely jealous of any guy I spoke to. Note that I said we played WoW together. Majority of the players are male. At the time I was also playing in a group that consisted mostly of people he knew in real life.

At one point I moved servers to play with another friend. He hunted me down and berated me through private messages.

Many times I'd do or say something and he'd get upset. When I asked what I did, he'd tell me that I should know what I did and that he wouldn't tell me. Eventually things came to a head and it was a rather ... explosive break up.

The funny thing is, when we aren't under the "couple" flag, he's normal. He doesn't go berserk. Currently we have an "Oh hey, how you doing lately?" relationship.

But that was all backstory.

Here's where I admit to doing some Facebook spying. I'd noticed a few of his status updates sounded oddly similar to the ones he'd have when we were together. So I poked. Found his new girlfriend. He's pretty hush-hush about specifics, but she elaborates. She says things about not having to be scared in a relationship. Just yesterday she posted something about how she doesn't like it when they fight but knows it'll all be better soon. She even said how she doesn't know what she did, but she's sorry.

I see everything that happened to me playing out with this poor girl. She's young (just got out of high school) and she's swooning over him and is enamored with the idea of marrying him.

I feel like I need to do something. I want to tell her but I don't think it's my place to just show up out of nowhere and be all "Yeah, your boyfriend can be emotionally abusive. You should run while you can."

Any ideas on how to proceed (or not)?

– Past is Repeating, Boston


A: Proceed by removing yourself from this situation.

I believe that you have good intentions, but there's no reason to involve yourself in your ex's new relationship. You can't spend the rest of your life reaching out to his girlfriends to let them know what they might be getting themselves into.

And really, if you send this woman a message to tell her that you've seen her Facebook posts, what is she supposed to think? Why would she believe that you're a reliable source?

Stop checking her status updates. Know that if she's posting messages about her fears, the people in her life are probably seeing them.

If you have residual anger about your own breakup, find a therapist. You might need to talk about what happened with a professional so that you can let it go.

Readers? Should she reach out to his new girlfriend? How can she stop herself? Any thoughts about navigating online, long-distance relationships? 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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