I Wanted To Keep Tabs On Him

It’s a good day to send me a letter. What’s going on with your love life right now? Is the summer providing all you hoped it would? Send your own relationship/dating questions/problems to [email protected] or fill out this form, please. 


I have been dating a man seriously for the last three years. We lived together for a year and a half – until I moved out in April after finally giving up on him. When we first started dating, he was everything I was looking for. He loved to travel, go out, he worked out with me, he spent time with my family.

We moved in together quickly. I would like to think it was because we felt so comfortable, but I don’t know if that was it anymore. I think I wanted him to live with me so I could keep tabs on him. When we moved in together, I already had trust issues. He repeatedly would message girls (one specifically). He began to come home late, sometimes not show up, and when I checked his phone in the morning, I’d see the texts.

I messaged her about it during COVID when we first went into lockdown. I was hoping that girl to girl, at least, she would be honest. She was nothing short of mean, and pretty much told me off. He constantly told me there was nothing to worry about and I wanted to believe him. I spent the majority of this relationship asking for the bare minimum: quality time, honesty, trust, and love. In April of 2021, everything changed. I felt like I just deserved more. I got up and moved. He got a new place, so did I. We fought, and he kept showing up to my home, saying he was going to hurt me and my dog. I knew it was substances talking, but all I wanted and still want is peace.

Part of me misses him; we are still in contact and I see him regularly (now that things have cooled down). The girl he had been messaging while with me, her ex-boyfriend reached out and told me they were together (yet again). I just can’t be hurt anymore. Do I move on? Do I keep trying? I feel like I lose either way. Please help.

– Still in contact


“I feel like I lose either way.”

It doesn’t sound like that’s the case. You spent years checking up on your significant other, even feeling the need to reach out to another woman to make sure he was being honest with you. You had a nagging feeling that everything wasn’t as it seemed – and you were right! After you left, he threatened you. I don’t care if it was a substance-fueled rant. He made you feel unsafe, and that is the opposite of peace.

Maybe you miss the companionship or the hope you had at the start of the relationship, but please let go. He can move on with his life and message/date others. You can give yourself peace by pursuing company that doesn’t involve this kind of pain.

We do get a lot of letters from people who are like, “My person makes me feel terrible 40 to 60 percent of the time – but I still want them!” What we want to tell these letter writers is obvious – which is to get away. I do know that’s easier said than done, and that closing the chapter on someone is difficult and involves a complicated kind of grief.

But it’s time to experience what comes after you really end the relationship. Your letter makes it clear that the more you try, the more you’ll feel the way you do right now. Conflicted. Upset. Disappointed.

Not good.

– Meredith

Readers? How do you unravel this?

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