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I just see red flags all over her!

Tagged as: Cheating, Dating, Teenage, The ex-factor, Three is a crowd, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (30 June 2012) 3 Answers - (Newest, 1 July 2012)
A female United States age 26-29, *oUod writes:

Okay, so about 10-11months ago my boyfriend dated this girl (let's call her Kate). And so after about 3 months of them dating, she decided to break up with him, because another love interest had come her way, and she wanted the other boy. My boyfriend was really hurt, he cried for months.

So about 3 months after that we began dating. And thats when I saw, they were still talking. At first, I didn't mind, since I didn't know what she was ACTUALLY doing with him. And so my boyfriend invited me to meet her. Huge mistake. We were all in a chat room (my boyfriend was away on a vacation in California and his ex had moved to Pennsylvania about 5 months after they broke up). And so we start talking. Well, just them because I was so furious that he'd do this. I didn't even want to look at him when he came home the next week. And so I watched them chat. And I noticed he used his "Cx" emoticon, which he only uses when I'm being cute like in a text. I have never ever seen him use that emoticon before, to anyone BUT me. So my jaw dropped. Then he started laughing at everything she said, like she's so funny or something. So anyway, which leads me to another topic. I had asked him to discontinue talking to her and he just flat out refused to. He was as stubborn as a mule. He's still friends with her on every website. So I assume he still talks to her, even when he said he wouldn't. During the arguement he admitted that he thinks she still likes him because she always flirts with him.

He TOLD me he loved me and only me, but I find it hard to believe with Kate in the picture.

What do you think is the problem? Is it me? My boyfriend? His ex? How can I fix this? :/ please, I really need help!

I honestly have no real problem with other girls, its just his ex that makes me wanna throw her off a building. I'm serious, no other ex he has bothers me like she does. . or any other female, they pose no threat to me. But her, I dunno, I just see red flags all over her.

View related questions: broke up, chat room, flirt, his ex, text

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A female reader, Ciar Canada + , writes (1 July 2012):

Ciar agony auntI think your concerns about 'Kate' are valid. Your boyfriend obviously doesn't want to give you up (at this point) but clearly he has some feelings for her (or is at risk of developing them). He may not want a relationship with her, but there is a romantic history, he's receptive to flattery and he treats her differently than he does any other friend.

By creating rules for him and issuing ultimatums you're setting yourself up for a lose/lose situation. For one thing it allows him to use you as an excuse for being disrespectful to the relationship. If he can accuse you of trying to control him, of being unreasonable, ill tempered and obsessed, he can avoid seeing and being accountable for his choices and his actions and he can delay having to make any difficult decisions.

Secondly, how will you know he has cut ties with her unless you keep checking? Is that how you want to spend your life? Is that the person you want to become?

You have no control of what he or she does. What you CAN control is what YOU think and what YOU do.

My suggestion is not to issue demands or level accusations. Remain calm and dignified and when speaking to him tell him what you observe and what you THINK about it. Focussing on feelings is too vague and it makes you look insecure and irrational.

Were I in your position I might say something like:

'Based on the fact that Kate is a former lover, the circumstances under which it ended with her, the amount of time you spend talking to her, and the way you speak to each other lead me to believe this friendship has the potential to become something more.

I believe you when you tell me you love me, but I can't continue to make a big investment in this relationship under these circumstances. Nor can I tell you what you ought to do. ***(see below) I can only make choices for myself so I choose to move on and let you sort out what you want with Kate. Take as long as you think you'll need. If we're both still willing by the time you've decided, great. If not I will have enjoyed the time we had and wish you the best in the future.''

*** At this point you may not be ready to move on so instead you can say something like 'I can't tell you or Kate what you ought to do. You're both adults and can figure that out for yourselves, but your choices will influence mine.'

Whatever route you decide to take, do not get sucked into any debates which are really only meant to distract from the facts. Before having this (or any) discussion do some deep breathing and try to relax. Stick to your points, don't make accusations or say anything nasty about him or Kate.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (30 June 2012):

Honeypie agony auntI think he showed you their chat for two reasons:

1. so you wouldn't feel threatened by her, except his plan backfired.

or

2. To throw you little of balance to see if you get/got jealous, again his plan backfired.

One of my "pet-peeves" is when people in ANY relationship wants to dictate who their partner can speak with/to. I think it's petty and it shows a huge lack of trust. However, with that said, I think people who hold on to their exes and pretend all is dandy and they are great friends.. are living partly in the past, which really isn't good for an existing relationship.

I think instead of telling him or making ultimatums about HER, you talk to him and explain how it makes you feel. Talk to him about what YOU think is acceptable as far as contact/subject and so forth is a relations and listen to his ideas too. Find a middle ground. Try and put him in your shoes. Ask him how HE would feel if you were having all these connections online with an ex.

HE is enjoying all this attention from this "Kate" more so because SHE dumped him. Now he feels justified that she made a mistake. Even IF he isn't interested in her, he SURE is enjoying having HER stroke his EGO, now THAT is a red flag to me.

"Kate" can wave around as many red flags as you can find in all of China and it shouldn't matter, if you TRUST your man. HE is the one who is in the relationship with you, not her.

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A female reader, Auntie E United States +, writes (30 June 2012):

Auntie E agony auntSo he was talking and flirting with her while you were in the same chat room? He knew you were there?

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