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Relationships and Dating Ask here for advice on dates, break-ups and other relationship concerns.

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Friend's relationship situation - opinions needed - September 23rd 2021, 01:43 PM

So a friend of mine just moved in with her boyfriend. Their relationship is currently very strained and they keep having a fair amount of arguments. Her boyfriend has also apparently been cheated on in the past so that adds to the issues they have. Recently she got a message from an old fling/boyfriend and decided to reply. They started chatting back and forth and even met up a couple of times since she works in the same location as he does.

Now, to me the whole situation is a terrible idea. Even though her meeting up with this other guy is in innocence, she doesn't see what I see. I've spoken to two other people about this and they both see how much of a bad idea the whole thing is as well.

I understand that she's meeting up with this guy as a sort of escape because of her strained relationship, but it's just not a good look. She keeps telling me she'll stop talking to him but feels bad for doing so, and that it's not easy.

Maybe I don't see things her way, but to me, she was the one who replied to his message in the first place. That was her decision. She could have ignored it but she chose not to. She told her boyfriend she met up with this guy once. I have no idea what his reaction was apart from too busy watching TV or something. But the whole thing just seems like such a terrible idea.

If I had a partner who kept messaging their old one, or would go out of their way to meet up and hang out with them, I'd feel a bit uncomfortable. I'd feel very insecure especially if I've been cheated on in the past. Again, even if it's all in innocence and she herself knows this. Her boyfriend won't see it that way.

Maybe I'm overreacting here, but I don't know.


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Re: Friend's relationship situation - opinions needed - September 23rd 2021, 02:09 PM

Hm... pretty suspicious. Maybe she wants to give him a second chance? Don't know what she founds... even for me it's a bad idea...
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Re: Friend's relationship situation - opinions needed - September 23rd 2021, 09:53 PM

I think I might be in the minority here when I say I don't think what she's doing is a problem. In my opinion there's nothing wrong with hanging out with an ex as long as it remains platonic. I understand the insecurity that may come with that; from what I understand it's pretty common, especially in monogamous relationships. That feeling can be difficult to experience and even more difficult to process. But I've found it's less about what's happening and more about your own stories about what it may mean or what you imagine may be happening. The key is to fact check what's really going on. If it's truly platonic, there's really nothing wrong with it.

I would say your friend is being a little inconsiderate, given how rocky things are with her partner. However, while it's good to consider your partner's feelings about something, in the end it's his responsibility to overcome his trust issues and make peace with his fear of being cheated on. It would be nice if she was supporting him a little more as he works through those feelings, but that doesn't mean she needs to alter her behavior just to make him feel better. He needs to do some emotional work of his own.

Overall I would say yes, this sounds like a dysfunctional dynamic that definitely needs work. But ultimately no, I don't think what your friend is doing is wrong. I do think she should examine her reasons regarding escaping the stress and sort that out, but that doesn't make what she's doing wrong.
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Re: Friend's relationship situation - opinions needed - September 27th 2021, 11:22 AM

I think that's the response I ideally needed to hear. I did feel bad afterwards for saying to her a lot of things along the lines of it being a terrible idea. I think she's obviously meeting up and talking with this other guy because her current boyfriend has been making her unhappy. Possibly having him as some form of escape. She did say to me that she'd have liked him as a friend, but even now, he's behaving like he would when they were 'together' and would blow hot and cold.

Looking deeper into it, I think the reason I was trying to convince her to stay away from him was partially because of something concerning she told me. She said she met up with this guy (I'll call him C) back in 2018 on Tinder. They met up and had a drink but didn't have many. Suddenly all she remembers was him on top of her and then vaguely remembers him patting her on the back as she was throwing up in the bathroom. She doesn't remember that they had sex or anything of the sort. She thought maybe she had a lot to drink but didn't think she had. It all just seemed a bit weird and concerning how she basically didn't remember anything and only just about remembered the end portion of having sex. She also said when she met up with C again recently, she said there was definitely nothing between them and actually felt a bit sick when she was around him. I don't know if something more serious happened which is why she had no recollection of what happened, or she somehow did genuinely drink more than she thought. Either way, in my head the whole thing seemed like a massive red flag and I wanted to try and persuade her to stay away from him.


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Re: Friend's relationship situation - opinions needed - September 27th 2021, 01:40 PM

Okay that changes things completely. I do not want to use triggering terms, but based on what you report here/what she remembers happening with C, that's a very toxic relationship. I think you are right to dissuade her from hanging out with C. Even if nothing is going on (which it sounds like nothing is), feeling sick around him is actually a trauma response. This person is not good for her. I understand as a friend it can be a bit delicate to try and navigate something like this, and I am sorry you are in that position. You obviously care and are a good friend. Unfortunately all you can do is voice your concerns. She has to make her own decision. I hope for her sake she decides to stop seeing C, and I hope you're able to practice good self-care whilst trying to support your friend, because something like this can be emotionally exhausting. I know it's hard, but don't be afraid to step back a bit if you need to. You should be your first priority, you know?
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Re: Friend's relationship situation - opinions needed - September 29th 2021, 07:33 PM

She seems to be 5-050 on messaging him. She said that he's continuing to behave like he used to. He'd see her messages and read them then say nothing for days and claim he 'forgot to reply' despite being online all the time. I did suggest she consider that perhaps he read it and got distracted and had to click off, but she was adamant this wasn't the case. Either way I do think it's best that she stay away from him.

I try not to say too much to her about the situation at the moment. All I can do at this point is repeat myself and just be there to support her.


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Re: Friend's relationship situation - opinions needed - November 8th 2021, 11:23 AM

I agree with you. If he loved her, he could take a few minutes to respond to letters or messages.
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