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You Asked: Are We Ready For the Next Step?

Dear Sugar,

My boyfriend of almost seven years and I took a break back in March of this year, but got back together two months ago. While it has not been difficult to remember what I love about him and how he makes me feel, it has been very hard coping with his friendship with a girl he developed a crush on not too long before we broke up. While he has since lost romantic interest in her, they remain good friends (though not as close as they were while he and I were apart). My problem is that I can't seem to get over the fact that she reminds me of the heartache I went through when he and I broke up, and that no matter how much I feel I should get to know her for his sake, there's a huge part of me that wishes I didn't have to; wishes she would just disappear. He told me he would stop talking with her because he loves me and is willing to do whatever it takes to make things work, but I don't want him to stop being friends with someone he cares for — I don't want him to resent me.

The bigger issue here is that he has asked me to move in with him and I have been greatly considering it, but I don't know if it's a good idea just yet. After talking with my older sister and doing some real soul-searching, I believe it's best for he and I to fully reconnect first (which we've done a great deal of in these last two months) and for me to feel more comfortable with his friendship with the girl before I really consider moving in with him. But how do I get to know her as an individual instead of as the girl who could have ruined my relationship with my boyfriend for good? — Stand My Ground Gina

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Dear Stand my Ground Gina,

I completely understand your hesitation to let this woman into your life, as well as not wanting your boyfriend to cut off all ties just because you're not willing to get to know her. Clearly this is a tough decision, but I'm glad to hear that you've been doing a lot of thinking about it. Seven years is a long time to be with someone, but if you don't feel ready to cohabitate, don't. As I'm sure you well know, living together is a big step and shouldn't be taken lightly. If you're still harboring animosity toward your boyfriend, things will only get worse once you're under the same roof.

Taking the stance of shoulda, coulda, woulda won't get you anywhere, so yes, this woman could have ruined your relationship for good, but she didn't. You were able to work it out, and your boyfriend has made it clear that he's willing to do whatever it takes, so perhaps you should take baby steps to do the same thing. You don't need to be this woman's best friend, but if you got to know her and realized that she's not a threat to you, you could end up feeling significantly better about this whole situation.

While you guys are working through everything, keep the lines of communication open and perhaps you'll be ready to take that next step in your relationship sooner than later. Good luck.


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