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You Asked: He's an Online Flirt

You Asked: He's an Online Flirt

Dear Sugar,

I've been seeing my boyfriend for about six months now. This is my first relationship, and it's been entirely long distance and online. Recently he decided to move closer to me and we've discussed being completely exclusive, which we hadn't been before. The problem is that he's had online relationships in the past and uses the Internet to interact and flirt with other girls. He's always adding new women to be his friends on MySpace and Facebook and IMs with them throughout the day. I know he's not physically cheating on me, but it sure feels a lot like it.

When I've confronted him previously, he just tells me that they're all friends and there's no attraction or flirtation. I've been telling him for months to stop, and only now when he's going to be moving close to me does he start deleting them. He says that he loves me and he's ready to make things work, but I'm not sure I can trust his online behavior. I have issues with trust, and the Internet is just full of endless opportunities for him to do something terrible. I'm scared, but I don't want to lose him. What do I do?

— Nervous Nona

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Nervous Nona,

It certainly does sound like your boyfriend has been doing a lot of flirting so I can understand why you'd be feeling concerned. I can't attest to your boyfriend's behavior since I don't know the details, but if you weren't exclusive previously then it's likely he felt free to interact with other girls online. What worries me more is that you've been putting up with it for six months, and yet now that he's finally ready to be exclusive and put these other girls behind him, you're suddenly worried about staying with him.

It's certainly possible that he could continue to talk to girls online, but it's also possible that he's been completely honest and is actually ready to be committed. So I don't see it as a matter of staying with him, but rather deciding if you want to take a leap of faith and try trusting him. Either way, it's time to figure out why you're more willing to be in a situation that you don't like than one that is likely to be much healthier. That said if you do decide to give it a shot, don't disregard your instincts; learning to trust yourself is the first step in trusting others.


Join The Conversation
darkangel2305 darkangel2305 9 years
Here's why I deleted my myspace... oh the drama.
K-is-For-Kait K-is-For-Kait 9 years
There's a huge difference between adding people on social networking sites and flirting. If you're already uncomfortable in your relationship, maybe you shouldn't be in it.
Murmur314 Murmur314 9 years
sundaygreen hits the nail on its head. He's already starting to cut down on the habit and actually deleting contacts, so he's starting to prove to you that you're worth more to him than all these other girls. Give him a break and let him prove himself to you.
sundaygreen sundaygreen 9 years
"the Internet is just full of endless opportunities for him to do something terrible" Honey, the WORLD is full of endless opportunities for him to do something terrible! If he didn't care about you and wanted to screw around, he would find a way - virtual or not. If you feel deep down you can't trust him, you shouldn't be with him. He's moving to be closer to you and he's already deleting some of these acquaintances - I don't think there's more you can ask for at this point.
pastel pastel 9 years
The best thing to do is to give him a first chance. Since he says that now he's going to be committed and everything you should put total trust in him since it's the only way you guys will work. If he crosses the trust line THEN you can bring it up again and say hey we need to talk about this and what the rules should be.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
If he's moved closer to be with you and you're talking about being exclusive, do it already. Are you willing to give up other guys or is it just that he's not willing to give up other girls. If you decide to be exclusive then you can worry about him talking to other girls. He also shouldn't have to delete these girls but he should limit his contact with them. Does he talk to these girls on the phone or just online? Have you seen the conversations with the other girls to know he's flirting and not just being friendly? Figure all that out and then become exclusive and see what happens with the other girls. That is the best thing you could do.
ThePerfectScore ThePerfectScore 9 years
I have an online boyfriend... fun lil things to have. I think you should simply convey how you feel about it....
fantome14 fantome14 9 years
I dated a guy just like this, and we started as a long-distance thing too. Granted, my ex was kind of compulsive about this, and maybe your guy is not, but based on my experience, I'd say run far, far away NOW. You don't seem to have the self-esteem to handle the competition--just as I did not at the time--which means you will never be able to relax. Which means you'll never really be happy with him. I think for some guys flirting online is a compulsion that shows a deep need for attention. The problem is that since they are not doing anything physical, they don't see a problem with it. My ex eventually got to the point of almost cheating on me with a past flame of his and then dumped me for her before it crossed the line into cheating. I was devastated, but I knew full well about his tendencies and should have dumped him long before because I was never able to be comfortable with his flirting.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
Im ambivalent here, have you guys met face to face at all?
Berlin Berlin 9 years
You can't just tell him to stop and expect him too. It's harmless flirtation and there's nothing wrong with that, and there's nothing wrong with him adding women to his "myspace" or "facebook" profiles, I mean come on, it sounds like you are very young and insecure. If you have to ask him to stop this behavior for you to trust him, then you really think it will stop or that you will be able to have faith that he won't be doing it behind your back? If you must babysit your relationship, then it just shows again your insecurity and also that it isn't going to work. He needs to stop on his own or he'll just either regress back to that behavior or hide it from you. But just b/c he talks or flirts or adds other women, doesn't mean he's cheating on you. But you can't be mad at him for your lack of trust, especially when he hasn't actually done anything wrong. Now if he is/has cheated then it's another story, and it (again) is unlikely that he'll stop and it's time for you to move on. But if it's a new relationship, which 6 months is, and you're having these problems, then it doesn't sound healthy. But you need to center yourself around why the mistrust is there. If he hasn't cheated, then it is based on your own insecurities which are stemming from not being in many relationships, and you need to work on that.
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