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You Asked: Is My New Boyfriend Still a Player?

DearSugar --

I am so insecure in my current relationship, but in reality, I know that I am being irrational and ridiculous. I am just getting divorced after a three year marriage from someone that didn't treat me like anything special. My new boyfriend has never done anything to make me doubt him or the way he feels about me and I believe him when he tells me he loves me.

Lately I learned from friends of ours that he was a serial cheater in his last relationship. They all claim that I am "different" and that he's never been this way with a woman before, but I worry that if he was once a dog, he always will be! I just haven't dated in so long, and I don't have it in me to be let down and devastated again. What do you think? --Fragile Frances

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Fragile Frances --

I'm proud that you've broken away from a painful relationship where you weren't treated well or lovingly. Being with someone who doesn't honor how you are special is no way to live or to love. Good for you, Fragile Frances. I can't tell by your note how long you've known or been dating your new boyfriend. Many of us can feel shaky when we begin dating again, most especially after any relationship where our self-worth has taken a blow or our feelings have been exploited. It's also very common for people to struggle with fears of infidelity and jealousy; it requires much effort and self-scrutiny to distinguish between our private demons and our partner's trustworthiness.

We shouldn't presume that people can't change or grow; however, we also don't want to deny facts or patterns when they appear. I'm not sure how irrational or ridiculous it is to feel insecure in your new relationship, especially if it's very new. The information about your boyfriend is troubling; there's no way around that, Frances. I encourage you to go slowly, to pay attention, and to listen to yourself.

A man isn't faithful because a woman is different. A man is faithful, in part, because he has courage, self-respect, self-control, values his word, and can properly imagine the feelings of others. His choices were his own, and not the result of anything about his partner. If his partner mistreated him, he had the choice to leave her, without practicing deceit.

Still, I'm very glad to hear your boyfriend has been treating you well and with love. That said, you are taking a calculated risk here, Frances, and it's important for you to think of it that way. You'll need to manage your anxiety while you get to know him better and until you know he's matured into a man who can tell the truth to himself and to others. If he is that man, he should be applauded. That kind of change is indeed significant and hard-won. No matter what may come, Frances, hold fast to the knowledge that you are different and you are special in your own right. Please respect that truth until the person arrives who can both honor you and honor his commitments.

I recommended a book earlier today -- If This Is Love, Why Do I Feel So Insecure? -- and perhaps it might help you too, Frances. Good luck to you.

Join The Conversation
ali321 ali321 7 years
Oh man.. I meant serial CHEATER*. I hope he's not a serial killer too.
ali321 ali321 7 years
People can change, but I don't think that you're being irrational or ridiculous to feel wary about this guy. You said that he was a serial killer, so he didn't just cheat once. It was an ongoing problem. If you haven't talked to him yet I think you should. See how sincere he sounds about having changed and then decide if it's worth worrying about to be in this relationship. If you're just getting out of one you should take things slow like others said. And know that he's not the only guy that will make you feel special. Don't get hung up on that and ignore your instinct. If that makes sense.
BKNYGal BKNYGal 10 years
Take it sloooooooowwww....
rustedwings rustedwings 10 years
I really agree with Dear, and I think that what Valeri says might be right- but keep in mind that the only way you get back in the game is by getting back in the game. The trick is to get involved with the right person. What worries me that hasn't been brought up here is why you found this out from his friends and not from him. In most relationships I've been in while you're getting to know each other there's a natural conversation that comes about past relationships- have you guys not had that conversation yet? My thought would be that if he "spun" the end of the relationship talking to you about it that would be a warning flag. If you're worried and you've only been dating for a little while, just reign things in so you guys are acting well within your comfort range. There's nothing wrong with getting to know him, and with figuring out what he is, or isn't likely to do.
I totally agree with Valeri! I was in a situation very similar and I know that it is wearing on your mind. Take some time for you! The down time that Valeri mentioned is a must! Take it easy FF :)
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
Dear has some great advice, you should definitely proceed with caution. It's wonderful that you had the courage to leave your last relationship, but this one could do more harm than good if it turns out your new guy hasn't mended his cheating ways. You might want to take a step back here and decide if this guy is worth all of the uncertainty. It would be one thing to find out that he dated around a lot before you got together, but learning he was a frequent cheater makes me wonder if he has it together enough to be in a mature and monogamous relationship. You deserve someone kind, devoted and faithful and if this guy can't be that person then you owe it to yourself to move on.
SU3 SU3 10 years
That is such great advice (from both Dear Sugar and Valeri). I agree with both - I think you have to be able to trust yourself to be able to trust someone else (Does that make sense?) I think that in this case, you need to take things slow and to trust your own instincts - listen to how you are feeling and if you can't trust this person now... you won't be able to trust them later on. good luck :)
Marci Marci 10 years
I agree with Valeri.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
if you are just going through a divorce and raw from the wounds i would suggest waiting to date until you feel more secure. if you need to ask about trusting someone there is a problem. maybe the problem is that he cheats, maybe the problem is that you aren't ready for a relationship. doesn't matter, what it is really. you need some down time.
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