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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

To see DearSugar's answer,


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.


Join The Conversation
jauntycap jauntycap 8 years
SEVEN YEARS GIRL? And you're still not sure that you want to move in? Sounds like this relationship is mediocre at best. Let it go. Where's the love? Where's the passion? Where's the I want to be with you for the rest of my life (or al least the rest of my 20's - 30"s - 40's)? How old are you girl, that you don't know the real answer to this question. YOU DON'T LOVE HIM ENOUGH. Break the routine.
Janine22 Janine22 8 years
Are you basically saying that he left you in order to pursue a relationship with this other girl? If that is the case, then I could see why you would not want him to see her. If I were you and this is actually what happened, I would not accept him back into my life. I have been there girl, if he left you for another woman once, he WILL do it again. Also, I just have to say: if you have spent 7 years of your life with this guy and you are still not ready to move in with him, then what makes you certain that he is the right guy for you? Do you really want to build a future with him and marry him/kids with him? I would think that you would know the answers to these questions by this point in the relationship. I don't think that it is unreasonable at all for you to tell him to cut off contact with this woman, especially since he had romantic feelings for her. But I also seriously suspect that the real problem here is that you don't trust him at all. If that is the case, and he has given you cause to be suspicious, then don't move in with him.
bransugar79 bransugar79 8 years
I thin this is one of the smartest most well grounded Dear Sugar questions in a while. I applaud you for not demanding that your boyfriend cut off all ties with this woman, it shows extraordianry maturity. I have to agree with others who have said that if he is offereing take him up on it. Her presence will cause you discomfort and it will probably take a lot of adjusting on your part to include her in your life without resenting HIM for it. As for moving in if you don't feel ready just yet have a conversation with him and let him know why. This is a situation that requires some healing and he should understand that. All in all I wish you the best and hope this turns out to be a wonderful change in your life
Kelliegrl Kelliegrl 8 years
I wouldn't tolerate being in this situation. Some things are just not worth the stress.
karlotta karlotta 8 years
How about you let him cut off all ties with her? My boyfriend and I were separated for a few months a couple of years ago, and during that time he met a girl on the internet and had a flirt with her. She ended up becoming his best friend's girlfriend when we got back together, so her disappearance is not an option! I actually hang out with them and she's very nice, but I hate that she exists as this reminder of that time he had "paused" loving me - even though I have no details I know that they said things of a sexual and/or romantic nature to each other, and it really makes me unhappy and uncomfortable. It's like rubbing it in my face. He's being very good about it, and it helps a ton - so If your BF proposes to stop contact with her, you should take him up on the offer. Don't take too high a ground if it hurts you! AND he's being great by offering, so please embrace it - not having her around will help. As for moving in with him, yep, how about waiting a while longer? Make it something you really look forward to. It's a stressful step in a relationship, so you have to be in a very happy and solid state to move forward in that direction. Doesn't have to be forever - maybe in a couple of months?
karyn09 karyn09 8 years
One more thing - if he's willing to cut all ties w/this other girl - take him up on that offer. Because if she'll always be in his life, you'll constantly be reminded of the hurt he put you through. Let him cut ties w/her and don't feel bad for him losing someone he cares about - it's YOUR feelings he needs to care about.
karyn09 karyn09 8 years
Wow, I was in almost the SAME position! My bf & I were together for 6 yrs before we took a "break" and started dating other people. He developed a relationship to which he was starting to "fall in love" with this other woman. I was definitely heartbroken, couldn't believe what was happening as the relationship I was in - I was NOT falling in love with who I was dating! Anyway, after a few months, we did get back together, he stopped talking to that girl on the phone/doing things w/friends that involved her to be there (they're coworkers - sucks, I know), so even if they talk at work, he doesn't bring it home & talk to her on the phone, etc. He asked me to move in with him when we got back together - and as hesitant as I was, I did move in. I knew that for us to get stronger, we'd have to "rekindle" our relationship & that meant living together. Sure, if you're not ready to move in w/him because of what's happened - then don't. I took that risk and felt that for us to get stronger we needed to live together. Here we are, after 8yrs of being together and we're as strong as ever! Good luck to yoU!
sundaygreen sundaygreen 8 years
Why do you have to get to know the girl right away anyway? Honestly, let him be friends with her but don't force yourself to 'get to know her'. In the long run maybe you guys will become friends, maybe you won't. Put the past behind you and focus on what's happening now with your BF - it sounds like he's trying as hard as you to make things work. As for the moving in thing, don't rush it if you don't feel comfortable yet. But to be honest after 7 years, I think it's a great idea. In fact, it would probably help you 'reconnect' with him more than not moving in.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
You sound so very sensible, and since I went through something similarly painful myself, and I'm a jealous person, I totally understand where you're coming from. I would be honest with him about your hesitation to move in - I think you're totally in the right for taking it slowly. As for this girl - if you trust him to not go out with her alone (which is inappropriate anyway IMO for people in LTRs), then you've got to just trust him on this. If she's a decent person with no ulterior motives, then she should understand. If you're willing, and she's open to it, maybe you should talk to her and just be honest - say, I understand you guys were good friends, but because we had a long painful breakup I was afraid it was something more, and I just want us to be on the same page. Say you'd like to be friendly acquaintances with her and have no hard feelings. If she acts funny about it all, then you'll know something's up. My guess is that she'll appreciate your honesty and will want to accommodate your feelings. Anyway, that's what I'd do, but I like getting things out into the open rather than being scared of someone.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
if you're not fully ready to move in, then don't, but tell him all your reasoning. tell him you're greatly considering it, really appreciate the offer, and want to move in sometime in the near future, but think you could benefit from more re-connection. and if he's willing to not see his 'friend' anymore then maybe you should take him up on that. just let him casual cut ties, as opposed to saying "you're never allowed to see her ever again"...if that's what it takes for you to be secure, and he's willing, then i'd say you should appreciate and embrace his willingness
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