Relationship Advice

Heave Ho!

woman with black hair

I suppose I just need to hear something solid from an outside party. This relationship I am in has history and a lot of side notes, but I'll do my best to squeeze two years into something concise.

We were introduced through a mutual friend and really hit it off. We were friends for several months, and it developed naturally into a fun and happy relationship. Trouble is, I was graduating college and leaving the country. He was also leaving to a different country 5,000 miles away from where I'd be!

We didn't talk much about how we'd deal with it--a mistake, I know--but we were only six months into exclusivity and prepping to be apart for nine months. I believe we both assumed we'd go our separate ways and stay in touch as friends, but not much more.

We kept going strong though. Admittedly, I was rarely the one to initiate calls, and when he dropped the L bomb, I panicked and didn't say I loved him back. At that point it was understood we were in a don't-ask, don't-tell ambiguous situation.

After two months apart, he decided to visit me for Christmas. I introduced him as my good friend, although once again it was as if we were still a couple. When he left it was a tearful parting on both parts. We decided to officially have the boyfriend/girlfriend commitment.

Flash forward again. He is attentive, sweet, initiating calls, and asking me to call him, too. I finally started to give more. We returned at the same time, and he asked me to live with him to start the next phase of our lives. I stayed with family and pussyfooted for two months before moving into the place he found.

In the meantime, I talked about career goals that would take me to the other side of the country. He told me multiple times he was not like his best friend who was in an "open relationship," but now, this past weekend, the issue came up again and he got angry I couldn't trust him.

So the next day while he was out, I went onto his Skype. He was always open with his things, leaving up emails and keeping Skype running, so I thought there couldn't be anything to hide. I ended up finding in his chats with his three closest friends, multiple times where he mentioned going out with other girls, rating how they were, and even bragging how young they were!

I confronted him. He was upset but admitted everything. He says it was because we were so far away, he meant everything he said about loving me, and these girls were because he was lonely and needed physical release. He said I didn't seem too into the relationship, and he wanted only me the whole time.

I want to believe this happened because there weren't clear enough boundaries and getting through this together and overcoming our own issues we can have an incredible bond. But I feel he doesn't regret what he did, only being caught.

This isn't salvageable is it? I don't know what my gut is telling me. It's just churning.


Elin, from the beginning you've had one foot on the dock and one foot in the boat, unable to decide which way to go. He says he loves you and you say nothing. You pussyfoot before moving in, then talk about moving away. Still, you want to make him to blame.

If you loved him, this would all be moot. You never dropped anchor in this relationship. That's what your vacillation signals. Your letter is not from a woman in love, but a woman trying to make a decision based on criteria.

Love just is. Everything else is factor-based. Let him cast off and set sail. You two have always been ships passing in the night.

Wayne & Tamara