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Am I just being jealous? Or is something wrong here?

Published on September 2, 2012 by enigmaman

I need advice. My gf is in her mid-20s. I'm 30. We have been dating for 6 months. Is this incident just bad timing and I'm reading way too much into it, or is it a red flag of something bad? Friday night we watched an early movie at my place and had sex. We were tired and she was about to have a shower and get ready for bed and then suddenly asks if I would mind if she "meets some friends for a drink" at a nearby coffee shop. She was vague about it. I said I didn't mind but just found it strange since we were already almost asleep. She said she was sorry and didn't mean to be ditching me. I was tired from studying all day (have a professional exam coming up) and from the sex but tried to seem interested in going out for a quick beer. She seemed awkward about it (me coming). I assumed at the time it was because I was tired and she didn't want to drag me out for a drink. Anyway we get there first and the "friends" that show up are only one guy (a former college classmate of hers who lives in a different city and was in town for the weekend). Apparently he texted her and asked if she wanted to meet for a drink. We hang out and chat and share a couple beers together. I don't really know if he was hanging out with more friends before he met us at the coffee shop (i.e. I don’t know if she intended to misrepresent him being “friends”). As we leave I assume we'd walk back down the street to my condo and him to his car, but on her lead she asks where he parked and all three of us walk to where his car is parked. On the way she asks him "Do you have keys to your place?" and he says no ("his place" is his parents house, where he lived while going to college). So then she says "OK you can sleep on my couch". She explains this to me semi-privately in more detail as we're getting in the car and asks if I'm ok with it. I said something to the effect it seems weird he doesn't have keys to his own place but of course that's fine with me. She had left her purse (with her apartment keys) at my place so he parks in my building's loading zone, her and I go up to my suite and she gets her keys. We both go down and then she starts to say good night to me but I act like I'm getting into the car. She then says "oh, you're coming?" and I say "yes, of course." We arrive at her apartment in 5 minutes (she lives very close to me). We all hang out on the sofa and chat for a few minutes. And then he says something to effect "don't let me keep you two up if you're tired". It was about 12:30am now. I say something to the effect that it's late and we should go to bed soon. I ask him if he would like a blanket or something for the sofa and he says no he's fine, which I thought was strange (who likes to sleep without a blanket?) During the conversation we talk about a downtown farmer's market that is nearby and we’ve been planning to go for a while now. I suggest her and I should go there tomorrow morning. She agrees and asks if I would like to meet her at about 8-9am tomorrow to go to it. I don't really respond since to me it seems ridiculous I would leave at this point. I take off my jacket and hang it on a chair in the kitchen, get a drink of water for each of us, and then say goodnight to the guy and then walk into her bedroom. She then gets him a blanket and gives it to him on the couch, and comes to her room a minute later. At this point I confront her and say I think she is acting weird and making me feel uncomfortable. She seems genuinely confused and contends there is no issue. I disagree and say, “no, this is weird.” We then have a soft-spoken and direct conversation in bed about it. Not a loud fight or anything. I tell her the whole thing just seems so ridiculous. I say it was like as soon as this guy wanted to meet for a drink to catch up (they haven’t seen each other in about a year), it was like she just wanted to go without telling me much of anything about it, and then seemed to be trying to get rid of me at the end of the night. I said to me it seemed really ridiculous that she would expect me to leave and walk back to my place almost immediately after the three of us went to hers. There would be no logical reason why I would do that. She responded that she didn’t know if I would feel comfortable staying over in this situation. We talked it through and she basically admitted that it was reasonable for me to feel weird given how vague she was being about the situation and agreed that we should just communicate better to prevent those sorts of feelings from brewing. I basically told her what would be wrong with her saying, “hey a former classmate just texted me and is town tonight. I haven’t seen him for a year and really want to meet for a beer and see how he’s doing. Do you want to come for a quick one? Or do you mind if I go quickly by myself?” And she agreed that would have been much better. My basic take on this whole night is that I felt like I was forced into suspicion or at least asking questions because she was cutting me out of the loop. I told her I trusted her and don’t think she would ever do something like that (she is rather conservative socially and I can tell that in bed she is a little inexperienced). I think generally speaking she is shy about her personal life and she has told me other friends and colleagues have said she’s quite private about her different groups of friends. Is this just a case of her being shy and private (and maybe uncomfortable having me sleep in her bed with her friend/colleague in the next room, and so wanted me to go, but didn’t want to tell me to go)? Or is this a warning sign that she’s interested in this guy or is the type of person who cheats? I asked her if her and this guy used to date and she didn’t really answer. I suspect she liked him when they went to school together. Either way I feel like I need to lay down some boundaries about how she can interact with me. I feel like I need to be assertive. I just don’t want to be the jealous boyfriend and drive her away, because I see a lot of potential with our relationship. We recently met each other’s parents and everything went well. That’s part of the reason why I am so confused by how she acted this night.

ANSWERS

You communicated your feelings very well, and I think you were right to be upset. It takes a good two years to get to really get to know someone. Since you see potential in your relationship, take this as a mistake on her part, and if something like this never happens again, then you know she took to heart what you said.

There are possibilities here. It could be that she likes the ego boost of an ex, if he was one, paying attention to her. You will see if this is a pattern over time. You will have to decide if you're comfortable with her spending time with guy friends without you, if she begins to do this. Some people are okay with this, and some are not. As for me, my husband doesn't have women friends that he spends time with. If he did when we dated, I would've told him that I'm not comfortable with that, and that I'd be moving on. Go ahead and set boundaries with her if that's what you need to do to be happy in a relationship. If she doesn't agree, then maybe it's time to decide if you two are compatible enough in your relationship goals and life goals to continue or not. When someone is vague and keeping information from you, then it does make you wonder what's going on. It's not a good basis for a trusting relationship. Continue to communicate your needs, and hopefully you two will work out the kinks. If she doesn't care about your reasonable requests, maybe it's time to find someone who is on the same page as you. Good luck.

It is good that you and your girlfriend were able to have a conversation about what sounds like was a confusing and troubling and uncomfortable evening. We can't really know whether she has secret feelings for this guy or whether he is going to try to seduce her from you.

Focus on what you DO know. Keep communicating with her but not from a place of jealousy, from a place of wanting to understand and connect and keep trust healthy in your relationship.

Boundaries are important but consider creating agreements with her too. Sometimes a boundary can feel like drawing a line in the sand and there are times when this is needed. What if you two came up with some agreements about being honest with one another-- even if you're worried about how the other will act? What if you two talked about what's appropriate and what's not in terms of interacting with other people? The magic of agreements is that you both have "buy in" and a stake in creating them and keeping them.

Best to you, Susie and Otto

Your instincts are dead on. This is really troubling behavior. She's the odd one not you.

Is there a chance she has borderline personality disorder? Look it up and see if she meets the description. Some people are so self-absorbed that the feelings of their closest friends and family mean nothing to them (except when they want something from you).

The desire to meet up with an old friend is innocuous enough, but a poor choice, given the circumstances. Her trying to be sneaky and deceptive about it is a huge red flag - NOT something you want in any relationship with long-term potential. Give her one more chance to demonstrate this was a one-time lapse in judgement, but she's on probation - any more examples of deceitfulness and she'd history.

Hey guys, thanks for your comments.

Her and I talked about this a little more the next few days after and now this night makes more sense to me.

She says her friend has personal problems and wanted to talk to her about it. He had texted her earlier and said he needed advice, and would be here this weekend. It was only shortly before she brought up going out for a drink that he texted her and said he was in our city and asked if she was free to meet.

So she wanted to go meet him and talk, but she felt wrong spilling her friend's secrets to me, and said she didn't know how to deal with it. Hence the behavior of trying to cut me out of the loop but keeping her reasons vague.

She's very mature for her age and quite conservative socially so I really doubt she would be lying about this. I think the whole thing was like a perfect storm or a vicious cycle...she was being vague because her friend had sensitive private issues that were to be discussed, I became suspicious, and so when I kept tagging along as a result she kept trying to separate from me without telling me why (especially since he was there! In hindsight, what was she supposed to say? "Hey, he has some embarrassing personal problems to talk about so can you leave us for a bit?").

She strikes me as a person of very sound character so I will trust her and believe her story. Especially since if she wanted to do something on the down low, I can't imagine she would be so clumsy and obvious about it. However we did discuss that we need to be more open with each other to prevent suspicion and distrust from entering our relationship.

She's an engineer and since there's hardly any girls in her program she had a lot of guy friends in college (including this guy). I'm cool with that.

I am familiar with disorders such as BPD and I see little reason to suspect that sort of thing with her.

However I think I will follow your advice, Tanstaafl2, and if this becomes a pattern of behavior I will pull the plug. This time I will chalk it up to inexperience (and the relative newness of our relationship), but if she feels it's ok to hide things from me just to make her life easier, or if she basically values her friends' privacy more than being honest with me, I'm not cool with that.

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