Weaseling

2 Jun

Dear LetterBalm: I met a man through an online dating site, and we really connected. We went out a few times, no sex or anything. We had great conversations and a lot of laughs and realized we had the same likes and interests. The last time we went out, we had sex and it was awesome, the best sex I’ve ever had. But the next day he called me and he was very nervous. He said he lived with a girlfriend who had health and personality issues, including bipolar disorder, and he would feel guilty if he left her now. He told me he’s not in love with her, and he asked me to be “a platonic friend” until she’s strong enough for him to break up with her. I’m torn because I’ve grown to love him. I’m not sure what to do.

–On Hold

Hmmm … it looks like this is the week for spineless boyfriends. Ms. L.B. says that one thing you don’t want to do is wait for him because he’s already shown that he’ll cheat on a loved one. Even if this is his first indiscretion, the fact that this man asked you to be a friend while he sorts out his life is dishonest. Why didn’t he tell you about his girlfriend before he became intimate with you? For that matter, he has no business on a dating site. Please note that mental disorders can take years to ease, maybe never, so you could be waiting for a long time. Are you sure he isn’t making you feel guilty so he can manipulatively keep you close? The choice to move on is yours – certainly made more difficult because you love him, but nobody said life is easy. If you decide to reclaim your life, you might tell him (without too much moralizing) something like this:

Leif, I appreciate the difficulty you’re in. Living with someone with medical and psychological issues can’t be easy. I think you need to resolve your relationship with her before you can move on. It’s only fair to everyone, and it’s the right thing to do, not being a cheater. I’m not going to wait for you because I’m moving on with my life. I wish you the best, and I hope you see a way clear to live your life honestly.

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