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Parallax - Advice

May 5, 2003

Desperate times

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!My boyfriend and I have been going out—on and off—for almost four years. We were high school sweethearts and presently attend the same college. Five months ago he met this girl who lives in the same town but doesn't go to our college. He broke up with me to pursue something with her, but then we got back together. Recently, he has been spending excessive amounts of time with her. He has been sleeping at her house on weekends and he also brought her home for Spring Break. He said his mom wanted to 'meet the girl he will be staying with over the summer' (he cannot afford to rent on campus). I'm very uncomfortable with him spending all this time with this girl because he recently told me this girl liked him and she wanted to pursue a relationship. He says he told her 'no' and they are 'just friends.' He says I should 'grow up' and get over the fact that he wants to sleep at her house, but I can't. Does it sound like he is cheating on me? What should I do if he is or isn't? I tried talking to him about him about staying there, but he just won't listen. Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Second-place,

He will definitely sleep with this girl. He may not have yet, but given time and sleepovers—absolutely it will happen. The fact that she openly admits an interest makes the segue all the easier. He will come in drunk one night and they will have quite a romp.

So he should grow up, and you should get your own life. It's ludicrous for him to expect you to accept slumber parties with a former lover. It's sweet that you want to keep your high school sweetheart, but I must warn you about the odds on such a relationship. You both have a lot of growing to do through college and first jobs, etc. A separation at some point was almost impossible to avoid. I'd take a full-on break and let him pursue his interests; you can pursue yours. Should fate find you together in some time, that's all the sweeter. But your current relationship will not survive such an arrangement.

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His view:

Dear Second-place,

I think he is probably cheating. But that is not the point. The point is he doesn't care much about what you feel. Rather than give your concerns adequate attention, and perhaps even remove himself from the offending premises, he asks that you mature. Furthermore, he ignores your requests to talk.

Now is the time, I think, to look at yourself and say: I am a doormat. Admitting it is the first step. The next step is to gather some pride, some courage (and yes, even grow up a little), and open your eyes to the whole wide world of college men who are just waiting—dying, in fact—to show you there's more to life than Mr. Maturity.

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