Ive been with my boyfriend for 18 months and recently we have started talking about moving in together.
I had been having a feeling that maybe something wasn’t right and a couple of weeks ago I checked his phone. In the sent messages there were messages to a “Kate” saying thank you for a good time, it would be great to meet up again. I confronted him about it. He said that he started to panic about us moving in together as his last break up was so difficult. He said he had to be 100% sure I was the one. He decided to go back on line to test his feelings and arranged one date that lasted an hour; he decided there and then that it wasn’t right and wouldn’t be doing it again. This also coincided with other good things happening between us that helped him make his decision. He said the messages he sent after were saying he couldn’t do the dates she had suggested but he never just said no and he doesn’t know why but he was sure he wasn’t going to meet up again.
The other issue I have is that he carried on talking to a number of people after he had made this decison not to “test” our relationship with another date just because he found it flattering and a bit of fun and he was going to cancel at the end of the month. He now says he knows the answers to his questions and he really does love me and wants to take the relationship forward. He also has been coming over more, making more time for me, calling and planning nice things for us to do together. He seems really sorry but I wondering if this story is believable?
Thanks for your question. So what do you think? Let’s say his story is believable, do you forgive him? Do you trust him? Has he done other things in the past that make you wonder about his story? Will you be able to trust him in the future? These are the questions you need to be asking yourself.
His story could be believable. Or not. It’s hard to say. And it’s almost a moot point. What’s more relevant is that instead of talking to you about his fears and doubts—yes, that might have been a difficult conversation—he snuck around behind your back, joined a dating site, talked to a bunch of women, went on at least one date (that he’s admitted to) and has still kept up correspondence with other women since. And the kicker: You had to find out about it by yourself; he didn’t volunteer the information to you. The issue we see is not what he did, but how he went about doing it. So what happens in the future when something comes up between you?—some stressful event let’s say. Will he then feel the need to “check out” for a time and test the waters in some other way? Because the red-flag here is how he chose to deal with his doubts, not that he had doubts. In fact, we’d be surprised if he didn’t have doubts. Many guys do when faced with the prospect of committing to someone long term in whatever capacity that looks like. (Living together, engagement, marriage.)
The good news is that he seems remorseful and recommitted. Maybe his actions have gotten him to a solid place, but what about you? Obviously you’re not feeling as clear about him now, otherwise you wouldn’t have written to us. What we suggest is that you don’t move in together until this is completely resolved. If you’re still feeling hurt, unsure, nervous, angry, you need to talk about these feelings with him. And he needs to be open to talking about this as long as you feel the need to. He has to understand that he betrayed you. (Sure, maybe not to the degree that some do, but still a betrayal.) And when this happens, trust is broken, which often takes a long time to repair. He has to understand that his actions had consequences and that you might need to process this for a long time.
Finally, don’t settle Claire. He may be the one for you after you work through this. But keep in mind that you deserve to have someone who feels the same for you, as you do for them; and someone who’s committed to working through issues, especially when things are tough. We hope you can work this out.
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