Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Don’t turn into spooky boyfriend

July 21, 2012  

Dear Leslie,

I’m stuck here. I have a girlfriend of one year and I have asked her to not contact old boyfriends since we’re now just dating each other.  She’s been okay with it, except for one guy that she’s known since they were in high school ten years ago. She said they slept together a few times but it didn’t work out and now they’re just friends. She says I’m being unreasonable in telling her who she can and cannot be friends with. I don’t agree, especially since I’ve caught her a few times texting him. I’ve read her texts and they seem to be on the friendship level, but I think it will just be a matter of time until the whole “forbidden love” thing sparks into something sexual. I’m all tied in knots and I don’t know what to do.

Second Hand BF


Dear Second Hand,

It does sound like you’re stuck, but it’s between a rock and hard-place of your own design. Your love of your girlfriend has turned into fear of that love being spirited away by the ghosts of boyfriends past. However, no boyfriend is quite as spooky as the one you’ve become. You say you’ve laid down the law of the good list and naughty list of acceptable friends, you’ve attempted to corral her when she rebelled with this one friendship, and now you’ve taken to violating her privacy by reading her text messages. And by the way, that so counts as violation to read someone’s texts or e-mails, just as much as it would be to read someone’s physical mail.

Even Freud said sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. What if she is being honest and he is just a friend?  One thing for certain is you’ve stomped all over the trust between you two. In healthy relationships people choose to be together by building the bonds of love and respect, therefore they choose to monitor their own behaviors for the well-being of the relationship. Let your girlfriend hold the concern for being faithful, as she is the only one who truly has that power. Not you.

Rather than getting all green-eyed jealous over someone from the past, cast your mind back to why you love your girlfriend and how you have both chosen to be together. Tell yourself, and her, that you do trust her, especially when the fears of losing your beloved begin to slither up from the “mine, mine, mine!” reptilian part of your brain, casting doubts. By you growing the trust in you, you get to unhook from the need for control and enjoy being with her. Remember, she’s chosen to be with you, not the old boyfriend, so make her proud of her choice.


Dear Leslie,

It really gets under my skin when store clerks or wait staff respond to my saying thank you for their services with a “no problem” reply. This immediately brings to mind that the task they completed for me actually is a “problem”.  Whatever happened to the perfectly acceptable “you’re welcome”?

Now I have a problem


Dear Problem,

I too have noticed this trend, which at this point may be an automatic response for people younger than thirty-five. While “you’re welcome” certainly does sound warmer and more professional than the “no problem” quip, I think you have to look at the way in which it’s being said. For those raised on NP, it may feel to them to have the polite intent of YW. It’s all about context. So the next time you’re given a NP, take a deep breath, realize this is the new YW, and move on with your day, ASAP.


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