Ask Nicci: Telling the BF to ‘shut it down’

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From the October 18, 2012 edition

I have been seeing this guy for five months now and everything appeared to be great until last week when one of my girlfriends noticed that his online dating profile is still up and shows activity. I shut mine down four months ago! I don’t want to lose him but my girlfriends are pressuring me to bust him. How can I handle this situation and not lose my boyfriend? – Anonymous

One of the major pitfalls to online dating is learning the unknown facts about who you are chatting with online once you meet and start a relationship. Not knowing whether someone is being truthful about their dating goals is sometimes just the tip of the iceberg. The good news is you now know what you’re really dealing with. The bad news is you have to step up and deal.

In the fantasy world of online dating you will find all kinds of people like your boyfriend. It is cruel and selfish but some people use online dating as a form of entertainment, attention-seeking or supplementing other relationships whether married or taken. Wasting people’s time is senseless and a sign of poor character.

The bottom line is that the core of any healthy relationship is based on trust, honesty and good communication. Answer to yourself if these components are in place. If not, there will be cracks in the foundation of your relationship. Dig deep and ask yourself what you are truly getting from this relationship. Clearly it’s not monogamy.

Ask him if he shut his online profiles off. If he lies, I hope you will know what to do.

I went back to my college homecoming game last weekend with my girlfriend. At an alumni party I found out my girlfriend once dated an old fraternity brother of mine. While I know this took place over six years ago, well before I even met her, I am finding it difficult to let go. We have been dating for two years and I actually have plans for proposing next year, and now I find myself wondering more about her past. I am intelligent enough to know it’s none of my business but still feel compelled to ask her questions. Am I out of line bringing the subject of her past up? – Greg

It is natural to wonder about your partner’s personal timeline. Her first kiss, when she lost her virginity, her ‘number,’ etc. are all events that you are probably curious about. Sharing your past is important to a growing relationship and it definitely is your business. However, fixating on details about who she dated six years ago is probably a little obsessive. Let me help you approach this correctly so it doesn’t backfire.

I agree this should be important to you. Your primary concern about your partner’s past should be to have a more comprehensive understanding of what made them the person you love. If having this conversation makes you want to control her more and not love her more, then you have the problem.

So whether she dated one fraternity brother or kissed them all, you need to get over any obsessive mind-wandering. Prepare your sensitive heart and get ready to hear about the one night stands, spring break flings and her old relationships. By the way, prepare yourself for full disclosure about your past conquests. Fair game.