In this week’s Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert column, a female reader is uncomfortable with the text messages her boyfriend is sending and receiving from another woman. What would you do? Read our answer here.
My boyfriend of over a year texts a woman who lives in a different state constantly. She has feelings for him. I told him that it makes me feel uncomfortable. But he tells me that I’m insecure and that they work together.
Thanks for your message and I’m so sorry to hear about this painful experience you’re going through with your boyfriend.
That would make any girl uncomfortable. If you’ve been together for over a year, I’m assuming you’re in a committed relationship.
Texting or chatting with a woman on social media when it makes you uncomfortable is a form of emotional cheating. He’s giving you reasons to feel insecure, even though she lives in another state. He may be getting a dopamine boost, or at least an ego boost every time he hears the chirp text message from her.
If he said, “gee I’m sorry. I’ll stop doing that because I don’t want to hurt you,” I’d be happy to hear that.
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Instead he wants to keep flirting with his digital girlfriend, who perhaps doesn’t even know you exist. I get it that it’s a great ego boost for him and it seems new and shiny to him, unattainable, and a bit of a fantasy relationship since she doesn’t live in town.
Here’s what I think you should do. Explain to him that you believe this texting is a form of emotional cheating and ask him why he feels the need to text her. Start sending him flirty texts so that need is fulfilled by you and perhaps he won’t feel the desire to text her. Then ask him to put the brakes on it and stop texting her out of respect for you. Ask him if he will let her know he’s involved with you and that he wants to focus his energies on your relationship.
Know that every man likes to look at women who are attractive and that’s normal. Creating this emotional bond over texts is crossing the line. He can’t have his girlfriend (you) and this girl on the side on his keyboard and lead her on. She probably doesn’t even know about you! Even if he isn’t interested in her romantically, if she made it clear she has feelings for him, this has potential to grow and could be harmful to your relationship.
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Instead of demanding to see his phone to see the texts, just ask him if he will stop. If he won’t, ask him why this is important to him and find out what’s missing from your relationship so you can spice it up. Texts can lead to sexts and it’s damaging to a relationship. It can also become addictive.
Have a heart to heart talk with your guy before you call it quits, but if he won’t put your relationship at the top and stop these text exchanges with a woman who claims to have feelings for him, it may be time to call it quits.
We’re here to help you, so if you need dating coaching advice, check out our Irresistible Coaching programs.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may swipe or roam. xo
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Julie Spira is America's Top Online Dating Expert. She's an award-winning dating coach who's been helping singles find love online for 25+ years. Follow @JulieSpira on IG.