We’re great together – but he has a girlfriend

We chat at 1 p.m.

Hi Meredith,

About six years ago I briefly dated a man, "Mike," when we were both living in NYC. We were young and enamored with one another, and we've always had palpable chemistry.

Since then, we have remained friends, though we now live in two different cities. Every year or so, when we are single again, we find ourselves back in each other's lives in a romantic way, but have never fully committed to being in a monogamous relationship because of the distance.

After my most recent relationship ended, Mike and I began texting, which quickly turned into flirting, sexting, and talking on the phone for hours on end. The problem: He has a long-distance girlfriend that he began seeing exclusively this year. I gave him a proposition: We can pursue a relationship, but not until the girlfriend is out of the picture. He's hesitant to break up with her since it's a "perfectly fine" relationship and pursuing me feels like an equal risk.

That said, he is also unwilling to let me go, says things like "you have no idea how many times I've thought about our wedding and what our children would be like," and recently invited me to join him on a month-long, cross-country road trip – without the girlfriend. I'm not entirely sure what to do because I don't want to lose him from my life, and it seems he feels the same way about me, but I also don't think the way he's handling himself with his current relationship is appropriate or fair. How should I handle this?

– Confused


You know what I'm going to say, right? It's the answer you don't want to hear. You must block this person from your life until he decides to be single. He's not being fair to anyone right now, and you've become a big part of the problem.

Let him know that you can't be part of a cheat, and that you don't want to listen to him talk about your fantasy wedding when you know he's pretending to be a partner to someone else. Stop texting him. Stop sexting him. If he misses you while he's alone on that road trip, well, that's something for him to consider.

You should also think about what you really want from him, because it sounds like he assumes you'd be his serious girlfriend if you had the opportunity. But ... is that what you want? You enjoy him and there's chemistry, but there are also big problems – like trust. You know him as a guy who'll make plans behind his girlfriend's back. You have to think about whether it'd be any different with you.

Walk away and reassess. You know how to handle this; you just have to do it.

– Meredith

Readers? How about that road trip?