Hi Meredith, I am a frequent reader with what feels like no where to turn. My boyfriend of just over a year and a half (we are both in our 30s) has what I suspect to be an online "friend" whom he won't stop talking to. Just before we met, he was introduced to her at work, but she moved back home to Ireland. She fits everything he has always wanted – Irish, dark hair, rugby player, and pretty. I'm sure she has a great sense of humor too because they are always messaging via Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram. I don't know what they are talking about, but I mean what could it be? He claims they are "friends." I don't have male friends like that.
She currently lives in Ireland, and when we traveled there a few months ago he was engaging with her via those social media channels the entire time we were there. Most of the time, he was on his phone. I have been checking her socials, and his, and it appears he is interacting with her more than I thought. He keeps blowing it off. How can I approach this without blowing up, because it's been happening for a few months now and his communication with her doesn't seem to be stopping no matter how much I tell him I don't like it. Everything in our relationship seemed fine, but now I am ruminating on this as their communication seems more frequent now and he is trying to hide it.
– Too Social for Me
I'd start by talking to your boyfriend about the phone habit. There's no reason for him to be messaging other people while he's supposed to be spending time with you. Start by letting him know that if you're together, you want him to be present.
Also think about whether anything is off in the actual relationship. You say that everything seemed fine before all of this started, but what do you mean by that? Are you both happy? What is he like when he is engaging with you? There's that line in your letter about how she's everything he's always wanted. Are you guessing about that – or are you certain he longs for something else?
It's complicated because it’s not like you can really meet this woman. She's too far away to be brought into a shared friend circle. But maybe your boyfriend can better explain who she is to him and how his interaction with her compares to other friends.
If he can't, it's a problem. I'm all for having many close friends outside of a romantic relationship, but something tells me that if he were on his phone this much with anyone else, you'd feel bad. Something seems to be missing right now. It's time to ask him to help you figure out what that is.
Readers? Are these messages a problem?