She doesn’t want to hurt his feelings

I'm dating a woman who is in the process of getting a divorce from her husband. Before we met, she was meeting other men, and she continues to see this one man who is looking for a relationship with her. She continues to spend time with him every now and then to go hiking, and he keeps insisting on more quality time and has asked her to go away for the weekend.

She has told me that she does not want to hurt his feelings and tell him that she is seeing someone. I have met him at activities we all do together and he seems like a normal guy, but I don't think it's OK for her to continue to be his friend and not let him know she is in a relationship with another man.

He lost his wife to cancer a couple of years ago, and he's looking to find a partner. She and I have been seeing each other for the past three months and we spend a lot of time together and have strong feelings for each other. My question is: Does she need to continue to see this other man and be friends with him? I have told her that it bothers me that they spend time together.

– Uncomfortable


Are the two of you exclusive? Have you had a conversation with this woman about the terms of your romantic relationship? That seems to be the first question. Your letter implies that you're her significant other and that there's no one else, but if you're making a guess, you should have that conversation. Find out if she's ready for that kind of commitment. She's still dealing with the divorce, so she might need more time.

For the record, based on your letter, it does sound like she should tell this other man that she's seeing someone. It’s possible he's inferred as much, but why not be clear? If she says she won't have that conversation with him  – or others – it's something to consider as you make choices about your own level of commitment.

I won't tell you that they can't or shouldn't be friends. It's possible their relationship has evolved into something platonic – and important. Maybe it's always been more about talking and hiking than anything else. You ask if she needs to see this man, but she might want to. That can work, but she has to be honest with him – and you – about her intentions.

– Meredith

Readers? What conversations need to happen here?