He asked me to delete all men from my phone

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My ex-boyfriend and I broke up almost two months ago. I met him on a dating app and it was long-distance. After a week or two, I went back on the dating app and found another guy near my area. We hung out and got really close. We did a couple of non-PG-13 things twice, but we had both dealt with breakups, so we went from being each other's rebound to friends.

My ex and I started dating again a few weeks after that. He drives to visit from an hour away. He has spoiled me with gifts, dinners ... I know how that sounds, but when someone suddenly treasures you and showers you with gifts, who doesn’t like that? I am a student and he has a job, so he is more financially stable.

Everything was fine and going well, but then all of a sudden I hung out with my guy friend – the guy who became my friend/rebound – and my boyfriend was bothered by it and wouldn't let it go. He was uncomfortable with the thought of being with someone who would be friends with any guy. We also got into a fight because I didn't tell him about the history of my friendship with this man. I apologized to him after telling him what happened.

We got into a fight, and all I had to do to fix the situation was to block and delete every single guy friend in my phone. He says he has done the same with women, and I trust him. My questions: Is there something wrong in this situation? I know I messed up and take full responsibility for it. What do you think I should do? I already blocked and deleted most men in my phone. I just know I can be naive.

– Naive


Yes, there is something wrong with this situation.

This man is trying to control you by limiting your access to the world outside of this relationship. It's one thing to express discomfort when it comes to other exes – I'm not shocked he was hurt to find out that you developed a bond with someone during your short time apart – but even those types of feelings should become a discussion, not a rule. He's giving you orders like you're his child or a possession. For the record, I'm not even sure how you messed up. You weren't even together when you met this other man.

Also, where does it end? This started with "delete every man in your phone, even if they're a friend." That could lead to "take her out too – I don’t like how she influences you." You shouldn't have to go through life with these limitations. He either trusts you or he doesn’t. It goes both ways with that, by the way. Do you really want him to delete all women from his phone? Would you ever forbid him from making new friends? Or seeing old ones?

Gifts aren’t so great when they come with strings attached. The power dynamic is wrong in this relationship; it’s turned into something that's about rewards and rules. That's not what you want. You wrote this letter because your gut is telling you to go.

– Meredith

Readers? Help.