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I've been dating a guy (who I'll call Sam) for about seven months. But before we started dating, we were both in serious relationships. When Sam and I met last fall, I was in a four-year relationship that had been long-distance, and I was barely hanging on. He was newly engaged. We were introduced through mutual friends and started hanging out. When we all went out to a bar in a group, he and I would end up sitting next to each other and talking. That's how we learned we shared the same interests in movies, travel, and books. It was just a fun time – and there was something safe in my head about it not being cheating because we were both taken. But there was definitely flirting ... and I just repeated the above statement to myself every time to feel better.
One night about four months later, we both told each other how into each other we were. The two of us opened up about crushing on each other and how it was so wrong because we were in relationships. Then our chat turned into how unhappy we were in our relationships. Within a month of that conversation, we both broke up with our significant others and almost immediately started dating.
Since then, things with Sam, on my end, have been going really well. But my friends don't like him because he was engaged, and they say he can't be trusted. They also say we moved too fast at the beginning and still are moving too fast. I agree that Sam and I started out in not the best circumstances, but I also believe you can't help how you feel. But I'm stuck between what my best friends are saying and how I feel when I'm with him. Am I rushing into another relationship? Can I not trust him? What do I do?
You understand why your friends are concerned, so validate them. Let them know you get it.
"I feel icky about the way we started this relationship, too. Our mistake was that we didn't have the courage to end our relationships sooner. I wish we'd done this with more maturity and respect, but I hope that lesson will guide me in the future. Thank you for caring about me, and I hope you can understand why, despite this bad start, I want to figure out if there's something to this connection with Sam.”
I don't know if a speech like that will make them love any of this, but it'll let them know you're listening.
It occurs to me that they might have liked your ex, by the way. They might need time to get over being upset on his behalf.
Really, time – more of it – is the only thing that will heal any of this. If friends see you making time for others (not just Sam), improving your own life, and not rushing into any big decisions (like moving in, big relationship talk, etc.), they might consider getting on board. This is still so new and uncomfortable. In six months or a year, people might have different opinions, especially if you're happy.
You might feel differently, too. Remember, you and Sam didn't break up with your significant others because you were madly in love with each other. You ended relationships because you weren't happy – and happened to become smitten at the same time. You reminded each other that there's more out there.
He is not the love of your life right now, and it's very possible this relationship is temporary. Or maybe he'll be fantastic for you forever. Who knows? Be open to all possibilities – even ones that might bum you out. That'll make you feel better about trusting your gut.
Readers? What can the LW expect of the friends? What about trusting Sam?