He slid into a friend’s DMs

What are your love, dating, relationship, and single-life questions?

Submit your question here. You can also email [email protected].

Dear Meredith,

I’ve been with my boyfriend for about seven months and I love him deeply. He’s been supportive through a tough period in my life, and supports my creative pursuits. Recently, he slid into a friend’s DMs, seeking sexy photos. I found out, was devastated, but we chose to stay together and work through it.

Maybe it’s naive, but I love him and believe he can change. I’m angry and heartbroken, but filled with compassion for him, too. Still, I don’t know how to trust him again. How can we rebuild trust in our relationship when its been broken?

– Betrayed in Brooklyn

I won’t make guesses about your boyfriend’s intentions or the future of this relationship.

I can say that you shouldn’t be thinking about “changing” him. Maybe he made a mistake – an out-of-character, one-off bad decision. But if you think this action is part of who he is right now, let him go. Because forgiving someone for hurting you is very different than hoping they'll be different. You need to like who he is now for this to work.

My question for you: what do you know at seven months? This relationship is new, especially if you’ve been faced with challenges. I assume you haven’t had much time to get to know each other when things are calm and easy.

As you figure out whether you can forgive, try to avoid grand proclamations about the value of the relationship. You might not be in love with him in three months. You might trust him more – or less. Maybe he'll have different feelings about your "creative pursuits." This might not be worth saving – or maybe it’ll be an easy decision to stay together.

This is about admitting what you don’t know, and giving yourself permission to change your mind. You’re allowed to wake up tomorrow and decide this isn't for you. That would be OK.

– Meredith

Readers? Who has gotten over something like this – and how? What does this mean at seven months?