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Dear Debra
Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1763
Experience:  I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
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My boyfriend and I have been together over a year and plan

Customer Question

My boyfriend and I have been together over a year and plan to stay for keeps (I'm 30 and he's 28). He's a phenomenal man, and I love him with all my heart. Anyway, early on in our relationship I learned that when he was 26 he briefly dated a 16 year old. This is what I know about her--they've known each other pretty much their whole lives and their families went to church together. Her father dies several years ago and her mother is pretty much worthless. Lauren (the 16 year old) has pretty much been the head of the household since her father died, working and taking care of her mother, little brother, and sick grandmother. She's had a very rough life, and my boyfriend's family has helped her family over the years. He says they only dated about 2 months, it was basically a text-messaging relationship, he did not sleep with her, and that the thoughts in my head are far worse than what it actually was. But I CANNOT get over how wrong it all is to me! And I had more, but I'm out of space.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 5 years ago.
Hello,

You can finish what you were saying and then I will respond.

Also, were they intimate in other ways? do you believe they did not sleep together?
Were they living close to each other? Seeing each other?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Ok, so as I was saying, I cannot seem to get over the whole fact that a little over two years ago, he had romantic feelings for a minor. Even though only briefly. Yes, I understand that they had been around each other their whole lives and that she had to grow up much more quickly than I ever had to worry about, but I just can't shake it from my little head. And I definitely do not deserve any gold stars for my past relationship adventures! My past includes an affair with a much older married man with 4 children. And when I was a young teenager, I thought I was in love with my cousin, who is about 8 years older than me. But of course I can forgive myself and defend my own actions......

 

To answer your questions--did they do anything more than kiss? I don't know. But I DO know that sleeping together was not a factor. My boyfriend has only been with 3 people in his entire life, including me. He takes sex as a very serious and personal decision. And no, they were not living close to each other during the time that they dated. They lived 7 hours apart, hence why he said most of the "relationship" was long distance and via text message. He hasn't lived in his hometown for about 5 years. And he was the one to end it, saying that after about two months he decided that it was not at all what he wanted. And it wasn't a secret. Both their families knew about it.

 

They have remained friends, just as they were before their rendevous, though they don't see each other any. And I don't worry at all in the least bit that he would go back to her. It's almost like at the time he was "saving" her from her horrid life, if you know what I mean by that. And that now the whole idea of it was just silly and a part of his past that he has no desire to return to.

 

An added note that I just remembered--I think that he may have seen (I don't even know if it deems "dated") other girl(s) of high school age while he was living in another town, the same town he was living in when he dated the girl I've been talking about. We haven't really talked about it, except that I know how much he HATED that town and how lonely and miserable he was for the 3 years he lived there.

 

My boyfriend is a wonderful guy and I know that he loves me very much. And in general, we don't have any problems. We get along great, we rarely ever bicker or even get on each other's nerves. He treats me like a queen. I absolutely love my relationship. I do not find my boyfriend to be creepy or crazy. But this demon in my head regarding something that I wasn't even around for, we didn't even exist to each other then, will just not give up. And I think that part of the problem is that I haven't talked about it with anyone else.

 

Why can I not just let the past be the past? I wasn't even around for it! And he wasn't around for mine, and I'd think it would be RIDICULOUS if he couldn't forgive mine because that's exactly what it was---the past. So PLEASE help me to let it go!!

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