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Anna
Anna, Social Worker
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  29 years experience in addictions & mental health. I'll tell you my honest opinion.
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ive been involved in an online relationship for a little over

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i've been involved in an online relationship for a little over a year now and i'm afraid that my jealousy is going to ruin it. this guy has really been great to me, treating me better than boyfriends i've had offline in person. we've spent thousands of hours talking, he sends me flowers and gifts, inquires about my well being, you get the picture. but i find myself upset and jealous over him talking to other women on the same site where i met him. he never says anything suggestive to them openly, but i can't help but wonder what he might be saying to them in private messages. i accuse him of preferring them over me because they seem more attractive than me in many ways. he does have a girlfriend that he lives with, but strangely, i don't find myself jealous of her but rather of the other women that he talks to online. we both decided that we need to take a break from one another, give the other some breathing room. he says he wants our relationship to continue. what do i do? help!
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Anna replied 4 years ago.


Hey Sable,

It is interesting how "the other woman" isn't often jealous of the boyfriend's RL girlfriend, but afraid of other women online. I think why it's such a common issue is because those women are your true competition. He's already stepping out on his RL GF, so you know he chooses you emotionally over her. It's a very hard situation to be in, and very real. Online relationships are the true dating field these days, and the relationships and feelings, and most certainly the attachments are very real.

That being said, there is something wrong in your relationship and you're both picking up on it. It could be that you're no longer willing to ride in the back seat, which is natural. You may have insecurities that are inside of you as well. But what I would imagine the situation to be is that the course of your relationship has come to a turning point and needs to develop further and become more exclusive, or you're both facing the fact that it isn't' going to happen.

For you...if this is over, you need to mourn it like any other break-up: with gentleness on yourself, talking to friends, reflecting back on the good and the bad, and working towards acceptance. You do not want to stalk him - that will eat you alive. If it means not going to the site you met on, then let that be the truth for now. Resist the urge to stalk and to go back and forth.

You need to decide how much of a relationship you want in your life, and if this one is enough for you, or does it take just enough of your attention that it keeps you out of the dating pool. If it went on for 5 years like this: would it be enough? What if he marries his GF? What are YOUR limits. I think your time right now is best spent answering those questions so that you can go on with dignity and grace.

If you would, please fill out the feedback form after accepting. I appreciate this opportunity to help you out today, and I've done my best to give you a direct, informed response to your question. If you feel my professional answer is worth more than your original bid, a bonus is a very appreciated way to show it. If I can be of further service to you, just put "for Anna" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it.

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Anna

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
i've been out of the dating game for 8 years now. after my last bf left me, i didn't meet anyone else and i didn't really want to because i was just tired of men and the way they hurt me, didn't care about me. my online bf says i am too young to be alone(i'm 43) and encourages me to get out and meet people but i've gotten pretty comfortable in my bubble of solitude. what i have with him does make me happy although i can't see it going on indefinitely. i don't think that's too realistic. i love what we have but it frustrates me also because i've always wanted this with a man in person. knowing him has kind of sparked a desire in me to be with a man again, but i'm so afraid of taking that chance. plus, men don't seem to find me as attractive as they once did, i don't catch the way i used to. my online bf makes me feel attractive and worthy and others didn't.
Expert:  Anna replied 4 years ago.


Sable,

It sounds like you've got a good understanding of your situation, now you've got some choices to make. It's hard, but it is your life. Only you can decide if it's worth the risk to step back out into the dating world or not. Use match.com or e-harmony. Then they'll know what you look like and you won't need to reject yourself before they do. It's a great service.

Anna
Anna, Social Worker
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1945
Experience: 29 years experience in addictions & mental health. I'll tell you my honest opinion.
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