He Wants to See his Ex

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
This guy and I met in August and have been in a "sort-of" relationship since then. We aren't classifying ourselves as "girlfriend-boyfriend" even though that's where I'd like us to be. We're just what I'd call dating, which technically means we're allowed to see other people, although we're both so busy with professional school that what free time we do have we end up sharing with each other or our friends.

Spring Break is coming up soon, and he's planning a trip out to California where his ex-girlfriend moved a few months ago. I know she's his ex for a reason, but I don't know how to approach telling him that I'm not ok with him assuming he can go across the country, do whatever he wants, and I'll still be fine and dandy when he comes back. Not to mention I'm a natural one-man kind of girl, but the thought of him being with her just grosses me out and, frankly, isn't safe for me!

I don't want to scare him or make him feel like he's getting an ultimatum, so how do I get him to understand that whether or not he intends to hurt me, intentions don't mean anything without follow-through? I really really care about this guy and I know he cares about me too, but just when things are going really well, this trip is throwing in a wrench in the works. What should I do?

RomanceClass.com Advice
Different people have quite different thoughts about what a relationship means. Some are quite happy dating several people at once. Others are very much a one-person-at-a-time mentality. It sounds like he is fine with the sleeping-with-several and you are the sleeping-with-one type.

This is something to really talk about and not just leave open to assumptions. He doesn't think he's doing anything wrong. You guys never promised to be monogamous. But you feel this is very upsetting. You have a right to not like it of course, but you can't really be upset with him since he doesn't believe you two were supposed to be monogamous. He thinks this is quite fine.

You feel that follow through involves monogamy. But many people don't feel that way. It seems he doesn't, at least right now. So to say that your view of the relationship is right and his is wrong is not quite right. You both want a type of relationship and the two types don't mesh up. And a relationship that involves one person pressuring the other into something they don't want is not a healthy one.

So you need to sit down with him. Explain that it makes you uncomfortable to think about him sleeping with another woman. You have to be open about this - either you guys talk about these issues or your relationship is going to have serious problems. Talking is THE most important thing you can possibly do in a relationship and if you don't start now, it can pretty much dissolve over this issue. He'll probably say that it's casual, why does it matter? He's slept with her before, it's not any different this time around. He has already seen her naked, one more time won't make any difference to how he feels about you.

So you need to work out with him if monogamy is where you both are now, or if it's still relatively casual between you two. And you have to decide if you are content with how things are, whatever is decided. You can certainly say you want to be monogamous. But it may not be with him, if he says he isn't in the mood to be monogamous. That might be a sign that you need to find someone more in alignment with your own view on relationships.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com

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