Dear Barb—Relationships’ End

Dear Barb:

I have been dating my girlfriend for three months.  We get along great and have lots of common interests.  I just assumed we were exclusive, but apparently not.  She thinks we should be dating other people because, according to her, it is too early in our relationship to limit ourselves to just dating each other.  Obviously, she doesn’t see our relationship the same as I do.  I have a problem with her dating other people, though.  Do you think she is trying to tell me something? Perhaps I would be better off ending the relationship.  What do you think? Thanks, James.

Hi James:

Yes, I think she is trying to tell you that, for her, there is something not quite right in the relationship.  It could be that she has met someone else, but she wants to hang onto you just in case the other relationship isn’t what she wants.  Or she may be trying to get out of the relationship for some reason.  It could be something else or a combination.  But it’s up to you what you want to do.  You could continue in the relationship while she dates other people and hope that she discovers there is nothing better out there, or you can end the relationship now.  Even if you end it, she may eventually want to pick up where she left off, after deciding there wasn’t anything better.  Ultimately, it’s up to you what you do at that point, too.  You may be interested in reading the following letter.  Thanks, James.

Dear Barb:

I have been dating my boyfriend for a year.  He’s a great guy, but the problem is it seems the spark has gone out of our relationship.  I have met someone else, a mutual friend, who I’m attracted to.  I feel I need to pursue this other relationship, but I don’t want to lose the friendship I have with my present boyfriend.  Looking for some advice on how I can let him down without us becoming enemies.  Thanks, Penny. 

Hi Penny:

No doubt that will be difficult, but not impossible.  If you both want to continue a friendship, and are willing to work at it, it’s possible. But it’s definitely a good idea to spend some time apart before you begin to hang out as friends.  You both need to allow time for the feelings and emotions to heal.  Since this is what you want, it may be easier for you to get to the point of a friendship.  A major hurdle may be the fact that you intend to see a mutual friend.  Your boyfriend may find this difficult to accept.  As well, I would not suggest jumping into a relationship with this other person right away.  Take some time to end one relationship before jumping into another one.  Take it slow and see what happens, you may find it’s not a possibility for the two of you to remain friends.  Thanks for your letter Penny.

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.