NOTE: This archive only contains Carolyn Hax columns through March 2011. Her more recent columns are located here.

TELL ME ABOUT IT ®

Tell Me About It
(Nick Galifianakis for The Washington Post)

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By Carolyn Hax
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 13, 2007

Carolyn:

My boyfriend and I have been happily coupled for nearly a year now, but have been anticipating a bittersweet parting this fall when I leave for a job on the coast.

We do not plan to stay together, but intended to enjoy this last summer together verily.

Unexpectedly, an "old friend" of his is now in town. Or shall I say an unrequited love he was obsessed with before we got together. They have taken up a friendship now, and she has admitted her attraction to him.

We have spoken openly about this. He assures me that "although it will be difficult," he wants to remain with me.

I'm trying everything -- being supportive, not interrogating him after they hang out, trying to keep our relationship strong and fun, and have encouraged us all to hang out, which he seems open to.

But a large part of me feels doomed. She and I are both leaving at the same time.

He has to decide if he's going to take this opportunity to be with her. I can see the wheels turning in his head every time we talk about it.

I'm starting to feel somewhat helpless. I don't know how to handle this gracefully, or what limits to set besides the obvious ("don't cheat"). I am starting to feel a nagging sense of humiliation and want to feel like I have more control in this situation.

Miffed in Minnesota

The anticipation of a blissful last summer followed by a "bittersweet parting" was built on the assumption that it's a pleasure for each of you to be with the other.


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