I have been in a relationship with this guy for 10 months. For the last 4 months he is working every day or every second day with a woman, doing some art work together. He knew her before he met me but they weren’t in touch for years. Now they meet every day or every other day and he seems so excited about the things they do together. We used to do sleep overs at his house every week but since he met her and started meeting her at his house every morning he wont invite me at his house anymore. I talked to him, saying that she is all he’s talking about and it’s natural for me to want to meet her but he won’t introduce me to her. I asked him why he’s hiding me from her or why he doesn’t want me to sleep at his house anymore, stating that I believe he’s afraid she will see me there at the morning and understand I am his girlfriend. He answered that he has no reason not to want me to meet her, maybe his instincts advised him not to introduce me to her or maybe it didn’t happen for me and her to meet. At a past conversation we had, including other people, he had stated that he believe a man and a woman cannot be just friends for a long time and sex will always happen between them at some point. Do you think he’s cheating? What do you think I should do?
Dear Squeak (The main woman now but not the ultimate love),
First off, kudos to you for trusting your female intuition and bringing your concern to your man’s attention. Many women who are in a relationship for less than a year wouldn’t think they have grounds to do that and that is normally where things go wrong so it’s great that you stepped forward. Now for the pièce de résistance– is your man cheating? I DON’T KNOW. But, let me sit on the other side of the bar and ask you a question. Does it matter? In my opinion, relationships disintegrate way before cheating actually occurs. Why? Because we allow people to disrespect us. If your man isn’t cheating it’s probably likely that he wants to which is why he doesn’t want you and his new friend to meet.
While it’s hard for us to accept sometimes, (just like Squeak in The Color Purple) we may not always be the first choice for the person we’re dating. For instance, lets compare this concept to shopping in a store. Imagine someone (with a fixed budget) picking up a piece of clothing they like in a store and walking around with it the whole time. Now, they are still in search for other things but the item they have feels like a keeper – they know they will get good use out of it; they look good in it; it’s a quality fabric but not high maintenance; it fits well, etc. They are confident that this is the right choice but they are still looking for something else. Why? Because they aren’t totally in love with the garment they have but they know it’s of good quality and they can get mileage out of it so they know they’re making a good purchase. Then, right before they approach the register to buy it, they see a piece hanging in a discrete part of the store that they initially overlooked. They approach it and fall in love. But, they can’t buy both. So, they purchase the garment they love. If we relate this example to your relationship, you sound like the reasonable choice, however, it maybe that you’re not your man’s first choice but instead the person that he was comfortable with being in a relationship with before he came across someone he believes could be a better “fit.” Note, people do this all the time. This is exactly why a man can date a woman for 5 years, breakup with her because he “can’t commit” and then six months later marry a woman he just met. HAPPENS EVERYDAY.
Now, if I’m right, it’s normal for your man to want to keep you and this woman apart because if this doesn’t progress with her he doesn’t want to mess up things with you. So, you have to decide if you are going to give him the room to make the ultimate decision about your relationship or if you’re going to make it. You have to decide if cheating is the deal breaker or the disrespect that is caused by him altering his behavior around this girl and refusing to allow you to meet is the deal breaker.
So, should you break up with him? It depends. What type of woman are you? What type of behavioral expectations do you have of him? What will you allow? Ultimately, these are the important questions. How you answer them will determine your next move. It’s decision time.
Can you drink to that?