The subject line has most of the relevant details. A friend of a friend (Jane) presented me with a screenshot of messages my boyfriend sent her through a major dating site. The messages themselves are innocent enough (about radio shows and favorite desserts) but whyyyyyyyy are you sending strange women messages on a dating site when we are talking about who we would have in our wedding party? He’s been shitty and distant and “I don’t know if I want this” for a few months, so I’m pretty sure he won’t be upset that I found out. I’m expecting a “You’re right, let’s break up” response, which terrifies me, even though I am so fucking angry right now at him about this. (Super extra fun, the intermediate friend is my boss’ wife, so this is bleeding into work because the friend discussed it with her husband, the boss). I’m so mad, and I want to confront him, but I don’t know what to do or say. I’ve never been in this situation before.
He sent this message three months ago, according to Jane. She didn’t see me until yesterday and didn’t feel like she knew me well enough to get in touch specifically for that, I guess. She said as soon as her Facebook sleuthing revealed he was with me, she stopped messaging him immediately. No reason to doubt Jane.
Not Good Enough, Apparently
Dear Plenty Good Enough,
I have left your email subject line as the subject of the post, for clarity’s sake. I know that this hurts, and it sucks, and I’m so sorry.
My question is: What do you want to happen now?
Your boyfriend is visibly withdrawing from the relationship, being “shitty and distant,” and saying “I don’t know if I want this,” and was until recently messaging at least one woman on a dating site. I know you’ve invested a lot of time and energy into your relationship if it’s gotten to the point of picking out wedding party members, but I think it’s time to stop mentally outfitting the bridespeople and groomsmaids and to start thinking about your happy post-this-particular-man future. Whether that means finding a new place to live if you currently live together, or extracting all of your stuff from his place and dropping off a box of his stuff in return, isn’t it time to break up with someone who will probably be relieved to be found out and broken up with? Preserving a relationship with someone who doesn’t really want to be in a relationship isn’t winning. From the heart, please believe me: One dude’s wandering eye and half-hearted affection is not a referendum on your worth.
My suggested steps:
Spend one 24 -48 hour period indulging the fantasy that revealing what you know will turn him into groveling apologetic jelly (apolojelly) as he falls to his knees and begs for your forgiveness.
Tell your closest friends what’s going on and enlist their help with the logistics like extracting your stuff and returning his.
Tell him version of “I am breaking up with you, goodbye. You’ve been shitty and distant lately, and finding out you’ve been messaging other women on dating sites is the last straw. Here’s your crap. I don’t want to be friends.”
If he denies talking to other women, (“What other women?”), etc., throw your head back and laugh. You could show him the screen shots or you could leave him wondering how much you know.
Walk out of his life.
Block him everywhere he might contact you. Return none of his attempts at communication.
Move on with your great life. If you run into him socially, look at him like this:
A year from now remember him as a vague, unsatisfying anecdote who taught you to never settle for anything less than the love you deserve.