Dear Efe, Am I Being Insecure?

  Hello Efe, I am in my mid 20’s and have been dating my girlfriend for about four years now and this is both our first real relationship.  She is the sweetest, most understanding and most caring girl I have met and we support each other through tough times and naturally expect to get married…

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Hello Efe,

I am in my mid 20’s and have been dating my girlfriend for about four years now and this is both our first real relationship. 
She is the sweetest, most understanding and most caring girl I have met and we support each other through tough times and naturally expect to get married when we are both stable financially. 

I am ashamed to say I have recently I have developed a crush on a work colleague and it has been causing me a lot of guilt and stress. 

I met this girl (my colleague/friend) over a year ago and was immediately attracted to her, she was quiet in person but confident in the way that she dressed. I became friends with her over the months (unintentionally) and we developed a fun working relationship, since we were both in committed relationships I assume we were comfortable with one another. 

Eventually somehow through the jokes, chats and me dropping her at home from work, I developed a minor crush on her. I felt guilty of course and confided in a friend and I decided to distance myself and not be as “friendly” or “flirtatious” around her, coincidentally she began to do the same.

Recently she chatted me up and told me she broke up with her boyfriend, this led to us becoming close again. Now she is more honest and open about herself and wanting me to help with this and that, asking for advice, etc. It graduated to who was toasting her and all what not.

 I found myself getting sucked in again and I had to start avoiding her whenever possible. I felt like it was for the best as my girlfriend deserved better. 

These days, I see her at work and get the impression she is not happy. I want to ask if she is okay but I don’t want to get too involved again. I don’t know if my giving her some space is the reason why she is this way.

I still feel guilty as I love my girlfriend and I appreciate how lucky I am to be with her. I just can’t shake the little crush I have on my work friend and the notion of whether she has a little crush on me too. What should I do? 

Olu

 

Hello Olu,

You are not the first one this has happened to and you won’t be the last. Relax.

That being said, If you had to ask, then you already know the answer. 

So does your girlfriend know about this your work friend?

If not, I think it best you tell her so she can be fully informed about the struggles you are facing. You should tell her because you have good intentions and did not intentionally set out to develop a crush on this girl.

Basically what it comes down to is that you’ve become complacent in your current relationship, perhaps due to lack of intimacy. After years in a relationship, this tends to happen. It is a lesser version of what happens when two people are married. Becoming close to this other girl give you the impression she is a potential soul mate in comparison to your current girlfriend. She is fresh and the slight intimacy you guys share is exciting and can be confused for being more real than what you have with your girlfriend.

Put more effort into your relationship and do not let a shiny 20% distract you from your solid 80%.

Efe

 

Hi Efe,

My ex has cheated on his current girlfriend with me twice. I am not in a relationship and it gets lonely sometimes. Sleeping with him makes me feel like shit. I don’t know his current girlfriend and I don’t want to hurt her with what we are doing. But I think I am still in love with my ex and would love to have him back.

We were having a deep conversation this past weekend and he said I was always serious and would let go and just have fun but I have always been so scared to really open up cos I don’t want to get hurt so I have learnt to just wall up. He has been dating this girl for about four months yet three weeks after they became official he called me saying we needed to talk and we ended up sleeping together and just this past weekend we hooked up again.

We talked a lot of emotional stuff for a while before anything happened and I really feel like if I can just let go emotionally and let my walls down, we can be great together.

Am I being stupid for thinking this?

He tells me he really likes her and she is like his best friend so why would he come back to me and have these serious talks about everything if there isn’t something still there between us? I know there is because I can feel it.

Lasi

 

Hello Lasi,

He is with her not you. Try to wrap your head around that.

You exchanged your position as girlfriend for that of side chick, that’s about it.

“Deep” conversations aren’t a viable justification to stick around and trash your self-esteem.

If you are ‘the one’, why hasn’t he dumped her yet?

Stop, end of story.

Efe

 

Hello Efe,

I’m currently in a happy, but fairly new relationship (6 months or so) which is starting to bring out insecurities in me and I really need some perspective.

Recently I’ve been having a lot of impulses to snoop on boyfriend. Like check his phone, not to read the messages, but to kind of get an idea of who he’s chatting with and if it kind of matches what I would expect or what he’s told me.

The thing is, I’ve only been in one relationship before and I felt very comfortable and at ease and felt like I could really trust my last boyfriend. He was also much more transparent and relaxed about his social media and phone. I would use his phone all the time and felt like I could have read his messages if I wanted to, therefore I never really felt the need to. But this new guy is much more private about these things – he’s also told me that his privacy is important to him and that his previous girlfriend was very insecure and that was the main reason why he broke up with her.

Now, on the one hand, I understand why that would make him a bit more cautious perhaps – I also wouldn’t want anyone to read my private messages, yet I feel like if he did for example, it’s not like he would find anything there, so it’s not really a big deal. So I kind of get it and I definitely don’t want to come across as insecure and “hysterical” as his ex supposedly was, but it’s kind of like trying NOT to think of the elephant in the room. I just can’t help thinking that surely there was a reason why she felt like she had to read the messages and she probably found something she didn’t like and brought it up or he wouldn’t even know she went through his phone, etc. I don’t want to breach his trust and start snooping around regularly, but I just don’t feel like I can trust him completely. I don’t think he’s cheating on me or anything, but I’m afraid that there could be some online flirting with exes or crossing of boundaries with female friends (he has several), and it just makes me so damn paranoid and uneasy that I don’t know and don’t feel like I trust him in this aspect..

I already expressed to him once that I didn’t like how he was so protective of his Facebook (like turning it off immediately if I was around) – and he said he hadn’t noticed he did this and that he would stop. He did for a little while and has left his Facebook open in front of me a couple times – but then there was nothing suspicious going on – but once his phone beeped (FB message) and he wasn’t around and I was curious (and paranoid already) and just wanted to check who it was, and it was an ex now I don’t think they chat very often and it didn’t look very suspicious or anything, but I was just curious how he’d act about it, because he hadn’t seen it yet. And indeed, when he went on Facebook after that, he was much more protective of it again and closed it quickly when I walked past his laptop.

These kinds of things make me super nervous. I don’t REALLY think he’s doing anything behind my back, but I feel like if he was, I’d never know the difference, because he’s so guarded about it. It’s just making me overly insecure and I don’t really want to bring it up, because I don’t want to be put into the same “insecure, hysterical” category as the ex. 

So, on a scale of 0 to 11 – how unreasonable am I being? How do I control my developing anxiety??

Chioma

 

Hello Chioma,

That elusive thing called “trust” is hard to define, and very hard to achieve. On one hand he has the right for privacy, but on the other hand it’s really ridiculous to ‘demand’ trust if he turns off Facebook every time you walk past him.

That’s why not everybody compatible. For example, if I had a girlfriend who would have turned off her chats when I’m there, I would have demanded her to let me see who she is chatting with. I would have probably say – “If you have to hide it, then I have to see it”. If she refuses, then how can I trust her? And if she said “You should trust me” I would have answer – “I can’t if you’re hiding things from me”.

I tell my wife “you have the right to read everything, but I’ll have a problem if you read my stuff ALL THE TIME. You must use that permission very sparingly”

Trust is earned by being open, when our partners give us a reason to question the trust we have in them, it is okay to ask serious questions. However, we must be able to make a distinction between our irrational anxieties and genuine cases of trust breach.

Efe

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Starting next week, MadamButterfly will be our guest columnist for all of November.

Expect something very different!

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