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Love Letters

He gave her best friend a virtual kiss

Q. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost nine months, and during that time he’s become close with my best friend of many years. He talks to her a lot, sometimes through a virtual role-playing game, but he gave me his Skype account password because he told me he has nothing to hide.

Recently, though, he was trying to calm my best friend down after she went through a breakup, and while he was talking to her, he “kissed” her in that virtual role-playing game. I saw this and felt betrayed and hurt, even though it didn’t happen in real life.

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Since then, I feel like I can’t trust him as much. It didn’t help that he’s made another new friend, someone he calls a “little sister,” and it’s clear he has feelings for her. I’ve seen him flirt — recently I watched him hug her shoulder with his hand drifting to her side (he told me that this happened because he relaxed, and his arms became limp).

He hasn’t actually done anything wrong, so I’m wondering if I am right to be upset. My feelings are jumbled. What should I do?

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Jumbled

A. Some people write into Love Letters even though they already know the answer to their questions. They want validation from all of us because they don’t trust their guts.

Sometimes their guts are screaming at them, and the messages are clear: “Break up!” “Stay together!” “Delete Tinder because it’s making you super annoyed and exhausted all of the time!” “It’s weird that your boyfriend is kissing other women in virtual role-playing games!” (You get the point.)

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Your gut is hollering at you, so I’m going to ask you to trust it. If this relationship is turning you into a person you don’t like, you can end it. Even if he isn’t doing anything wrong — and this is all about your issues with commitment and jealousy — you need time alone to figure it out. You can’t make sense of any of this until you can focus on yourself (as opposed to his Skype account).

You’re not as jumbled as you think. All you have to do is walk away.

Meredith

READERS RESPOND:

I don’t even know what this means.

ASH

Ash: Google The Sims. People spend HOURS on-line, engaging in “virtual” worlds

... GDCATCH

Ash, you are not alone, girlfriend!!!

COSMOGIRL

“... he gave me his Skype account password because he told me he has nothing to hide.” This is a red flag for the relationship. If it’s to the point that you’re demanding and he’s obliging giving you passwords, you may not have a solid enough foundation to continue.

NOMORESCREENNAMES

I am not generally jealous, so being upset about a virtual kiss in a game seems pretty ridiculous to me, however, do you get the sense that your boyfriend and your friend are spending a lot of time interacting in the game and in real life, to the point where you are worried that they are attracted to each other? Maybe that’s really what’s eating at you. Of course, the mature thing to do would be to have a talk with both of them (separately). I agree with the previous posters that you and your boyfriend have to have a talk about what each of you think is inappropriate when you are in a relationship.

LEGALLYLIZ

I don’t think the virtual kiss would be so bad if the hug and the arm drop didn’t follow. Virtual is virtual. Touching is touching. You are seeing a pattern of him being overly friendly with other women. This is either something you can deal with or you can’t. Frankly, I wouldn’t waste much time on him; who wants to be with someone you don’t trust. Much better off solo!

HIKERSKIERGIRL

At MIT there are posters that say: “Are YOU shaping technology, or is technology shaping YOU?” In the world at large, it’s pretty apparent who’s being shaped by what.

STAUGUSTINE

Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters. Send letters to meredith.goldstein@globe.com.
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