Should I stay with a girl with another boyfriend?

alixone asks: I am a medical student. I met this girl, my junior in school, two years ago, when she was in a relationship with this guy, a biology student. She told me she couldn’t go out with me, but we could be friends. Then, after a while, we started becoming intimate, but she was still dating her boyfriend – and was willing to marry him. We’ve never had full “sex” but everything but. She used to have some arguments with her boyfriend about him cheating on her, but she wasn’t giving up on him. I was still hanging with her hoping that things might work out in the future, because I really loved her and was intending to spend my life with her as my wife. Now, her boyfriend has finally graduated and she broke up with him. I was thinking it’s time for her to give me a chance, but she has gone on to start dating another guy who is a part-time accountant in a hotel, who was her friend three years before she knew me. Things might get more serious this time: they are from the same local government and village, and he wants to marry her. Now she has travelled to visit him to spend time with him for a week. I will become a doctor this year. She runs some errands for me, such as going to the market and cooking. When she sees me with another girl she gets jealous. I really love her. I have never loved a girl like this before. Right now I am confused and I need your advice please. I can hardly think about any other girl; she is always coming into my thoughts. Do you think I can keep her?

Hi alixone –


I am not a fortune teller, and have absolutely no way of looking into the future.  So I can’t tell you what will happen, or even what could.  But I think I have a pretty good sense of what’s going on right now.

This girl had a boyfriend, but was fooling around with you – who were in love with her.  Then she broke up with her boyfriend, but immediately took on another guy – while still keeping the same relationship she had been having with you.  And from everything you’re saying, she sounds pretty content with the way things are.

So it sounds to me like she’s someone who really likes boys, and treats them well, but is avoiding a full commitment.  As long as she has two guys, she never has to feel like a boy owns or controls her, or that she has to make a decision that will define the rest of her life.

There’s nothing wrong with this, in general.  It’s totally fine for a young person to want her freedom, and to enjoy the fun of romance at the same time.  The only thing wrong is that she seems to have an amazing ability to convince all the boys in her life that she is The One for them.  I’ll assume her former boyfriend was interested in marrying her – but she broke up with him the second he stopped being nearby.  And now you and this other boy both want to marry her, and are thinking it’s going to work.

Well, someday, maybe it will, for one of you.  But for right now, it’s very clear (at least to you – who might be the only guy of the three who’s known the truth) that it’s not.

You asked me “Do you think I can keep her?”  I’m going to ask you a much harsher question – do you really think you have her now?  Maybe you can keep the relationship you have, where you’re the “other man,” but do you really want to?

Again, alixone, you are all young.  And no one in this situation is married, and no one has kids, and so it’s a great time to try things and make mistakes and live excitingly.

(Now if there were something about you that was so different from those other guys that she could have you both, that’d be another story.  For example, my human Handsome loves me like crazy, and is fully committed to me, but also has girlfriends.  They’re not dogs, and I’m not a woman, and so we’re not really competing – though some of those girlfriends sometimes have a little trouble understanding that!!!)


All I want is for you to realize that this woman is many things to you, and you’re many things to her, but she’s not “yours.”  And she could have been if she wanted to be.  And of course, she could also have left you if she wanted to (she showed, with her other boyfriend, that she has the ability).

She’s doing exactly what she wants.  And you are supporting that.  The giant question for you is whether or not you want to keep doing so.

You could keep things as they are; you could tell her you insist on being her only boyfriend or nothing; or you could decide that you’d rather be with a woman who wants a fully-committed relationship, and leave her.

But in all these, it’s an issue of you making the decision.  Because right now, she has no reason to – she’s having far too great a time.


Be strong, and be happy,



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