Dear Annie: I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for about two years. He’s actually my ex-husband from 25 years ago, and we reunited about 16 months ago. We do not live together, but he’s made it clear that he wants to move in that direction and even hints that we should remarry. However, last March, we had a serious falling out and were broken up for about three weeks. During our break, he met a woman, “Rachel,” on a dating app, and they went to lunch a few times. After my boyfriend and I reunited, he continued to meet with Rachel on coffee dates and walks along the beach near her home. I expressed to him that I did not like the situation because they met on a dating app, even though he claims there is no sexual or romantic interest between them. He says he just enjoys her company, that she’s a really “cool person” and that they both have grown kids and things in common.
We’ve now had a few arguments about the subject, and it’s causing tension. He says I “can’t have it both ways” because I have a couple of male friends, too, and he has no problem with my relationships with them. But my male friends have been in my life for decades, and there has never been anything sexual or romantic with either of these men. Also, he talks with Rachel every week, and I only ever see my male friends about once or twice a year. This just doesn’t feel good, and I don’t know how to handle it. I’m afraid to even broach the subject again because he gets very upset. I love reading your column and could really use some advice. I’m not an insecure person by nature, but I feel really uncomfortable with this. Am I just being petty and possessive? — Am I Petty
Dear AIP: It’s entirely reasonable for you to feel uncomfortable with your boyfriend taking walks on the beach with a woman he met on a dating app. It’s noteworthy that he was on dating apps at all, when you were only broken up for three weeks. And it’s concerning that he’s brushed away your feelings about the matter so flippantly.
You and your ex have a lot of history together, which can be a liability when it comes to clearly assessing a situation. I’d encourage you to take a step back from this relationship and evaluate how you’re feeling, in your gut and in your heart.
Dear Annie: About a year and a half ago, I changed jobs and got new insurance and had to find a new doctor. The doctor I found ended up being young, handsome and charming, and I’ve slowly developed a pretty massive crush on him. I have a condition that requires in-person office visits every three months, so I see him fairly often. I have another appointment coming up, and I’ve found myself already planning my outfit and hairstyle. He’s married, and besides, I’d never make a pass at someone at their place of work. But I can’t help fantasizing. Is this normal? Should I stop seeing him? — Hot for Doctor
Dear HFD: Though it might make you more diligent about keeping your appointments, there’s a downside to having a doctor whose stethoscope sets your heart aflutter. Namely, you’re less likely to be transparent with someone to whom you’d like to be attractive. Think about it: If a potentially embarrassing health issue cropped up, would you really disclose all the gritty details to Dr. McDreamy? If the answer is no, I suggest looking for a new doctor, one with whom you can be totally honest.
“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book is available as a paperback and e-book. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.