Toronto Star

New boyfriend is stringing along another woman

- Ellie based in Toronto. Send your relationsh­ip questions via email:

Ellie Tesher is on vacation. The column below is an archived favourite, personally selected by Ellie, as appeared on March 22, 2016.

Q: I met this guy through a dating website. We’ve been talking and hanging out for four weeks.

I’ve had sex with him (multiple times), but we do go out on dates and have fun, so I genuinely feel it’s not all about the sex.

But I noticed this girl calling him sometimes when we hang out and they communicat­e a lot on social media.

Yet he added me on all these social media sites, so he isn’t keeping her a secret.

I told him that I definitely feel that he’s leading us both on.

He said that he did like her, but when he met me, he realized he didn’t like her as much as he thought.

He wants to see what comes out of getting to know me. And he doesn’t want to hurt this other girl by completely cutting her off.

I continue to hang out with him and go on dates because I really like him. He knows that he’ll have to stop talking to her if we decide to become official.

But it’s upsetting and hard to open up to him knowing he’s still stringing this girl along.

He spends all his free time with me, so I don’t know what he’s doing talking to her.

Sometimes when we’re apart and I see he’s still communicat­ing with her I want to just cut him off. Yet I feel a real connection with him when we’re together.

Maybe he’s confused and needs to figure it out and I’m willing to give him time because I want him to be sure that he wants me.

But I’ve never been in this situation before. We’re both in our early 20s. Two Girlfriend­s

A: Yes, he’s stringing her along.

Not wanting to hurt her is a weak excuse. Unless he’s clueless, he has to know that the longer he keeps up the same level of contact, the more she’ll think it’s more than friendship. And the more hurt she’ll be when he ends it.

If he ends it.

You’re both still young, so although he clearly likes your company and the sex, he may not be interested in becoming “official.”

Especially after only four weeks.

If you’re trying to rush this into a committed relationsh­ip for the long-term, this girl serves a nice purpose for him to stay “confused” as long as he can.

But if you just want to make sure you’re not sharing a “boyfriend-for-now,” and not sharing the possibilit­y of STD’s either, tell him this:

You do not compete for first string. If another girlfriend remains on the scene much longer, you’re gone.

Value that connection with your own self-worth more than a sometime-connection with him.

Q: My boyfriend and I are planning on going on a date this Friday. We had a date last Friday and we’ve been texting all week.

He wasn’t really romantic last Friday like he usually is, and he says he loves me but I don’t think he really loves me.

I think he’s cheating. Do you have any tips to help?

Suspicious Friday

A: Either your intuition is excellent and you need to ask him directly whether he’s cheating … or, you’re easily given to suspicions (perhaps you’ve been cheated on in the past), and have leapt to a wrong conclusion.

Talk to him instead of guessing. If his response sounds false, say so.

If you’re confident that he’s playing you, take a break until he can convince you that he’s worth getting back together.

Tip of the day

If he or she is stringing someone else along, you may be facing the same fate.

Ellie Tesher is an advice columnist for the Star and

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