"Help! I saw my boyfriend's Internet history and now I'm having major trust issues."
Having been an avid reader of HelloGiggles for awhile, I felt it was a good time to write and get some grown-woman advice. Here goes:
My boyfriend and I have been a couple for 18 months and are about to move in together, but I’m feeling a certain amount of doubt and worry about our impending co-habitation. You see, a few months ago I happened to discover that there is an activity log on Facebook. It tracks your mundane searches for weird work colleagues and distant relatives, etc. Imagine my horror to find (yes OK, my bad, I snooped, and yes, curiosity killed that cat) that my boyfriend had been searching the same 5 girls repeatedly. Over and over and over. One of these girls is a good friend of mine and one is his ex. Another was someone he had a one-night stand with before he met me and one was someone he’d had a huge thing for but never acted on. The other one is some random girls he seemed to (obviously) feel the need to check on.
I’m pretty open, so I quizzed him about it and admitted I had looked. He said there was nothing malicious in it—just wanted to see what these girls had been up to and assured me he was not interested in them sexually or romantically.
My gut says otherwise. My guts says leave him, my gut says, errr…why else do you REPEATEDLY search for the same people over and over??
I know I was wrong for snooping, lesson learned. But really. I am so conflicted and I don’t know what to think; fluttering from feeling so insecure I can’t bear the thought of him leaving to wanting to tear his eyes out.
Help me dear Hello Giggles, you are my only hope.
XOXO with love from, Ms. Totally Confused in London
Dear Totally Confused,
I’m shaking my fist at the gods (demons?) of social media who apparently get their kicks tempting us humans in so many unhealthy ways and causing all sorts of romantic complications and anxiety. Back in the olden days (umm, the 1990s), you kept your secret crushes and weirdo obsessions locked safely in your brain; now, they are displayed for anyone with the technical prowess of a 4-year-old and the urge to snoop in our “histories” and “activity logs.” We are tempted to look and we are tempted to pry into what others are looking at. It takes a whole lot of self control not to go down the rabbit hole—which apparently, both you and your bf have done.
I have learned, after a few not-so-proud moments of digging myself, to simply not go there—because what you end up finding, as you now unfortunately know, hurts—real bad. Once you’ve seen it, it’s nearly impossible to un-burn the information from your memory bank. Furthermore, because you are already feeling a little seedy and shameful during the act of spying, its easy to reach the worst possible and most self-harming conclusions.
Would it wig me out if I discovered my boyfriend was searching those other girls—a lot? Yep. But is it really so different from me, a happily married lady, following Tony Goldwyn on Twitter? Peel away the layers of icky emotion for a second. Has he done anything in your real world to make you feel like you can’t trust him or that he isn’t a good partner? That’s what I suggest you honestly ask yourself and focus on.
Since you aren’t over this and it’s causing you to doubt moving in to together—which is a big deal and major life changer—you need to talk it out some more until you feel genuinely safe. There’s nothing abnormal about saying that you feel really, really uncomfortable about him following these girls (your bestie?? His unrequited crush??) so closely. OK, he’s already maintained, “no bigs,” but I’m hoping he can dig a little deeper and find a way to make you feel truly cherished and secure again. Sure, he’d probably rather not go there again, but if he loves you he will.
Have an issue that could use a mom’s-eye-view? Our advice column features a real live mother of three who is ready to discuss any of your burning questions judgment—and baggage—free. Email AskAMom@hellogiggles.com with the subject line “Dear Mom.” Please include your first name or nickname and where you are from. Questions may be edited for clarity and length.