Magazine

Love Letters

Time to send the breakup emoji?

Her boyfriend’s flirty social media behavior crosses lines.

In Season One of her new Love Letters podcast, Meredith Goldstein explores what happens when love ends in a breakup. Listen to the podcast now, and subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and RadioPublic.

Q. My boyfriend and I have been dating for two years. The problem: He sends kiss emojis, heart eyes, and hearts to women on social media. I honestly didn’t care until a series of things happened: 1) He cheated on me. 2) He tried to cheat on me again with a girl he was friends with on social media (because of my reaction to a guy’s Snapchat). 3) He’s very handsome so women try to talk to him, and I think he gives them the wrong impression. 4) His friends encourage him to flirt with other women.

When his flirtations became something more, I told him I now feel disrespected when he sends these messages. He brushed it off as “nothing” — that they’re just emojis — but to the girls who receive them, it does mean something. He has also gone behind my back, checking my phone and my messages. He’s been critical of my own messages to male friends, and says they only want to have sex with me.

I don’t know what else to do, but surely I can’t be wrong for feeling how I am feeling. What should I do to get him to understand where I am coming from? Our relationship is fine otherwise. — Heart Eyes

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A. I can’t speak to the “fine” part of your relationship because everything you described in this letter sounds like a deal-breaker. You don’t trust your boyfriend, and you feel disrespected — frequently. You’re trying to convince him that your feelings are valid, but . . . why should you have to?

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On top of all of that, he doesn’t trust you, either. He checks your phone and objects to your friendships. That says more about his intentions than anything else. He assumes the people in your life share his motives, but that’s not necessarily true at all.

Your four-point list about why you’ve lost trust can also be a guide to why you should break up with him. I understand it’s been two years and that you’d like to make this better, but relationships without trust are no good for anyone.

You and your boyfriend can’t break the cycle of checking up on each other and assuming the worst. Relationships are supposed to be easier than this. Give yourself permission to walk away from this one.

— Meredith

READERS RESPOND

“I think he gives them the wrong impression.” It appears he’s giving them the exact impression he is trying to give. KACEYJEAN

Everything about this — from his good looks to your social media fixations — points to this relationship being 100 percent based on appearances. You hardly even seem offended by his cheating . . . because neither of you cares about the other. At all. Just your Snap stories, and your #couplegoals Insta posts.

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ELLLEEM

You don’t trust him, rightly so. He’s a dog. End the relationship and find someone who isn’t a cheating liar. MMNNEE

I don’t care how pretty he is. He’s slimy.

LUCILLEVANPELT

Send your letter to Meredith here.

Meredith Goldstein’s new memoir, “Can’t Help Myself,” is now available.