He was engaged when we met


One night about four months later, we both told each other how into each other we were. The two of us opened up about crushing on each other and how it was so wrong because we were in relationships. Then our chat turned into how unhappy we were in our relationships. Within a month of that conversation, we both broke up with our significant others and almost immediately started dating.

Since then, things with Sam have been going really well. But my friends don’t like him because he was engaged; they say he can’t be trusted. They also say we moved too fast at the beginning and still are moving too fast. I agree that Sam and I started out in not the best circumstances, but I also believe you can’t help how you feel. But I’m stuck between what my best friends are saying and how I feel when I’m with him. Am I rushing into another relationship? Can I not trust him? What do I do?


A. You understand why your friends are concerned, so validate them. Let them know you get it.

“I feel icky about the way we started this relationship, too. Our mistake was that we didn’t have the courage to end our relationships sooner. I wish we’d done this with more maturity and respect, but I hope that lesson will guide me in the future. Thank you for caring about me, and I hope you can understand why, despite this bad start, I want to figure out if there’s something to this connection with Sam.”

I don’t know if a speech like that will make them love any of this, but it’ll let them know you’re listening.

It occurs to me that they might have liked your ex, by the way. They might need time to get over being upset on his behalf.

Time — more of it — is the only thing that will heal any of this. This is still so new and uncomfortable. In six months or a year, people might have different opinions, especially if you’re happy.

You might feel differently, too. Remember, you and Sam didn’t break up with your significant others because you were madly in love with each other. You ended relationships because you weren’t happy, and happened to develop these feelings at the same time.

He is not the love of your life right now, and it’s very possible this relationship is temporary. Or maybe he’ll be fantastic for you forever. Who knows? Be open to all possibilities — even ones that might bum you out. That’ll make you feel better about trusting your gut.



At the end of the day, this relationship is between the two of you. You don’t owe your friends Mere’s speech about how “icky” it started.


Sorry, I don’t think you need to validate your friends. I do think you need to be a little more honest with yourselves that you should have ended your relationships as soon as you realized you were attracted to each other and unhappy in your relationships.


If they are saying he can’t be trusted, ask them if it’s anything beyond him being engaged. Maybe he is hitting on them and they are trying to soften the blow.


It’s not your friends’ life. What they aren’t telling you, though, is that they are also appalled at YOU, as it takes two to tango. I would not waste time and energy trying to apologize to them. They’ll get over it or they won’t.


Send your own relationship and dating questions to [email protected] or fill out this form. Catch new episodes of Meredith Goldstein’s “Love Letters” podcast at loveletters.show or wherever you listen to podcasts. Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters.

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