Advice – My long distance girlfriend (sort of) cheated on me.

/u/SockLee on /r/relationship_advice writes…

“For some background, we’ve been together for about a year and a half, we’ve recently graduated college and got jobs in different cities. While I’m in, let’s say Chicago, she’s in let’s say New York, we have tried to make a long distance relationship work.

About 6 weeks ago, I made plans to buy a plane ticket to fly out and see her and we were planning on what to do during the weekend I was there. We regularly talked on the phone and communicated, etc. about our days and how we’re adjusting to new work environments. About a week before my flight, she texts me saying “I think we should break up, long distance is hard.” Unfortunately, she has done this type of thing before to either illicit a reaction out of me or to try and get me to communicate my feelings better, and I decided to call her on her bluff and not respond. The next day she calls and asks why I didn’t respond and I gave my reasons and added that that kind of is unacceptable and I would no longer play mind games. She was surprisingly agreeable about it and agreed it was childish and I thought it was the end of it.

When I finally arrived to her apartment on a Friday evening, it was very late (especially due to time zone difference), we chatted a little bit and went straight to bed. Things seemed fine. The next morning while she was in the shower, I saw a condom next to her bed that was not mine. When I looked under her bed, I saw an open condom wrapper and felt, as you can imagine, a serious whirlwind of emotions, especially considering we did nothing sexual the previous night. I immediately confronted her about it after she go out of the shower and I saw the guilt on her face as she explained this happened when we were “broken up.” After some yelling, I felt that we should break up. During the whole exchange she made it very clear she felt guilty and she felt terrible about her mistake. However, I felt that she was more concerned about the possibility of losing me than how she had truly hurt me to my core. She had even said “I would never do this again, I would never want to feel this way again” instead of “I would never hurt you like this again.”

Unfortunately, I was there for another day and didn’t have a hotel, so I said “we can spend the day together like we planned, but don’t get your hopes up about me changing my mind.”

After that, all things considered, we had a nice day together. Later that evening, she tells me she didn’t actually sleep with him. She then gave her side of the story (8-10 hours after I had found out for some reason, which is very fishy to me)

Her story: She was out with a group of work friends and their friends, and after having a little bit to drink she decided to go home. One of the male friends of friends offered to walk her home. She agreed, and this was the day she was waiting for a response from me about wanting to break up, so she spent the walk home venting to this guy about me and how long distance is hard. He walks her to her apartment building, to her elevator, to the entrance of her apartment, and finally, to the inside of her apartment. She offers him something to drink and he makes a move on her by kissing her. She says she kissed back and he tried pushing her to bedroom. She was pushing back, though not saying no yet. As soon as they entered the bedroom she says she started to say no. The man started taking off her pants and attempted to perform oral sex, and she pushed him away firmly and he left. Luckily, this man was only 99% total piece of shit. She says that she did not know when the condom was opened and that she has blocked him and not spoken to him since.

My immediate response was, in a terrified voice “Was this rape?” She responded no, but it could’ve very easily been. My second response was “Why wait so long to tell me this? I had been under the impression since I found out that you had actually had sex with him.” She responded that it would not have helped initially because I was angry, and that she still cheated, though to a smaller degree than I had expected, and I would not have been less angry. I still find this reasoning to be ridiculous, and because of the time it took to tell me, I can’t rule out the possibility that she spent the day making up her story, especially considering how guilty she looked and acted when initially confronted.

Before my flight back, I told her I would take a while to come to a final decision, because I need to let my emotions cool down a bit. I also told her we will most likely break up.

Ultimately I do believe her story; she has been honest every other time in our relationship, yet I am still leaning towards breaking up with her. After all, we’d be returning to a long distance relationship, but now with much greater trust issues. In some phone calls we’ve had since she has urged me to “move on” and work with her. I told her that I’ve forgiven her, but I don’t necessarily want to get back together with her. Am I right in thinking that breaking up is the best option, or is that kind of heartless considering her story?”

Photo by koko rahmadie on

Dear SockLee,

I really feel for you.

Long distance relationships are incredibly difficult. LDRs force us to explore and develop an entirely different set of skills, completely different from the ones we are already accustomed to using in close proximity relationships. It also requires an extensive overhaul of communication skills and puts each participant to a test on sanity on what you’d endure for the sake of love. The best kind of relationships thrive on fertile soils of embedded trust and warm sunshine of open communication. Long distance relationships require heavier doses of each due to lack of physical presence.

Let’s set the technicalities aside here. We are not here to discuss whether you two were broken up for that one night. We are also not here to discuss the actual events as she recalled it. And lastly, we are not here to discuss whether that act of indiscretion was consensual.

What we should discuss is your fundamental incompatibilities and mischemistry with your partner. Here are some points that I saw in your post that showed me how disconnected and ill-fitted your match seems to be:

  • She randomly broke up with you a week before you were to fly to her place. And she does this regularly to elicit a reaction from you. (Emotional manipulation)
  • Your response to such immature behavior was to ignore it and address it the day after. (Responsive immaturity)
  • She admitted it was a mistake and felt guilty about her encounter. But she did not timely or sensitively approach you after such event. (Failure to disclose sexual risk profile changes)
  • When she did admit to her indiscretion, she was more concerned about maintaining her relationship with you rather than coming from a compassionate angle to make sure you were okay. (Selfishness)
  • I am not understanding how she brought one of her male friend of friend home inebriated and naively disregard the sexual overtones for her convenience. (Emotional immaturity or lying)
  • I am also not understanding how he took a condom out of his wrapper, put it on, then took it all off while he was giving her oral. (Probable lying)
  • After you got back home, she wants you to move on with it right away. (Emotional immaturity)

The act of infidelity was a surefire sign of your obvious mischemistry. But the warning signs were always there. Why would you ever want to date someone who pulls you along and stands on technicality instead of compassionately approaching this problem with you without trying to “sweep the issue under the rug?” I also strongly doubt her level of honesty with you. She’s only been honest up to the next time you catch her in a lie. She is just not a good fit for who you are, and your jar of marbles have run out. You shouldn’t break up with her because she cheated. You should break up with her because she is just not a good fit for you.

Good luck.

Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.

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