(Artwork: Tess Emily Rodriguez)
She’s made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to… Ask Erin is a weekly advice column, in which Erin answers your burning questions about anything at all.
I think I'm in love with a playboy, and I'm confused if he loves me or just he wants sex.
We met on Instagram. We chatted for four months before I confessed my feelings to him. I had really bad experiences in relationships. I told him everything about me because I trusted him. I just wanted someone who would love me as nobody else could.
We decided that we wouldn’t get into a serious relationship, and I was okay with it. But now we are in a long-distance relationship.
He came to meet me yesterday. We spent the whole day with each other. I was really happy, but then he was started acting secretive. I caught him on a call two times with a girl. He said it was nothing. At first, I thought they are just friends. But, I just felt he was lying.
I don't know if I can trust him or not.
When he was with me, I saw love in his eyes and touch. He posted our pictures on my social media accounts because he wants everyone in my contacts to know I'm in a relationship.
Now I'm not sure if he really loves me or I'm overreacting. Please help.
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I receive many questions like this, and as I sit down to answer, I always feel a pang of discomfort, because I know that I’m about to tell you what you don’t want to hear.
Now, I have no way of knowing if this guy is just there for sex. But that’s thing. You don’t either.
You don’t really know this person at all.
It’s part of what’s inherently problematic about meeting people via social media. On Instagram, like all social media platforms, with few exceptions we see but a sliver of who someone is. We see what they consciously or unconsciously want us to see. And the rest is obscured.
While I value the connections that can be made online, when they move beyond the platonic realm, things get sticky. I can’t back any sort of commitment to someone you’ve never met. And, it takes far more than a day to assess if that’s someone who is worth the commitment, worth your time, and worthy of your heart.
The second aspect that concerns me here is when you said: “ He posted our pictures on my social media accounts because he wants everyone in my contacts to know I'm in a relationship.”
That smacks of controlling behavior to me.
Announcing your relationship status on social media should be a joint venture. The way this is phrased he posted “evidence” on your social media, not his. It’s odd.
Moving forward, this is my advice: Take a step (or two back). Sure, if you want to keep chatting with him and see him in the future, to see if there is real potential here, do so. But, please, don’t commit your heart to this person.
He has not shown enough of himself; he has not earned the level of trust that accompanies a committed relationship.
And, in general, with anyone you meet online, go slowly. Take the time to uncover who they really are before you give so much of yourself away. You owe it to yourself.
The information within Ask Erin should in no way be interpreted as medical advice because I'm not a medical professional. But I am here to help — to share with you the wisdom I've gained after years of making mistakes. If you have a question for me about relationships, addiction, recovery, friendship, sex, consent, what I’m watching, Peridot, or anything at all, use the contact form below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, your anonymity is golden. xoxo