Phoenix, AZ

"She texts someone else every night; I can't stay awake to see what they say," man on girlfriend

Amy Christie

*This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events recounted to me by a friend who witnessed them firsthand; used with permission

Finding the right partner to have a long-term relationship is about sharing goals, wanting similar things, and having a great time together.

But what if you get all those things and you suddenly realize you can't keep up with your partner's schedule and that they'd rather talk to someone else if you're too tired to be around?

Is that a reason to be concerned, or should you accept it to keep your relationship going? Is it ever ok to text someone other than your partner very late at night and leave them wondering what it's all about?

My friend Andrew, who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, has been dating his girlfriend Gina for one year and a half. During this time, they checked out different restaurants around Phoenix, played games together, watched movies, had nature walks, and planned day trips outside the city when they could afford it.

"We like being together a lot, but she just has so much energy. I still have to sleep at least seven hours, but she's ok with much less. And when I can't do the things she wants, she will find a friend to share in those activities, so that's worked out well for us," Andrew said.

He isn't bothered by Gina spending time with mutual friends since he knows all of them and doesn't think she would disrespect their relationship. Even so, he's constantly trying to get up earlier and be there for her once he's done working.

"She works part-time, but I have a full-time position, and sometimes I need to do overtime too. I know Gina wants to spend more time together, but we also need to have the money to afford the things she likes, so I can't work fewer hours or be less tired for now," Andrew said.

For a few months, this balance between seeing places together, having meals at nice restaurants, and Gina spending time with friends when he was busy has worked well for their relationship. Andrew was also excited about how well they got along, and he felt that maybe his girlfriend missed him when he had to work longer, so he didn't get upset because she met more friends in the meantime.

Once they'd been dating for a year, he asked Gina to move into his home in Phoenix. Gina was renting a place with four other friends at the time, and she agreed to live together and see if their relationship could become a permanent one.

"It was ok to see how our habits and goals matched. And I wanted to know if Andrew would expect me to do all housework and constantly cook for him since that wasn't something I was interested in," Gina said.

Andrew did his part for chores, cleaning, and laundry, and most days, they got takeouts. Gina promised to learn how to cook later if they got married, but for now, she wanted to focus on being happy and see if they loved each other enough to stay together for a long time.

"I think cooking is more about when you have kids. We can just order food; it doesn't matter so much. And there are many things that I'd rather spend time on than just try and prepare dishes at home," Gina said.

Andrew was ok with that, and he thought that once they lived in the same place, Gina would realize she didn't need to seek other friends all the time and would become more understanding when she saw he got tired. Gina's behavior did change after she moved into his home in Phoenix, but not in the way that he expected.

Their relationship improved for a while because they had more time together, but something was different. Gina agreed not to be away so much and didn't meet friends for other activities that often. Instead, she got on social media and started chatting to people there.

"It was my way to be home more with Andrew. But what was I to do when he went to sleep at 9 p.m.? I realize he needs his salary to pay for the things we want, and I work part-time too. But every evening, to be on my own was just too much. And talking to people online was better than leaving home for a few hours anyway. It was a compromise I made for him," Gina said.

Initially, she just spent 30 minutes daily sending messages to different people online in the evenings. However, after she got in touch with Daniel, things were not the same. They got friendly on social media, but they soon exchanged phone numbers too, and they moved on to texts.

Andrew was glad she wasn't on social media anymore, but he was concerned about his girlfriend's talks with Daniel.

"Gina told me they were just friends and that she had to talk to someone else too. She didn't want to only share things with me. And I did go to sleep early, so I didn't know how to convince her to stop it," Andrew said.

From one hour daily, Gina and Daniel got to at least five hours of texting, and the hours are not what they used to be. Gina is now texting Daniel all night long, and Andrew is getting worried because he can't be up that whole time to see what they're talking about. In the morning, when he's awake, the texts are removed, so there's no way to tell how those discussions go on.

"She texts someone else every night; I can't stay awake to see what they say. I know about Daniel because she told me, but why can't they talk during the day or earlier in the evening? I can't stay up every night, but I would like to know if those talks are only friendly. And every time I ask to see them, she's removed them, and Gina keeps asking me to trust her," Andrew said.

Gina feels offended because her boyfriend doesn't think it's fine to talk to Daniel at any hour. She told him she was fully committed to their relationship, but she simply wanted to talk some more.

"That's all there is to it. We talk, we say funny stuff, we share everyday things, and we support each other. But he's still just a friend. I want Andrew to respect me and to understand I can talk to someone without disrespecting our relationship," Gina said.

Unfortunately, Andrew is not pleased about her keeping those messages away from him. And these talks made him doubt whether he still wanted to propose to Gina. He's already bought the ring in Phoenix but somehow can't bring himself to ask the question knowing she will keep talking to Daniel at night and not show him any of their conversations.

What do you think about this situation? Is it fair for Gina to enjoy talking to Daniel so late at night and refuse to show her boyfriend any of their messages? Should Andrew be more flexible and realize Daniel is only a friend and focus on making Gina happy to take their relationship forward?

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX
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