Dear V: Hook-up has boyfriend abroad. What to do?

Dear V,

I’m hooking up with a girl that I met at the beginning of the year. She’s great, except for one nagging detail: she has a boyfriend. He’s off in some foreign country somewhere, so to me, that’s not a boyfriend, yet she won’t break up with him. I’m fine being a man on the side, but I’d rather be first violin, not second choice. How do I tell her to dump the distant loser?

~Morally Ambiguous

Dear Morally Ambiguous,

I’m sorry, but yours is a really sad story. Besides the small detail that she is cheating on her boyfriend and you are facilitating that, what makes you think that either of you are in the position to be in a healthy relationship with each other? Not only are you two in a morally ambiguous situation, as you admit, but such ambiguity is bound to carry over into whatever relationship you two have.

Your girl (but not really your girl) clearly doesn’t have her head in the right place. Why, if she’s cheating on the guy she is supposedly committed to, would she not do the same to you? Furthermore, why are you “fine being the man on the side?” I know you don’t respect their relationship, but if you can’t respect someone else’s relationship, then how can you maintain one of your own? Besides, whether you respect someone else’s relationship or not is irrelevant. Clearly no one is asking you and clearly this girl doesn’t care what you have to say about it.

I know I sound really harsh right now and normally, people keep their mouths shut when they see other people doing something like this, but since you asked, I’m obliged to bring you back down to earth. After all, that’s all this really is – a big mistake. You need to get out of this and get over it. Admitting your fault is a good start and understanding why this is so wrong is the catalyst for improvement in your personal life.

Get out there and find yourself a real girlfriend. Not some girl who’s using you for some tawdry fun, but an available girl who is open to care about you and honor your relationship. That way you can be “first violin” without convincing her to choose you. It’s so much better when both parties actually want to be in the relationship, and I’m glad I have the chance to remind you of that.

Also, learn to show a little more respect. Show some respect for yourself, for the other guy, for this girl, and for relationships in general. Everyone should learn to live more respectfully. I honestly think respect is the most important quality a person can have because once you have it, everything else falls into place. Think about it.