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Friendship first muddies romance

Dear Carolyn: I’m madly in love with my boyfriend of over a year. We’ve been relatively drama-free, despite being long-distance the entire time. We were good friends before dating, so knew quite a bit about each other going into it.

But I’ve had issues in the past year assimilating some of the information I learned as a “friend” in my current role as the “girlfriend” – e.g., a good friend he referred to once as “the one who got away,” whom he’s currently visiting in another town. Or information about our dating histories that we might have otherwise sugarcoated in retelling a significant other, but shared gory details with since we were pals.

To be clear, it’s not jealousy I wrestle with, it’s more information overload. I think he sometimes forgets I know as much as I do because he tells me the whitewashed versions of stories I’ve already heard. Is it odd that I almost wish I knew less? – Blissful(ish) but not ignorant

No, but I don’t think less knowledge is what you need, especially since you cite your gory-details friendship as a source of your relationship’s strength. If anything, you need other, complementary stuff out in the open.

First, tell your boyfriend when he’s sugarcoating a truth you’ve already heard.

Next, ask for more information on the stuff that doesn’t sit right. For example, if his visiting “the one who got away” bugs you, then you need(ed) to tell him (preferably pre-trip) that you want to be the cool girlfriend but can’t shake the memory of his pining for her.

The next bit I think you’ll want to add: what it’s like for you to be together, together.

It’s not the mark of relationship doom, and presumably you’d be together if you could. It just means it’s going to take you a little longer than it does other couples for your stories together to displace the relationship ghost stories you’ve told each other.



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