Dear Jonny, Paranoid?
I’ve been with my boyfriend for three years. Most of it has been good. But lately he seems to have been going out more with his guy friends, and I’ve got a suspicion that he’s also been going to strip clubs and the like. Mind you, it’s just a feeling. But I’m pretty sure. Also I’ve noticed that he looks at other girls more frequently and sometimes seems flirty whereas he didn’t used to be that way at all. I’ve asked him if there’s anything wrong, and he insists that there isn’t. But I don’t know if I can believe that. My feelings tell me otherwise. Recently I’ve spent a few nights sitting in my car outside his apartment, and I hate to admit that I’ve been looking through his cell phone bills as well. I even considered hiring a private investigator to follow him around after he leaves his office, but that might seem excessive. What do you think? Paranoia?
Paranoid? Not at all. It sounds as if you’re the victim of a carefully orchestrated conspiracy. These preternatural “feelings” of yours indicate that your boyfriend is, without a doubt, out to get you. Not only do I suggest that you hire a team of seasoned detectives, I also insist that you tap his phone, bug his car, and set up an array of miniature video recording devices throughout his office and apartment. After all, you never know what sort of things he may be saying to his guy friends, especially if it “seems” that he’s been hanging out with them more. The surveillance system will record all of the ultra-suspicious “flirty” glances you mention, which you can then study for hours at a time; dissecting the meaning of each movement of your boyfriend’s eyes. If you have a laptop, you can do this while both watching his apartment building and reading through his cell phone bills (multi-tasking is good). But remember to steam open the envelopes, so he doesn’t know you’ve been snooping through the mail. This is a serious conspiracy, and blowing the lid off it just might get you killed.
P.S.: In all honesty, it sounds as if you’re letting your emotions cloud your better judgement. Based on what you’ve told me, there appears to be no real evidence that your boyfriend is being unfaithful. For a guy, looking at other women is as natural as donuts and beer. And getting together with the guys to talk over donuts, beer, sports and boobs, is also natural. So is flirting. But flirting isn’t fucking. That said, three years is sufficient time to learn how to effectively communicate with your significant other, so do the smart thing and sit down with him, then use a calm, cool, coherent tone to explain to him precisely what you think and feel, and why. If he’s a stand up guy, he’ll work with you to sort things out. And if he doesn’t, you can always bug his shoes.