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Dear Caitlin No. 7: My BF is seeing his ex behind my back. Do I have the right to feel disrespected?

Dear Caitlin,

I have a boyfriend that thinks it’s ok to hang out with his ex behind my back and just recently he went to a fraternity event and ended up taking pictures and slow dancing with an old friend female of course while I’m at his house waiting for him to come home. Am I overthinking or overreacting to this or do I have the right to feel disrespected?????



Dear Disrespected,

Your boyfriend wants to hang out with his ex, and he’s willing to do it behind your back rather than respect your boundaries. He’s doing what makes him happy, regardless of how it makes you feel. You have good reason to feel disrespected. From what you’re describing, it doesn’t sound like an overreaction at all.

He should already know that doing things behind your back isn't ok, so there's no need to let him know how you feel. He either thought he'd get away with it, or he cared more about what he wanted than how it made you feel. Either way, you deserve better.

It's obviously up to you whether you stay with him or end your relationship. Just know that staying with him teaches him he can do things behind your back with no consequences. People tend to do the same things over and over again, so unless he gives you real reason to think he'll stop disrespecting you (and your relationship), it might be time to move on.

He’s showing you who he is…will you believe him? Or will you hope he’s the person you want him to be?

Love always,



Need advice on dating, relationships, self-worth, boundaries, break-ups, or mental health? Send your questions anonymously and Caitlin will answer in an upcoming Dear Caitlin column! Fill out the application below!


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