Sophie asks :

I'm in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend of seventeen months, he had previously been in two other long distance relationships and when me and him started dating, his ex's didn't like it.. They waited until he went abroad and could hardly contact me until they got in touch with me and pretended to be my friends..
Although I wasn't convinced they still pursued to try to convince me to leave my boyfriend - when I refused they turned nasty. At one point they added me into a conversation on msn with both of them (and a boy named Matt who they had made up and was infact one of the girls on a separate laptop) and tore me apart, they made comments that I was too ugly for my boyfriend and that I was cheap and I 'got around a lot' (which is completely untrue) they started saying to me that I was so ugly they couldn't stand me and my boyfriend had even said that I was ugly and it wasn't just his opinion it was the opinion of most people..
My boyfriend completely denies this and I trust him being as he hasn't been in contact with either of the girls since before our relationship began. But when I went on holiday the two girls got into contact with my sister and started making up things about me and my sister believed them.. Ever since then our relationship hasn't been the same.. These girls ruined my confidence and now I just feel stuck. I think about them everyday and I just want to forget them completely, just have them gone. But still to this day it makes me cry and its been a year, I don't know what to do. I find myself searching them on facebook just to see their profile picture to compare it to mine.. How do I forget these nasty girls?

Yin replies

You poor thing, you’ve not only become completely paranoid, searching for their photos on facebook (which, by the way, is fairly common behaviour I understand – aren’t we all a bit hard on ourselves?), but you’ve lost your confidence and allowed these mean time-wasters to stop you from enjoying your relationship.

That’s how you have to look at them. Time-wasters. You’ve already acknowledged that they’re nasty and that you do trust your boyfriend, so probably, the only way you stand a chance of forgetting them is to be really, really strong and resist the urge to look them up on Facebook.

Remember a time when people conducted relationships without being able to check up on exes or photos or their rivals? It wasn’t always plain sailing but at least you couldn’t torture yourself. Be strict with yourself – if it comes to it, take yourself of Facebook and send out a message that you are above it all.

As for your sister, can you sit down with her and show her the messages you had been subjected to? Could your boyfriend explain how manipulative these girls were being?

You definitely need to put some distance in between your lives and these girls. They’re clearly insecure, and you have what they would like – they need to get over it.

Yang replies

If you sign up to social networking, you have to be prepared for the mess it has the potential to cause, for your life.
Fine if everyone plays fair but once someone uses it as a tool for bullying, which is what these girls have been doing, the more you delve in to it, the more you question who’s right and who’s losing their grip on reality.
Quit your cyber life, get real and focus on your relationship with your boyfriend, before he calls it quits because he’s lost you to some cyber-crisis.