Q. I have been with my boyfriend for 2 years and our relationship has been on and off. I never truly felt attracted to him, though he is a pretty nice guy. Recently my boyfriend introduced me to his friend Kevin and ever since I met him, I have been attracted to him. Kevin is very handsome, attractive, has a great personality and a good sense of humor. So far our relationship has been platonic, but both of us are attracted to each other though we haven’t openly talked about it.
I want to end my relationship with my boyfriend and start dating Kevin. However doing so would make things extremely difficult not only for all the three of us, but also our common group of friends. I fear being labeled as the cheater even though I have not had a physical relationship with Kevin. My boyfriend is also going to be hurt and disappointed when I tell him I want to break up.
I talked to my close friend and she said that I have already emotionally cheated on my boyfriend and that my relationship with Kevin is just an excuse to end the current relationship I have with my boyfriend. She told me straight that the right approach should be to work on my relationship with my boyfriend and address the problems we have been having than shifting my energy and interest towards Kevin.
Now I am confused. I am not sure I agree with my friend but her talk deeply upset me. I felt that she was accusing me of taking the easy route. I don’t think I did that. All I know at this point is that I am attracted to Kevin and I am falling for him and I find it very difficult to stay in a relationship with my current boyfriend.
What should I do?
A. Dear Confused,
Although your friend was probably a bit harsh, there is something to be said for understanding the dynamics of one relationship before entering into another.
It doesn’t sound like falling for Kevin was a premeditated move to ease out of your current relationship. Truthfully, that relationship sounds like it was doomed from the get-go. Although attraction isn’t enough to make a relationship work, it’s a pretty essential component. Maybe you could ask yourself why you entered into a relationship that lacked chemistry. When you answer that question you will have greater insight into what you need to make a relationship work.
Now you are feeling the chemistry, but is Kevin going to provide you with the intellectual, emotional and spiritual qualities that are important to you? I think the underlying question is,”How well do you know yourself?” Until you understand your own issues, needs and relationship dynamics, you will find it hard to choose the appropriate partner.
I would suggest taking a break from relationships until you have greater insight into yourself.
I appreciate that you don’t want to hurt your current boyfriend, but he deserves to be with someone who loves and appreciates him for who he is. So do you, but whether that person is Kevin is really hard to predict until you are surer about you.
As to your friends, I appreciate that changes in the status quo are disruptive, and people make judgments. But change comes with the territory of life, and your real friends will stick by you even if they don’t agree.