Regardless of his loyalty claims, I always remained skeptical. I read a lot about human nature and infidelity and came across something called “monogamish”. It means being in a relationship but understanding that your partner might stray sometimes without it being the end of the world. It was perfect! For me, it was the way of getting that pressure off me. I could understand how he could fuck up one night and I thought I deserved the same leeway. I proposed it to him at various points, but he would always dismiss it, and kept saying he would never cheat on me, regardless of how drunk he got.
Recently, I decided to study abroad and, as the depature date approached, we discussed what to do with our relationship. He decided he did not want to break up or have a monogamish relationship (my preference), so he is considering coming to live abroad with me or having a normal long-distance, non-cheating relationship.
There is a problem, however: I already cheated.
Recently, I met a guy (who was really too hot for my taste) who asked me out. I told him I had a boyfriend back home, and he said he did not care because he enjoyed talking to me and he could be my friend. I told myself I needed a friend and so I went out with him and we had an amazing time; we talked over wine and laughed and everything was fine. Then he said there were some friends back in his house and asked me if I wanted to meet them. I said yes, but, when we got there, everyone was asleep. What a great time to leave immediately with a clean conscience, no? Well, by that time I was drunk, I soon got even drunker, and I then had unprotected sex with this guy. And now I regret having sex with this person because it might hurt my boyfriend.
The question now is whether to come clean. I am sometimes unsure of wanting to be with him forever, but I think that is a normal feeling in any relationship. And sometimes I think this is just a phase and we can be happy again in the future if we can endure this separation first. But even if we are not together anymore, I don’t want to destroy the image he has of me. Plus, his parents love me, his brother loves me, and I absolutely love them. They are all family to me, as he is.
However, he might decide to come be with me, and shouldn’t I give him the chance to decide based on the truth?I was thinking that if/when he tells me he wants to come, I should tell what happened and be prepared to lose my family in the process, but that otherwise I should remain silent.
I have no idea is this is a good plan or not. Thoughts? — Absolutely Lost Person
My thoughts are you should quit being so damn selfish and break up with the poor guy already. The feeling you have of not being sure you want to stay with him isn’t something that every person in every relationship feels. It’s what people who are in relationships they don’t really want to be in feel. You don’t want to be in this relationship, but you’re afraid of the unknown — afraid down the line you’ll regret losing this person, afraid you’ll learn there isn’t anyone better for you, afraid of making a mistake. So rather than be strong and independent and deal with the fear head-on, you’re cowering behind your fear and making your boyfriend pay the price. You’re cheating on him and letting him continue believing you want him to move abroad with you.
You don’t want your boyfriend to move abroad. You just want him to wait in the wings while you sow your oats, play the field, and decide whether you want him in your life as a partner or maybe just a friend. And that’s super unfair and incredibly selfish and unkind.
You’re young, I get it. This is probably your first serious relationship and the thought of breaking up and losing what has been a formative part of your evolving identity is scary. The thought of sacrificing your relationship with your boyfriend’s family is sad. The thought of his having less than loving, adoring thoughts and memories of you makes you feel bad. Well, yeah, that’s the way breakups often go. They suck. But that doesn’t mean you should continue avoiding one. Everything in your letter — the lack of trust in your relationship, your desire to be with other people, your disagreement about what kind of relationship you both want, the excuses to behave in ways you know are wrong — indicates that it’s time to move on. So, cut the cord and do it. There’s no reason to even bring up the cheating. Simply say: “I love you, but I’ve been feeling conflicted for a while and the recent distance between us has given me the clarity I need to see that this relationship isn’t working anymore. I can’t let you come here thinking that we’re on the same page when we aren’t. I need my independence, and a committed, monogamous relationship is in direct conflict with the self-exploration I’m craving. If loving you were enough, I wouldn’t need anything else, but it’s not, and I’m very sorry for any pain that that might cause you. I hope you understand.”
And, finally: For the love of God, get yourself tested and never again have unprotected sex with some rando you just met, no matter how hot you think he is. It’s almost 20-freaking-16 and with the wealth of knowledge and plethora of contraceptions available, there’s no excuse for putting yourself (and your partners) at risk for STDs and unwanted pregnancies.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.