Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Who do I choose?

I'm a freshman in college and I had been a wonderful relationship with my boyfriend the summer before I started college. We had been dating for six months, and had what I would consider a near perfect relationship. We never fought over anything, we could easily just hang out together and most importantly, we made each other happy.

However, right before I left for college (12 hours away by car) my boyfriend broke it to me that he didn't think he could handle the distance. He's still just a senior in high school (yes, he's younger) and I'm his second serious relationship. He said he couldn't be sure about making that kind of a commitment to me unless he was able to explore around a bit more.

So I went to college heartbroken, but I quickly started to work past it. My best friend at college, started to show interest in me, and we suddenly became curious about giving each other a shot. So, a few weeks into me being at college, we decided to try and start dating. We had been friends for quite some time before hand and things moved very quickly.

But after only being together for a few days, my ex wrote me to say that he needed me back. He had started dating another girl, yet when she kissed him for the first time, he said it didn't feel right and that was the proof he needed to come back to me.

I was torn over what to do. In the end, I chose to go back to my ex, thereby hurting my best friend. But, as best friends go, he did quickly forgive me and I thought everything would be okay. I started a long distance relationship with my boyfriend but after nearly a month, I felt like he was distancing himself from me. This made me nervous and it was horrible timing because at that same time, my best friend confessed to me that he still had intense feelings for me. He began to make moves on me, knowing very well that my relationship with my boyfriend was in some turmoil.

When I finally was able to talk with my boyfriend again, he expressed his fears about our long distance relationship. How he was afraid that it would be a cycle of us falling apart, and then building back up once we were reunited. He also had been under immense stress and had been frustrated that I wasn't there for him to lean on. He said he did find someone to lean on for support, and had then started to develop feelings for them, and this had scared him.

During my brief relationship with my best friend, I spent the night with him and did things with him that took months for me to do with my boyfriend. I had to tell my boyfriend during the time we were trying to get back together what had happened. He was hurt by what I had did, but in the end he decided he still wanted me back. However, it still seems to haunt him and because it was my best friend that I did it with, I'm still around that person all the time.

Because of my boyfriends doubts, its been making me question my own faith in us. I've started to look at my best friend again, as he tries to get closer with me again. It's harder to stay loyal to someone when you aren't sure if they are willing to give it their all too.

I'll be coming home finally in about a week. Finally, I'll be able to see my boyfriend again and hopefully we can get back on track, but I wonder if its really worth it. I wonder if maybe I should let him go now to spare us any further heartache down the road. I know my best friend would be an amazing boyfriend and it would be great since I would be around him whenever I'm in school but I still just can't walk away from the person I love.

I need advice on whether or not I should drag out my relationship with my boyfriend and hope he comes around and learns we can still work, or if I should reach out for my best friend while he's still willing to fight for me.

Torn Girlfriend

Dear Torn,

None of the above.

I'm sure you heard from a friend, sibling or cousin about how hard it is to keep high school relationships into college. If you don't grow apart, the distance will get you. Relating to one another from afar, especially when it isn't interspersed with physical activity, is difficult for anyone of any age. It's much harder for someone at your age because these are some of your first sexual experiences.

So let's look at your candidates. Boyfriend isn't "sure about making that kind of a commitment to me unless he was able to explore around a bit more." This means he doesn't know if he wants to be a relationship with you, despite the fact that he already is, unless he can try out a few other girls first. And Best Friend? "He began to make moves on me, knowing very well that my relationship with my boyfriend was in some turmoil."

If you had a friend in this situation, would you advise she stay with someone who wants a pass to sow his oats and still get all of her attention? Would you tell her to go out with the guy who doesn't respect boundaries of other people's relationships? Neither of these candidates are promising, Torn.

What I find most concerning is your final question. It indicates to me that you have problems being alone. Why else would you try to choose between two shitty suitors?

Don't lead your boyfriend on. Either you want to really commit to long distance relationship or not, sexual dry spells and all. As for your best friend, well, he might not make a bad boyfriend in the end. But before you start dating, I want you to seriously think about what he's fighting for. The only thing I can see him fighting for is the chance to get in your pants, and that only makes for a good one night stand.

Aunt Amy