I have two romantic interests in my life: one who adores me and is giving herself to me wholeheartedly, and one who seems to be a better match but lives 850 miles away and is just getting out of a relationship. What should I do?
posted by sockpuppetryarts to human relations (34 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am a woman, late 30s. I have been dating Lynn (not using real names, obviously) for 6 weeks. She is wonderful, the best girlfriend a girl could ask for. She's giving, sexy, smart, funny -- almost everything I've been looking for, except for a big thing: she has a small child and I'm not interested in being a parent. Her having a kid would ordinarily be a dealbreaker for me, but I set it aside to see what might happen with Lynn, because she is otherwise a really, really great match.
And behind the scenes, there's Ariel. We dated briefly 17 years ago, but I never forgot her. She and I reconnected on Facebook (as you do), but she had a girlfriend and so did I, so it was just as friends (with an undercurrent of curious flirting). I re-read her love letters to me from 17 years ago and some of my old poetry I wrote about her, and it reminded me of how much I had been convinced at the time that she was really right for me. After some lengthy correspondence, I told her in February of this year that if she and I were ever single and living in the same town, I was totally going to ask her out.
Then this summer Ariel and her girlfriend started having trouble, and she and I started talking more. Just me being a friendly ear at first. We started talking every day. I started having feelings for her again. She started having feelings for me. We started planning for her to come visit me. By the end of August, it was driving me crazy. She had this girlfriend and lived so far away, yet I couldn't stop thinking about her. It was limerence.
And then I met Lynn. And she was available, and into me, and it was great! I poured out my feelings to Ariel, and we agreed that 1) I was free to date whomever I wished; 2) she would still come visit me (as a friend); and 3) we would stop talking all the time. But after only a couple days, we started back again. I was still thinking about Ariel all the time, sometimes (to my own shame) in bed with Lynn. Ariel was still somone I thought of as my perfect unobtainium. I didn't think I had a shot with her, but I wanted one.
Over the past 6 weeks, Ariel and her girlfriend broke up, we finalized concrete plans for her to come visit, and we continued to bond. At this point, we've both declared our mutual interest in each other and desire to see if there's a chance for us. She's coming here next weekend, staying for 6 days.
I feel guilty about all the time I've been spending thinking about & talking to Ariel, but I haven't broken up with Lynn. She and I have vacation plans involving airfare at the end of the month (we leave 2 days after Ariel leaves). Also, until a couple days ago, I really wasn't sure Ariel would actually come, and would actually be interested in giving me a shot, and would consider moving up here to be with me. But now she says she's considering it. Depending on how the visit goes, and she's hoping it goes well. So am I. I've told Lynn that Ariel and I used to date a long time ago, but that now we're just friends. I really thought Ariel could probably visit me platonically until about a week ago, when it became apparent that that was unlikely. So I know some people are going to say I should probably just break up with Lynn right now, but that's why I'm not...
Also, to be completely honest, I'm still hedging my bets. If Ariel and I don't actually have any chemistry in person this time around, or we don't hit it off for some reason, I could still have a relationship with Lynn. And that wouldn't be a horrible outcome. As I said, Lynn is great, I love her, we have a great sex life, and I can totally see a future with her. I don't know if it's the future I want, but I bet I could make it work. If Ariel weren't in the picture, I would have doubts, but I think I would still be gung-ho to give it a shot.
There's more, but I will stop there. Have you been in a situation like mine? Do you have any advice for me? I still have a chance to not fuck things up with Lynn, by backing away from Ariel and keeping her visit platonic. I worry that I will have regrets either way, no matter what/whom I choose. What do you think, o wise Mefites?