The grass might be greener, but I don't want it to be!
August 14, 2013 10:22 AM Subscribe
I don't especially want to leave my boyfriend, but how do I stop feeling like I'm going to regret it for the rest of my life if I don't?
posted by anonymous to human relations (36 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I've been with my current SO just shy of 3 years, living together for 1. I'd say we're about 75% compatible. On the whole, we have a content, loving relationship. We enjoy just hanging out together, eating out, traveling, and being silly with one another. We match up on most of the Big Things (religion, children, finances, juggling our careers), and he loves me a great deal. The things we don't agree on are that I'm a little further left-wing than he is, he's an introvert who's has a hard time breaking out of his own mind sometimes, and I'm a hardcore intersectional feminist, while he's got a ton of white cis male privilege (but he has been open-minded about the last point and is slowly becoming more aware).
About a year ago I met someone else through a research project I was doing in where I interviewed people, so we talked for about 15-20 minutes about ourselves. Afterwards, he asked me out for coffee, but I said I was with someone and he was affable about it. I later told my SO, who was a little jealous, but I felt like if I could tell him about it, it wasn't a big deal. But I was rattled, because I was attracted to this guy the minute I saw him, and during the course of our conversation, I found out we had a lot in common. In fact, probably more than my current SO and I do. I felt nauseous and horrible about it, because I've never been concretely attracted to someone outside a relationship I've been in, ever. I've always been fiercely loyal to my partners, and couldn't possibly understand why other people couldn't just be happy with the person they were with. We've talked professionally a couple of times since that interview and are friends on facebook, but I've never allowed myself to be in a situation where I might cheat.
I try to tell myself that I'm just idealizing this guy, and I've tried so hard to find even one little thing that I dislike about him, so that I can let it go and fully commit myself to my real, actual boyfriend, who I have gone through all the crappy times with, who's seen me at my worst and still loves me (and vice versa). I try to reason that there's no guarantee this guy doesn't have a massive dealbreaker that I'm not seeing, that he could be abusive, or hate children, or be lousy in bed. I beat myself up for being such a horrible person as to even start to compare people to one another, since what's really important is the unique relationship you have with any given person. But I feel exactly like Homer in that episode of The Simpsons where he meets Mindy, and the more he tries to find something wrong with her out of loyalty to Marge, the more he finds out how compatible they actually are.
I know there's no best answer, but has anyone here been in a similar situation and found your way out? I've read through lots of situations that seem similar on the surface, but underneath the person usually is already having some problems with the current SO or met their partner when they were very young and inexperienced (I'm 26 and my boyfriend is 31).