Do I have a classic case of "More-ism?"
October 8, 2007 4:49 PM   Subscribe

I have a girlfriend, and we've been seeing each other for about 6 months now. The other day, I ran into an old flame I haven't seen, nor had the opportunity to significantly persue something with her (i.e. no sex, foreplay only in the past) because we stopped communication at some point and just lost touch. I'm feeling torn for some reason; I mean, my g/f now is hot, loves me to death, and extremely good to me treatment-wise. Am I just experiencing a classic case of "More-ism?"

Now, this other girl and I (I'll call her Girl "B") never had sex, in fact, we hit it off like fireworks, but eventually lost touch and it just ended. I ran into her the other day, while feeling a little disconnected from the relationship with my current girlfriend the previous couple weeks. The butterflies just ignited in my stomach as I saw her walk into a bookstore, looking fine as hell. I even left because I had to get back to work, and, because I have a cool job like that, I ended up HAVING to leave and follow my gut. I hoped she was still at the bookstore as I drove into the parking lot, just high on adrenaline and excitement. I found her, and approached her to a very warm reception. We exchanged numbers, and I felt really good; excited. If my g/f found out I did this it could have trashed the relationship. What's wrong with me?
posted by gmodelo to Human Relations (27 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

What, you want us to tell you who to like? Let your heart, and your mind, decide. Based on what you have provided anyone who purports to have an answer is just guessing. As for what is wrong with you, you are human, sucks, I know.
posted by caddis at 4:52 PM on October 8, 2007

Best answer: There is absolutely nothing wrong with you.

Call it classical conditioning or what have you, but you have associated certain strong emotions with her. Plus, she is a living reminder of a time in your life that is now in your past.

To me, it is kind of like how a certain smell, song, or sight can evoke powerful feelings (both good and bad), because they remind you of another time.

Just see it for what it is, and don't use it to blow something that is new and special today.

Again, there is nothing wrong with what you are feeling.
posted by 4ster at 4:56 PM on October 8, 2007

What's wrong with you? Ummm... you're human.
posted by k8t at 4:56 PM on October 8, 2007

I know we all use favorites for a different reasons but the fact that you've favorited 8 comments in the "I've cheated on my girlfriend, should I tell her" thread is sort of suspicious.

You sound kind of young and if that's the case, I'd say that you're not ready for a steady girlfriend and that's totally normal. Just 'cause your current gf is hot and loves you to death (do you love her??), doesn't mean you should be with her. You sound like you need explore a little more. Go to it.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 4:56 PM on October 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

But I should clarify, when I say "go to it" that you should set your current hot gf free, first. You're not really into her, anyway.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 4:58 PM on October 8, 2007

Best answer: I ran into her the other day, while feeling a little disconnected from the relationship with my current girlfriend the previous couple weeks.

I think the 'while feeling a little disconnected' bit is key - what do you mean by this? Have you been having full-on blow out rows, or do you just mean that communication and quality time have been at something of a premium lately?

This might be a wake-up call that you need to key back into your current relationship - take the effort and optimism that sent you driving back to the bookstore and channel it into showing your g/f how much she means to you. The flipside, of course, is that you don't have to be with her if you're not finding it fulfilling. It's not immoral to finish with your current g/f and attempt a pursuit of Girl B (as long as you do so in that order) - but if your current g/f really is hot, loves you to death, and treats you extremely well, you might want to consider if those are things you're prepared to throw away.

Commitment-tests happen in all relationships, and they're important gauges of how you feel about someone and how much you're prepared to give to the partnership - without them, a so-so coupling can bumble along for years, neither partner realising that they've settled for the path of least resistance, and that life can offer so much more. Good luck!
posted by RokkitNite at 4:59 PM on October 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

What's wrong with me?

The most important question here is whether your ex knows you have a current girlfriend. The answer to that probably tells you where your intentions lie. The other important question is WHY you and the ex, who clicked so well and were so hot, just lost communication. You sound horny as hell (nothing wrong with that) and tired of the current flame and want to go back to that sexy person for some excitement.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:14 PM on October 8, 2007

If you go after her, break up with your girlfriend first. To desire others is human. It's acting on that desire without laying everything in front of your girlfriend (or breaking up with her) that will make you scum.
posted by schroedinger at 5:17 PM on October 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

You know why people (people who are not me, I find this phase exhausting) love the first flush of a relationship?

Because the girl/boy/donkey looks at you like you hung the moon. Having that kind of appreciation poured out over you feels fabulous.

You're going through a phase in your relationship where you feel disconnected. You don't feel appreciated. She doesn't look at you like you're her hero for passing her the salt.

And you run into this other girl, one who didn't just get cranky with you for leaving your socks on the kitchen counter, one who hasn't even had sex with you, and therefore still has that sense of mysterious otherness, and this girl makes you feel that fabulous way.

I don't think that cheating (or the desire to cheat, at least) has much to do with the people involved, and anything being wrong or right with them. It has to do with the fact that people love that feeling of being adored, and the longer people stay in relationships, the more you have to be conscious about your choice to continue to adore your partner. It's very possible. It just takes the kind of effort it doesn't take to run into someone at the mall and flirt and bask in her attention.

Personally, I think it's absolutely possible to get that exact same feeling from your girlfriend. It just requires you to look for things to adore, rather than (and this is what the majority of people in long-term relationships switch to) looking for things to dislike.

/Pollyanna mode
posted by thehmsbeagle at 5:44 PM on October 8, 2007 [17 favorites]

Best answer: What's wrong with me?

Nothing. totally normal. These feelings happen all the time. Its how you handle them that is the key. As long as you don't see this as anything but normal, you can be assured that things will work out in the end.

Expect that you will continue, throughout your life, to be tempted by others. Once you know its normal, and that your partners also face such dilemmas, you will see your way through to the right action most times without a hitch.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:41 PM on October 8, 2007

We always want what we don't have.
posted by dg at 9:23 PM on October 8, 2007

What's wrong with me?

You asked a question about whether cheating on your girlfriend was ok on a hugely popular website and you didn't even bother to do it anonymously! If you can't guarantee that your girlfriend will never read this site and figure out your user name, you are screwed.
posted by afu at 5:34 AM on October 9, 2007

Everybody here is right: your feelings are normal and, probably, the idea that you're suffering from "More-ism" is, from your description, true. You do want more.

But a lot of times, the mystery is a lot better than the realit. What's to say that you won't hook up with this ex, start a relationship with her, and then get to feeling the same way in a another few months?

New / exciting / dangerous / illicit (we could get caught! we need a code word!) are, well, exciting. The question is a) would it be so fun if you were single right now? and b) are you a douchebag? I don't know if we, random folk on the internet, can help you much, but I might try to find ways to make my current relationship more exciting and new. Do new things, go new places. Heck, meet her in a bar for a fake first date and see if you can seduce her again.
posted by zpousman at 7:18 AM on October 9, 2007

Response by poster: I have no qualms about the morality part; it's neither right nor wrong to have reactions to outside stimuli that push us in one way or the other, and laying it out on the line before I'd do something like cheat on her behind her back would not be something I'd be willing to do. Hence the frustrations which prompted this question. These responses are good, and they're all appreciated, even those with a little less tact. There are further complicating factors to this relationship's future though, and which I think likely spurred on the pursuit of another. She recently underwent a seriuos surgery, which left her somewhat incapacitated and I think less able to be that "someone" in my life who I am challenged by to be my best. I think I was missing the chase a little, but also had a smashed-like attraction to Girl B. I felt fulfilled by pursuing her; it seemed to fill the void there. But she's getting better, and is coming back to being "the girlfriend I fell in love with." This, however, is discouraging, as her prognosis may or may not be so good. What if I have children with this woman, and she has complications and dies from this? Her doctor says she should be fine, and I spoke with him just yesterday, in fact.
posted by gmodelo at 12:47 PM on October 9, 2007


Now I regret giving you advice at all.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 1:57 PM on October 9, 2007

Um, let me just say this. When I was going through my divorce I ran into a hot ex that I never slept with, either. I thought, wow, this is a sign. Slept with him. It was horrible. Like, talk about the WORST let down. And we made out and it was awesome before that, and after we did it, he unloaded a TON of emotional baggage on me. I haven't seen him again and totally regret doing it. Not only that, but I wasn't even seeing anyone at the time. It actually pissed me off the next day.

Remember, timing is everything in life. You can't bank sleep, or apparently, getting laid.

Disclaimer: I'm a woman and you sound like a cad, but at least your hand does the job right every time.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 2:04 PM on October 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

Ugh. Yeah, you should definitely end the relationship with your poor "incapacitated" girlfriend. You do NOT sound capable of maintaining an adult relationship. Run, be free, be stupid while you can.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 2:42 PM on October 9, 2007

"My girlfriend just went through an incapacitating surgery and it's inconveniencing me. I'm also worried this surgery would render her womb unable to bear my children, or at least render her a poor mother for my offspring. Should I cheat on her with this hot chick?"

You, sir, are a dick. Being attracted to other women is normal. The level of selfishness you have displayed in your follow-up is not. Dump your girlfriend for her sake.
posted by schroedinger at 3:07 PM on October 9, 2007

Response by poster: You know, I'm apt to agree with you schroedinger. Unfortunately for you though, you wouldn't be able to empathize with my situation, because you'll never know what it's like to be straight and in a situation where reproduction hits home on a personal level. If you're gonna talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk...thanks for the opinion.
posted by gmodelo at 3:22 PM on October 9, 2007

"Unfortunately for you though, you wouldn't be able to empathize with my situation, because you'll never know what it's like to be straight and in a situation where reproduction hits home on a personal level. If you're gonna talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk...thanks for the opinion."

Hi. I'm a straight guy who would like children. I've dealt with relationships that involved serious reproductive issues. You're being a selfish dick.

(For the record, what you attempted with schroedinger was an ad hominem fallacy, where you dismiss reasoning based on the person who gave it to you).
posted by klangklangston at 4:11 PM on October 9, 2007

I have no qualms about the morality part; it's neither right nor wrong to have reactions to outside stimuli that push us in one way or the other

You have no qualms about morality of actions within the context of somewhat serious relationship, yet you asked your question in terms of "what's wrong with me?" and tagged it with infidelity and ethics? You only asked the question out of "frustration"?

Either you're being disingenuous now that people have help you feel OK about having roamin' eyes, or you asked the question disingenuously in the first place in a "Console me, HiveMind!" chatfilterish way.

That rush of "adrenaline and excitement" you spoke of? Yeah, that's not your heterosexual biology getting all stoked about a potentially healthier womb.
posted by CKmtl at 5:03 PM on October 9, 2007

Response by poster: No, the question was posed communicating the inner conflict I was having about a run-in. That's more or less it. Any other brilliant conclusions?
posted by gmodelo at 5:24 PM on October 9, 2007

Best answer: I'm not going to call you any names. But seriously, as I said before, what if you screw hot ex and it's completely not worth it? Or she turns into a psycho? Or she gives you herpes? What if she gets pregnant and you suddenly don't have to worry about sick girlfriend's womb because you now have to spend 18 years paying and caring for unexpected-baby-gmodelo?

I know, if is the biggest word in the English language. But you do not control the universe. Mindblowingly hot sex with an ex without obligation or a sense of guilt afterwards, or any repercussions, is ONE possible outcome.

I can think of more than 30 other scenarios that would cause untold grief for all parties involved. Is your imagination smaller than your libido? If so, you are too young to understand the consequences of your actions and I hope that's not true. I will give you the benefit of not knowing you personally and assuming that you are posting your inner monologue without filtering because it's the internet.

By the way, chances of mind blowing hot sex with no consequences are low. Otherwise, it would happen constantly and the 70's are over. The 80's fixed that.

Try searching this site for posts tagged cheating, herpes, abortion, and revenge for a few personal anecdotes. I'm old enough to have talked enough friends through dumb decisions and know this will only end in tears...

for somebody. I hope a month from now we're not reading a question from you asking for help dealing with X consequences, because then I will feel as though my well-meant and earnest personal advice went in one eyeball and out another.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 5:26 PM on October 9, 2007

Response by poster: Well said, Unicorn. Thank you.
posted by gmodelo at 5:34 PM on October 9, 2007

Mod note: Some comments removed. Cool it on either side, please.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:45 PM on October 9, 2007

"I'm feeling torn for some reason"

If it's not the morality of attempting to pick up an 'old flame' behind your current girlfriend's back that is bothering you, then what is?

"What's wrong with me?"

Here's what's wrong with you, and what (I am assuming here, Schroedinger, forgive) has prompted what you see as "almost gratuitous character assasination" :

"my g/f now is hot, loves me to death, and extremely good to me treatment-wise. "
- this statement gives the impression that you are shallow, that you don't have much respect or true affection for your girlfriend.

"But she's getting better, and is coming back to being "the girlfriend I fell in love with.""
If you were in love I think you could accept better that she has had a life-changing experience and has the right to be changed.

As for the fertility issue - are you really saying that you want to prioritise childbearing capability over .... I was going to say, love, respect, companionship, that sort of stuff you don't seem to have built in your current relationship.
You might want to do a little research into fertility and find out what a fragile and uncertain thing it can be. There are no guarantees that Girl B, or indeed, yourself, will have a trouble-free reproductive future.

"Am I just experiencing a classic case of "More-ism?"

Well, yes, but the things you want more of - hotness, one-sided adoration, being treated "well", fireworks, butterflies, adrenalin, "a smashed-like attraction", guaranteed reproduction, and a static personality - these things aren't going to be fulfilling in the long run, you will have to chase them again and again, and you will find that no relationship will satisfy you for long. About the six-month period sounds likely.

And that sounds kind of like a lonely and sad future for you, to me.
posted by Catch at 6:37 PM on October 9, 2007

Response by poster: Well, it's not that I don't possess the ability to love, nor was I intending to intimate that I'm so shallow as to not consider that she is a victim of her health circumstances, and no, she doesn't have problems with fertility, in fact. Somehow that got all misconstrued.

Since this run-in, things have gotten more close with her because she and I are, and hopefully always will be primarily, great friends. I don't need much admiration or doting--that has never been a problem here, because I actually prefer less attention in a relationship than more attention/doting. In fact, that kind of thing can put too much pressure on me and cause me to feel trapped in Social Exchange theory too much for it to feel like a natural giving of affection. "My love flows like a wise guy's tie," if you will.

I think the problem is, when you're afraid of seeing someone you care about in such straights, it puts you in a position of feeling helpless to do anything about it because of the nature of the illness. I'm capable of supporting and accepting someone else's health condition, as I have with past relationships I've been in; nobody's perfect. Just because I have a clean bill of health so far doesn't mean I take a pound of flesh out of people who are sick. How screwed up is that? This post is simply airing a conflict I had with the hope that I would get some of the great answers and advice I have gotten.
posted by gmodelo at 10:01 AM on October 10, 2007

« Older Kibble vs. Can   |   Effect of marital status on taxes Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.