Grass is greener dilemma...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 06, 2007 2:55 PM GMT
    I have been in a long term relationship for 8 years. We have always gotten along great and had a mutual respect for the other. In out relationship we have established that its OK for the us to hang out with a guy if the other is out of town. It doesn't happen often, but when it does I never worry because I know he is mine and he know I am his.

    Well he recently went out of town, I met with a guy and and we hooked up. Not only did we hook up but we talked a little bit after and then we did it again that same night! Now I am freaking out, I can't stop thinking of this other guy. This has NEVER happened before, I have never lost perspective of what, and who was most important to me.

    My boyfriend and I are engaged to be married in the winter and I am wondering if this is just cold feet, or is there actually a deficiency in my relationship that this other guy fulfilled?!? Is this in my head?!? I know the grass is never greener but my brain and my heart (are very uncharacteristically) not on the same page.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Aug 06, 2007 3:17 PM GMT
    I think it's like the trusted dog vs a new puppy syndrome. I could be wrong. Romeovoid's song was "I might like u better if we slept together" wasn't it?? Good luck in your decision. Ask family and close friends advice!!
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    Aug 06, 2007 7:30 PM GMT
    I think you should do what I often tell people who are experiencign a bit of, "iffies," in relationships which is...take some time to think of BF and why it was that once upon a time when the fairytale began, what it was that drew you to him. If those emotions, attractions, etc are still there...then they are. Meanwhile, don't eat your heart out if you think of someone else from time to time, or more than you'd rather. I mean, people who divorce, and remarry at one time or another even dream about their EX - when they're happily in another relationship. I think it's just one of those things.

    My thoughts - for what they're worth. Big hug and kiss - and good luck my friend...

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    Aug 06, 2007 7:52 PM GMT
    [Disclaimer: I'm probably full of shit about this topic, because the longest relationship I've ever been in has been under 2 years. So take any opinions I give with a grain of salt. ;-)]

    It sounds to me like you have a crush. I think it's possible to be deeply and monogamously in love with someone and still get little "crushes" on other people. And I think the most critical thing to maintaining your happiness and sanity is being able to understand the difference between love and a crush, to understand what having a crush means (and what it DOESN'T mean).

    Getting a crush doesn't mean you love your boyfriend any less. It doesn't mean that you are not satisfied with your boyfriend. And I think the worst thing you can do is to "psych yourself out" into believing that it DOES mean these things: because those kind of doubts become self-fulfilling prophecies.
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    Aug 06, 2007 8:09 PM GMT
    This is a tough situation. Something very similar split up friends of mine who'd had a healthy relationship for more than 11 years.

    The fact is, keeping a door open like that when one person is out of town is playing with fire... You need to both acknowledge that if it's something you want to be part of your relationship.

    It isn't necessarily that the grass is greener, it is that there is something new there. Every combination of two people brings unique chemistry.

    That said, I tend to agree with the guys who've posted already. I would give the same advice.
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    Aug 07, 2007 6:53 AM GMT
    Hey Romeo,

    I would determine what you value, or rather whom you value. That is, I've noticed my own wandering eye and--or inclination to seek another guy, but I would not want a relationship with the new guy. I would want to stay with my partner. My old colleague and best friend would present a different sort of problem: And, I know that I would be used in one or two nightly romps, but I could live with that guilt. Until now, I doubt that you have really understood the nature of fidelity in a closed relationship, unless you and your partner have provided your "list of terms" for the relationship: Would you boyfriend sustain the relationship, if he knew that you were with another man? I say, "Take the high road and learn what true love and devotion really is." Those qualities cannot be experienced with a third party--or, perhaps, I don't think so anyway. Besides, there's concern for unknown, untested, diseases that the third party may introduce to your present relationship. So, to avoid contracting HIV or AIDS from the third party, (I mean, how horrible would that be if your actual partner contracted HIV or AIDS from you--the result of your extra-"marital" affair. No one said you couldn't have friends (gay or straight --and I really hate those designations), but the friendship should be platonic: and, your e-mail describes only a "lustful" envy about the other guy. You don't describe his qualities or characteristics for a new relationship at all. Howevever, your e-mail suggests that you have already made the decision: When anyone begins evaluating what he or she has, in a relationship, and it appears to be past tense and upon reflection, then I am led to believe that you have made up your mind.

    If that be the case, then what's your decision? Clearly, you want this guy sexually, maybe spiritually, but that much is clear. Are you prepared to live with the consequences or impacts to your present relationship?

    If your partner loves you, his actions, and yours, will determine the outcome.

    Best, and good luck!

    Let us know what the scoop is, after you've made that lucky choice.
  • Laurence

    Posts: 942

    Aug 07, 2007 9:32 AM GMT
    Hi Romeo

    Sounds like you've got yourself a dilemma. Most of the guys here offer good advice. I agree with Greg though that you seem to have developed a crush and maybe should just view it as that.

    It's nice to feel attractive and have feelings for new guys. But are these feelings worth losing something good and long-lasting?

    Daed2008 mentions a list of dos and don'ts in an open relationship, I think that maybe you have over-stepped your unwritten rules and in hindsight not let your need for conversation and emotional contact get in the way of just sex.

    You sound like a decent intelligent guy, why would you be stupid to throw your love and future away on someone/something you don't know.

    There comes a point in our lives when we have to grow up, and be mature enough to realise life isn't always about new and exciting things, and that sometimes being with someone who loves us and who we love is, the most fabulous thing in the world.

    Sometimes we have to stop chasing waterfalls and settle for the rivers and the lakes we know (bad version of song lyrics quote...but you know what I mean).

    Don't blow it, or you may live to regret it for the rest of your life.

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    Aug 07, 2007 4:15 PM GMT
    I recently went through a similar thing with two guys.

    My advice is take your time and figure out what it is that you're attracted to in both of the guys and what you don't like.

    If you're meant to be with your fiance for a long time the good will out-shadow the bad and you'll feel drawn to him. If the other guy seems to have more prospects beyond casual sex than maybe it's time to re-think your initial relationship...
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    Aug 08, 2007 4:05 PM GMT
    I guess I should clarify, we are very honest with one another about our extra curriculars;P. We have an established set of rules, and me talking to the other guy wasn't going against the rules. However, I have never in 8 years had my emotional attention drawn away from him. I have always been able to almost coldly separate sex and emotion, and he always had my heart 100%. So when this other guy happened I looked to myself and wonder if it was merely a fluke and the 'thoughts' will go away. I like the idea that its a crush, and in my head I think that is whats going on. I don't know it just freaked me out to loose my composure.
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    Aug 08, 2007 4:15 PM GMT
    It's completely natural, Romeo (and didn't you pick the right screen name). Greg is right: It's a crush. And it will pass if you just wait it out. They always do.
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    Aug 09, 2007 10:31 PM GMT
    The grass is greener where the dogs are shitting.
  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Aug 10, 2007 12:03 AM GMT
    ...this one is a tough one for me to answer...simply because I personally don't prescribe to the fact that one can engage in both dating behavior [hooking up] and committed behavior [security] in a relationship...I believe you have to give up one to have the other...

    ...I know some people negotiate this very well for their own relationships, but I can't see this working for me as the thing I value the most is security...and never wanting to feel "second"...if there isn't something I share that is special with my partner [and I can't think of anything more intimate than sex for me]...what else do I have?...

    ...Perhaps I watched too many Disney movies as a kid...

    - David
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    Aug 10, 2007 12:27 AM GMT
    Ride it out. If you keep thinking about the other guy, you should discuss this with the partner, and work through this together. I disagree with advice that you keep this crush a secret and hope it passes. This is what husbands and wives do, but we are not talking about married str8 people here. 2 Gay guys in a committed relationship can focus on helping their spouse/friend work through these kinds of dilemmas that will arise from an open relationship. There's dignity when two men come together and make adult decisions together.

    Disney movies have no gay characters in them...we need to look for other role models besides what the heterocentric media feeds us.
  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Aug 10, 2007 3:41 AM GMT
    totally off topic [I am admitting it]

    no gay characters in Disney films? Oh gotta pay more attention!

    - David
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    Aug 18, 2007 9:14 AM GMT
    When you first meet someone you know very little about him. After seeing the tip of the iceberg, it's very easy to fill the voids with positive thought, even if unwarranted. Like when you see a good-looking guy far away ("so far, so good") but as you get closer and can see his actual features, suddenly it's not what you imagined, what you wanted him to look like. Don't forget: most relationships (or wanna-be relationships) end after 2 days/weeks/months, usually because one has learned that the other wasn't really all that.

    I'd also look at the other side, your relationship with your partner of 8 years. Is this the "7 year itch"? Is there some angst about getting married? Has the relationship dipped into a rut, become routine, gone stale?
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    Aug 19, 2007 7:28 PM GMT
    You know,

    The one red flag I see in your relationship to your partner is "...I have always been able to almost coldly separate sex and emotion, and he always had my heart 100%..."

    I gotta tell you that kinda worries me. It sounds like he has your head, maybe even your emotions - except for some sort of 'magical chemistry'. I think you need to figure out why.

    IMO sex should be a major part of any relationship - not nesc the biggest part - but certainly a major one. That attraction has got to be there for a relationship to suceed.

    Before I met my partner I had had sex with dozens of guys over the years. Some good, some bad, a couple off the charts memorable; but I have only made love to two men in my life. One is my current partner.

    I am not sure how to describe the difference to you if you have never experienced it. I know that when you do experience the difference you will sit up and say 'OMG - That's what it's all about'.

    Iain and I have a great sex life, after three years we still feel like we are trying to steal moments no matter how often we do it.

    My nephew say's it's embarassing to be around because we look at each other like a starving man eyeing a plate of prime rib. He say's sometimes we look like we are going to jump each other right then even when we are out in public.

    It is not just the sex though, it is the sharing, and the commitment to a future together. This is the man I want to grow old with together. This is the guy I would give up everything for. This is the guy who's happiness is far more important than my own.

    If you can say that about your current partner then he is the one you have been looking for; if not then you need to figure out why not? Then you need to find out if you can WORK at fixing the problems you see.

    Believe me that relationships are nothing if not hard - exhausting - work.

    You have to KNOW that no matter how bad you fight, that later the other one will show up. That you will make up, and you will work everything out together.