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I'm in an open relationship and I have a crush

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  October 21, 2011 09:00 AM

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This seems like a good Friday letter, yes?
And if you check back in a few, I'm posting a bonus letter today.


Q: Hi Meredith,

I have a quandary. I'm happily engaged to my best friend and we've been together for years. We've had our ups and downs, and we just went through one of those downs, but we're figuring things out. We've both made a commitment and we're not leaving. We've agreed to try an open relationship. It's not about wanting to cheat. It's about realizing that there are some things he can't give me, not because he hasn't tried, or doesn't want to, but just because of his personality and the way he is. It's not his fault but I realized I need something else, too, hence open relationship. Nothing has happened with anyone as this mutual decision is only a week or so old. So what's my problem?

For the last year and a half I've been talking to a guy friend online. His hours are closer to mine (my guy and I have different work hours), he's been a really good source of support, and we've both been there for each other. We have not met face to face, but, you guessed it, I've got feelings for him. I have no idea if he sees me as anything more than a friend. He's far away in another state and we usually communicate by IM. He's single, but he seems to have fallen for a gal who's a friend of a friend that lives across the country. She's nice but they've agreed to take things slow and if someone else comes along in the meantime not to wait for each other. I'm his friend so I'm trying to be supportive but having feelings for him and not being able to say anything is tearing me up inside. This guy deserves to be happy.

My guy knows how I feel about this guy, but he has asked me not to go after him, as he believes this guy is very much like him and feels that if I'm looking for something different I not go for someone similar to him. I see his point, but the feelings are still there.

Do I say something? Do I keep my mouth shut and forget my feelings, be the nice friend and just deal with it by writing emo poetry (I could start an emo band on the volume of stuff I've already written)? Do I just call a time out on my relationship until I figure out? I live with my guy and we've been together for 5 years so it's not so easy to just walk away. I just want a different perspective that isn't in my head or from a single friend. Please help. Thank you.

– Emo Poetry Gal, Boston


A: You're engaged to your good friend, EPG. You are not engaged to someone you want to marry.

End this. Please. There's no need for your fiancé to watch you feel in love with other people. Call this "open relationship" what it is -- the final stage of a long romance.

Once you move on from the whole thing (yes, for logistical reasons that might take a while), start looking to date single people who live nearby. Maybe this online guy secretly loves you, but do you really want to pursue someone you don't see ... who wants to date someone else?

I know that you don't want to be single, but I guarantee you, if you walk away from all of these guys, your emo poems will be better than ever. More importantly, you'll be able to figure out why you keep attaching yourself to people who have given you a way out.

Readers? Can you fix this mess? Help.

– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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