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Love Letters

Thinking About Cheating On My Boyfriend

Letters can come straight to my personal email at meregoldstein at gmail dot com. Put "letter" in the subject line.


Q:

Hi Meredith,

My boyfriend and I have been together for more than two years and we're in our late 20s. We don't fight, have discussed marriage and kids, and have fun together. Our sex life is healthy and we are very much in love. While I love what we have and don't want to lose it, I do get bored sometimes.

Recently I made a new (intelligent, sexy) friend. He's in a relationship too. I'm trying not to flirt, but he has made comments that suggest he's interested. I felt I was clear when we first started hanging out that I only wanted a platonic friendship, and I thought he felt the same, but maybe not. I also thought a taken guy would be a safe bet for a friend, but I guess I'm a little naive.

I've cheated in past relationships. I also worked really hard for a long time, therapy included, to heal and forgive myself after the fact. The guilt I'd feel over caving in this area would break me, I think, but I'm not sure how strong I am.

So, long story short (too late), I love my boyfriend dearly and I can't imagine hurting him, but our relationship is predictable. I've always enjoyed taking risks, and I am attracted to my new friend.†

I don't want to cheat. I'm just afraid I may not be able to trust myself ... that if the opportunity arose, I wouldn't have the strength to say no. I also don't want to hurt anybody or lose either my relationship or the friendship.

I likely can't have everything I want, so please just give it to me straight. What do I do?

– Scared, Boston

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A: It sounds like you need to leave the boyfriend. You have fun together and are "very much in love," but youíre bored and considering a cheat. You're not ready to settle down.

Good relationships get boring sometimes, and predictability is part of building a life with someone. If that's not what you want right now, you have to explain to your boyfriend that you're not ready for this level of commitment.

No matter what, you have to let go of the sexy friend. Let him know that the boundaries aren't as clear as you hoped they'd be and that you need honest relationships.

If you follow this advice, you might wind up on your own, but maybe that's the risk you're looking for. Being single would certainly end all of this predictability.

Readers? Should she drop the friend? Leave the boyfriend? Is she ready to talk marriage?

– Meredith