Too Many Others Out There
Q: I've been in a relationship with this young lady for 4 years and still going strong. The only problem is that I'm drawn to the sight of other attractive females. My girlfriend is a really cool individual to hang out with. She always looks out for my best interests and I do the same for her. We have arguments, but none to break up over. I care about her very much, so hurting her feelings is not an option, but at the same time, I feel a relationnship is not the place for me to be right now. We've talked about if either of us felt we needed some space, that it wouldn't be a problem, but as I said I don't want to hurt her feelings. What's a guy to do? -- Larry, 22
Dr. Susan: A guy can't have it both ways. It's normal to continue to see other women as attractive, throughout your life, regardless of how happy you are in a relationship. But if you're seriously thinking of doing more than admiring them from a distance, you need to have an honest chat with your girlfriend. You'll hurt her much more if you cheat on her than if you let her know upfront that it's time to take some of that "space" you talked about. Yes, she'll be broken-hearted, but less so than if you act on your urges and she finds out later. It's a matter of trust and integrity, not of mere "hurt feelings." You started seeing her when you were probably too young to make a lifetime commitment. Now you have to decide what you really want. Whatever you
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.