Dear Dr. Date, I’ve been going out with this woman for a year now and things are great, but the problem is I sometimes ask myself if I am really happy with her. I’m not so sure. There is this friend who I find myself thinking about all the time. We’ve been friends for four years, but she has not given me any signs indicating she has feelings for me beyond friendship. She’s a wonderful person to have as a friend, and I would like to pursue the relationship into something more, but, on the other hand, I have a woman in my life who is also a wonderful person. The question I want to ask is, is it wrong for me to still be with my girlfriend even though I’m thinking about someone else? — Confused
It all depends on what your definition of “being with your girlfriend” is. The nature and terms of your particular relationship will determine what is acceptable and what is not. What?! You haven’t fully discussed the details of your relationship?! Well then, you probably also don’t know what sort of scurrilous ideas are running through your sweetheart’s mind. I’ll bet a Sacajawea dollar that if you could know all the thoughts that inhabit her mind, you would be shocked, insulted and, above all, jealous. Believe me, to some degree she’s thinking about someone else, too.
This is a wide-open question, pal. You’re looking to me to tell you which woman to choose. I can’t predict which woman will bring you the happiness you seek. This is why people resort to using phrases like, “Follow your heart.” They don’t know what to do, and they don’t want to be responsible. My answer is essentially the same, except I’ll go a bit further and tell you something about human nature. You will always be curious about what it’s like to be with other women. It might be as simple as daydreaming about a woman you see on TV, and it might be as complicated as a gigantic enveloping crush on a co-worker. These thoughts don’t go away. At some point, you’ll meet someone with whom you want to make a commitment. You’ll promise no matter how strong your urges and fantasies are, it’s not worth jeopardizing all you’ve built and plan to build with your partner.
Are you currently seeing the woman with whom you want to make such a commitment? This, my friend, is the question many men (and women) tussle over. Search your soul a bit and look around at your current situation. Are you happy? Is this what you want? If it’s not, then either get out or take the necessary steps to change the scene.