S&M: Between a rock & a hard place

Galen Eye Centre

“Hi S&M, I have a problem that I can’t get my mind off of. I’ve been with my boyfriend for a year now — let’s call him John — and I’m absolutely certain he’s the person I want to end up with. 

We’re completely compatible, I love everything about him, he treats me like a princess, my friends and family adore him and I can see every part of our future as being perfect. I’m so lucky to have him. However, I’ve never in my life had a real chance to be single. 

I’ve had small windows between long term boyfriends, but nothing major, and sometimes I just have a desire to experience being unattached. And then there’s this guy — let’s call him Ben — he’s a good friend of mine that I hooked up with before I started dating my current boyfriend (in that small window). We never got a chance to have sex, but we fooled around and we had great chemistry. 

Over the past year that I’ve been with John, that feeling between Ben and I hasn’t completely faded, for either of us. Our friends all openly talk about the fact that there’s definitely something noticeable there between us. 

However, Ben is the opposite of a relationship guy, and to be honest I would never want to date him, I have no feelings for him. What’s between us is purely sexual attraction, but it’s gone on for SO long without fading and its now at the point that I can’t ignore it. I sometimes think if I go my whole life without finding out what it’s like to hook up with Ben I’ll regret it deeply. 

Also, I feel like I’m lying to both myself and John by pushing down my attraction for Ben. BUT I can’t stand the thought of losing John when I know for sure that he’s perfect for me. 

I’ve thought about maybe asking John to take a break in which I could explore being single, but I know that would hurt him and is ultimately very selfish, because I would essentially be asking to sleep with other guys for a while and then get back together with him in the end. 

To sum up, I don’t know how to get closure on the unbearable sexual tension between Ben and I without losing John forever. HELP!”

—Between a Rock and a Hard Place

 

Dear Between,

It sounds like you’ve put a lot of thought into this situation, but you’ve neglected to focus on the most important person involved here — yourself. 

When it comes to relationships, sometimes the most important thing you can be is selfish because you’re the only one who has your back. It’s time to gain a little clarity. 

People can be perfect on paper or in the future, but still not be perfect for you right now. Remember, there’s no stopwatch on your “happily ever after;”  you aren’t meant to have all the answers at a young age, so don’t put so much pressure on yourself! 

It seems to us that if you are thinking about other men or considering singledom, that says something about how you feel about the relationship you’re in. 

If you want to be with someone other than your boyfriend, acknowledge that the relationship isn’t as perfect as you think and it either needs commitment or an end.  

You’re also not a bad person for feeling the way you do. If you really care about your boyfriend’s feelings, honesty is key. 

Talk to him and let him know how you feel. Either you can solve it together or you can’t, but at least you won’t be wondering anymore.

To be honest, your question has been difficult for us to answer, so we understand how difficult this must be for you. What you do really depends on where your heart lies. 

Take some time and really think about what you want, other people’s feelings aside. If you truly think that what’s best for you is being with your boyfriend, then stay with him and put your feelings for Ben in the past. 

But if you think that taking time away and seeing other guys, like Ben, is better for you, then do that! 

Maybe this is idealistic of us, but when something is right with someone, you just know. There isn’t a question in your mind. We personally think that it’s better to be happy on your own than feel conflicted in a relationship. 

Finally, remember that you should do what’s best for you. It might feel difficult in the moment — either way you’re letting someone go — but it will be worth it in the long run. And remember, like Miley and Liam have shown pop culture, if it’s meant to be, it’ll be. 

Go forth with your best interests at heart. Like you, we’re still figuring things out as we go so let us know how you’re doing!

We’ll be cheering for you from here, baby!

— S&M ;)

P.S. Maybe check out the movie How to be Single. It’s truly our favourite flick. 

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