I am currently entering the eighth month of a great relationship with a beautiful, strong-willed woman, but I suddenly have my doubts. I found the girl that I always wanted, but I’m not ready to settle down. Things are beginning to get serious; we are thinking about moving to Coconut Grove, and it’s just hitting me now that this could be the girl with whom I spend the rest of my life. This is a daunting thought, especially since it’s my first relationship. I would like to have fun in college and the thought of marriage at this age makes me pale. Although I truly love my girlfriend, I’m curious to explore other options. My girlfriend is all that I could have ever asked for and I don’t want to break her heart. I feel like I’ve met the right person, but at the wrong time. My girlfriend also relies heavily on me, and the breakup would hit her very, very hard. How can I end things without hurting someone I really care about?
What’s my next move?
Dear Next Move,
Just because you’re in a relationship, it does not mean you are incapable of lusting after other women. Eyes wander in all relationships; if a married man tells you that he subscribes to Playboy “just for the articles,” he is pulling more than just your leg.
While your lust is normal, you have expressed interest in playing the field. This makes you a living cliché. You, my friend, want to have your cake and eat it too. So I say this with the utmost respect: Whoa there, tubby! Put down the cake, and back away.
It is unfair to stay in a relationship if you want to “explore.” You’re likely to become resentful toward her for tying you down. This could cause you to distance yourself or cheat. I’m sure your dream woman would not be pleased with this scenario.
Ask yourself which option is more important: being a player, or being faithful to someone who makes you happy.
I don’t doubt your strong feelings for your girlfriend, but if you care about her as much as you say you do, you should understand that she deserves to be in a good relationship. If a breakup were imminent, severing ties would actually spare her more than stringing her along.
But remember that it’s only been eight months! You could be getting way ahead of yourself with this whole ball-and-chain theory. So chill out, reflect on what you want, and take things one day at a time. No need to start planning the wedding—especially if you’re not ready for one.
Best of luck!