I have been dating this guy for a few months and he’s great. It’s going really well, and I think I’m falling in love. Despite this budding romance, I still feel attracted to other guys. It could be a guy I meet in class or at a party. And, sometimes, it feels like more than an attraction. If we talk quite a bit and we connect, I start fantasizing about what it would be like to date him instead of my current boyfriend. The thing is, there is nothing wrong with my boyfriend, and I do have strong feelings for him. I know I would never cheat on my boyfriend, but are these attractions to other men normal, or could they mean that my gut is telling me that I’m not with the right person?
Dear Fatal Attractions,
Attractions to other people, even when you are in a loving relationship, are normal — healthy, even. You’re honest with yourself. There are lots of interesting, beautiful people in the world. Does this mean you should date every one out there? That the interesting guy you spoke with in class would make a wonderful boyfriend? Not necessarily. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other possibilities, and you recognize this. These attractions and fantasies could be telling you that you’re not exactly ready to settle down with any one at the moment, and that you would find it more beneficial to date around. And if that’s what you decide to do, that’s fine. We’re young.
However, be wary of rash decision-making. It’s very possible that these innocent attractions would occur no matter how in love you are with someone, and that’s okay. That’s human. Maybe it takes realizing this to fully liberate yourself from this nagging doubt. Accept these attractions for what they’re worth and remind yourself of the loving relationship you’re in. Don’t stress out over them, doubting your relationship’s worth due to their existence. Don’t even give them the time of day. If you find that the safety and comfort of a deep, monogamous relationship proves more fulfilling to you than “dating around,” stay with what you have and refrain from wondering about what you don’t.
You say you find nothing wrong with the relationship you’re in, and that you are falling in love. When fantasy begins to take over, remind yourself of your reality.