Dear Em & Lo,
So I am currently in a relationship with my boyfriend of 8 years, going on 9. We have been together since high school and are now in our mid twenties. I love him very much and used to see myself spending the rest of my life with him up until just a few weeks ago.
My girlfriends and I decided to take a little weekend getaway and on our first night there I met the most amazing guy. Instant attraction. We ended up spending the night together which turned into morning. He also ended up switching his flight so we could spend another day together. We met up for the last time and I could honestly say it will be one of the most memorable weekends of my life.
Now I’m scared to face what this means for my relationship. Am I not as happy as I thought I was? Am I settling because I’m comfortable with my situation? I know nothing could ever become of my weekend fling, but now I can’t help to wonder what else is out there for me.
I feel selfish for letting any of this happen, but the scary part is, I don’t regret it because of the amazing connection I encountered. My boyfriend is far from affectionate and does take me for granted at times, so I cant help but feel frustrated with where I am in life. Do I let him go? Do I stay and make things work? HELP!
— Dirty Weekender
We could be like one of those annoying therapists who leans back in their chair and says, “Well, what do you think you should do?” Or, “But what do you really want to do?” But today, we’re feeling kinda prescriptive. Today, we’re going to tell you exactly what we think you should do.
Dump. Your. Boyfriend.
You cheated on him, and not just a drunken one-time thing, but repeatedly, over an entire weekend. Sober, in daylight. In fact, you two actually extended the weekend to make the cheating last longer. Worse, you don’t feel bad at all. In fact, you seem to think that the fact that the cheating experience felt so awesome — um, yeah, it does, but so does sex on meth — is what makes it more than okay. And then you attempt to justify the cheating by saying that your boyfriend takes you for granted.
Er, he takes you for granted?
We get it. You got together young, you never got to sow your wild oats, you’re an entirely different person than when you first met — hell, Miley Cyrus was still Hannah Montana when you first got together. It makes total sense that you’d want to see other people and fuck other people. We don’t fault you for that part at all. Whether or not you two are meant to spend the rest of your life together, this is an indisputable fact: It’s time to take a break, either mini or major.
So, start by breaking up with your boyfriend. If you think you’d like a future with this guy, then you need to be completely honest with him and tell him all about the weekend — because you can’t lie now and expect to get back together with him later. But if you want a clean break and you think this is it for good, then it’s fine to just break up with him and leave out the bit about your sordid weekend. (We hope it goes without saying that if you decide to disregard our advice and stay together with your boyfriend, then you absolutely need to tell him about your major indiscretion.)
You could tell your boyfriend that you just want to take a “mini break,” a la Ross and Jen, but if you go this route, then you have to tell him about the cheating — because in that case, you’re still sorta, kinda together. Personally, we’ve never put much stock in this approach, but we know it works for some people. Feel free to give it a try, but be prepared for a lot of misunderstanding. (We were on a break! It was a mini-break! And so on.)
Oh, and to answer your questions: Yes, we guess you weren’t as happy as you thought you were. Yes, you may well have been settling. Yes, nothing will ever come of this fling. As to what else is out there for you? Casual sex, hot sex, heartache, heartbreak, booty calls, unrequited love, more hot sex, more heartbreak, bad first dates, bad sex, bad dudes, nice dudes you’re not attracted to, hot dudes who don’t return your phone calls — and maybe, just maybe, the man of your dreams.
Now… Tell us what you think you should do.
Em & Lo
- Why Did My Boyfriend Cheat Down?
- Can You Beat the Urge to Stray with One Freebie a Year?
- In Defense of Being the Other Man