Question: Dear Luise: I’ve got a problem I really don’t know what to do about. Me and my boyfriend have been together for 3 and half years both 19 and both cheated on each other once. The person I cheated on him with was worse because after my boyfriend found out he forgave me, but I stayed in contact with this boy by text message and he wanted me to move in with him. I live in London and he lives in Glouster. My boyfriend then found out about the texts and still forgave me. I made my choice and stayed with my boyfriend who I do love even though I’ve done this to him. It happened with the other boy over 7months ago but still I think about him even though it was a one-night thing. Why am I still like this even though I know I want to be with my boyfriend? I feel so guilty. E.
Answer: Dear E.: Sometimes you can find a totally wonderful guy when you are really too young to settle down. We are all different in that respect. When you aren’t ready, it doesn’t matter how perfect you are together…you simply aren’t at that place in your life where choosing a mate and establishing a permanent relationship is appropriate. If one of you is ready and the other isn’t, it won’t work.
The years the two of you have been together are often the years of exploration for most teens. Many really interesting people can appear on our radar screens between fifteen and twenty and, for most of us, that’s how it should be.
Guilt actually doesn’t change anything and it takes a lot of energy. You are fine just the way you are and you have nothing to feel guilty about. You are young, curious, and open to new experiences. There’s nothing wrong with that except your decision to get into a committed relationship at such an early age.
Let your guy know that it isn’t him…he’s fine, too. Thank him for his incredible understanding and patience. Don’t move in with the other guy. Use this opportunity to allow yourself to become self-directed. The strange thing about this kind of situation is that the original couple often ends up together after they have factored freedom into the mix and done a little growing up.
You are still young and you are probably interested in finding out how that feels after having isolated yourself years ago. That’s healthy and normal. You and your boyfriend have been honest with each other and that’s priceless. Remember that he has experienced the same confinement that you have and may profit personally from this opportunity to relax a bit and just let life happen.
You may even remain friends. And as I’ve said, who knows where that might lead? Blessings, Luise