Should I break up with my first love?

I've been with my boyfriend for two-and-a-half years. We're in our early 20s. I've only ever been with him, but he's been with other girls. I love him so much, he is my first love, and he has been there for me for everything – but I’m attracted to my co-worker. I've always been curious about what it would be like to be with someone else, but have never actually thought of acting upon it ... until I met my co-worker. Now I can't stop thinking about him, and if I got the chance, I would give in.

I told my boyfriend I need space, but it's kind of hard because we live together and we're together 24/7. When we're not together he makes sure he knows what I'm doing at all times. I wouldn't want to risk what we have, but staying together because we've been together for years is not enough of an excuse. I've thought about breaking up with him to find myself, but I'd have to kick him out, and I'd feel bad if he had no place to stay because I was being selfish. I'm not sure whether this is just a phase. I don't know what to do.

– First love


You say you don't want to be selfish, but it sounds like you're more worried about being the bad guy. Keeping him around would be selfish. At this point, you're calling your boyfriend your "first love" because you know there will be a second.

The kind thing to do is to let your boyfriend know that you've grown out of the relationship and that you must come up with a plan to live on your own. If you're in a good financial situation, you can offer to help him with moving expenses. Perhaps you can even give him a week in the apartment by himself to line up his next place. (This is a great time to lean on friends and family for temporary housing.)

Do all of this knowing that after your boyfriend leaves, you'll be single. It's possible that your co-worker won't be available or interested. Still, based on what you've told us, this is a necessary change. You love your boyfriend a lot, I'm sure, but you need to know what it's like to live without him.

Readers? Is all of this based on a temporary crush? Any reason to keep the relationship going? How can she get out of the living situation?

– Meredith