I’m still thinking about another man

Chat at 1 p.m.

Hi Meredith,

Before meeting my actual boyfriend, I fell in love with a guy I met on a very spiritual vacation.

It was a very important trip for my self-discovery, and somehow the way I felt with him helped me get to a place where I was empowered and free. I thought it might have been the vacation context inflating his importance, so I decided to go back to visit him to see what happened. And there it was again, the sense of freedom and empowerment.

I'm not saying that he gives me those things, but rather ... it's easy to feel those things when I'm with him.

It's not that I don't feel those things with my actual boyfriend – I love him dearly – but it's just different. It's hard because I love my boyfriend, but sometimes deep down I feel that what I should be feeling with the person next to me is what I feel with the other guy. It's really difficult to figure out whether I'm idealizing this other person, conforming with my boyfriend .. or neither. I don't know where I stand.

– Self-discovering

If you knew for a fact that Spiritual Vacation Man was unavailable to you, would you still consider leaving your boyfriend?

That's an important question because you should assume that if you end your relationship with your boyfriend, you will be single. There are no guarantees that this other man is willing to empower your freedom 24/7. It's also very possible that he inspires all of these feelings because he's not your boyfriend.

Another thing to consider as you evaluate your current relationship: Have you ever given your boyfriend the opportunity to be a different kind of partner? You say you went back to visit this other man to see if your feelings were genuine, but ... that doesn't seem like the real test. Maybe it's time to remove your boyfriend from the context of daily life. It's possible that the better way to assess what you have with him is to bring him along on a bigger journey.

I'll be honest ... the word "conforming" doesn't sound great, and leads me to believe that you might be happier on your own. Maybe it was autocorrect and you meant to type "comforting." I don't know. Regardless, please think about what that word means to you – and what other words you'd use to describe your boyfriend – as you consider your options.

– Meredith

Readers? What do you think about this other man?