Should I break up with my boyfriend?

I've been in a relationship with my boyfriend for over a year and a half. But a couple of weeks ago, I was hanging out with one of my male friends – someone my boyfriend sees as a threat. I never saw any potential threat, partly because of my low self-esteem. I didn't think this friend would ever see me that way.

While I was hanging out with this friend, he ended up kissing me. I was too shocked to do much, but was truthful with my friends and my boyfriend. One of my friends misread my messages and told my boyfriend that I had sex with the other guy (which did not happen).

In explaining what did happen, I realized I do have feelings for my friend. I just don't know who I feel stronger about. My friend is closer to my age (my boyfriend is a few years older). The friend is sweet and funny and caring, and now tells me he really wants to be with me more than anything. Boyfriend can be sweet and funny, but has a tendency to get overprotective and slightly controlling without meaning to. He doesn't have many friends and is still working on getting his life back on track from going down a dark path that I've helped him through. Part of me feels that I like friend more, but the other part feels like there's a hole in my heart and that my life would be shattered without boyfriend.

– Help

You should break up with your boyfriend because it sounds like you already have.

That's why you feel the hole in your heart, right? You've started the grieving process without him.

Sure, it's possible to work this out, and maybe your feelings for this friend will go away over time. But ... you don't want them to. You love the idea of exploring this crush.

You will be shattering your life a bit – because that's what happens when you leave a long-term relationship. It's supposed to be lonely.

Try to stay self-aware about that so you don't expect your friend to turn into a serious boyfriend. With him, you are starting something very new that might not last very long. You might even wind up single. That wouldn’t be a bad thing.

– Meredith

Readers? Should she consider staying with the boyfriend?