I can’t help but wonder what else is out there

I'm 25 years old and I've been dating a wonderful guy for a little over two years. He's great – but he's also my first boyfriend and first love. I can't help but wonder what else is out there. My friends tell me that when you know you know, but I'm not sure.

He is so nice, quiet, and gets along with my family, but I want to date more before I get married. He knows he wants to get married to me and says he's sure about it now. There's a guy at work I like, but I probably won't marry him. He's not my type at all and we have admitted to each other that we do have chemistry and I can feel it, but I'll break my boyfriend's heart, and it makes me sick when I think about pulling the trigger. I wanted to do this even before this guy from work came into the picture, but refrained.

Should we go on a break or just break up? I feel a break is unfair to him. But what if I date around and feel like nobody compares to him? What if I make a mistake breaking up with him and lose him forever? If we do break up and get back together, it's awkward with family and friends. What should I do?

– I don't know


End this relationship and call it a breakup. Get it over with.

The longer you wait, the more difficult it's going to be. Your boyfriend deserves to know that you're not on his path. If you're already lining up your next partner, you know it's over. So tell him.

Your boyfriend might say he's open to a break – or continued contact – but let him know that you must set boundaries. You can't give him what he wants, which means he has to start moving on.

It's possible that you'll sleep with the guy at work, date around, and realize you miss what you had, but that doesn't mean you'll have regrets or want your boyfriend back. Or maybe you will – and he'll have met someone else. It's a risk, for sure, but there are so many possible outcomes here. The greater point is that you want to explore them.

I'm not someone who believes that "when you know, you know," or that some flash of lightening goes off when you've chosen the right partner. But I do believe that when you are actively talking about chemistry with a guy from work, you're probably ready to be single. In your case, that's the sign.

– Meredith

Readers? What if she regrets the breakup?