I am 24 and have been in a committed relationship with my boyfriend for the past two years. He was also my first love and first boyfriend back in high school. We broke up and went to separate colleges but I never stopped loving him. After six years, we finally reconnected and the spark was stronger than ever.
Things were amazing for the first year but then we started seeing our fundamental differences. I began my career in law enforcement and he was supposed to do the same, but instead decided to pursue a career in the arts/music. There is a lot of potential for him on this path, but for now the work isn't lucrative and he has an hourly job for money. Part of the initial allure was our shared interest in a profession. We had planned to move out of our hometown together and live happily ever after, etc. However, now he has to stay in this city because of his new career.
If we want to do things or take trips, I have to pay. I hate myself for feeling this way but I kind of resent him for his new priorities, and the fact that if I want to pursue my plans for a promotion, I would have to leave him. We have a great relationship. He is kind and loving and the love of my life, but my attraction has faded significantly. I thought it was hormonal at first until ... well, there's this guy at work.
We started work together and are part of the same class so we immediately clicked. We talk every day and go to the gym together after work, sometimes with other coworkers but usually just us (my workplace has an employee gym). He is 10 years older than I am but he's insanely good looking, kind, intelligent, and in my same field so he gets it, and I can talk to him about anything. I hate myself for having these feelings, and it's like my sexuality has been awoken and it's all I can think about now. I have not talked to the coworker about this but he is about to leave his live-in girlfriend and he's made it fairly obvious he is into me as well. I love my boyfriend. I am not sure if I am still in love with him but I don't want to make the same mistake I made in high school and leave him again only to regret it because he's such a great man. I feel so guilty that I am having these feelings for my coworker and I wish I felt that way about my boyfriend instead. Any advice? Thank you so much in advance.
You thought you knew what life would look like with your boyfriend. It was supposed to be two lovers in law enforcement exploring a new place, building a life together. Then the plans changed. Can you imagine what a best-case scenario with your boyfriend looks like now? If his passion for arts/music brings him all he desires, how will that change the relationship? Will you still get the life you want?
My point is that the financial stress might be temporary, but the lifestyle changes sound more permanent. If his vision of living his best life no longer matches yours, it's time to go. Plans change, and sometimes it kills the chemistry.
Everyone in our comments section is going to tell you that if you do walk away from this relationship, there are no guarantees that your coworker will step into that boyfriend void, ready to be your new partner. You'll be a single person with a crush on a man who just got out of a serious relationship. You might wind up alone.
But that's OK too. It's better to be by yourself, available for new experiences, than with someone you no longer want. You might have regrets, you might miss your boyfriend and second-guess every choice you've made, but that's part of the breakup process too. I'm not sure you're supposed to experience any big decisions without a little bit of doubt.
Readers? How do you know you're making the right choice the second time around?