Is he right for me?

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I've been in a relationship with my boyfriend for about two years now. I knew I loved this man from the get-go ... very sweet and sensitive and handsome.

However, I also had the feeling that as much as I loved this man, he just wasn't right for me. Those feelings never entirely went away, but definitely subsided as we developed. I love spending time with him; it's very comfortable and I believe he'd do anything for me. But he is a bit of an "absent minded professor" and just puts one day to the next without much effort to let me know he appreciates me in his life.

About six months ago, I met someone new in the community and he struck a different cord with with me. I left my boyfriend for him. But all I could do is think of Boyfriend No. 1. I felt like I was a fraud when I was with #2. And #1 fought for me everyday.

Boyfriend #1 and I started trying to make it work again, but in the back of my mind is how well I was treated by boy #2. We just ended it because I'm a ball of confusion (I called him out on not making me feel like boy #2 does (in so many words). Except he isn't Boyfriend #2, he’s Boyfriend #1 and I love him. He's not perfect for me, but he loves me and I love him. No one and no relationship is perfect. Should I work it out and vocalize my needs more to Boyfriend #1 since I really can't stay away.

~ Ball of Confusion


Hello, confusion ball.

Boyfriend No. 1 is your man of choice. So yes, embrace that decision – and him. Think about how he shows his interest. He might not be as obvious about it as Boyfriend #2, but how does he let you know he wants you around? What does he do to make you feel good? He might not say it in words. Maybe he's good at simply showing up and being present.

If you want more validation and communication, you could suggest some periodic check-ins. After every few weeks, you could have a conversation about how you're both doing. As in, "I still find you super attractive and would like to take a vacation with you." The stuff you might not think to say on a random Tuesday. That could be the compromise if he’s not very effusive.

You're right, though; no relationship is perfect, and you maybe #2 looks good on paper, but you want #1. Remind yourself why you couldn't let go of this man, despite the absent-minded professor thing. Also, it sounds like he responds to your needs when you share them, so when you talk about important things, don't hint. Be clear.

– Meredith

Readers? How do you embrace and accept 1 when 2 was better at showing interest?