I wish this could be an open relationship

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Meredith,

Last year, I finally ended an unhealthy eight-year relationship. Yay.

I hadn't dated since I was 18 and was getting back into the swing of things when I met this amazing guy.

He was thoughtful, motivated, kind, handsome, a good listener – and he was moving far away for a job in 12 months. We spent the next 12 months getting to know each other, building such good chemistry, and falling in love. He asked if I'd want to work on this relationship long-distance, and I agreed to try.

I was previously open with him about the fact that because of my limited dating history, I would eventually want to explore more than monogamy. Because of this, he brought it up to me before he left to let me know he'd be open to it in the future too. After this conversation, I felt like we were in such a good place. However, as the reality set in that he'd soon be leaving, he started to feel insecure and told me that he wanted to be clear that he wouldn't be ready to open the relationship until he got more comfortable with the distance. I agreed that his feelings were valid and did my best to support him.

What I failed to mention to him is that I have a crush on someone else, and I would love to take it a step further with that person. Now I'm sad because I miss my boyfriend and I feel guilty because this other guy is so sweet too. I guess I'm wondering if it would be best to be honest with my boyfriend or if I should just give up on this crush and being in an open relationship.

– Open


"What I failed to mention to him …"

See, this doesn't work. You shouldn't be failing to mention anything right now.

Non-monogamy (and all kinds of relationships) can work when there's transparency, honesty, and shared expectations. Your boyfriend told you what he needs right now and it sounds like you want the opposite. If you're already bummed about the potential loss of a crush, that says plenty.

My guess is that you're not ready to be exclusive with anyone, even temporarily, and that's OK. In some ways, the distance makes this an easier decision.

Maybe this relationship can start up again later. Perhaps you can keep in touch and see how things go. There's a better chance of a great future for the two of you if you stay honest about your feelings.

I know this would be a loss – you're very into this boyfriend – but you're not in the same place, literally and otherwise. Tell him.

– Meredith

Readers? What if the crush is nothing? Is it worth trying monogamy and distance for a bit? Or is it time to end the relationship?