kissing other lads

Dear Suzie, I’ve been with my boyfriend for 4 months now. We get on really well. The problem is, I’m going off with other lads! I always end up kissing them, I don’t know how it happens, it just does! Help!

“I don’t know how it happens, it just does!” Oh perleaze! It happens because you choose to let it happen; indeed, because you actively make it happen.

Actually, there’s nothing wrong with that. I would imagine from your mail that you’re a teenager and that means you’re at a time in your life when you’re still exploring, still learning. I think it’s such a mistake at this age to tie yourself down and promise lifelong fidelity and monogamy; neither you or your boyfriend are going to keep such an unrealistic promise so why make it? The only thing you’re doing wrong is making a pledge you can’t keep and then denying responsibility for the consequences.

We can’t help what we feel but we all sure as hell can help what we do about it. Everyone fancies or is attracted to people other than their partner – that’s human nature. Being in a relationship doesn’t make you somehow immune to other people’s charms. But the mature thing to do is to be straight with your partner and for them to be straight with you and to make the choice to stay faithful – or to be upfront about the fact that you’re not.

So let’s get a few things straight. You are entirely in control and responsible for your actions. Kissing doesn’t “just happen”. You could say no if you wanted to. What you need to consider and recognize is that you obviously don’t want to say no; you want to say yes.

So why not kiss your boyfriend kindly on the cheek, say you enjoy his company a lot but aren’t ready to be exclusive just yet.

He may say “Hey – what a relief; I’ve been feeling guilty that it’s the same for me! Why don’t we go on as we have been, seeing other people too but not feeling bad about it?” Or he may blow up and blow you away (and be a hypocrite if, as I suspect, he has been seeing other girls too). Or he may be hurt because he has been exclusive to you. If so, he’ll be pretty unusual for his age.

Whatever, since you’re not ready for this yet it would be best all round if you made your position clear before he finds out or before you get really depressed at what you’re doing. As I said, I don’t think playing the field is the dilemma; it’s lying to yourself and to your boyfriend that is the problem and the best way out of that is to stop lying.

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