the 29 year old or the 24 year old?

Dear Suzie, I’m a 19 year old girl and have been with my 24 year old boyfriend for 2 years now. I recently met a 29 year old guy who says he likes me and I’m really attracted to.

My relationship with my boyfriend has been a bit rocky lately but I know he loves me and I don’t want to leave him for fear of hurting him (as well as fear of the unknown). I don’t want to cheat on him but I also want to experience other things.

As for the other guy he says he likes me but is he too old for me? Also I get the feeling that this new guy is just after sex and I don’t want to throw my relstionship away if he’s not really interested. I have no idea what to do. I can’t talk to my boyfriend as I don’t want to hurt him, and I can’t talk to the other guy as I’m really shy and find it hard to open up to people. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!!

You’re making the mistake so many of us make when young; faced with a choice, you think “Ooh – vanilla or chocolate? This one or that one?” Actually – what about strawberry? What about no ice cream today? What about the many, many varied options – it’s not between one or t’other.

Okay – you’re 19. Your relationship with your boyfriend has become a bit rocky. Another guy comes along and says he’s attracted, so you feel torn.

Actually, it would help to see the two issues as separate, not as related. It’s not a case of should you leave one for the other. It would be best to first ask yourself if the relationship with the boyfriend has legs or is over. I’d say, at 19, it’s unlikely that this is The One. Consider what being attracted to someone else says to you.

It could be reminding you that we can all be attracted to other people even when in love and committed to the love of our lives. I’ve been with my guy for 30 years and he‘s the only one for me – I deeply believe in fidelity and so does he. But do you think we have never looked at anyone else, in person or on a screen, and thought “Woah!” Of course we have; we just know it’s fantasy and that’s all there is to it, that it isn’t worth it. When you meet the person for you, it won’t immunize you against noticing other people but you’ll know threatening the real thing isn’t worth it. But at your stage in life the message may be that it’s too early to settle down.

If this relationship has more mileage in it, then work on it. You don’t want to hurt him – that’s a good reason to let him down, honestly, kindly and firmly, not a reason to stay. But if you care what he feels, it may be a reason to give it another try. If it doesn’t work, kindly tell him it was fab but it’s over. THEN think about the other guy.

Is this worth pursuing? Is he just bowling you over cos he’s older and has impressed you? Ten years difference at your age is pushing it a bit, and can lead to relationships where one is out for kicks and the other out for friendship and the latter gets hurt.

If I were you, I would talk to my boyfriend. Not about whether to leave him for someone else, but about us and how we feel and where this is going. If you did, you may emerge with more certainty about what you want. Good luck!

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