When it comes to dating and relationships, we can all use a little help from a friend. Howl’s resident cupid is here to get you through the rough patches with a slap and a kiss.
Submit your questions to Kitty here.
My boyfriend and I have been together for several years, but lately the fire in our relationship has been burning low. I have been feeling a strong interest in a mutual friend of ours and it appears that the friend is feeling the same toward me. To further complicate matters, we all work together. I do not want to hurt anybody or endanger our friendships and work relationships, yet I do not want to let this exciting romantic opportunity pass me by. What should I do?
Dear Pass Me By,
Seems as though you essentially have three choices here. No, make that four.
1.Break up with your boyfriend to explore Mr. Shiny and New.
Maybe your boyfriend sucks and moving on is really the best thing. If you are truly done with your boyfriend, I wonder if the urge to light a spark is helping propel you to the nearby, highly accessible, work guy?
The work/mutual friend element is an eight-headed snake for sure.
A consideration might be to break it off with your boyfriend and to at least attempt dating outside of work.
If you decide that you must, must not let the irresistible Shiny and New pass you by, please consider this, my caveat to you, darling Pass Me By: Everyday and Regular will hardly ever have a fighting chance against Shiny and New. It’s just not a fair comparison to juxtapose someone who you share the mundane chores of everyday life – whose vomit you’ve cleaned off the bathroom floor when they had the flu, and who forgot it was “date night” after a treacherous commute home – with Mr. Perfect, who is like idealized grandparenthood, prancing by with a roll of lifesavers, cooing to you how special you are and scampering off with a grin just as real life challenges need attention.
In five years, Mr. Shiny and New is gonna turn into Mr. Everyday and Regular, I’m pretty darn sure.
Then, you’ll need to axe Shiny and New for New Shiny and New.
Now, it’s not wrong to hop around, enjoying the thrill of shiny stuff if you are honest with your partner(s) and if that is what suits you. I do believe this.
Play it out carefully, though, Pass Me By. Is New New Shiny and New gonna reminisce with you about when you were young together? Is his hand gonna weigh like a doubtless anchor holding yours during chemotherapy? Hell, is he even gonna pickup your dry cleaning? Is perpetual Shiny and New the life you seek? If you feel unsure, skip to option four 4 now.
2. Cheat on your boyfriend.
This is just a sucky idea. Don’t do this one. This is the stuff that will make you not sleep later, destroy your career next year when the doo doo hits the fan, mess up your friendships, endanger-endanger-endanger. Healthy, happy people have values that make them feel good about themselves from the inside out which protects them when the external world is hucking eggs at them. Hold onto your values or hurry up and think of some.
3. Grudgingly let “exciting romantic opportunity” pass you by.
Hmm. Maybe turn resentful toward your boyfriend, become a volcano of suppressed sexuality, relinquish all powers of concentration at work, insatiably gawking. Sounds super fun. Maybe it will go away? Yeah, until next week when the hot UPS guy arrives with his package for you.
And the late-breaking No. 4?
4. Make things better with your current boyfriend.
I think it’s true that people much less often get the serious hots for someone else – the I’m-still-thinking-about-him/her-in-church type of hots – when their current relationship is satisfying. How to rekindle the fire burning low with Mr. Everyday and Regular? One; re-assess the worth of a kind, long-term partner in your personal value system. Two; intentionally turn toward your partner when you are feeling sketchy rather than away. This is key in preventing spiraling attrition of the relationship. Three; have fun together! If you do decide to give your current boyfriend a go, a great book I recommend for couples is “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work,” by John M. Gottman.
So there you have it, Pass Me By. Good luck to you.
Submit your questions to Kitty here.
The advice rendered is non-clinical and offered as personal opinion. It is for entertainment purposes only. The reader is fully responsible for his or her own actions and decisions. While efforts are made to provide good quality advice and information, the authors make no warranty whatsoever as to the accuracy of the information. If you require professional help, please consult a licensed professional.