She’s made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to… Ask Erin is a weekly advice column, in which Erin answers your burning questions about anything at all.
My fiancé and I have been together for four years. We started out hot and heavy, but our sex life fell off a cliff sometime in the second year. I truly did not mind because we were taking care of each other in all the other ways.
Now we are at different colleges, and my libido has gone into overdrive like it's making up lost time. I have a close guy friend (who I see as ONLY THAT, a friend) and he's one of the only men I actually spend time with outside of school. The problem is when he touches any part of me (hug, consoling pats, small brushes when sitting next to each other when the friend group is squished together) I feel like I'm on fire and have to break off contact ASAP, or else I feel like I'm being untrue to my fiancé.
I've talked to my fiancé about my increased libido, and he thinks it's great for him, but I only see him once every other month, and my body is screaming at me to ravish my friend. I've never dealt with this before; I've always been transient between men and quelled my needs.
How do I deal with this without losing my mind and throwing away my fantastic relationship, or ruining the friend group I have now?
There are some red flags here. You need to pay attention to what your gut (vis à vis your libido) is trying to tell you.
Yes, long-distance relationships can be challenging. It’s not uncommon to feel unsatisfied. But, it sounds like some of your relationship ennui started before the distance.
Now, number one, don’t act on this temptation.
When we cheat, not only do we harm others, we rob ourselves of clarity, because the inherent betrayal involved in cheating muddies everything, including our real feelings.
Sometimes, the guilt of cheating can trick us into putting our shaky relationship on a pedestal. Conversely, it’s easy to impose faux feelings on someone who represents newness and excitement and a lack of emotional baggage.
What you do need to do is spend some time getting clear on what you want. I don’t mean do you want fiancé or friend. I mean: what do you want out of a partnership? I am assuming that you are young (in your 20s), as you mentioned that you are now at different colleges. Regardless, maybe you are not ready for this level of commitment with someone.
It’s okay to admit that. It’s also okay to admit that your fiancé, though he’s great and you love him, may not be “the one.”
When I need clarity on a situation, I take actions that help me achieve that. Spend some time alone, without your fiancé or friend group. I'm not talking about a month. Take a weekend, just for you. Use that time to meditate on this.
As corny as it sounds, make lists. Make a list of what you want for yourself, how you envision your future. Make a list of what you want in a partner. Make a list of the ways you feel fulfilled and the ways you feel unfulfilled by your fiancé.
And lastly, if you can, working this out with a therapist’s help would be beneficial. You may need a little guidance.
Taking these actions are part of taking care of yourself. You have to do that before you can make decisions that involve these other people.
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