Mar 11 2018
I’m the side chick. I know it’s wrong, but I completely fell for him. He calls me every day and we hang out whenever we can. I would love to be in a relationship with him, but I feel that he’s too scared to end his current relationship (of six years). He’s even said that he doesn’t feel bad about cheating, because being with me feels right. It seems like I’m constantly fighting for him. It makes it so hard to end things because we’re so close… like losing a lover and a best friend. What should I do?
I doubt he’s too scared to break up with his current girlfriend. He’s probably just too comfortable. After all, his girlfriend hasn’t caught on—and he’s got a girl on the side who’s fine being his other lady. He’s got two women accepting him just the way he is, and there’s no sign that’s going to change. So trust him when he tells you he doesn’t feel bad about cheating. I bet he feels great.
Just remember that he’s only ever said it “feels right” to be with you while he’s dating his girlfriend. He may think it would feel wrong to be with you alone.
You’re not exactly fighting for him, you’re just accepting a deal he’s cut: You can see him, sleep with him, and be his friend—only if you accept being his “side chick.” Of course he’s going to tell you what you want to hear. That’s what cheaters do.
Think very carefully about whether or not you want to be with — or even friends with — a guy who cheats on his girlfriend. My advice is to break up with him. But if you do actually want to be with him, tell him that you’ll only be with him if you have a real, exclusive relationship. If he thinks you’re worth that basic respect, he’ll show it to you—or not. Either way, claim that basic level of respect for yourself and draw a clear line he can’t ignore.
I’m going to start off by saying how I am in a very loving, trusting relationship of four years now, and have never been happier in my life. My boyfriend and I have a very healthy sex life and try new things all the time, including certain kinks and actively participating in BDSM. Before I was with him, I was in a mentally and sexually abusive relationship that I still struggle with. To this day I sometimes get these awful, horrifying nightmares about being chased, kidnapped, raped, or tortured. It’s something my boyfriend is very aware and sensitive of. My problem is that recently I’ve been starting to feel some attraction towards kidnapping and ravishment role-play fantasies, obviously only consensual, between my boyfriend and I. It’s something I’d like to explore, but how do I approach that? I feel like the idea should be the furthest from my mind. I don’t even think this is a healthy thing and that maybe something is wrong with me psychologically, but I just can’t get rid of the fantasy. Thoughts?
This is obviously a very complicated question. You’ve had some truly traumatic experiences in your past relationships so, of course, you’re still working through them and trying to assimilate those hard experiences into your healthy relationship now. Your history is a part of you, and you’re right not to repress it. The question is, how do you acknowledge those experiences and integrate those often confounding desires into your life now? You’re going to have to find these answers yourself, but I can say that it’s a very valid question and your introspection seems positive, no matter how uncomfortable and whichever way you act on it.
You say you “don’t even think this is a healthy thing”—and I think you’re talking about a few different things, right? There’s the traumatic memories, the nightmares, and the fantasies. These three things are all related, and I imagine the nightmares and fantasies may just be opposite ways your mind is processing the initial trauma. Dreams and fantasies are often fantasies of empowerment, whether they “look” like it or not. They’re often our way of taking control of what scares us: of playing it out in a safe space, either subconsciously (in dreams) or consciously (in day-dreams, or role-play).
It sounds like you have a respectful, trusting relationship with your boyfriend, and that you’d like to approach this fantasy with him. I’d certainly be careful and take it slow. As an experienced kinkster, you know that consent is key: Both partners need to agree on limits before they play. In this case, it’s not just an idle kink. It’s very specifically rooted in your own experience, so if you haven’t opened up to your boyfriend yet about your history, I’d strongly encourage you to do so before playing it out. You should also remind him of why limits are important to you—and, just so there’s never any confusion, how these fantasies don’t reflect how you want to be treated outside of the bedroom.
He also needs to know what he’s getting into, why this turns you on, why it scares you, and why, when you do try something like this, you may have some strong emotional reactions. He needs to be able to support you. Intimacy takes all kinds of forms, as you know, and it seems to me that this fantasy may be a way for you to process with your partner. If he doesn’t have the whole picture, though, it might feel very isolating for you, or create a wedge where you need connection.
My final advice is I really do hope that you can stop worrying about there being something “wrong with me psychologically.” The abuse you suffered wasn’t your fault. And you’re not wrong to react in an unusual way to an unusually difficult situation. There’s not a right or wrong way to deal with that kind of pain. I hope you can give yourself the space to process your experience in your own time and way. Sometimes, our subconscious mind just tells us what it needs—and we have no choice but to listen.
How do I tune out everyone else’s engagements and weddings while still being happy for them? I’ve been with my partner for three years — we’re happy, and even though I’m ready to get married and he’s not yet, I know he’s committed to me…just slow to come around to big life decisions like this one. The trouble is it’s impossible to avoid everyone else’s wedding bliss because it’s all over social media, which I need to use for work. Plus it seems we’re going to a wedding every other weekend. It’s not that I begrudge anyone else their chance to celebrate, it just makes it harder not to compare my relationship to theirs.
This question dates back centuries. In Victorian novels, wasn’t there always a young woman who begrudges her sister for her matrimonial bliss? This isn’t social media’s fault, though wedding hashtags, registry emails, and Facebook updates definitely make it harder to tune out all the wedding showers and suspiciously photogenic proposals.
So, no, there’s nothing you can do to tune it out: No wedding blocking app can filter your feed entirely. You cannot stop these marriages from happening, or these people from gloating about their damned happiness.
You’ve just got to remind yourself, over and over, that you’re you and they’re them. Get married to the wrong person now in order to keep up with all the other brides—and you’ll be getting divorced soon too. Being a little older, I can tell you: A lot of those people who get married, in part, because it’s the “right” time in life, end up regretting it.
Marriage may be the least one-size-fits-all experience in all of humanity: It’s all about one person meeting one person, out of billions. So why the hell should we expect that to happen at exactly the same time as everyone else? Try to travel your lifeline by following someone else’s roadmap and you will end up deeply lost.
Do you have a question for Logan about sex or relationships?