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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Teen

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.

Question

What can you do if you love a person but you cannot be with them? But you have a boyfriend who you fall even more in love with everyday, but you can't stop thinking about the other guy?
--16 year old female from Canada

Answer

Personally, I think it is possible to love two people at the same time. It is not always good for your relationships, however, as most people prefer fidelity and monogamous relationships. You have a couple of choices . . . you can prepare yourself emotionally and mentally to let go of your feelings for one of them. This may be easier said than done, but you begin by simply admitting to yourself that you are not going to be involved with this person and allow yourself to grieve over that loss. You may feel sad, even depressed for a while. If you need to cry, write about your feelings in a diary and let yourself feel your pain and experience the loss.

Or, you may choose to pursue your interest in this other guy. If so, you probably need to be honest with your boyfriend about your other interest and allow him to decide if he wants to be involved with someone who has strong feelings, and possibly a relationship, with another person. Chances are that your boyfriend feels the presence of this other guy, anyway. He may be relieved to know what is going on, but nonetheless forced to deal with the issue of the other guy. If he is okay with sharing your affection with another, perhaps you can try dating both of them.

If not, you will have to make a decision about who you would prefer to be involved with at this time. If the relationship with the other guy is indeed not possible, you risk losing your boyfriend and still clinging to feelings for a guy who you can't be with. Sounds like you need to do some soul searching to determine how important your current boyfriend is to you and if you are willing to risk that for something that may not work out.

I would be remiss not to remind you that being sexually involved with multiple partners can be a deadly decision with the increase in HIV and Aids among teens and young adults. Whatever your decision, be smart and safe about your choices when it comes to sexual involvement. The preference would be to abstain until you are in a committed relationship or at least a consenting adult. However, if you choose to be sexually active ALWAYS practice safer sex and get tested every six months. Ideally your partner(s) should be tested, too.

Best of luck!

3/12/98

LuAnn Pierce, MSW, CMSW
Author of Growing up Sane (in uncertain times)
Seminar Leader Growing Well Adjusted Kids
Editor-in-Cheif Person to Person: Strengthening Youth & Families
Telephone Counselor Affinity Counseling Center
Affinity Books & Resource Center: Your Source for Emotional Wellness

 

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