relationships

My Boyfriend is Attracted to a Man of His Past

Hello T,

Your articles that I’ve read thus far are very insightful. I am writing because I am/was in a relationship (it’s complicated) and things suddenly shifted for my partner. It seemed everything was great until he got a new iPhone. Then when he signed into his iCloud his behavior shifted. Long story short, he got in contact with someone from his past that he’s been attracted to but never explored that attraction. Now he’s confused as to whether he wants to stay or go. He says that he knows that I love him and that I will treat him right, but he still wonders what he might be missing out on with the other guy. What advice can you give me? I was ready for marriage and forever and now I’m just heartbroken.

Lost and Confused

Dear Lost and Confused,

Thanks for writing to me.  I appreciate you visiting my site, and I appreciate your positive feedback even more.  When I hear kind words such as yours, it gives me an extra push to work even harder to elevate According to T to new heights.  So again, thank you.

Now as far as your dilemma goes, I’m sorry to hear about your recent bump in your coupledom.  I’m not sure how long you and your partner have been together, but it sounds like you are at a “relationship crossroads.”  Every couple will have a moment, more like several, when the people in them feel they are at a make or break time in their relationship.  The pair will look at their history with one another, balance that with the current problems they’re facing, and make a decision if at the end of the day their love and commitment is strong enough to carry them into the future.  Sometimes two people realize that they have a run their course with one another.  Other times, they realize the temporary hiccup they’re facing is just that.  Temporary.  And here in lies your current predicament.

I noticed that you said your boyfriend claimed to know you love him, and knows that you’ll treat him right.  I’m just wondering if your boyfriend reaffirmed his love for you in your conversations with him over this matter.  It’s great that he knows you love him and knows that you are a good partner, but you want someone to be with you and stay with you because he loves you, not solely because he fears he can’t do better.  You should want a man that chooses you to be his Plan A, and not his Backup.  If this guy is becoming so infatuated with this chapter of his past that he expects you to understand and wait on standby, you have a responsibility to yourself to know you deserve better.

To be fair, I get where your boyfriend is coming from.  My goal here is to help you, not completely vilify him.  Look, I’ve always said that when people get into relationships, they don’t become blind to the outside world.  Folks notice attractive people, and may even flirt from time to time.  That doesn’t mean they want to leave their partner, nor does it mean they will cheat.  It does however mean they are human.  It’s up to committed folks not to take attraction/flirtation to a level that disrespects their partner. Your boyfriend unfortunately is approaching or already in that danger zone of disrespect.

Suggestions going forward.

  1. You need to sit down and talk your boo again. Should he still be wavering in his commitment to you, you may want to initiate a break.  You don’t necessarily have to end things completely, but you two can step back from the relationship to gain perspective.  If nothing else, the space will help you determine if your relationship is what you think it is or something different.

 

  1. Don’t ever stay in a lack luster or bad situation because you fear starting over with someone else. No one wants that type unhappiness (and sometimes problems) that come with settling in love.

 

  1. Now I’m usually not a fan of people making ultimatums in their relationships, however this may be one of those times I make an exception. If you want to be in a relationship with just you and your boyfriend, and not you, him, and his lifelong crush, it’s okay to tell him that. It’s within your right to make him choose.  And it’s within your right to make a choice on whether you want to stay with him as well.

 

  1. Again, you should always want to be your partner’s Plan A, and NEVER Plan B.

As always nothing but love,

T.

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