happy in relationship, but having trouble committing

My boyfriend Alan and I have been together for about 7 months. When I met him, I wasn’t looking for a relationship at all; I was really enjoying being single. I liked him so much right off the bat, more so then I’ve ever liked anyone, but it was still difficult for me to let go of being single. I did, though, and I’m really happy with him–I’m extremely attracted to him, he treats me amazingly, we have a great connection, and I could honestly see myself marrying him. The problem is, despite how much I love him, I still think about being single and hooking up with other people a great deal. I don’t know why, because our sex life is great and he completely fulfills my emotional needs. But every time I go out without him, I am afraid that if a hot guy starts flirting with me and we really hit it off, I might cheat on him. I have never cheated on anyone, and I am extremely against it, so this really worries me. But I find myself fantasizing about it a lot. I feel that while I am physically satisfied with Alan, what I’m missing is the freedom and unpredictability of being single, the excitement and sexual tension with new guys, and the super-sexy passion with first-time hook-ups.
I don’t want to feel this way. I in no way want to do anything to harm my relationship with Alan, but I just keep having these thoughts. Is this normal? How can I fix this?

6 thoughts on “happy in relationship, but having trouble committing

  1. EricaSwagger says:

    [This is completely normal. I’ve had the same feelings, and denying them can be extremely difficult. I mean I’ve literally thought the same exact things you mentioned… The sexual tension, the excitement, the passion… After two years of living it up single and enjoying it to its fullest, it’s hard to just make a 180 and be completely content and committed, and never want that excitement again. Most animals don’t mate for life, and ones that do often have other partners too (in the wild, I mean). Humans actively choose not to live like this, which goes against nature and causes situations like yours.

    I don’t know if fixing this is the way to go. It took me a lot of struggling with myself (and a really stupid mistake) to realize that getting that sexual tension, new hook-up excitement was not worth losing what I have with my boyfriend. I still have the want, but it’s a sacrifice I make to be in the loving relationship I know I want more than I want the hook-ups. That’s how I keep it clear. I want my boyfriend more than I want the excitement of something new.

    If you’re against cheating, and you’d rather stay in the relationship and want than be single and miss him, then work at it. Constantly remind yourself what you’d be giving up if you were single again. Every time you have a thought about wanting the freedom, make yourself think about your boyfriend, and how it would feel to lose him. There are ways to have a little of both, too. Keep your boyfriend, continue to be loyal, but… Imagine he’s someone else once in a while when you’re together. Flirt with the guys at the bar but then walk away. Nobody is a saint, nobody is so completely infatuated with their partner than they never think about anyone else ever.

    On the flip side, if you think you’d rather be single than be with him, then you have to let him know. You may be telling yourself you want to be with him, but the security of having a boyfriend and the fact that you’d feel bad breaking things off are not reasons to stay with someone.

  2. ladiejoy says:

    [Actually I do have something to add… I don’t know what kind of sex life you have, obviously, but if you are both fairly adventurous how about some role play? Have him pretend to be a sexy stranger – dress the part – and go with it.

    Just a thought.

  3. Joanna says:

    [Sometimes I feel the same way. But all that I have and all that he and I built together is not worth giving up for momentary sexual thrills. That’s the fundamental question. Is what you have now with your boyfriend worth more than the sexual thrills you get out of being single? On one side, your boyfriend supplies everything in a partner that makes you happy including a great sex life. On the other hand, being single only fulfills your sexual fantasies. Would you rather be completely satisfied or partially satisfied? That’s what it comes down to.

  4. Happy Pants says:

    [I don’t know how old the blurb author is or how many relationships she’s had (or how long they’ve lasted), but 7 months seems like not that long to me, and like these feelings aren’t really that abnormal. You’re still in a semi-new situation, getting used to monogamy, getting used to the relationship itself. I don’t think it’s unusual to have these thoughts at this point, but if you’ve made a commitment to each other to be monogamous, and you want to honor that commitment, I would take Erica and LJ’s advice and work through it. If not, then you’ve had 7 great months, and you’ve learned from your experience that monogamy just isn’t what you’re looking for right now.

    Give it some more time to see where the relationship goes and how it develops, and if you’re still having thoughts about cheating once you’ve hit a year, then I think it’s time to seriously reassess what it is you want out of this relationship specifically, but also out of your romantic life more generally as well.

  5. theattack says:

    [My question for you is: Do you think you might want to be with other people, or are you worried that you will cheat on impulse? If it’s the latter, I think you are just concerned because your relationship is really good and you don’t want to screw it up. That seems like a natural concern that comes with the realization that you want to commit. All I can say is that it will get better with time when you see yourself turning away other guys and being disinterested because you’re more attracted to your boyfriend. You might be surprised by how easy it is to say no (and this is coming from someone who is a reformed chronic cheater).

    If you think you might want to be with other people, then you’ve got some real thinking to do. It’s not easy to continue in a monogamous relationship when you still have some of your own urges to fulfill.

  6. lilredbmw says:

    [I was smiling as I read this. I admire your honesty and I think you speak for soooo many people out there! There is always a curiosity, and I think that is totally normal. And 7 months is fairly new still, so give it some time. I am married and I even occasionally wonder about what it would be like to be single again. Single leaves you free and independent and care-free. You just go about your life and just worry about making yourself happy. But, at the end of the day, what is making you happy? It’s a perspective thing. Maybe in the club, it seems like it would be nice to be hit on. Maybe they are attractive and you think of hooking up with them. But, the grass isn’t always greener. At the end of the day, do you want Alan and all that comes with him? The security, the great sex, the conversations, the comfort? Or do you want the random guy, with the unsure sex, the possible lack of communications, the freedom?

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