Dear Alice,

I have been going out with a wonderful girl for over a year now. She is smart, caring, and pleasant. But, someone else has come into the picture. She is also wonderful, smart, and pleasant, and I can't stop thinking about her. My girlfriend doesn't know this, but it's changing me on the inside...I have this terrible feeling it's only a matter of time before something big happens. I am at total war on the inside, sometimes my heart says "stay" while my mind says "leave." Other times, my mind says "stay" while my heart says "leave." I am so confused. Please help.

Torn Between

Dear Torn Between,

Think about what you would lose and what you would gain by "leaving" and by "staying." What kind of relationship do you have together? What plans do you and your girlfriend have for the future? What do you want right now and in the future? Your answers to these questions may help you understand what you're feeling at the moment.

Sometimes, we look for the path of least resistance out of a relationship. Could it be that this new girl is your ticket out of a relationship you no longer want to be in? Perhaps, you want your current relationship to become more open to the idea of seeing other people (if your girlfriend also welcomes this opportunity)? Or, maybe you need "alone time" — not to be in any relationship so that you can decide what's best for you at this time?

Then again, there's the possibility that you're attracted to this other girl. Nothing more, nothing less. And, it may have nothing to do with your girlfriend. If you act on this attraction, something will happen. But, a few weeks or months down the road, you might realize that what happened (say, a breakup with your current girlfriend) was not what you really wanted. Try to decide what you want, and then act on that.

One last thought...the grass isn't always greener on the other side (but sometimes, it is). You have to decide if you want to take the risk to find out.


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