Had Sex to Get Even with Ambivalent Boyfriend -- Now What?

Dear Sherry:

My boyfriend and I have been dating for one and a half years, and on the surface things are great. However, my feelings towards him are stronger than his are for me. When I tell him how frustrated this makes me, he says he doesn't know why he hasn't "come around after all this time" and that he doesn't "know how much longer it might take." To add more gasoline to my already fiery personal life, I just moved into a new apartment and went out dancing with my two cute new neighbors -- and ended up sleeping with one of them. I felt horrible about it the next morning and don't know whether I should confess to the deed (this is my first indiscretion during my entire dating history). My boyfriend was mad enough after I told him that I just went out dancing with them.

Were my actions a subconscious attempt to get me out of this relationship? On the other hand, I value my boyfriend's friendship and don't want to jeopardize it. What should I do?



Sherry Amatenstein

Sherry is the author of The Q&A Dating Book and Love Lessons from Bad Breakups. She has taught dating seminars, appeared as an expert... Read more

Dear Rachel:

First, you've got to get your life on course. Sleeping with one man to get back at another is not just dumb behavior, it's self-destructive. And, yes, you should confess the deed to your boyfriend, as well as the tangled motivations that led toward the -- as you phrased it -- indiscretion. It also sounds as if you need to break up with this man who cannot give you what you need. The alternative is to keep torturing yourself and him, and that's a lose-lose proposition. Tell him that you'll understand if he's furious with you but that you pray someday the two of you can be friends.

Next on your to-do list is to have a conversation (a vertical one) with your neighbor. Tell him that what happened between you was one of those crazy things, that you're going through a tough period, you don't want to hurt him and you need to get your head on straight.

Then temporarily make yourself a man-free zone. Chill: Listen to music, spend time with girlfriends, family, throw yourself into work and travel, if you can. But get to know and like yourself first before diving into another relationship.

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