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JewishJournal.com

November 22, 2010

Wandering Eye

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/wandering_eye_20101106/

Photo

These boots are made for walking, possibly away from the present situation? Photograph courtesy of Victor Jeffreys II, phiary.com/diary/victor.

Dear Yenta,

I’ve been dating my best friend Taylor off and on for about two years now. It’s been really great and I love him so much. He’s helped me through my dad’s death in the past year and we are very close. Lately though I’ve started having feelings towards other people and being less interested when we are intimate. On top of that, I’ve stopped ignoring the feelings I’ve had for one of my good girl friends. She wrote me a letter and in it told me how she’s always felt about me.

She said in it that when she first met me that she knew there was something nerve-wracking and beautiful about me. I don’t know what to do because I think about her all the time and how wonderful it would be to be with her! I think about the way her eyes sparkle when she laughs and how she always looks perfect to me and I just have this desire to be with her, even though she thinks she is dorky. I don’t know if this is just a phase or not. Also, lately I’ve just been wanting to have sex a lot. With Taylor and with my other guy friends that are interested in me, or my ex boyfriends. It’s like I don’t even care anymore.

Am I morally obstructed for wanting to be with more than one person?

-Sweet Jewish Girl

Dear SJG,

You would only be morally obstructed if you were to act on all of your desires while feigning commitment to your boyfriend. There is no sin in entertaining thoughts. However, nine times out of ten, when you start thinking about sleeping with everyone around you more than about sleeping with your man, it is a sign that things between you aren’t right.

When people help us through hard times, it is hard to let them go. Your boyfriend, I have no doubt, is a wonderful man who made the pain of losing your father far less difficult. But just because someone was there when you needed them most does not mean you need to be with them forever. Relationships shift and it might be time to end the romantic element of this one.

According to Elisabeth Kübler Ross, there are 7 stages of grief. These are:

1) Shock stage: Initial paralysis at hearing the bad news.
2) Denial stage: Trying to avoid the inevitable.
3) Anger stage: Frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion.
4) Bargaining stage: Seeking in vain for a way out.
5) Depression stage: Final realization of the inevitable.
6) Testing stage: Seeking realistic solutions.
7) Acceptance stage: Finally finding the way forward.

You, I am guessing, are somewhere between the Testing and the Acceptance phases. It sounds like you have waxed and waned through the hard work of letting a parent go and are now ready to begin to come alive again.

You can still show your love and your friendship, but sticking around out of obligation or guilt is not what relationships are about. Your desire to sleep with your friend and to sleep with everyone else is just your body’s way of saying that it is time to move on. Get bad with your lesbian half. Find what makes you tick.

Sometimes, sadly, those people who help us through hard times also remind us of the suffering we experienced. It might be time to end your intimacy with your boyfriend because he holds a lot of the grief you just walked through, and now you need distance from those feelings. It isn’t fair, but it can be part of the process of mourning, moving on, and continuing to live a good life.

You only live that good life once, so be true to yourself. You can show your love and appreciation for your boyfriend without being his significant other. It is possible to end this era of the relationship, while expressing how important he was and is to you. For help, see these tips on gentle breakups from AllWomenStalk.com. Figure out what you want and then go get it. Just be sure to be kind and gentle as you untie yourself from this guy: he sounds like someone who deserves it.

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