Dear Miss Emily:

Hello, I’ve been with my boyfriend for 6 years, going on 7.  I started dating him when I was 16 and he was 19. I’m now 22 and, lately, I’ve been feeling  different. I think a lot about my future and success to me is my number one goal. Throughout my relationship I've felt like I’ve been stopped from things that I love doing. For example: I'm a dancer and a dance choreographer but I have stopped, because my boyfriend didn’t seem to like the idea.. I am also interested in becoming a flight attendant simply because I am attracted to it. But I haven’t pursued that career because of him, and I understand why. Choosing that career is tough because it considers constantly traveling and it will ruin the relationship. But lately, I’ve been feeling like all my life I've been stopped from what I want to do. I don’t want to be 30 years old and regret not doing things. I’m still young, but I don’t want to have that state of mind. I want to go out there and do it –  figure out what I want in life, figure out  more about myself.  I talked to my boyfriend, and we were in a point of breaking up, which I felt ready for, but he’s not. He’s not mentally or emotionally ready. He has goals for himself and he includes me in them, and it's selfish of me not including him. Another thing I have to mention...throughout my 6 year relationship, I have cheated on him. I’ve slept with 6 guys. I promised myself to stop and change the way I am, and I tried my hardest to put all my effort in my relationship and, in my heart, I felt like I was doing fine. But as of right now, I’m still sleeping with a guy. When it comes to our intimacy, I’m not physically turned on. I don’t like having sex with him. I always come with an excuse of not wanting to, and when we do, I tell him to rush. We also talked about this before...sometime last year. We wanted to talk to a counselor, but I thought it was going to be useless. When I have sex with the other men, I do get aroused and I do reach the point of orgasm. In my heart, I know I'm hurting him, and the fact that he doesn’t know hurts me the most.  He’s a great guy. Any woman would love to have him, but I feel like maybe I got in this relationship too soon.  He’s ready to settle down, and I’m not.  I’m barely trying to figure out what I want. I’m so confused.  I really don’t want to hurt him anymore, and I know I will keep doing what I’m doing. Do you believe it is best to end my relationship and figure out what I want in my life? please help...thank you for your time.
In Limbo

-----------------------Miss Emily’s advice------------------

Dear In Limbo:

I see your dilemma.  You have grown-up with this guy and you love him – but you no longer want to be bound in this way to your best friend.  You do him no favor by deceiving him.  And he does no favor to himself, nor to you, by expecting you to accept his opinion of what your future should hold.  It is an emotional grip that is destructive and self-defeating. You have, essentially, spelled out all of the reasons for leaving him in your letter to me.  I see no need to rehash what you have already said.  Now is the time to stop feeling guilty, stop analyzing your situation and do what is right.  Sit him down, without going into the gory details of your outside sexual activity, and tell him how you feel, what you want, and emphasize that  it is non-negotiable. You care deeply for him, but you should no longer carry the burden of what has been a feeble commitment at best.  If you are not willing to do this, than it is you who is not willing to make the break and it’s time to dig deeper and figure out why this is the case.  Protecting his feelings is an absurd excuse. If it is my permission you need, you have it. Life is shorter than you realize. Remember this, when our lives near the end, we seem to regret what we did not do when we had the opportunity.  It is an age-old story and, each day you delay, you are headed toward that reality.