Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Feeling urge to leave longtime partner and explore

Carolyn Hax on

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I have been with my partner for six years and have just graduated from college. I love my partner and could see myself happily married to them for the long haul. However, I am beginning to feel wistful about never having dated anyone else -- or kissed anyone else for that matter -- and if I feel this way at 22, I fear that by 35 I'll go mad and uproot my life at an even worse time.

Yet, I can't imagine going through the pain of breaking up with the perfect partner just because of a stupid seven-year itch.

How do I make sense of these feelings? I tell my partner everything, and hiding this feeling is suffocating, but I would never want to hurt them, and I know this would devastate them. I feel too young to be this seriously committed but obviously unwilling to dump someone I think could be right for marriage in 10 years.

I thought I'd made up my mind to break up, but then I saw them and my mind was completely unmade because I love them so much. But how can I love them and still be interested in exploring other things? I could use some perspective.

-- To Break Up or Not to Break Up?

Stop hiding this feeling.

The relationship might not be able to withstand your telling this truth, but it will not be able to withstand your hiding it.

Trust that.


swipe to next page


blog comments powered by Disqus

Social Connections


Family Circus Scary Gary Blondie Archie Dennis the Menace The Barn