Sun | Sep 24, 2023

Torn between two lovers

Published:Tuesday | March 30, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Q . I think you are doing a great job. Keep up the good work. I am a 23-year-old Jamaican college student. I have a long-distance relationship with a younger man. We met a couple of years ago and I have fallen deeply in love with him. We are both in love with each other. He visits me every two weeks and I love seeing him.

We talk on the phone and our relationship seemed to be going fine. However, recently it occurred to me our relationship was completely platonic. My boyfriend was starting to desire it and up until we started dating, so was I. It puzzled me because I have always been one to have a very healthy sexual appetite. The problem was, even though I was attracted to my boyfriend, I felt I was taking advantage of him because of his age. I was becoming celibate and found I did not and could not desire sex. This was making me act very strange.

One day after class, a fellow male student invited me to go out with him. I had agreed because it was the day after an argument with my boyfriend. Before he even made an advance, I suggested he come to my place and pretty soon we were having sex. This 'one night stand' quickly turned into a long-term affair which I am currently still in.

My new lover knows I have a boyfriend as he also has a girlfriend. We are both very successful people and if anyone found out about this affair we would be humiliated. I know I am hurting my boyfriend and wish I could stop but if I do I would just be neglecting my sexual desires which I am trying to tame every time I cheat on him.

My boyfriend will be coming next month from a stay in Miami. I don't think I can face him without feeling compelled to tell him the truth. To make matters worse, I am developing a close attachment to my lover. Counsellor, will you please help me?

A.  You are trying to have your cake and eat it. You appear to want the best of both worlds. You want to have a close relationship with your boyfriend while having a sexual relationship with your classmate. It seems you have compartmentalised your feelings; wanting meaningful conversations with your boyfriend and having an outlet for your sexual appetite with your fellow student.

You claim you are in a platonic relationship and in this close friendship which you have no sexual desire and no romantic feelings towards your boyfriend. This appears very odd. Is it that you are suppressing it out of respect for him or fearing it may appear you are sexually harassing him? You also need to know if your boyfriend does not perceive you in a romantic way. Clearly, based on your past sexual exploits, you have a need to confirm a close friendship with sexual intimacy. You seemed to have different priorities concerning a genuine relationship. You need to talk with your boyfriend concerning your feelings towards him and your sexual needs.

However, you are complicating the matter, in that, you seemed to have started this sexual relationship because you were having problems with your boyfriend and you either did it as stress relief or to get back at him.

But then, you are not happy because of the potential consequences of this forbidden relationship causing shame and humiliation. Furthermore, you are cheating with a cheater. You both know you do not belong to each other and yet you persist with this affair. Obviously, you both have unmet desires in your existing relationships. You need to withdraw from that complicated relationship with your fellow student before you open up to your boyfriend.

You claim you want to stop having sex with your fellow student but you cannot. This is a serious problem. You need to control your sexual desires and not let your desires control you. Controlling one's sexual desires is one of the distinguishing marks of humans and necessary for there to be a loving, committed relationship. You are going to need a counsellor to help you with that problem.

You problems are varied and complex. You need help from a counsellor at your college before your boyfriend arrives. But, for a start, you need to end the sexual relationship with your classmate.

Contact the counsellor at