2 women embracingWith my girlfriend, I picture a pleasing FUTURE. With my crush, I imagine a very blissful NOW.

Dear Dr Frankie,
My girlfriend and I have been together for nearly two years, and she is everything I want and need, including a loving family, sex and support. However, a month ago, I met someone at work. She’s very charming, five years older than me, and every time I see her, my heart races. We are very attracted to each other. My current girlfriend is my second relationship, and both have been serious. Because I am so young, I don’t know if that’s what’s making me want to live in the moment. With my girlfriend, I picture a promising future. With my crush, I imagine a very blissful now. Please help me.

Dear Crushed Out, It appears that you have the clarity to see the difference between a happy, stable future and a passion-infused tryst despite your racing hormones. You mentioned that you are young and this is only your second relationship. It’s natural to be curious about other women. Imagine that you were available to pursue something more than friendship with your crush – is this tempting? Does it fulfil you? Or is it more that she’s off-limits?

You love your girlfriend, and you should ask yourself these questions: Are you most intrigued by the physical attraction you and your crush share? Are you less interested in having a long-term relationship? Does that idea of staying with your girlfriend fill you with love and hope, or does it not? There’s nothing wrong with whatever answer you come up with, as long as it’s the TRUE answer for you. The fact that you are already questioning “because I’m so young… I want to live in the moment” is significant. Listen to that voice and use it to do some soul-searching.

If you decide to act on your crush, be responsible first: Break up with your girlfriend. Give her and your 2-year relationship the respect, honour, and love it deserves. Be mindful not to be cruel, blaming or resentful, staying present and reminding yourself that this is something you want and isn’t her fault. This will take some time, and it deserves it. Tell your girlfriend about it if you decide not to act on your crush. It won’t be pleasant, and she’ll have her response to it, which may be uncomfortable. The key here is this: Secrets don’t make friends. Radical honesty is the only way to keep a long-term relationship in the green.

Crushes are a part of life and can give us a life-affirming rush. So can long-term relationships. Whichever you choose, be responsible, be mindful and allow your true feelings to emerge.

Good luck.