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Two men in my heart
Jul 22, 2006
This is kind of hard to talk about, even though I know things could be far worse. I've been with my boyfriend for a bit over a year, and I do love him very much. But here's my problem...I find myself thinking not only about my boyfriend, but also about a male friend I did the "friends-with-benefits" thing with almost a year ago.

I'll call my boyfriend "Joe" and my friend "Chris". I met Chris during the fall, which was my first quarter in college; he was my neighbor and I met him when other neighbors came and invited me to their apartment for a little get-together. When I saw Chris, there was an immediate connection, even before he spoke to me. We slowly became closer, and he broke the ice one night about a month later when he kissed me. He admitted he cared very much for me, and I admitted to him that I cared for him. But I was truthful with him - while I liked him, I loved my boyfriend. He was fine with this, and we continued sharing our moments of romance on occasion until he left at the end of the quarter for his own reasons.

Contact between Chris and I has been shaky since he left. At one point, he didn't speak to me for two months and I got upset with him. About a month and a half ago, he called me for the first time in a long time. We didn't have a whole lot to talk about, but it felt so nice to hear his voice again. He always makes it a point to flirt with me when we speak via instant messaging. Lately he hasn't been speaking to me for some unknown reason, but I digress.

Someone once suggested to me that I may feel this way about Chris because Joe was lacking in something as far as our relationship. At first I thought they were wrong, but I think I'm sort of seeing a flaw...which is his desire to have kids. Now i'm not saying it's bad to want children, but it conflicts with my desire to NOT have kids. I found out about a month ago that Chris doesn't want children, and that really turned me on more to him than I had been previously. I hate to say this, but there are times when I kind of wish I knew I would end up with Chris later in life. The bad thing about Chris is he doesn't seem to be the kind of guy who's interested in long-term relationships. He's more into hooking up, unless it's because he's never had someone genuinely care for him.

I know I'm just sort of chasing my tail with this, but I just can't stop thinking about Chris. I don't want this to put a damper on my relationship with Joe in the future, assuming he and I remain together despite our differing views on children.

Has anyone else ever gone through this? If so, how did you handle it?
I can't say I truly love Chris, because I don't. As much as I like him, I can only actually love one person. The way I feel when I'm with Joe is much more profound than the time I spent with Chris...but that doesn't explain why I'm so attracted to Chris. It can't entirely be his no-children attitude becaue I cared about him long before I found out about his childfreedom. I wonder if the reason he's decided not to have children is if he figures he may never be in a long-term relationship and doesn't want to be burdened with caring for and paying for unwanted kids. Even if I wanted to pursue Chris, I couldn't because he lives three hundred miles away. And even if I had the opportunity to pursue him, I probably wouldn't because I fear he may just push me aside when he finds someone better.

Honestly, if I had Joe and Chris standing in front of me and I was given the chance to choose who I wanted, I would take Joe without even giving it a second thought. Yes I care about Chris, but the feelings I have for him are more of a schoolgirl crush than actual love. But I'm not exactly lusting after him - I don't want him for physical reasons (his looks, sex, etc.); I actually feel/felt an emotional connection to him. I don't know if I'd call him a bad boy (as far as I know, he's a virgin, so he can't be [I]that[/I] bad); I actually don't know if he prefers to hop from one girl to the next because he likes variety, or he just can't keep a girlfriend for too long because they stop wanting each other. I know he had told me he's never been in a relationship for longer than three months. I never really asked him in great depth about his past relationships. This may sound odd, but I don't think Chris is capable of feeling real love, and I've never wanted to truly be with someone who couldn't tell me they loved me.

I don't think I actually want to be with Chris...those times I thought about what it would be like to be with him came along with me thinking about the problems that will probably arise for Joe and I in the future when the issue of children comes up again. I won't go into detail about this because I already did so in a whole other thread. Joe's good qualities outnumber his bad ones noticeably, and I would prefer to stay with him. I see no reason to pursue a crush...but I can't get Chris out of my mind. I hate loving someone and crushing on someone else. It's not that I'm torn between who I want to be with, but I can't get rid of these feelings for Chris. I'm not looking for a reason to leave Joe; I don't want to leave him. I just want to stop thinking about Chris. Even when he upset me by not speaking to me for so long didn't drive me away. In a way I kind of hope he'll just infuriate me or upset me again so I can perhaps stop thinking about him in this way.

I don't even know if Chris still cares for me. I mean he flirts with me routinely, but he probably does that with a lot of girls. I know I confided in Chris a while back when I was upset after Joe told me he wanted children. I had said that I lost feeling for Joe in the moment following his statement, and Chris said something along the lines of "That could be good news for me". I think he was just being sarcastic, though...he seems to be sarcastic more often than he's serious.

I know my heart truly lies with Joe. I feel something incredible when I think about him or when I'm near him. I don't want to risk losing that for someone who may not even be capable of feeling real love. I hope I can just forget these other feelings one day; I don't want my heart chasing a lost cause. I hope I haven't confused you guys too much - I confused myself about halfway through this post. Thank you for all your advice.

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