Dear Captain Awkward:
There’s no way I can think to say this without sounding like a brat, but here goes. I’m sleeping with a guy that’s completely in love with me and supports me in everything I do. We get along great, the sex is great, he’s someone I could see myself raising a family with, and when we were dating and family came up, he wasn’t opposed to the idea. The thing is, I initially broke up with him because I lost interest in him as anything more than a friend, emotionally speaking. There’s also another guy who recently got out of the military, went to California to see about a job, and is coming home again. He ALSO loves me, the sex is ALSO great, and he pushes me to be better and do better. This boy hits ALL the right buttons for me, and we also dated before he joined the military. I also see a future with him, but he’s not interested in a family-related future. This is fine, because we’re twenty-freaking-two.
On the one hand, there’s a very likely long and peaceful future with the Family-man, except without the heart-induced jitters. With the Military-man, there’s the plus of MY emotions being there, but the minus of a mysterious future. Family-man seems like the logical choice (and I feel like a HUGE brat writing that). But then when I take our age into consideration, Military-man seems more logical. (Serously. 22? Do I NEED a guaranteed family in my future?) There’s also the fantasy-land solution that involves open relationships, but I hesitate to even ask for that because 1) those haven’t worked out for me in the past, and 2) Family-man wouldn’t like the idea but would go with it to make me happy.
Like I said, I feel like a brat lamenting over “Ohhh noooo which boy to I choooose.” I like the way things are right now with Family-man, and I don’t really want things to change, but inevitably when Military-man gets home I will want to be with him and things will change. I feel like I need to have this figured out before all shit hits the fan when he gets home. I thought maybe I need a kick in the head, or maybe an outside perspective. Whichever you can offer, I’d be grateful.
1. You’re twenty-freaking-two, so you don’t have to decide everything about your life right now.
2. Here’s how I read this letter: ”I’m with this really great guy who loves me and whom I *should* love back because on paper we are well-matched even though we broke up once for lack of groin on my part. I’m worried because pretty soon the man I really actually love is coming back to town, so can you tell me how to break off my current thing gracefully in a way that totally preserves my options with him if things with Returning Romantic Hero don’t work out?“
3. Honestly, if “both at once” isn’t an option for you, break it off cleanly with current guy. There are many scripts buried throughout this site. Maybe go with “I am so sorry, I think my feelings for you have changed and I need us to break things off.” Do not mention your current dilemma, because if you do you’re kind of being a jerk in asking him to solve it for you by being the one to break it off with you or valiantly proclaim that he’ll wait. If things don’t work out with Returning Hero and you find yourself missing Stalwart Companion, 6 months down the road you can say “Can we grab a drink?” and if he says yes you can have the “I’m so sorry, I feel like I made a big mistake back there, could we start again please?” conversation, but again. In the meantime, by making a clean break of it. Don’t try to be friends. Set him free and give him the chance to meet someone else.
4. Being loved is not enough. You know it. I know it. Your heart and your vagina are speaking loud and clear in your letter, and they are speaking as one: Have a good time with Returning Hero when he gets back. Speak up about your feelings and desires. See what happens. Either things will totally click and work out or they won’t. If they do? Awesome. If they don’t? You’ll know for sure that he’s not right for you, and as you move on he won’t be hanging out at the edges of your life as the sexy mysterious might-have-been guy.
5. Maybe it’s just the glow of new love in my own life making me smug and satisfied, but I’m pretty sure that if neither of those situations works out, a fine lady like yourself will surely meet more hot, interesting, kind dudes who are into you. One of those will surely sex you up right, support your dreams, call you on your bullshit when necessary, and share your plans for the future. Life is risk, so risk going after the person you really want, and risk spending some time alone if things don’t work out.