- Dr. Love in the Media
Totally in Lust with Another Guy
July 23, 2012 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
I have been dating a guy for over a year now and I thought we had an ok relationship until I saw my ex boyfriend again (who I dated for 3 years). I started rethinking my decisions about dating at that point.
Then I began talking innocently to another guy that was there and I am completely in lust with him right now and I don't know what I should do.
I haven't acted upon any of these urges but I don't know how long that will hold out. I don't know whether to give up this current relationship or to suffer through the feelings that I'm getting now. . . . please help.
Should I Give Up My Relationship or Give into the Lust for Another?
First of all, the fact that you feel lust for more than one man is normal. Of course what distinguishes us from animals is the fact that we have a brain and—hopefully—the capacity to not ONLY act like animals in heat. This means that we don’t jump on every rump that presents itself. We want to. But, deep down we are all looking to bond with that special someone. Once we do, we resist acting on our lustful urges in order to preserve our sacred bonds. This is the ideal that we all must strive to achieve.
In your case, I think there’s an added issue. It sounds to me like you also suffer from what I call the Grass is Greener syndrome.
You broke up with your boyfriend of 3 years because, I assume, that the the relationship seemed unworkable to you at the time. Your ex wasn't someone you wanted when you had him, but now that you don't have him he seems to be desirable; so does this other man that you recently met. It seems that you want men who you don't have and don't want the men you do have.
If you ask yourself how this problem connects to your history, I'm sure you will find the answer. I suspect that you yearned for a parent who was not available. Perhaps dad or mom was distant, cold or unloving. This type of early experience would prime you to choose partners who can't give you what you want. Soon you feel frustrated in the relationship you’re in, break up and start over with someone else; but the someone else will be no better than the someone who came before. Why?
Two possibilities. Either you keep choosing people who can't give to you, the way one or both of your parents couldn’t. This urge to replay the past by choosing partners who can't give to you is an unconscious attempt to relive the Old Scar from your childhood and finally heal it. The fantasy being that somehow the partner who can't give you what you want will suddenly and magically be able to give to you.
If this happens, you will feel that the Old Scar with your parent is finally healed. The wish to heal your early wound is the driving force behind your urge to return to your ex. You unconsciously hope that he'll be better to you this time around. But he most likely won't be because he's too much like the parents who let you down and didn't give to you in the first place.
The second possibility is that you choose people who can give to you, but you don’t feel satisfied because you were let down or deprived in childhood. The result is an empty emotional well inside yourself that can never be filled.
In either case, the only way out of your mess is to identify your Old Scar and heal it. Ask yourself who let you down (mom? dad?) and in what way. Unearth all the memories of all the let downs that you suffered and allow yourself to feel all of your feelings.
Next have imaginary dialogues with your parents and speak your heart, your pain and your anger.
Imagine your parents responding to you the way you needed them to do when you were young.
Also be sure to re-parent yourself by giving yourself the kind of self-talk and emotionally loving treatment that you needed as a child. As your Old Scar heals, you will not feel unsatisfied and bottomless and/or you will be ready to choose a partner who treats you well (or guide your current partner to treat you the way you deserve). This is the key to your relationship happiness and to the end of your searching for greener guy grass.
"If anger and fighting are ruining your dream of a happy marriage, Dr. Turndorf’s conflict resolution program is for you."
-- John Gray,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
"This well-researched book offers a thorough, step-by-step program that provides tools for couples to heal even the most troubled relationships."
-- Dr. John Mack
Pulitzer Prize winning author and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
“This book is mandatory reading for every couple that wants to build lasting love.”
-- John Bradshaw,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Homecoming
"Dr. Turndorf is an amazing individual who has wonderful advice to offer men and women of all ages and in all types of relationships. Ignore her counsel at your peril!"
-- Bill Hammond III,
Winner of the Best Historical Fiction Award, 2012
"You are awesome Dr. Jamie. You really are. The best part about you is the way you translate complex psychological stuff into easy to understand and actionable insights."
-- Kajay Williams,
Producer Relationship Advice Cafe
"Let me tell you why you're extremely important now. I really believe your message is there. You're spot on. More and more people should be taking advantage of what you're offering."
-- Michael Dresser,
Syndicated Radio Host
"Good stuff. Great insight. I love your approach. Who doesn't need more healing. I love your idea of using your partner as a healing agent. That's such a great way to see your partner. You give great labels and patterns to look for. I love your method. You make it sound so easy. You have a great website with lots of great information and resources. These are the tools we all need."
-- Dr. Matt Townsend,
Host, The Matt Townsend Show