Dear Dr. Archer,
I am 21 years old and I have been in a relationship with a man for four months. At first it was long distance, and then he moved back home to be with his friends and party. He is only 23, and while I do not have an issue with him having fun, I object when he ditches me for his friends. It seems like I am not his priority.
I tell him the things I want out of a relationship and he says he wants the same things, but it seems like it will be forever to achieve them. He is genuinely nice and caring. He tells me he loves me but I am not sure he knows what love means, considering he has a past of sleeping around. He does not like it when anyone brings up his past.
Then there is my ex boyfriend that I broke up with eight months ago. He was the love of my life and I was comfortable with him. I loved him so much I would go crazy not talking to him. On the other hand, he could be controlling and had a problem with drugs. In fact, his family has a history of addiction.
He has come back into my life within the last three weeks and wants me back. And while I still love and care for him, I'm afraid to get back with him. My family would hate it, my friends would ridicule me and it would be very messy.
I am afraid that if I do not date him again I will lose him or never love someone like that again. I have to choose someone and somebody is going to get hurt.
You are young, and you are trying to decide between two men only. Trust me, there will be many others that will come into your life if you are patient.
Let’s analyze: One is immature and wants to party; he's clearly not ready for a serious and committed relationship. The other is controlling and has a drug problem…..and you want to go back to him? Why?! Oh, right because you as you say, "but I love him”….
Do you realize those four words have been the cause of more pain, misery and suffering than any other statement- EVER! What you had with him was filled with drug abuse and control and that is not what love is about.
You're only 21, and you will have so many much more desirable guys to choose from! Why pick between a party animal who sleeps around and a controller who does drugs? If I were your family or friend, I'd be upset, too.
Remember: Never make someone a priority when to them you are simply an option. Quit looking at these two with rose colored glasses and see them for what they are. Please, save yourself some heartache and get away now - from both of them!
When you're in a relationship, it should be because you enjoy the person and it’s all good, not because you're miserable and want things to change. In the end, Courtney, you would be smart to involve your family and/or friends (just ask what they think) with potential boyfriends. They know you well and you can trust their instincts. After all, they have your best interests at heart. Good luck.