How to deal with attraction to someone else when you’re in a relationship

Athny asks: I feel attracted to my next-door locker neighbor. There are two problems with this: I already have a girlfriend, and my locker neighbor is a guy, like me. He and I also have the same interests. What do I do?

Hi Athny –

You are absolutely right that you have two issues here, and they really are totally separate.  So I’ll take them on separately, as well.


First, the girlfriend:  It’s of course very normal to be involved with someone and find yourself attracted to someone else.  This can happen in a very happy and committed marriage, as well as in a dating relationship like yours.  The question comes to how you feel about this attraction.  If being attracted to someone meant your relationship had to end, George Clooney and Scarlett Johansson would be responsible for hundreds of divorces a day!  But if this attraction is so strong that you feel you have to act on it, that’s a bigger problem.  Now I’m a big fan of not cheating.  I find that cheating just makes everyone feel bad, and in the end hurts everyone’s self-esteem.  So you are in the unenviable place of having to look into yourself to choose whether you want to stay with your girlfriend or leave her for the other person you’re attracted to (who, of course, might have a great relationship with you… or not).  Truly, it’s all up to you.


Now, then, though, onto that other issue.  That your other attraction is a boy.  The real question here, again, is about you.  Do you believe you’re actually bisexual (meaning that you actually want physical loving romantic contact with both boys and girls)?  Or are you mostly attracted to women, and this guy is just someone that there’s something special about, that draws you to him?  Or is it possible that you’ve always been told that girls are what you should be attracted to, but you’re realizing that deep down you’re more attracted to men?


These are gigantic questions, and if there’s no answer screaming out from inside you, I think your real job is to sit back and give this time.


But if you realize that one of these three is the case, then that can lead you to an idea of what to do:

If you’re actually bisexual, and you want to be in a committed relationship, and you’re liking the relationship you’re in with your girlfriend, maybe it’s best to stay in that, and see what happens over time with your attraction to this boy.

If this boy is an exception, and you’re generally into girls, then again, I’d say that you need to just deal with your current relationship, and see whether it’s worth staying in or not.


But if you are realizing that you’re actually gay, or that you really do want to pursue a relationship with this boy, you’re going into a very different issue.  For this, I’d like you to go to the website, and type the word ‘gay’ into the Search box, and read the posting I have for uf18’s question.  Everything I say to him certainly would apply to you.

But unlike uf18, you’re questioning about a particular individual.  And this means that you’re looking at possibly doing a very risky act – approaching a boy whose sexuality you don’t yet know.

If that’s the case, I would like you to write me back later.  This issue is too big to go into in this post.  But more than anything, I want you to be careful.  Move slowly.  For your sake, your girlfriend’s, and this boy’s.  There’s no rush on any of it.  And your job, more than anything else, is to be calm and look deeply into your own heart, and find what you want.


Thanks, and good luck,




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