Should you stay with long-distance romance or a new one?

Someon asks: I have been dating a boy for a year. It’s a long-distance relationship. 3 to 4 months ago we had a separation regarding some issues which was for a period of a month. Within that very month I got attached to someone else (Mr. X). We have been seeing each other. This too was a long-distance relationship. He came over to meet me. We hanged out together and even we made love. After one year of separation my boyfriend returned and I was happy to get him back. The fact is Mr. X knows about my relationship. Now I have started feeling for Mr. X and don’t wanna lose him – and neither do I want to hurt my boyfriend. What should I exactly do now?

Hi Someon –

As I’ve said on here a lot, we dogs don’t quite understand long-distance relationships, and certainly don’t like them.  And your case is a perfect example of why. 

From what I see in your letter, your boyfriend (the one you’ve been with for a year) is a perfectly good guy, and probably nothing was wrong with the relationship except the distance.  Then you met Mr. X, who is also a good guy and you grew to really like him.  Then your boyfriend came back to town, but you’re feeling more for Mr. X.

Well, why wouldn’t you?!

I love my human friend Handsome, but if he left town for a year, and I got close to another human, I’d never lose my love for Handsome but I’d grow more attached to the new one.  It’s just the way our brains work – both humans and dogs!

Now if you were married to your boyfriend, or had had a very long relationship with him, I might be saying something different.  But as it is, I think you really don’t have a choice – it sounds to me like you need to

let him go, and let Mr. X become your boyfriend.

Maybe sometime later you two will get back together, especially if Mr. X starts to show some qualities you don’t care for.  But the fact is, distance is HARD in a relationship!  And a year is a long time!

Will it hurt your boyfriend’s feelings?  Sure it will (and maybe you don’t need to tell him everything about your connection with Mr. X!).  But there’s no way for him not to understand. 

So be as kind as you can.  Tell him it’s not him; it’s just that he was gone so long. 

And then let him get hurt.  And angry.  And sad.

Because he’ll be losing something really wonderful, something he values a great deal, because that something is so fantastic… You.


Okay, I just told you to break up with him.  How did that feel?

Did you go, “Oh Shirelle’s right.  I’ll hate hurting his feelings but it’s the best thing to do, to stop making it last longer.”

Or did you go, “No, Shirelle!  You’re wrong!  I love him, and I want to be with him!  I’ve had fun with Mr. X, but this is the man I love!”

Well then…

If one of those felt more correct, then I think YOU have just made the decision. 

And that’s just what I want.  For you to do what’s right for you.

Because that’s the best answer I could possibly give.

All my best,


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