What to do when you’re in love, but attracted to others?

Awerpia asks:   I’m in deep trouble. Real time emotional trouble. I love my girlfriend so much. I can’t imagine my future without her being a part of it. We have dated for two years now.  But for the last six months it had to become a long distance relationship because she’s graduated from the university and is now working. I on the other hand have more academic years ahead of me because I’m reading medicine in school. Because of the distance and our different schedules, communication and intimacy have become a very big problem. I hardly get the chance to see her except on social media. Suddenly I have become very hyperactive. Everything seems to attract me. I have become so sexual minded. Girls who wouldn’t have caught my attention when she was around are suddenly looking attractive to me. The only way I try to discipline myself is that anytime I get attracted to another girl I just imagine my girlfriend’s face compare to the person attracting me and I say yes my girl is the prettiest. Sometimes I really have to stare at another lady just to prove that my girlfriend is prettier.  That way the  other girl feels ugly in my mind and the attraction stops. Sometimes I see the same person who used to attract me some days later and I ask myself “what was really attractive about her?” Then I say to myself that my girlfriend is the fairest of them all. She is the prettiest in the world. All of a sudden, there’s this pretty girl in my class whom I can’t stop admiring. She’s equally as pretty as my girlfriend if not prettier. I can’t take her out of my head and it’s just her features that I admire. I keep on comparing her to my girlfriend and I still don’t know if my girlfriend is really the prettiest in the world. And the funny thing is that when my girlfriend was here this girl never caught my attention although a lot of people confessed of her beauty. I feel like I’m cheating on my girlfriend already. I don’t how I would feel if she looks at another guy the way she looks at me. Or even to admire another guy. I feel like I’m really being unfaithful to her. And I can’t afford to cheat on her. I feel like I’m a cheat and I don’t know how to stop these unnecessary attractions. I love my girlfriend and I can’t stand her tears.  Not only about her beauty. I love everything about her even her flaws, her forgetfulness, her temperament even her big forehead. Why can’t I concentrate on loving her to the best like she deserves. Why do I get attracted to other ladies and why can’t I take them off my mind. I want my girlfriend to be the prettiest of them all. Even if she isn’t I want to believe in that lie for the sake of love. Shirelle, how can I love one woman for the rest of my life without falling for these other attractive girls? What do I do Shirelle? Because the last thing I want to see is my girlfriend’s tears. That girl means everything to me!

Hi Awerpia –

            So I have one big answer for you overall: THIS IS NORMAL!  You’re not doing anything wrong.  You are at the age where human males are most sexual; it’s most on their minds, even to an obsessive level.  And you’re at a school where you’re surrounded by girls your own age, many of whom put a lot of effort into being the prettiest they’ll ever be.  If you didn’t notice them, I’d think there was something wrong with you!  It’s like you’re in a gorgeous flower garden and feeling “I shouldn’t be noticing these bright colors!”

            Now what you do  about it is another question.  You sound very committed to your girlfriend, and as long as that’s the case, then yes, it’s best for you to “look but not touch” as they say in the museums!  And, if something should happen to go wrong in your relationship, then it’s nice to know you’ll have many other, um… “flowers” to go sniff!

            But you also brought up another issue, that you’re bothered that you find this other girl actually prettier than your girlfriend.  Well that’s normal too.  And doesn’t bother me at all.

            Imagine it’s a few years from now.  You’ve married your girlfriend, and maybe have a baby.  Five times a night, the baby cries and wakes you two up.  So you see her over and over, with big circles under her eyes, messy hair, and with a grouchy expression, not smelling all so good (actually I’d probably love the way she’ll be smelling, but maybe you wouldn’t!).  At those moments, you’ll look at her and… well, she won’t be the prettiest woman you know. 

            Now imagine twenty years after that, or forty, or sixty.  Will she be as attractive to the eye as she is today?  Most likely not.  And will there be other women, other girls, you see who are lovelier in face or figure?  Almost certainly so.

            But she might still be your favorite object in the whole world to see, to hear, to touch, smell… the “objective” looks just won’t matter as much.

            That’s love. 

            There are some people in my neighborhood who work in a nursery, and whose clothes are covered in manure and other amazing smells.  Oh they’re just the best!  But if I have a choice between running to them or Handsome, I’ll always go to him.  His clothes are boring and smell of detergent.  But there’s nothing I love more than being in his arms, and smelling him.

            So again, Awerpia, all I can say is that what you’re experiencing is normal and fine.  And my best advice to you is to try to worry about it less.  The worry is your big problem.  Seeing beautiful girls and knowing they’re beautiful isn’t – that’s one of the joys of your life, if you let it be!

            All my best,


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