Should He Opt for Freedom?

Q: I am really confused. I've been in a long-distance relationship for over two years and love my girlfriend, but recently I've been really interested in other women. Whenever I go out I usually meet hot girls who seem interested in me and vice versa. My girlfriend has told me that she has similar feelings but that she doesn't want to lose me. I don't want to lose her either but I need more freedom. I have begun to doubt whether I really love her, or if we can last. What should I tell her and is there any way to make that sound better? -- Carl, 22

Dr. Susan: The two of you seem to have an enviably honest relationship so far, as each of you has admitted you are lately drawn to other people. Considering your youth, it's amazing to me that you've already survived two years in a long-distance relationship without the tensions building up enough to separate you. The crucial information you didn't offer is how long you were planning to stay apart before being together in person. As it is, you're both torturing yourselves by resisting your natural desires to explore other opportunities. Especially you, Carl! It's a matter of time until one of you breaks and gives in to the urges, and then has to cover up or confess to the other. As you're not married, why don't you save a lot of emotional trauma and give one another permission to date others? "It's not you, it's me." Then when you get back together, you'll see if what you thought you had is a relationship that has the potential to be fully committed. I don't know any other way to make that sound "better."

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