You’ve seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel Alone in Their Marriages keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show, Braxton Family Values. Now it’s your turn to sit in her chair…

Hi Dr. Sherry,

I am a 27-year-old woman who has been in a long-term relationship for many years. My boyfriend and I met when in 2008 when I was 18.

The first few years of our nearly decade long relationship were very rough. He was still sleeping with other women and doing his own thing as we didn’t  establish our relationship clearly but we were very much ”together.” We’ve become more committed over the years and have definitely had out share of fights and beautiful moments as any long-term relationship will. 

In 2014, a guy had DMed me saying that he’s seen me out a few times and reminded me that we share some mutual friends.  I told him I was in a relationship and he told me he understood but we continued to talk, would often flirt with one another but we have never been intimate. I’ve so tried many times to cut off communication with him but for some reason I’ve always been drawn back to him and we are still friends to this day. He has expressed that he likes me all the time and even admitted at one point that he loves me. He’s told me that he’s willing to wait for me but isn’t rushing me out of my current relationship.

I’ve never dated anyone besides the man that I am with. We have been together from young adulthood through almost all of my 20s. I battle with the thought of me having missed out on those years of dating because I was committed to someone who at one point wasn’t always committed to me. Now I am wondering if this is the reason why I am still talking to the man in my messages. I don’t know If I’m ready to break up with my boyfriend just to jump right into another relationship. 

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What should I do ?! I am not married and I love my boyfriend, but on the other end I am falling hard for the new guy.

Dr. Sherry please take the wheel and guide me!

Hey sis,

You are right….you are not married! So why are you acting like you are? You have been dating your boyfriend for “almost a decade” and he has not put a ring on it. That should say something to you about his intent. You have been committed to someone who has not made a solid commitment to you. You are still young and have not given yourself a chance to really know what you want and/or don’t want in a relationship. You owe it to yourself to explore and enjoy life. There is a reason why you have maintained contact with your friend. He represents curiosity and the possibility of something new. He has definitely peeked your interest and has your attention. There is absolutely nothing wrong with persuading other relationships. I would suggest that you have an open honest conversation with your current boyfriend about your feelings and desire to date other people. I would also suggest that your desire to explore and date other people is not just based on this one interested friend. It may or may not work out with your friend.. Regardless what happens with him, dating other people will make it clear if you truly want to continue to be in a long term relationship with your current boyfriend without any real commitment. If you and your boyfriend are really meant to be, you will get back together at some point. If not, you will find this out while you have a chance to seek happiness elsewhere. Life is too short to look back and say what you wished you have done or should have done. –Dr. Sherry

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