Woe Is Me! “My Long‑Distance Boyfriend Sucks at Sexting. Should We Break Up?”
Woe Is Me! is a series in which The Swaddle team indulges your pity party with advice you’ll probably ignore.
I have been in a relationship for five years now, half of which has been long distance. During this period, we’ve only been able to meet for 10-11 months, at a time. I love him, but in recent days, I have been really attracted to other men. I cheated on him by sexting another guy. The thing is, I want someone who is intellectual, and can sext properly. The attraction to my boyfriend is decreasing, day by day. I want to break up. I’ve tried to, but I have this fear of not finding anyone like him. Our lives are so intertwined, both our families know about our relationship; a break up would take a huge emotional toll on us, and impact them, too. What should I do?
— The spark is dead
HK: Short answer: break up.
I understand and respect the emotional toll this might take on you and your families, but if you do not feel attracted to your partner, and have already stepped into infidelity, there is no future here. It’s best to be honest about your feelings — deal with this sensitively and maturely, and stop this from progressing any further. Both of you deserve to be in a relationship that is built on mutual attraction and love, and not simply sustenance due to the five years you spent together. And if the only reason you’re holding on is because you’re afraid of not finding anyone like him, the relationship is already doomed. You already know what you need to do.
AB: So first of all: your families have nothing to do with your relationship; sure, they might be upset but they aren’t in your place nor are they in a long-term relationship like this. Secondly, you cheated! It might have been via text but that still counts, and is something you need to talk to your boyfriend about. Not everyone can be good at sexting (I know I’m not!), and while that doesn’t mean that you need to break-up, this still calls for a conversation to be had. Now, if it’s a question of attraction, that’s different: I would say to not let your fear of being alone and “not finding anyone like him” stand in the way of ending things; those aren’t the reasons to stay with someone. Is there a potential for a non-long-distance relationship in the near future? Have you tried to overcome this sexting obstacle, or is it just a small portion of a larger problem? It can be difficult to do long-distance, which is why communication is the most important thing. Whatever decisions you make need to be for the two of you and not anyone else. My advice: talk honestly and open with him, and be prepared to make the difficult decision if you need to — yes, you’ve put five years into this, but are you ready to put another five and be increasingly unsatisfied and unhappy? It’s a disservice to the both of you, to continue indefinitely without constructive change.
AS: At this point you seem pretty sure that you want to break up but are holding on more for others than for yourself. It’s normal for attractions to wane. Your families are not the ones in the relationship, this decision is for you — and your partner — to take. And while I wouldn’t suggest basing your relationship decision on how badly or well someone sexts, a bigger issue here is that it wouldn’t be fair to your boyfriend either if you continue dating him while hiding the fact that you’re no longer attracted to him. Your fear of not finding someone else like him is understandable, but who said you both can’t remain in each other’s lives after breaking up (to whatever extent you’re both comfortable with, of course)? For that to happen though, you have to be honest.
DR: End the misery, then. The sooner the better — for your families and you, both.