Settling Down at 17

Visitor's Question from a 13-15 year old Female
I dont know if I really love him anymore?
I have been with my boyfriend for 3 years now, and when I am with him, I like him and we haev a good time together but when I go out with my friends, who are single, I want to be single again to be able to flirt and to have sex with other guys. I have thought about breaking up with him but I just can't do it. I am 17 and he is my first love and I have lost my virginity to him so he is really special to me, I just don't know if I love him or what is wrong with me. My first say I should not break up with him but I dont know half of me says break up with him the other half says stay with him. PLEASE HELP ME! Advice
Ah, I see the issue here. It's not about getting along with this particular guy or not. It's the fact that during the time that most people dated lots of other people and got to find out for themselves what they liked and didn't like, you were just with One Guy. So those high school years that most people spend getting to figure out what works and doesn't work, you just had one person. So now, while it's good, you miss being able to have tried the other options to see if anything out there is better.

There are many points of view on this. First, 17 is really young to be settling down. There's still college ahead of you, and a lot of what is important about these years is figuring out for yourself what you like and enjoy. It's finally when other people can't force you to be a certain way. You're developing your OWN way, one that you will live with for the rest of your life. The things that people decide during these years - hair styles, clothing styles, hobbies, etc. - are often things that they keep for their entire lives.

On the other hand, finding a great partner is definitely something that people take many years to go. Someone might go until age 30 or later before they find someone they really enjoy being with, even if they date a lot during that time. So if you've already found that person, it's almost silly to throw them away just in case there might be someone better. You may already have just the right person for you. You could *really* regret losing him for the rest of your life, and have to settle with a guy that's just "ok" if you lose your current boyfriend.

People always flirt. That's a normal part of life. You can flirt whether you're single or married or anything else. Flirting is a healthy part of life and shows that you appreciate contact with another person. Heck, many girls flirt with girls (those chatting 'gossip' sessions) and guys flirt with guys in a way during their macho talks. It's all about building interactions. So don't let that sway you one way or another.

It's best to really think about your boyfriend. Are you just happy to have "a guy" or are there really lots of things about him in particular that work well with you? If he really is a good match for you, and your relationship is always growing and trying new things, then you really couldn't get much more in any other new relationship. If your girlfriends all had boyfriends and you were going out in a group and *you* were single, right now you'd be very unhappy that you were single and wishing you had a boyfriend. And I bet you'd think of him as a great choice.

Do you have any girlfriends that have boyfriends? It's funny, but a lot of times the reason someone is unhappy is because they're hanging out with people that don't value what they have. So if for example you didn't drink and hung out with a bunch of drinkers, it'd always be in your face that you should drink. But if your friends all didn't drink, you'd be perfectly happy. If you hung out with friends that were all with boyfriends, you guys would have a blast and all share your boyfriend stories, and it'd be a "good thing". Instead, you hang out with single girls and that 'hunt' seems appealing. But believe me, if you looked through this site, most girls coming here are desperately trying to get a boyfriend. Which you already have!

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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