Lifestyle

is it bad to only be with one partner?


Jo Lamble answers questions from readers looking for expert advice on social dilemmas and relationship problems.

Question:

I’ve been with my boyfriend for 10 years. We met when we were both 15 and we’ve been together ever since.

We often talk about our future together – about getting married before we’re 30 and having kids and all that. But lately I’ve been thinking about the fact that I’ve only been with just the one guy my whole life.

Sometimes I do wonder if I’m missing out on something (or someone) else, especially as my friends have dated different men. Am I just settling? I love my boyfriend so much, but I can’t help thinking of the “what ifs”.

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Jo’s Answer:

Ten years is a very long time to have been in a relationship when you’re only 25, so you obviously love each other very much. It also sounds like you’re like-minded when it comes to commitment and having children. Sharing an outlook on life is one of the essential ingredients for a successful long-term relationship.

The other important components include having physical attraction and some similar interests. Most importantly, the relationship needs to bring out the best in both of you. We don’t need a partner to be the best version of ourselves, but it’s essential that a relationship doesn’t decrease our self-worth.

If you end this relationship, you may date other men and be pleased that you did. I don’t believe that we are looking for that one soulmate in life; you may find someone equally as compatible and be extremely happy.

Ending a relationship when you’re young because it’s not right is sensible. However, ending it because you keep thinking of the “what ifs” could be a mistake. Sadly, I see many people who have regretted letting someone go. Who knows what will happen down the track as there are no guarantees, but if you’re both happy right now, it doesn’t sound like you’re just settling.

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