Two Sense: Do I Forgive a Drunken Kiss?
My boyfriend of six years kissed a work colleague when drunk. In the month proceeding, he was in a dilemma as he knew it was time to commit to me, but he didn't feel ready. We've been together since 19 and he wanted some time alone. He told me straight away, and said he did it to sabotage us. He broke it off, and I moved out of our flat. He wanted me back within three days, and after three months he is still singing the same song. I love him, we are really good together, and I know he is sorry and has learned from his mistake. I doubt he will do it again. But I'm struggling to get the kiss out of my head. I really want to. Any advice?
He Said: So, you two get together at 19, stay together for six years, your boyfriend says he needs more time alone, kisses a coworker while drunk, and breaks up with you. Three days later he wants you back, and after three months he’s still pursuing you. If this is the worst transgression you've had in six years, I think you can work this out. But keep in mind two things.
1. The kiss isn't the issue. Your boyfriend got cold feet about commitment and broke up with you. What do you want from him and is he ready to give it to you now or does he want to get back to where you two were? His willingness to commit won’t cut it at this point; he has to want to commit.
2. For future reference, the breaker-upper leaves the apartment; the party that's moving on needs to move out. This is especially important in a rent-controlled town.
She Said: What, exactly, is the mistake he learned from? He was quite conscious of the fact that he was trying to sabotage your relationship because he wanted time alone. He succeeded in doing just that. But since he started trying to get you back after three days, I wonder: Is three days (or three months for that matter) really long enough to fulfill his need for exploration and independence, or is he just reacting to the guilt, loss, and fear he feels after hurting you this way? In other words, is his readiness for commitment really any greater now, or is he just afraid of losing you and knowing he caused it?
It's true that fear of losing your mate forever due to your own sabotage, or the terrible loss you feel once they've moved out, can look a lot like "commitment," but actually they aren't one and the same. Commitment is a desire and will to prioritize a relationship and make it work come hell or high water. Fear is not the best motivating factor for that kind of decision. Love and desire are. Your boyfriend needs to search his soul and ask if he's now truly "ready to commit" or just experiencing a rubberband effect from having hurt you.
As for your part, if this was just a "glitch" and he really is on board, and you want to get the kiss our of your head, there's only one way to do that. Stop renting out mental space to its memory. We can torture ourselves with images that make us feel hurt, jealous, or betrayed, but what's the point? Either this was the end of your relationship, or just a short confused kiss on the eve of commitment. If you and he decide it's the latter, then you need to let it go and put it in perspective. A kiss that lasted a few seconds, no petting or sex, and immediate reporting back to you all add up to a very mild situation as far as cheating goes.
Confused? Heartbroken? Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org