Found His (Married) Soul-Mate?
Q: I like to say that I'm smarter than the average Joe, but my recent thoughts baffle me. I recently went up to Canada with some friends. One of my female friends promised a guy she worked with to take out his wife for a good time since she never gets out, so she came along with us. Well, one look at her and instantly I wished she wasn't married. During the drive up there, we hit it off. We have so much in common, it's pathetic. On arriving, we decided to go to a night club. "Jenn" decided to recruit me as her "boyfriend" so that none of the other guys would try and hit on her. The whole time we were dancing, I could tell there was a connection, and not just sexual. Later, we went back to the hotel, where we stayed up talking for hours.
This girl is like no one else I have ever met! I never believed in the proverbial "soul-mate", but this girl is it. And the funny thing is, I don't see her as someone I would just want to sleep with. I would marry her if I had the chance. Why do we always want what we can't have? I need advice. I know for a fact that she feels the same about me. I don't want to destroy her marriage, but it isn't a very healthy marriage from what her friends say. Should I stay in the background and hope for a divorce, or should I slap myself in the face for thinking like an idiot? -- Paul, 20
Dr. Susan: Allow me to slap you long-distance, okay? If I had a dollar for every tale of finding a soul-mate after a night of dancing, I could stop writing this column now. When you think it's not about sex, but about finding someone with whom you have so much in common, odds are it's mainly about sexual attraction. Hormones manage to take charge of your brain and convince you that this is special, that you and she are unique, that it's worth affairs, betrayal, and divorce to satisfy your intense need. Stop. Right. Now.
If this girl is the least bit mature, let her decide what to do, preferably with the help of some counseling. If her marriage is not a good one, it's up to her to announce to her husband that she wants a divorce. But she'd better think it through, as her sensation of soul-mate-hood with you is quite likely to dissipate with time and better acquaintance. You wouldn't really want to hitch your life up to someone who would betray her husband or leave her marriage after a night in a club and a hotel with a stranger, would you?
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.