Dear Di

The single life isn’t really anything worth pining over. Illustration: Christine Wang/Fulcrum

Dear Di,

I’ve been with my partner since I was fifteen years old, and now I’m 20. They were my first everything: first kiss, first date, first time having sex, and first love. I love them so much, but sometimes I feel like I’m missing out from being in a committed relationship throughout my entire adolescence. 

— Practically Married

Dear PM,

They say the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and I definitely think you’re suffering from that cliché.

I’ll tell you what you’re missing out on. You’re missing out on that nervous, excited first-date feeling, and you’re missing out on those first few dates when everything is still new and you still have a desire to wash your hair and shave before you leave the house. You’re missing out on sexual experimentation and you’re missing out on just being single.

But you also get to skip some really unpleasant stuff. 

You’re not going to get stood up, or turned down, and you don’t have to deal with the stressful interpretations of r-bombs and late-night likes on Instagram. You don’t have to sift through Tinder, and you don’t have to suffer through awkward hookups or feeling too nervous to tell a person how you like it.

If you love this person, you’ve already won. You won it all when you were 15 years old. All those single people that seem like they’re having so much fun — well, a lot of them are, honestly, but they’re all still hoping for exactly what you already have.

So, here’s the thing. If these curiosities are gnawing at you to the point where you’re unhappy, then yeah, maybe it’s time to leave your highschool sweetheart behind.

If you’re just bored, however, there are a few steps you can take before cutting things off. For example, you can go on more dates.

 Everyone knows that its common for couples who have been together for five-plus years to start slacking in the date department, and while its convenient (and economic) to start dating less as time goes on, it sort of kills the romance. Go out to dinner! Catch a movie or a concert! You might be surprised by how you forgot how much you enjoy each other’s company.

You could also try spicing things up in the bedroom. Trying something new can reintroduce the excitement into the sexual side of your relationship. There’s tons of easy ways to try something new — you could try roleplay, bondage, even simply just shaking up the location. Remember when you wanted each other so badly you would have sex on the kitchen table or the bathroom floor? Be honest with yourself here: when was the last time you even did it outside the bedroom?

But if you really love your partner and you’re just afraid of what you’re missing, don’t fear. You’re not missing all that much. Stats published in Mel Magazine show that only two per cent of people marry their high school sweethearts — would it really be so bad if you fell in that percentile? What you’ve got is rare, enjoy it!

Love,

Di