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Time to pull the plug on relationship

Updated: July 19, 2013 3:26PM

Dear Cheryl: My boyfriend Andrew and I have been dating, on and off, for seven years. We’ve talked about moving in or getting married, but we’ve never done either. At times the relationship has been good; at times it was awful. But we’ve stuck together. Sometimes I think it was more out of habit than anything else.

Well, to make a long story short, I met Jason at my health club. He’s younger than me, very cute, super attentive. He was lots of fun, and we had a good time chatting before and after our workouts.

We started having drinks, and it turned into an affair that lasted for four months until he moved out of town. I never told Andrew, but he found out. He was looking for stamps in my desk, and he saw some cards Andrew had sent me.

We talked it out and it seemed like he forgave me. Fast-forward eight months. I was at Andrew’s apartment waiting for him when the phone rang. A girl left a message, a very explicit message, telling him what a great time she had with him and how she was looking forward to seeing him again.

Here’s my question. Should I 1) tell Andrew I know or 2) pretend it never happened or 3) tuck the information away to use at an appropriate time? (Things are actually pretty good between us!) — Seven going on eight

Dear Seven going on eight, Here’s option four: Break up with him.

You’ve been with him seven years. You cheat on him. He cheats on you. The trust is gone.

Once the trust is gone, the relationship is over. Stick a fork in it, and move on.

Dear Cheryl, I’m one of those creatures who had the fortune or the misfortune of meeting my soulmate when I was still a child. I met Jessica when I was 12, and she was 11. We were in Sunday school together. I saw her once a week for a year until my family moved across town.

Then I saw her from time to time when we were in high school. She was a cheerleader at her school, and I was in the band at mine. She was always friendly, but I was too intimidated to say anything more than hello.

We both still live in the same small town, and I bump into her occasionally. She’s still friendly; I’m still tongue-tied. I feel like a failure. — I feel like a failure

Dear IFLAF, You’re not a failure; you’re just letting your shyness rule your life.

Is it holding you back at work and in your social life? If so, then you need to work on it. There are all kinds of books and organizations that can help you overcome it.

If you’re just shy around this one woman, you need to have a little talk with yourself. She’s not your soulmate — they don’t exist.

She’s just a girl you’ve had a crush on for a long time. A girl you don’t really know and might not really like if you did. But you’ll never know until you’re ready to say something after “Hello.”

Make up your mind that the next time you see her you’re going to follow up “hello” with something. It really doesn’t matter what you say, just keep the conversation going. Good luck and let me know how it works out.

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