Dear Carolyn: My boyfriend of five years, “Max,” misses “novelty” in our relationship. We are in our mid-20s with career-oriented lives, and we make quality time together a priority. We have explored hobbies, traveled and share many friends. He says I’m perfect for him and he could see married life together in the future but is not ready to settle down yet.
He seeks novelty by meeting other women for one-night stands under the pretense of ethical non-monogamy, since I know what’s going on. However, I don’t like it, and I have told him so. He states this is a need I cannot fulfill and he cannot be happy without. He would stop if I demanded it, rather than break up.
I don’t like ultimatums. We’re still together because he says this desire for novelty is “just a phase,” and I could see myself with him long-term in a monogamous relationship. I also don’t want to be closed-minded about relationships involving multiple partners.
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