When is dating a relationship

I’ve been with my boyfriend, Max*, for five years now. I tend to fall in love with 10 different people a day, for one reason or another. Max doesn’t seem to crush at all, but honestly, I think that’s more because of our different personalities than an indication of our levels of commitment.

We are completely committed to each other and about as happy together as real-life couple can be. I toss my feelings around pretty freely, and the result is frequent, fleeting crushes on everyone from my favorite barista to the guy who came over to set up my wireless internet to about one-third of the contestants on “The Voice.” “I briefly fell in love with the cable guy today,” I’ll tell Max over cocktails. Max is shy, more reserved, and has a very stable, steady personality.

It was in these moments that I wished Max get crushes. It will still keep you up at night and convince you to touch up your lip gloss more often, just in case. We sent a couple flirty emails back and forth under the guise of “essay feedback.” (I’ll show you my notes if you show me yours.”) I dressed up for class.

If he had ever so much as glanced at another woman, I might have felt less like a villain fantasizing about joining the Mile-High club. The worst of these crushes was one I got a few years ago on a guy I met in a writing class I took. I got butterflies every time our eyes met while our professor was reading Raymond Carver excerpts.

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(Most definitely.) What would I miss about Max if I actually acted on my crush and ended my relationship?

(Too many things to list.) I paid attention to how I felt when imagining these scenarios.

I made a pact never to act on my feelings and I let myself “go there” mentally.

I thought about what my life might look like if I broke up with Max and ran off with my crush.

How long would the thrill of riding on the back of a motorcycle with an emotionally distant guy last?

Which, ironically, are responsible for so many of them BEING shallow cornballs, but that's another issue.

Honestly, I advocate real friendship before relationship, but I guess casual dating can serve a similar, though inferior, purpose.

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Even if it did, I’m not sure I could have or would have ever cheated on Max, but just the fact that maybe it was kind of an option set me on edge.

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