As difficult as this is, you are a lucky woman, indeed, to have two men in your life who love you and want to be with you and with whom you can imagine a future. Although on the face of it, A is the representative of more mature and lasting love, B has the advantage of being the one who makes your heart swoon. Neither would be a bad choice – as long as you committed to the choice you made.
However — I don’t think your problem is who to choose. It sounds like your could be happy with either. The problem as I see it is that you are very scared to make any choice at all. By staying ambivalent and by thinking about the charms of these two men as different but equal, you forestall making any decision. If you delay long enough, one of these guys is going to give up. Then you will have to choose between the one who stayed or no choice at all. Meanwhile, you are being dishonest with both. When either of them finds out about the other, that may decide the issue for you as well.
The common denominator of these possibilities is the result: You avoid making an active choice and taking responsibility for it. Please don’t hear this as a scold. It’s not. It’s intended to provoke you to do some thinking about just what you are doing. I wonder why you are so reluctant to choose. I wonder why taking responsibility for the course of your life makes you stop in your tracks. What has happened in your life that you have reached your 30s so scared of commitment that you let yourself deceive good men who love you?
I hope you will consider seeing a therapist to help you sort this out. Your letter shows you to be an intelligent, thoughtful person who could make good use of some sessions with a sympathetic counselor who would push you to be honest with yourself. You are fortunate to live in a city where there are many therapists. One caution: You could repeat the same dilemma in looking for a therapist; never being able to choose between equally well trained and experienced people. I suggest you talk to your doctor or someone else you trust to get a recommendation and just go with it – at least at first.
I wish you well.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on May 2, 2010.