I recently got into a polyamorous relationship. Everything was going so smoothly for a few months. my partners have been a couple for two years and have a lot of rough patches. i fell in love with both my girlfriend and boyfriend. I lost my virginity to him and I’m 22 so it was a big deal. He reassured me everything would be okay. just these past two weeks, he has been giving me the cold shoulder. i got drunk and told him “i don’t think you love me anymore.” And he reassured me he did then we fucked. i thought it would be better. but after, he told my girlfriend he hated her. then waking up the next morning, looking me dead in the eye, he said “i don’t even love you.” We think it’s because maybe he stopped drinking. He’s an alcoholic. but would that really affect his thought process that much into him actually hating me and acting nonchalant about it every time he sees me now. he acts like we are dating, but I don’t…he broke my heart. And everyone tells me “at least you have your girlfriend” but I came into this relationship wanting and having both of them. did I do something wrong by having sex with him? or is he wrong for leading me on like that? Could it be lack of alcohol fucking with his head? should I leave? I don’t want to leave her though.

There is a lot going on here. For one thing, it is common to feel very connected with the person you lose your virginity to, and to feel like you need to make things work out with that person or else your first sexual experience will somehow become a regret, or lose a lot of its specialness. Try to let go of that. Just because this is the first guy you had sex with does not mean you owe him more patience than he deserves.

Second, you know he is an alcoholic. Addiction can do terrible things to the brain, and it can make people behave in ways that are cruel, confusing, or not conducive to healthy relationships. It is very hard to be in a relationship with an addict. If his addiction and his addict’s behavior are not something you can handle in a relationship, you have every right to walk away. Do not excuse his behavior because he was drunk or withdrawing. He has an addiction and he deserves treatment for it, but you also do not deserve to be treated so poorly.

It sounds like this person is just not healthy for you to be with. And you know that. You know he broke your heart, and you no longer act like you’re dating. You did not do something wrong or bring this on yourself - you made what seemed like the best choices for you at the time, but you’re not obligated to keep repeating those choices once you’ve realized the situation is not working for you. You may care deeply for your girlfriend, but if being with her means staying in this unhealthy situation with this guy, being with her isn’t working for you either.

Sometimes you need to love someone from afar because their behavior isn’t something you can be around. You are young, you are not married to these people, you don’t have children with them, you don’t own a house together - I think it’s time to walk away. You may love them, but you deserve to be with people who can love you consistently and without hurting or confusing you. Consider also checking out some resources at Al-Anon, an organization supporting people whose lives have been affected by someone else’s alcoholism.