I'm in love with four girls. How do I choose?

I've been with 274 girls over the past two years, but I'm only 18 and want to settle down

By Cary Tennis

Published December 19, 2011 1:00AM (EST)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       (Zach Trenholm/Salon)
(Zach Trenholm/Salon)

Dear Cary,

I am in love with four of the most wonderfulest girls ... I would do anything for them. I am in relationships with each of them.

I want to settle down soon, but don't know who to choose. I weighed the pros and cons with each of them. They come out equally. I act like a jacka** to them so I can push them away, making my choice easier, but they won't leave. They said they are too in love with me to leave me. I made sure each of them knew about each other so that there was no deception going on ... I just don't know who is the best for me. They each have great qualities in them that are great for a wife.

I am the old-fashioned type but I am only 18 years old. In today's world, you can't find the old-fashioned types that much. The reason I go out with all these girls is because I am afraid of getting hurt again. I have recently found out where this fear came from. I was with this girl for about five, almost six years. When she broke up with me, she told me that she never loved me.

She was the first love of my life, the first time I experienced what I though was true love. But I guess I was wrong to think that it was real. The moment she told me that she never loved me was the moment my heart was crushed and shredded to pieces. I became the cheating who** I am today.

I want to become the old me again -- the young boy who loved the right way and respected girls like they should be. I was hoping I could get some help here. I can't keep hurting the girls I am with and making them cry. I am a lot of their biggest relationships they have.

It's not about sex. I am a virgin and will be till I am married. They respect that, due to the fact that they are virgins, too. In the past two years, I have been with over 274 girls ... most at the same time. I was with like 12 to 15 girls at a time. I am a mess and need some advice. Can you help me?

Recklessly in Love

Dear Recklessly in Love,

It's lovely that all these girls you have "been with" are virgins, and that you are, too. It's just a little confusing. I think what you mean is that these girls hang around you and like you and you do things together like eat french fries and go bowling? Maybe you kiss sometimes?

When you say you have "been with over 274 girls ... most at the same time," you have to realize what that sounds like to most readers. It sounds like you are bragging and implies you have had sex with these girls.

So you might want to come up with some new terms. Like say you have many female acquaintances, or perhaps even admirers. You can have many female admirers but only one steady girlfriend.

Try arranging things like that. It may have the effect of calming things down and creating some order in your social life.

You're a good, old-fashioned sort of young man and you want to settle down. And you should. It's too complicated being with 274 girls at the same time, especially in the holiday gift-giving season.

But you're only 18. You don't need to change too radically yet. What you do need to do is take a deep breath.

Now, I want to acknowledge what you said about having your heart broken. That can be a big deal. It may take a while to get over that. So it may influence the way you behave. You may feel angry toward all girls right now. You may want to keep them away for fear of having your heart broken again. But they don't deserve to be treated meanly. Rather than be mean to them to keep them away, just show them that you are sad and say you need to be alone. They will like you more that way, but they will also respect you and leave you alone. It will seem more serious.

Meanwhile, you're just going to have to choose. If you can't pick one girl based on her merits as you see them, then choose the one you like the most for now. Don't worry about making it all come out even. Just pick the one that you want to see right now and ask her to be your only girlfriend. It doesn't have to be absolutely clear which girl is your absolute favorite. Just go eeny, meeny, miny, mo if you have to. But pick one and concentrate on her for now. Tell the others they'll have to wait.

So that should help. We don't have to get into all the psychology of it, but it does make sense that after having your feelings hurt deeply you did not want to commit to just one girl again. But to simplify, just pick one and be with her but just tell her that you've been hurt and so you don't want to get too serious yet.

Enjoy your holidays.

Cary Tennis

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