I’ve been in a loving relationship for eight months. I can see the rest of my life with him.
However, there’s another man with whom I had a thing until I met my current boyfriend.
My “fling” never wanted to date me but always wanted to be in my life. Classic case of a man with commitment issues.
We talk often as friends and my current boyfriend doesn't know. He wouldn't approve.
How can I be so in love with my current boyfriend but still think about this other man?
I know I don't want to be with him, but part of me just can't let go.
Pulled Both Ways
Sorry, but it’s a classic case of a guy who saw you as a friend with benefits, until you fell for someone else.
But your “fling” is holding on, hoping you’ll fall back to him… for more benefits.
End the contact, if you want to keep the trust and love of your boyfriend.
There may be memories of how exciting it was but that’s the nature of a fling – temporary, fleeting, mostly about sex.
If you want someone who respects you and is there for the long run, you CAN let go.
I’m a woman, 55, divorced for 20 years. I’m independent.
Still, I’d love to meet someone with whom I can share life.
Recently, I met a very nice man - gentlemanly, polite, kind, intelligent, humorous, not in a huge rush to hop into bed.
After two dates, he claimed he loves me.
I told him not to expect such a declaration from me, unless and until it’s how I feel after getting to know him.
He seems okay with that, but texts and phones me several times a day to chat, or sends photos of his accomplishments.
I didn’t respond to all his texts and calls.
I said I feel overwhelmed by the constant contact.
He apologized, but has continued with three to five calls and fifteen texts daily.
When I do respond, he anxiously says how worried he's been that I haven't answered sooner.
Recently, I said I’d be out all day and evening with friends.
He called later, in a state of high anxiety because I hadn't responded to any of his texts or calls that day.
He said he’s worried that I’m not interested in him.
I said I do like him very much, but I need space to process each interaction, and time to live my own life.
Five minutes later, he texted me again. I didn’t respond.
I do like his wonderful qualities, and would like to have him in my life.
But when we aren't together, this nightmare side comes out.
How many chances do I need to give him?
I worry about crushing his spirit and ramping up his anxiety, if I have to throw in the towel. I need advice on what words to use.
You just used the right word – you’re being “hounded.” It’ll ultimately obscure his better qualities.
Unless you felt sure that he can relax if you do commit to living together – and I doubt he can – he’s not a man with whom you can share your life.
He’d question your time away from him, your friends, any interests that take you away from him.
In order to convince you otherwise, he’d have to undergo a full process of therapy to acknowledge and deal with his anxieties.
Meanwhile, you can’t be sure he can over come them.
What do you do for a friend who’s going through a difficult time but wants to stay married?
What if he’s spent some prison time, was the model citizen for years after, but in recent years has relapsed in a different way?
What if you know she truly, deeply loves him and they’ve been together for more than 30 years?
Should you say anything at all?
Say nothing. Based on your email, the situation for your friend is both complicated and deeply emotional, involving demons from the past.
There’s no direction that can be given by anyone other than a professional counsellor, IF your friend would be willing to talk it all out.
The best you can do is to listen sometimes without judgment, and at other times provide some distraction, such as going out for a coffee, a movie, etc.
And be supportive when your friend finally decides how to handle what’s going on.
Tip of the day:
There’s a world of difference between a fling and a loving relationship.