I've been seeing a guy I met online for eight months, and we've become good friends. We go for walks and talk, or go for brunch on the weekend, or see a movie together. He even looked after me once when I was sick and made sure I had what I needed.
He's late-30s, hard working, and successful. I'm late 20s and would like to start a real relationship with a future. I'd married young and divorced after six years.
I'm not sure why he and I haven't had sex. He's never made the first move, and I don't feel like being the one to initiate the first time. Also, I don't feel chemistry between us, but I think it's because there's been no physical connection.
Is he just not attracted to me? Should I stop seeing him and move on?
A good friend who's there when you need him is worth keeping and treasuring... as a good friend. It's unlikely that you two will ever become a couple, but that's not a rejection.
You need to have The Talk - the reverse of "where is our relationship going?" It's more about, let's be truthful, we have a great friendship, and if one or both of us is looking for a romantic relationship, we should simply say so and agree it's not with each other.
Once any misconceptions are out of the way, you may become even closer friends. Some readers may think your pal is gay, whether repressed or otherwise. Or, as you say, there's just no chemistry between you. Neither matters, he's your friend, and you're lucky for that.
My daughter-in-law is messy and rarely picks up after herself, her husband or even her kids. Their couches, chairs, tabletops, and all surfaces are always awash with tossed-off clothing, half-finished glasses of water, milk, or whatever, even plates of unfinished food.
My son, having been raised in a neat and clean environment, ends up picking up everything on the weekends and throwing all in the laundry or kitchen sink to be washed.... by him.
He never complains. He loves his wife and they're happy together. She's a caring mother who does homework with the kids and encourages them to take part in activities for which she has to drive them and pick up.
She works hard at her job, and contributes well to their family income. But she doesn't seem to have a domestic bone in her body. Do I say something or keep my big mouth shut?
Hate A Mess
Stay mum if you want to be welcomed as a Mom. You can talk to your son, but only if you hold back the criticism and offer a suggestion to make their weekend life easier - i.e. to get cleaning help once a week or every two weeks, whatever's affordable (since both work).
Present it as a way he can have more family time instead of being busy with cleanup. Also, since she's "not domestic" as you say, you could offer help with her busy work/driving schedule by inviting the family to one dinner weekly after their activities, or dropping off a meal they can re-heat when they get home.
When a parent shows that they see and appreciate how busy a young family household can be, the help is hugely appreciated. And that can open the door to future conversations, when she may even ask for "domestic" advice. But don't count on it.
FEEDBACK Regarding the middle-aged woman dating a man suffering from depression (March 9):
Reader -"I'm disgusted that her friend advised her to "ease out of the relationship" because he's suffering from depression. If he had diabetes, would she be given the same advice? Depression, like any other illness, is manageable and people can respond well to treatment.
"This is a clear example of how mental illness is misunderstood and how judgmental people are about it.
"Perhaps she could use this opportunity to educate herself, rather than bolt the minute something complicated happens in a relationship."
Ellie - Thanks for highlighting this issue. Depression, can strike anyone from any background.
Although no single cause has been identified, interplay among many factors - genetic, biochemical, environmental, and psychosocial - are considered to play a role.
Depression isn't a personal weakness and can't be willed or wished away. But it can be successfully managed.
Tip of the day:
When a good friendship doesn't turn into a romance, you can still enjoy a valuable platonic bond.