I’m 37, seeing a similar-age man for four months.
He’s kind, attentive, doesn’t smoke, drink, or gamble, has a well-paying job, and we get along well.
Neither of us has relationship experience.
After two months, he asked if he could introduce me as his girlfriend. I said I’d like that and would also like it if he’d kiss me.
He says his insecurity is holding him back. We’ve only kissed on the cheek a couple of times.
After four months, I no longer feel the original spark. I don’t even like to receive a message from him.
I’d like to maintain the friendship, but I feel that the chance for romance is over.
I used to get excited when we spent time together but now look for excuses to spend less time.
Is it wrong for me to think of no physical expression as a deal breaker?
Should I tell him I just want to be friends? He might be my only option so should I hold onto him?
Hoping For More
No one wants to be “the only option.” If you allow your own insecurity to match his, you’ll end up a miserable couple.
Decide whether you have enough interest in who he is (not in just having a partner) to probe deeper into his lack of affection.
It clearly IS a deal-breaker for you if he won’t, or can’t, deliver physical affection and sex.
If you care enough, ask if he’s willing to discuss this in counselling with you, or on his own, and take steps to change.
Otherwise, stop dating him. Offering him an ongoing friendship would lead him on, unfairly.
I’m a girl in my late 20s. My former ex-best friend and I met in university, and were inseparable for the next five years.
Then her jokes suddenly had an edge to them, sometimes hurtful and mean.
She’d downplay some of my interests, which made me extremely self-conscious.
Most hurtfully, she’d blow me off for get-togethers I’d organized, including my birthday.
When she moved away, it was a relief to not have to deal with the drama.
Our friendship then consisted of only occasional text messages.
I’ve since discovered that several mutual friends had also cut ties with her, for similar reasons.
Our other friends have simply lost contact without knowing that our “BFF status” expired.
Recently, I was copied on an email stating she’s moving back to town, asking if anyone can meet up.
My gut says to be careful and stay away, but we still share many mutual friends who I’m afraid would feel in the middle of a friendship gone sour.
Do I meet up with her and our group to maintain the peace, or should I make a clean break?
Follow your gut but not your fears. Be wary; don’t rush into closeness, or into overt withdrawal.
Meet once, with the group. Your “ex-bestie” may be all warm and friendly, but you know from the past that she comes on strong when she’s the one needing a close pal.
You also know her negative pattern of creating drama and hurting you.
You don’t owe it to mutual friends to maintain the illusion of still being close. See her only when within the group… unless she reverts to old ways and then avoid her.
FEEDBACK I’m a long-time reader, first-time writer here. I have something to add to the discussion about the live-in boyfriend and his dog (March 28). Though I don't see how it will help if the boyfriend refuses to train his dog:
Reader – “A few years ago, I house-sat for a work colleague. In exchange for a few weeks in a beautiful big home, I was to look after their dog – it was huge and completely untrained.
“My family ran a kennel, and by the end of my stay, I had the dog in a much more manageable condition - walking to heel, waiting for a command before eating, coming when called, etc. The owners were delighted when they returned.
“The next time I visited them, the dog was back to his original bad habits.
“My point is that the dog isn’t the problem, the boyfriend is. A dog's behaviour stems from his/her owner's behaviour.
“Dog Dilemma” needs her boyfriend to step up and fix this problem. Dogs need structure and it’s cruel for him to deny this to his pet.”
Tip of the day:
Don’t consider an unsatisfying relationship as your only option.