I’m a woman with a problem that’s apparently universal, ever since I recently became involved with someone. Like many others, I, too, want “more.”
The man in the matter was very serious with me in my much younger days. He’s now quite a bit older and wants only to be friends with benefits (FWB), it seems.
He’s very much wanting to see more of me as the sex part of the relationship is very important to him.
I’m not sure what to do since he’s with someone else - a woman I unexpectedly met at work last year.
The two have a very volatile relationship and the question is asked by many: “What’s he doing with her” (this loudmouth of a younger woman)?
Do I move on?
You’re not the only one in this relationship who wants “more” than a friendship. He wants a lot more sex with you. And he also wants the younger woman.
Why? Since their relationship is known to be turbulent, there’s something else that he’s after with her, since he’s turned to you for physical passion. I won’t guess, but you can do so since you know him.
From the myriad relationship complications that readers send me, here are some possibilities to mull over which may help you answer this puzzle for yourself:
1) He’s at mid-life or older and wants the younger woman to enhance his image as still youthful. 2) He has no desire for a more serious commitment like marriage so has chosen someone who may be loud but can’t push him around. Or 3) He cares for her but doesn’t want to have children so limits their sexual contact and turns to you for it.
If none of the above spark an “aha” response, here’s a simple truth: He wants both of you, each for different reasons.
You’ve made it clear that’s not enough for you. Also, you don’t respect his other choice. Two very good reasons to move on.
FEEDBACK Regarding the young mother who has spent years hoping for a better relationship with her own mother (February 19):
Reader – “My heart breaks for her and her young daughter and she’s now in my prayers. Your advice was good and sensible, but I think she’s in too much pain to internalize it at this point. She really needs people in her life who’ll love her and I’m thinking more of female friendships or a support group or counseling.
“Is there anything else you can do to give her more concrete steps to find help?”
Ellie - I also felt deep compassion for this woman, 30s, whose mother’s been punitive, emotionally/verbally abusive and isolated her from the rest of her family since she was a child.
I responded to her need for self-affirmation: She’s on a track to graduate and get a job, while raising her child. Though I usually believe in family reconciliation, her mean-spirited mother will drag her daughter down if given a chance.
Your suggestion of her finding supportive female friends is excellent and that may happen through her schooling, or work. Counselling will eventually be helpful to her, but she’s too raw for that right now.
Ellie’s Feedback Thanks to the reader of my February 20 column on mental-health help, for her reminder about Kids Help Phone, a Canadian organization that provides free confidential professional online and telephone counselling with support in English and French to youth across Canada. Phone 1-800-668-6868, 24-7.
I’m a senior who’s had many wonderful friendships over the years - schoolmates, colleagues, neighbours with same-age children. In retirement years, there’ve been fitness-club and bridge pals, and new travel companions.
The pandemic has caused a cutback in contact. It’s too difficult to keep up with so many people, many in different cities and even countries, when the daily focus is on family/neighbours and those who need help or a chat.
I don’t want to lose the great people I’ve met. What’s the best way to catch up and maintain mutual interest after so much focus on day-to-day during these stressful times?
Not on Facebook
Create an online personal newsletter for your contacts. Since not everyone in one group knows the others, introduce them through a few short paragraphs.
Then give a general accounting to all of what’s of interest in your life and asking about theirs. One fulsome monthly “edition” is enough to stay connected.
Tip of the day:
If you want a couple relationship that’s more than friends with benefits, end the benefits.