From lovers … to dating … to nothing … to friends … to ??? HELP!

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This topic contains 21 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Raven 5 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #738786 Reply


    Years of explanations for this one so I will be brief.

    On again/off again 2 year relationship 4 years ago. Dated others, never quite lost contact, never made it long with anyone else. About one year ago, we decided to be friends, NO SEX (too complicated emotionally without commitment) but we loved each other and wanted to be in each other’s lives.

    We vacation together, spend holidays together, do weekends together (away and home) and sleep together in the same bed, maybe with some spooning and kissing and caressing, but no sex, not even really any deep kissing … maybe every so often after a few pints …. He steers clear of me in bed basically — as soon as we are too close he pulls away and puts a barrier between us – blankets, pillows, the dog – anything so we don’t touch.

    SO WTF IS UP WITH THIS. I mean I get it – the holding back part so we don’t complicate it, but I can’t stand the frustration of laying with a man I love and want and not being physical. It’s becoming impossible. I just can’t imagine that he’s not feeling the same level of attraction. We’ve only spoke of it once or twice, and each time he says that we both know we are more than friends, but that we also know the reasons we can’t be together right now. (he has personal issues with past life regrets … nothing really to do with me … he’s kinda a little bit messed up unfortunately).

    So, in a gambling sense, what are my odds of this ever turning into a loving, caring, sexual relationship that may (or may not for that matter) lead to something more serious or am I in perpetual purgatory ??? I am not looking for guarantees, just clarification as to why he won’t sleep with me and if it means that it’s really truly over for us, besides staying friends. Or if he’s really making sure this time so we don’t hurt each other again (there’s been too much of that over the years even though we’ve moved past it.)


    #738787 Reply


    You are too old to be having slumber parties with boys…

    #738793 Reply


    What kind of male/female ‘friends’ share a bed? I’ve never done so with any of mine at any age.

    This sounds like a total head**** and I wouldn’t be sharing a bed at all. That might help clarify his feelings…

    #738794 Reply


    I think your odds of this becoming more than afreisnahip are around zero. He is keeping his word to the deal of friendship but i guess you never meant it?
    Really stop investing so much time in him if its not friendship youre looking for. He can be your friend but youcan date other guys.
    I had a sort of relationship with a guy like yours, i still have, he turned out to be gay. I dont know of course about your guy, but it might be the same case

    #738795 Reply


    Look, if you are happy with this arrangement, by all means stay in it, but you wouldn’t be writing, if you were. Stop the staying in the same bed, kissing and cuddling and you will have a friendship. But I wouldn’t hold my breath for this to ever become a real relationship. Best if you stay friends and start dating others for a relationship.

    #738796 Reply


    You’ve given this man sex and emotional comfort for years without requiring a title first. Many other modern day women are now offering the same things to men without a title. What’s the incentive for men to officially commit??

    #738799 Reply


    I was wondering about that Newbie – or ED – but we are in our mid 30s so I doubt it. Could be gay. or questioning.

    Andrea, we have a title “best friends who are in love with each other who would be better off with other people because of our different worlds but we can’t stay away from each other except for evidently sex but we still want to spend our time together because we miss each other when we’re apart”. I’m joshing around of course, but it’s all true.

    Co dependent I guess. Not star-crossed lovers like I was hoping. Newbie hit it on the nail again … I never was all-in on the friendship only train. I was only fooling myself, and its my my own fault. Much thanks to everyone.

    #738802 Reply


    You cant put a price on good friends. I do think he loves you, but for some reason he cant be a lover and a partner. Its up to you what you value in this case. You can simply tell him, you love him but also like more so you have to stay away from the cuddling etc.
    In my case, my friend and me were tied to the hip since we were twelve. We did the same high school, same university city. And in our twenties i just assumed we should be together. We were together every day. I live in the netherlands, pretty much one of the most gay friendly counties in the world. But only when we were 24 he told me he was gay, and really felt i could reject him. So it can be really tough to be different than the norm.
    Like i said in your case i dont know. He could also be really afraid of closeness but you trying to make him have sex with you is really your worst solution. You will only feel more crappy.
    Me and my friend know each other now for 38 years and he is my soulmate, my brother, my best friend. And the love is pure and mutual. Im so glad i know him.

    #738808 Reply


    The set up isn’t working for you. Hence the frustration and desire for more. He clearly doesn’t want more and enjoys what your offering only.

    What happens when you met someone properly and start a relationship? Things won’t carry on like this with him surely? No one will put up with that. Or what if he meets someone… this will fizzle like yesterday because he’ll put her first, as he should do too.

    Personally I think you need to stop this business totally and focus on other men and dating. Nothing he’s doing says he ever wants more. You are selling yourself short and when he finds someone else he’ll pull right back, and all the while your life is on hold…

    #738812 Reply

    Better off single

    Maybe he has an STD

    #738835 Reply


    Excluding the possibility that he is gay, the other reason why men do that is because they want to feel “free” and “single” to shop around. While, of course, not being quite “single”. If he packages it as “not wanting to hurt you”, then how is sleeping together without penetration is going to make a huge difference for feeling hurt when he starts seeing someone else?

    So this situation is one of those “tricks” modern men use for their convenience. I can’t respect that personally, and I am surprised you are not yet turned off emotionally from a guy who is doing such things.

    If you dearly love each other, then not spooning in bed together should not change that. You can just BE. Meet, talk, eat, laugh. Enjoy each other’s company. But for you not being in bed with him even without penetration can make a difference between a massive heart and soul crush and.. not so much.

    So once again this is a satiation where women blindly allow men to put them in a very unfavourable situation while himself deriving mostly benefits, pleasures and comforts. It is low of him to do that but it is foolish and reckless of you to allow this.

    I understand that asking for sex is a horrible humiliation for a woman, so don’t ask. But stop this nonsense and do not give him love, intimacy, warmth, bodily contact. It is worth more than sex if you ask me. Because sex he can get anywhere, but to be with a person you can about intimately (in any shape) is something much more valuable. So he is getting it all while you are left in a “loser” position, so to speak. I hope you’d have enough common sense and emotional stamina to end this situation into something that would be favourable to YOU.

    #738884 Reply


    Loved your advice Emma, thank you so much.

    #738885 Reply


    I agree with Emma totally. he has convinced himself and you that since there is no penetration, he is not doing you wrong. by no penetration he is not doing you any favour but just trying to stay guilt free. I think by continuing this arrangement which doesn’t look like it will turn into a proper relationship, you are blocking your heart to other future possibilities. u need to figure what exactly you want in your head and lay down healthy boundaries. that’s the only way I think you would be doing fair to self.

    #738888 Reply


    Thanks Tammy and Emma! Any suggestions on how to go about ending this? Do I save the friendship or cut ties? We got into this situation because he insisted we be friends rather than lose each other, even though I was dead set against it. I told him over and over that I couldn’t be just friends because I was in love with him. His answer? He loves me too. And just because right now we aren’t “together” doesn’t mean he doesn’t wish it was different and who knows what the future holds. Well…… we are in the future and I’m just confused and sexually frustrated! It’s not the act of sex, it’s the longing to be with the man I love who is lying next to me that’s unbearable. I love him so much.

    Mind f*ckery plain and simple. I have to make it strictly platonic and and not get cuddly and just slowly disappear. I’ll miss him more than I can even bear, but I guess it’s inevitable.

    #739161 Reply


    Suppose you meet a real boyfriend someday . What would he think about this ridiculous arrangement?

    It makes you look really foolish.

    #739457 Reply


    I understand that you have a history with this man and it might be hard to cut him out of your life. There isn’t an issue with being friends with an ex if things ended amicably and you have the same circle of friends.

    As some of the other women have mentioned it sounds like you want it to be more than just a friendship, however he isn’t willing to give you what you want. You’re giving him all the emotional support of a girlfriend without him having to put in any effort. It’s a great set up for him but what about you? Why does he have the upper hand here?

    Have some boundaries girl. If you want to be friends with him fine, but don’t sleep in his bed. I have many male friends but we don’t sleep in each other’s beds. We go out for lunch or coffee as I would with my girlfriends. The reality is if he could be in a committed relationship with you it’s not like he doesn’t have the opportunity so stop fooling yourself that he will magically want what you want.

    What happens when you meet someone new that does want to commit to you? Not many people would be happy with this arrangement.

    #739459 Reply


    ideally? I think you should walk away from this guy for the present. get some mental and emotional distance. if you stay in touch as friends, you wont be able to let go of him totally. there is a part of you that will keep hoping deep down. I think by staying in touch, your closing your heart to future opportunities. take some time off from this guy. do not meet him in cosy environments. no holidays with him. no sleeping with him. sex or not doesn’t matter. get a grip on urself. u can only let someone else in once you start making room in your heart. for that you need to empty some space in your heart. let him go dear. atleast for the present. all the best

    #739502 Reply


    I wanna cry :(

    I know you’re right ladies, and I appreciate you all for taking the time to help me. Obviously there are complications that may be contributing to my desire to want to hang in there and wait and see. (Example, and it’s only one of his issues right how: He is suffering some extremely serious legal consequences). I feel he has been abandoned by so many people and I feel like he needs me. Am I trying to earn Brownie points? Maybe. But I see it as standing by the side of the person whom I love most in the entire world, and helping him literally as he is dragging himself along the pavement.

    So basically what I’m saying is : I 100% agree that I need to be honest with myself and admit everything you say is correct. However, I feel the change needs to be within myself and not necessarily overly noticeable to him . Except the sleeping together part … you’re right that needs to stop. It’s more than just emotional comfort (for both of us I may add) but also for safety reasons because we live 1.5 hours from each other and even after a pint or 2 neither of us should be driving.

    But regardless of the nuances, bottom line is that we are leaning on each other for our own selfish reasons, but the one who will get the most hurt will be me, because although he LOVES ME, I am IN LOVE with him, and we can all agree that’s a HUGE DIFFERENCE. He would disagree, as he maintains this is as hard on him as it is on me, and he says he is in love with me, but he’s probably lying, either to himself or to me or to both.

    Again thanks so much for your invaluable advice. I will be taking it. XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

    #739507 Reply


    You give him such emotional support and he doesn’t want to lose that so he’ll tell you whatever he can to keep you around. Once he gets his life straightened out, don’t be surprised if he finds another and makes a go of a relationship, possibly marriage. I liken it to a woman who financially supports her husband going to Medical School and then once he’s a doctor and making all this money, he leaves her….onto multiple women or finds a trophy wife.

    #739539 Reply


    @Lisa, that is exactly what is going to happen. And at this point, as long as he gets his life straightened out I will be happy, whether I’m in the picture or not. I love him enough to want whats best for him and honestly, I’m not. We are very different from each other, and I am very happy with my life choices (i.e., marriage, kids, etc) and he regrets not having ever committed to those things. We are mid 30s (I may or may not be mid to LATE 30s … lmbo) and he still has time to get married and have a family of his own. I can’t have more children so there’s that. We need to let each other go, and I guess one person has to be strong enough for both when one just can’t do it. But what if we both can’t?

    #739551 Reply


    Trina, if neither of you has the strength to let go, then you’ll just go on living in limbo, sacrificing your own happiness until he finds his. This is just like ending a romantic relationship, it’s going to be hard (like a divorce) because you really loved and cared for the person, but ultimately you know it’s not right. Good luck to you.

    #739553 Reply


    You can not fix or save him… Only he can do that.

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