He Almost Loves Me

In Dating, Drama, Mental Health on November 6, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Three's Company. But two is ideal. (for some...) Whatever floats your boat.

Dear Yenta,

I started seeing a really amazing guy about a month ago. We have a lot in common, to the point where we clicked instantly in almost every way and hung out constantly even before we were dating. Needless to say, I was thrilled to have him. We went together really well, I thought.

The thing is, he broke up with his girlfriend about two months ago, maybe a bit more; not long at all. It was because, for one thing, he found out that she was planning to cheat on him; and for another, they were headed to different colleges in different places in the fall. They’ve remained friends, albeit not talking much, and recently she called him to apologize for planning to cheat on him and to explain herself in some way. This led to him admitting to me that he still had strong feelings for her, that he didn’t think he was ready for a relationship with someone else yet, and that he was sorry for getting into something with me so soon. He really, really likes me, he says, but just…isn’t ready. Okay. I suppose I understand. So we called it off.

However, he and I have remained friends, and there is an extreme undercurrent of…I don’t know how to explain it. It’s more than just sexual tension between us now. More like it seems as though we both wish we were still together.

I understand that he needs space, and I want him to work this out within himself, especially if it means that he and I could maybe have another chance later in the game. But what if it just seems to me like he made a mistake? Is there anything I can do? That was lengthy, I’m sorry. But I’m miserable about this break-up and I guess I don’t know where to turn.


Is He Mine?

Dear IHM,

Thank you for turning to me.

Unless you were totally and completely meant to be, I don’t really understand why you want to give this dude another chance. A) His heart is tangled with someone else. B) With that entanglement, he is dragging you with him through his mud. C) If he enters half-way now, what does that mean about him later, when someone else comes along and he gives you one half and her the other?

A wise woman friend once told me that everything should be judged by the first month of a relationship. She said if it is easy, then it is right, but that it should never start hard. Ie, a relationship that starts hard/complex, ends as such. I will amend her words with a “never say never.” Point? This man might be your future husband, (or your future bad husband), who knows. But it is up to you to set the standard as to whether he is worthy of your heart.

I don’t know very many women who like to be someone else’s emotional leftover. It is not crazy to expect that your significant other puts you first, top of their list, above other loves. In fact, it should be expected that your partner does not tie their heart to another love tree.  You, in a monogamous American construct, are meant to be the one and only. But if you like love triangles, jump!  (Click here for more on safely dating multiple people at once.)

A word on sexual tension: it is common. Yes. It is a common and normal thing to have sexual tension with close male friends, close female friends, close any other type of friends. But what I am weary of in your case is giving that fat nugget of tension too much clout.

It sounds, from all the way here in Jerusalem, like you are being dragged through someone else’s drama as a crutch. Ie. You, the woman who he doesn’t have to invest in nor discard, are there to squeeze his hand when he feels blue. In the meantime, everything you mention is about him, his space, his healing. What about you? Who is loving on you? Are you his healer, his lover, or his girlfriend? Sounds like none of the above.

If he takes the plunge and shows a valiant display of chivalrous affection, if he takes risks, puts one foot in front of the other, gives you solid evidence that you are his queen, not his mistress in the wings, then I would say, go for it. But until then, seek not sexual tension, but sexual gratification elsewhere.

Really want him? Try “Just Friends to Doting Lover: How to Turn That Secret Crush Into a Real Relationship.”

Seriously, though, you deserve so much better. Find yourself a proper prince.

Merissa Nathan Gerson is a fan of
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