His Take questions are answered by our panel of smart, opinionated, and funny dudes.
For awhile, everything was great — I was leaving my feelings in the past and getting sheet-tearing orgasms on the regular. But now, I have met another man that I am actually building a friendship with before we jump into bed. But, I’m still sleeping with the first one. The sex is so passionate that I cannot tell him no. I told him that I was seeing another guy and, while he had a few questions, he didn’t seem to be bothered. Since I let him know about the other guy, he’s now asking about my personal life, he tried to help me when I lost my job, he makes sure I know he’s there for me, he returns text messages instantly (whereas before it sometimes took a week), and, most recently, he didn’t want me to leave when I went to “see” him and so I slept in his arms all night.
I’m so confused. He’s the one I really want. But I’m afraid that if I confront him, he will be defensive and tell me what he used to tell me: “I can’t give you what you need right now.” On the other hand, the relationship with the second guy is progressing and I’m starting to feel a little guilty. If it weren’t for the first guy, the second guy definitely would have won my heart by now. He’s great too. Help! — Wanting the Passionate One
Brian: Your FWB sounds like he’s having the time of his life! He got action on a first date, has repeatedly given you sheet-tearing orgasms, doesn’t have to talk to you on any kind of regular basis and you always come over. This guy could not be happier about this arrangement — so why would he want to change anything by being tied down and seeing you every day, which could kill the vibe you guys have going? At least, that’s how he’s probably thinking about it, best-case scenario. Worst case? He’s a manipulative a-hole who notices that you’re becoming much more interested in someone else, so he turns up the Boyfriend O-Meter and offers his arms for cuddling, texts you on the reg, and doesn’t want you to leave! Run, WtPO, it sounds like he’s got the dungeon all fixed up now.
The way your describe your feelings for the other guy doesn’t sound like you’re into him, which is why you’re leaning toward trying again to turn FWB into Monogamous Manfriend. Not to be cynical, but I don’t see either of these working out — not yet. I think you need to spend more time with Guy #2 and less time with FWB and try to parse your feelings further down the road. Certainly, you lose nothing if, in the meantime, you drop FWB altogether, spend a few weeks seeing where things go with Guy #2 and, if they go to Nowheresville, then pull an FWB on FWB and text FWB in a few weeks — “psyche! I’m still alive! Down to bone?” (That’s what the kids say in 2016, FYI.)
Drew: Well, let’s be honest. Things probably are not gonna work out between you and the “Important Executive”* But that’s fine… Right? You just got out of an 18-year “long dead marriage”**. So I think it’s okay to chose a passionate ring of fire fling over another mediocre relationship. Or even better, break up with both of them. Don’t be afraid to wake up alone in the morning, enjoy a “quiet cup of coffee”*** and perhaps a delicious “berry parfait”****.
*My Hip Hop Name
**Name of my a capella group
Guy Friday:I know you want Guy 1 to want a relationship with you, but I don’t believe that he does. However, I also don’t believe that Guy 1 is leading you on; call me a sunny-sided optimist, but I think Guy 1 realizes the comfort and connection he was getting with you, knows he’s in danger of it slipping away, and so is trying to make more of an effort to make you happy. Having said all that, I think that the kind of leap that you want isn’t going to happen, because when you’re talking a workload like he has, you can’t really juggle it as well as he’s doing for too long before he drops some of the metaphorical balls, and I think that, given the choice, he’ll drop the relationship ball before the work one.
Also, maybe I’m not up with the hip slang these days, but “separated” doesn’t mean “divorced” or “agreed to see other people.” So while neither of these guys seems to be leading you on, you sure seem to be leading them on. My advice? If the marriage is as “long dead” as you claim, divorce him and move on with your life. But if there’s a reason why you can’t or won’t, then stop sleeping with or dating anyone until you get that resolved. You deserve to be happy, but you have to actually take action on your marriage to finalize it first.
Dennis: Imagine, for a minute, that you’ve spent the last two decades in prison, confined to a solitary jail cell. And in this jail cell, you’ve been fed a pitiful meal of gruel and water three times a day, seven days a week. This is literally the only sustenance you’ve known for the past twenty years.
Now, imagine that you’re finally released from prison. On your way home, your eyes are drawn to the bright yellow arches of a McDonald’s, and you think to yourself, “Well, I’m gonna get my grub on because I’m free to eat whatever I want now!”
So you step inside, and you order the first thing you spot on the menu. Your order arrives, you take a giant bite from your Big Mac, and you think, “Holy crap, this is the best burger I’ve ever tasted. The flavors — they’re just so intense and indescribable.”
And you end up eating at McDonald’s three times a day for the next year. Because why wouldn’t you? It’s the best food ever.
I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this. If you’ve just gotten out of an 18-year “dead marriage,” as you so bluntly put it, then what you’re describing as an intense attraction is likely nothing more than your affection-starved psyche latching onto the first sexual connection you’ve been able to make in two decades.
To be clear, I’m not discounting the hotness of the sex or even the intensity of the attraction you have to this guy. What I am saying is that you can do better than the sexual equivalent of a Big Mac that you’re getting from big shot executive here. I guarantee there are other men out there whom you’ll be able to make a connection with. You’re just not giving yourself the chance to do so if you continue a sexual relationship with this guy while getting to know other men on a platonic level first. To continue the analogy, that would be akin to your continuing to eat at McDonald’s every day while half-assedly checking out the menus from other restaurants without actually eating at these other restaurants.
Here’s the bottom line:
1) Asking about your personal life, helping you when you lose your job, and texting back quickly are not indications that he actually wants to be with you.
2) The chances he’ll ever be interested in you for anything other than sex are approximately zero.
If the level of interest you have in him matches his, then you’re fine. But as you yourself admit, you want more. And because of this, I promise you this isn’t going to end the way you want it to end, and, furthermore, you’re only sabotaging your chances to meet someone else. If you’re still skeptical, or if you still think that what you have with this guy is really all that special, then here’s a blog post I wrote seven years ago, describing almost the exact same situation.
My advice? Lay off the McDonald’s, and try some other restaurants. There are plenty out there. Because seriously, McDonald’s may taste awesome in the moment, but it doesn’t bode well for your long-term health.