The other man is not married, but he’s an alcoholic. He’s financially stable and very intelligent, and we can talk about everything. But his sex drive is almost zero.
Both men have suggested open relationships (man #1 because he lives so far away and we never see each other and man #2 because of his lack of sex drive). So I don’t feel like I am cheating on either of them exactly. If I could somehow combine them into one man who was single, not an alcoholic, but had all their other traits, it would be so simple. But the fact is that I am very much in love with them both.
I never in a million years thought I would ever find myself in such a situation. I’ve always been a good person, always played by the rules. I never even dated while my son was growing up because I didn’t want him to become attached to some boyfriend only for us to break up. I was single for fifteen years; now I have two boyfriends, and I don’t know what to do. — Between Two Guys and a Hard Place
I can’t imagine you are fulfilled by either one of these boyfriends. First, you hardly even see one and he’s married to someone else. The other has no sex drive and is drunk all the time. You were single for fifteen years, during which time you played by some rules you thought you had to follow in order to be a good mom to your kid, and now that he’s grown you’re ready to break rules and have some fun. The ironic thing is it doesn’t sound like breaking the rules — that you didn’t have to follow in the first place! — is bringing you any fun. And there’s a strong possibility your actions are contributing to the pain of another woman. There are better ways to sow your wild oats, my friend, than carrying on with some long-distance lover you never see and having a side relationship with someone who doesn’t want sex.
I say break up with them both, get yourself to therapy, and take up more thrilling hobbies to fulfill your need for an adrenaline rush after fifteen years of playing by the rules: take up skiing, go skydiving, do some solo travel, get a tattoo. And remember the old Dear Wendy quote from years ago: “If you have to choose between two people, the answer is probably neither.”
Our texts were all hot and sexy and usually initiated by him. On the weekends, he even wished me a good morning. We had some real conversations as well. It was nice and poetic at first. But then in the third or fourth month, things started to change. It seems like he has lost his interest in me. Nowadays, he doesn’t even text me…
He gave me mixed signals from the beginning until I got attached to him. He said himself that he wasn’t ready for marriage or a serious relationship; I get it, but sometimes I want a guy to care about me like a boyfriend. I had a bad and ugly past relationship, and was I hoping that this was the one…someday.
My friends told me they saw him with another girl in my office while I was gone and saw other girls texting him. I started becoming needy and jealous. He kept giving me all guy excuses like he’s not seeing anyone, they are all just friends, etc.
I don’t want to jeopardize our friendship for my own unnecessary delusional feelings. I enjoyed being with him because I get him and he gets me. All my friends and family told me to get over him or move on; I tried but I can’t because he’s always there right in front of me. I can’t just quit my job.
I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m sick and tired of having the same kind of relationship, tired of crying to myself and making a fool of myself. I’m on the verge of making him distant and ruining the friendship that we had, which I don’t want to do.
Help me. Tell me what should I do about it. — Waiting for The One
Friends shouldn’t make you feel horrible about yourself. Friends shouldn’t make you cry or make you feel like a fool. You shouldn’t feel needy and jealous with a friend. This guy isn’t a friend. He’s someone you hoped would be your boyfriend, but you settled on sexts and “good morning” texts on the weekends and a few random hookups, hoping eventually he would want something more. He didn’t, he doesn’t, he won’t. There is no friendship to ruin. There is only your self-worth and dignity to ruin, and carrying on like you have been is doing serious damage to both.
Yes, distance yourself from this guy. Delete his number, stay away from him at work, ask your friends not to talk to you about him. Move on. He doesn’t love you. Not even as a friend. If all he did was sext you, sex you, and wish you good morning on the weekends, he’s not your friend. I’m telling you as clearly as I can: you do not need a friend like this. Friends worth having are ones who support you through your trials, celebrate your victories, hang out with you regularly with your clothes on doing stuff that doesn’t involve sex or hooking up. Friends have so many “real conversations” with you that it’s unnecessary to point out that you have “some real conversations” in addition to hot and sexy text conversations. This guy is not your friend. Find your dignity and self-respect and cut him out of your life for good.
I think it’s ridiculous that grown adults are telling people who they can and cannot hang out with, especially so many years (and marriages and kids and divorces) after a relationship ended. You like this woman and enjoy her company, and the feeling seems to be mutual. You don’t seem to care about the old school friend who goes to your barber shop. Would it upset you if he no longer considered you a friend? If he stopped coming to the barber shop? If he stopped sending you an occasional message on FB? If he talked shit about you to mutual friends? That’s really your biggest risk here if you continue hanging with his ex-girlfriend from ten years ago. If you can handle those risks, I say go for it — keep hanging with the woman whose company you enjoy. Maybe you’ll end up dating and maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll catch up a couple more times and that will be it. Maybe she’s enjoying her new-found freedom post-divorce and, once that novelty of that wears off, so will whatever spark that has reignited between you. If you can handle the thought of that at the risk of alienating a casual friend who frequents your place of business, there’s nothing else to lose. And if he’s the kind of guy who would give you shit for texting a woman he dated ten years ago like he owns her, maybe he’s not someone you would miss having in your life anyway.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.