Things get serious with the friend with benefits – but I’m scared: ask Ellie – .

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Things get serious with the friend with benefits – but I’m scared: ask Ellie – .


Q: I am 32 years old and I am faced with a dilemma. Three years ago, before COVID changed everything, I saw an attractive, sexy woman smile at me in a bar, and we hung out that night.

We logged in two or three times a month (she was traveling for work at the time). It was mostly for sex but we also talked a lot, and I knew she wanted to get closer. She was 29 at the time, and it was a signal to me that she would want an engagement soon.

I was clear that I didn’t want this, and soon the pandemic set in between us anyway. Six months ago, she contacted me to ask if I was okay. I found that very kind of him. It turns out that we both were very careful to protect ourselves from the virus and we were both working from home.

I realized I missed her. We see each other now exclusively and as often as possible. The connection has grown from a focus on sex to close friends having sex and sharing intimacy.

In the past, I had very strong feelings against getting too involved. I had suffered very painful injuries and shocking disappointments in previous relationships. I didn’t want to take that risk anymore.

Now I’m uncertain and scared, but I know I don’t want to lose this woman. What should I do?

A: There is nothing more intimate than sharing your fears… not of her as a person, but of your own hurt past. Talk openly about your long-standing inability to forget / heal old wounds. Be clear that you appreciate it on its own merit.

Once you open this door to a discussion about your current feelings and hers, some answers will become fairly obvious.

But if you continue to have doubts, talk to a psychotherapist about the real events that caused your trust issues.

So follow your heart.

Feedback Concerning the woman who “cannot decide” between her living husband with whom she refuses sexual relations, and her private lover whom she sees in private (November 9):

“Ellie wrote this: ‘Your big mistake is to think that a man can solve your whole life. Instead, talk to a therapist for an outside professional perspective. If that doesn’t help, go on your own to find out who you really want to be.

“I wouldn’t say ‘If that doesn’t help.’ Instead, I would tell her to do both – as in, move out AND talk to a therapist. Additionally, she should seek legal advice regarding their decision to share the lover’s apartment.

“However, the best advice for this woman is the one she received from her own 22-year-old adult son that both parents love:

“Go ahead and be happy mom. What more does she expect?

Reader’s Comment Regarding the man who calls his future girlfriend “bossy” because she wants to bring what he describes as a few material things (November 13):

“I understand it’s very emotional to give up your personal space and be subject to criticism that your things aren’t up to par (eg ‘some furniture that doesn’t match’ yours) .

“But if you’re meant to be together, don’t worry about the little things. She gives up the independence of living alone and moves into ‘her’ place.

“I think it’s fair that this woman wants to establish her space by making some changes. “

Ellie’s Tip of the Day

Don’t let past hurts or even deeper losses color your entire future with distrust and fear. Life is too short to look back.

Ellie Tesher is a consulting columnist for The Star and based in Toronto. Send your relationship questions by email: [email protected]

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