This is like someone from my past writing to me in the future. Part of the Secret Origin of Dr NerdLove was my falling for someone who was incredibly upfront about the fact that she was not open to dating anyone.
While she would totally enjoy the time we had together, we weren't going to be in a romantic relationship. I didn't believe her. As far as I was concerned, she was damn near perfect and by God I was going to change her mind about this shit. At the time, I had the perfect job and now the perfect relationship. All I had to do was just hang in there long enough and I'd prove that I was so wonderful that she couldn't help but fall for me. Fast-forward six months and first I lost the perfect job, and then the perfect girl dumped me.
Because I didn't believe her when she told me that she wasn't going to fall in love and didn't want to be anyone's girlfriend. Incidentally, you can watch all of this happen in the documentary Days of Summer. Well, part of it is cultural. Even in this day and age, guys still don't believe that women might just want to bang like men do. It's taken as holy writ that women catch feelings like we catch colds and that regular banging will eventually lead to commitment because a woman who just likes to fuck?
Well, there has to be something wrong with her. And let's be honest: But another part is the people you're dating. From the sounds of it, you're dating younger guys, occasionally guys who don't have much relationship experience. Odds are, these are guys who aren't necessarily used to a woman sharing their interests and who aren't used to dating someone as confident or up front as you. And this is no slight to those other women: Being up front and secure in what you want then just putting it out there can be scary for everyone.
But then here you are: You're brassy, you're straightforward and you get them. You are, in all likelihood, the easiest and least stressful relationship they have ever had. To that kind of guy, you are basically a unicorn. Unfortunately, instead of embracing the situation as it is… they feel like they need to lock this down.
They want to round that unicorn up, tame it, ride it until its heart meter fills and they can put it in their stable. Some of this is due to inexperience. A lot of people myself included, way back when will find a situation like this and feel like they have to grab it with both hands.
They believe that this is a once-in-a-lifetime situation. They think they will never find someone this awesome that will make them feel this good and if they miss out, then they will go to their graves believing they missed their One True Love.
There's also a fair amount of social programming involved. A lot of people feel like every relationship needs to have the potential to be their last, and have a hard time dealing with the idea that some relationships are temporary and just for fun.
As much as we like to talk about guys just wanting sex, a lot of dudes also start a friends-with-benefits relationship and catch feels. Some of this comes down to the difference between a fuckbuddy and a friend with benefits. In a fuckbuddy relationship, the relationship is about the sex.
In a friends with benefits arrangement, you're friends… who just happen to have sex. Some guys can handle that. For others, the combination closeness and emotional intimacy and occasional bed-rocking sex means that they can't keep maintain the necessary emotional distance. One thing is to make sure you're not setting up a dating frame. Part of what's confusing these guys is that you're acting like a traditional relationship: The long dates, the longer talks, the flirting, the post-coital cuddles… to a lot of people, that's going to feel like y'all are headed toward a fairly standard relationship.
You're saying one thing, but the way you're acting says another, so it's pretty understandable that wires are getting crossed.
If you say you're not a couple but go play house in IKEA, people might understandably get confused. So it may help if you make more of an effort to keep things casual if you're not sure about the guy. I know you want that closeness that comes with a friendship, as well as the occasional fun naked time. But if you want to break this particular cycle, that closeness may have to be something they earn over time if they show that they can handle it.
The other thing you can do is focus on dudes who're your type but who also have a bit more experience under their belt. They may be older. They might be more emotionally mature. But someone with a little more life experience may be more compatible with what you're looking for right now. You may also just have to ruthlessly compartmentalise — some friendships for the closeness and intimacy, some for the sex, and never the twain to cross.
It isn't easy or efficient, but it may be one of the ways you can meet your needs. Unfortunately, there's no real way to guarantee that somebody won't catch a case of the feels and repeat the cycle. You can only do so much; your potential partners are going to have to do their share as well. There'll always be guys who swear they can keep things casual… right up until they can't.
There's a certain amount of trial and error that you just can't get around, unfortunately. But there are guys like that out there. Your advice has helped me for a long time and now I feel like I'm in uncharted territory here. I'm a young gay woman with a break-up problem. Very recently I broke up with my girlfriend of six months, Jenny not her real name. Jenny is a wonderful person and we've become close, but I knew she was in love with me, while I didn't feel the same way and could not foresee a strong romantic future with her, feeling more like we would work better as friends.
After deciding I needed to break up with her, I possibly made a mistake of waiting a couple of weeks to actually do it so that it happened after her birthday and after she finished some stressful school projects. Meanwhile, I have a friend, Tanya not her real name. Tanya and I met while working professionally on a freelance project, and we subsequently became friends almost exclusively through text, seeing each other never alone maybe three times since we finished the project months ago.
In the couple weeks leading up to breaking up with Jenny, it became clear to me that Tanya and I had a lot of chemistry and that I could see myself dating her. Once I made the decision to break up with Jenny, my ideal plan was to remain friends in whatever way worked best for her.
Then after a month, following another professional engagement I had with Tanya and assuming I still felt strongly about her, I would ask Tanya out. This plan seemed fool-proof and even kind in my mind: Have a healthy break up, give myself and my ex time to grieve, then proceed to move on and date a new person. However, things changed when I actually broke up with Jenny. She was absolutely devastated, more so than I feared she would be. This was the first serious relationship she had had with another woman, and I don't think she had been in love with anyone like she was with me.
And yet I broke her heart. She tried to bargain with me and ask if there was a way we could come back in a week and rethink it, or if it was something she did or didn't do that she could fix, but I assured her that my choice to break up had nothing to do with her actions, and that my feelings would not change, as I didn't want to give her false hope.
But as careful as I tried to be, she was still devastated. What shocked me the most was when she asked if it was because of someone else - specifically, if it was because of Tanya. Jenny had been cheated on by previous partners, and it made her anxious and constantly afraid of it happening again. She knew Tanya and I texted often, and on the few occasions we did see each other, Jenny could sense Tanya was into me even when I couldn't at the time.
She did not mention any of this to me prior to this day, for fear she would seem paranoid, which I understand. I confirmed to Jenny that I have not cheated on her, and it's just about how I feel about her, and no one else. However, right after that, she told me she was in a relationship before where she suspected her boyfriend was cheating.
Once they broke up, her former boyfriend and the woman she suspected was the impetus for the breakup began dating almost immediately - and it crushed Jenny, and caused a term of depression and amped up her anxiety. So it turns out my plan was not anxiety-proof.
At the end of the long, tearful break up, we agreed to be friends, but she definitely need some time to process, which I'm hoping she genuinely takes. So, I feel like I'm in an ethical dilemma. Protect my ex's feelings and potentially her mental health but lose the possibility of seeing a woman I really like? Or do what I want and date this woman, but take the risk of further hurting my ex and any potential friendship we have? Jenny is not my girlfriend any more, and even if we became friends, it isn't her business who I date.
However, she specifically said that the idea of Tanya and me dating would cause her a lot pain, and since I already broke her heart, to compound that with dating the one person she was afraid I was into could only make things worse for her mental health.
Because otherwise I would feel tempted to just rush into her arms, I talked to Tanya, especially since very recently through text she has been flirty, while I've been giving her a lot of mixed signals.
I explained to her that although originally I intended to ask her out after some time passed, Jenny's visceral reaction to the idea of us dating has given me pause, and even though we both want to date, I would need more time to decide what I think is right. Tanya understood, thankfully, so I have more time to figure it out and gauge how my ex is processing everything.
So what do you advise, Doc? I want to be cheesy and "follow my heart", but I also want to do right by my ex and not be insensitive. Thanks in advance for any insight you have.
There is no fool-proof break up plan. Break ups are rarely easy and never painless. Even when it's one that needs to happen, or even just the natural end to a relationship, there's going to be pain. Something that has been part of your life is ending, and that hurts.
Sometimes more, sometimes less. The only thing you can do is make the break up as compassionate as possible and avoid needless pain. You aren't responsible for someone else's feelings.
It absolutely sucks that Jenny is hurt by this. It's good that you're trying to be compassionate. It says a lot about you as a person that you're worried about her. But I'm gonna have to bring out the chair-leg of truth here: You can't let her having a sad control your future. Jane is far more easy-going. Blonde, slim and relaxed, she has already told me by email that she's been married for ten years, has young children, time on her hands and wants to add a frisson of excitement to her life.
We meet at a restaurant in central London, and I am waiting at the table when she arrives. I stand up and we kiss on the cheek. She tells me without blinking that she has had one affair with a family friend and, although it didn't end badly, her appetite for adultery remains undimmed. We spend an afternoon over lunch with a bottle of wine, and it's clear she is a relatively sophisticated woman. Though she declines to tell me what she does, she is evidently well informed and intelligent.
At the end of our lunch, she tells me she'd like to see me again. I say I have to go, and she tells me she's sorry we have to leave it there. She then fixes me with a gaze and says she wishes we could go elsewhere. I find myself thinking that if we did go to a hotel, if we undressed and went to bed, she would still return to her husband and children and the life she seems to find so unsatisfactory. How bleak and depressing. That night I'm back in front of the computer looking for my next date.
So many women are eager to tell me they're "stuck in a rut" or "want someone to make them feel alive again". I find it amazing how many of them are willing to meet me after exchanging only a few messages. I could be a serial killer and they would be none the wiser. Five married women send their mobile phone numbers to me without me even asking, disregarding the dangers. All I would have to do is ring at the wrong time to cause marital pandemonium. A few offer little by way of enticement: It is striking that most of these woman have no interest in my domestic situation.
They ignore the existence of my fictitious wife. They don't care that they are helping me cheat on her. In fact, they're encouraging it. So much for the sisterhood. Only one profile I came across shows any concern. In it she cautions: It is a stab at morality, but it rings hollow, given that the whole point of what she's doing is deciding whether to meet a married man and cheat on her husband with him.
A few of my potential dalliances are cut short. Some days later, I've arranged to have another secret assignation, this time in a pub. Sue is keen to meet, and one early evening, this dark-haired, buxom year-old takes the opportunity to go behind her husband's back and meet a strange man. Sue, whose internet photograph was probably taken a decade ago, sits simpering across the table. She gulps her wine down within minutes of me buying it, and looks up expectantly.
She talks about her career as a scientist in a hospital and then tells me she loves her husband of nine years, doesn't want to leave him, but wants me to add some sparkle to her life. Like the other dates I've had, she is reluctant to discuss her personal circumstances. We do not dwell on the fact she is married. At one point, we're approached by a couple who ask politely whether they can sit on the two vacant seats at our table. I consider this for a moment, and realise it will close down the already faltering meeting.
They go off miffed and Sue looks at me as though I'm some sort of monster. For all the glossy, sexy chat and out-of-date pictures posted online, this is the rather tawdry, mundane reality of these adulterous assignations.
A pub on a wet afternoon and two people who have little to talk about except whether or not they are going to have a meaningless fling. She looks as if she might burst into tears but then surprisingly she bites back: Why are you doing that? Stumped for a moment, I desperately search for a reason why I would cheat on my fictional sweet young wife before suggesting that we have grown apart and no longer communicate properly or sleep together.
This seems to satisfy her, and we chat for another 20 minutes. It's general chit-chat and all fairly inconsequential, which I find rather surreal given the reason we have agreed to meet.
Then I tell her I've arranged to see a friend and had better go. We walk out together and I go to peck her chastely on the cheek. She turns her head and I have to dodge a sloppy wet kiss aimed at my mouth. Sue has been fairly typical of the women I have encountered on this website. She seemed lonely, bored and dissatisfied with her life. All she could see ahead of her was an endless round of cooking, cleaning, career and children.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with wanting to interrupt a destructive, depressing cycle to your life. But what is shocking is the cold and calculating approach of these women, and the assumption that secret meetings with a married man can cure all the ills they see in their own families.
The women who use this website want romance, but these three meetings seemed utterly unromantic to me. When we met, most of them acted as if they were prepared to go to bed with me on the first meeting, and for that they were willing to risk wrecking their own home life and mine. Men are brought up to believe that it is we who relentlessly seek sex, that we are the ones who can separate the emotional from the physical. But judging from the women I encountered, they have learned how to cast off their marriage vows and their love for their children, and risk it all for the sake of a liaison with a man they may never see again.
What a triumph for our times. No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards. Thursday, Jun 28th 5-Day Forecast. What I don't know is how her husband will feel about it. Scroll down for more Share or comment on this article: Most watched News videos Guilty dog slinks away after being caught in swimming pool Two drug dealers sentenced to death by Chinese court Mother bear is run over by train attempting to protect its cubs "Why do you hate us?
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