For the past year I was involved with an emotionally unavailable man. We were never an official couple although I wanted more, and I settled for the pittance of attention and, frankly, phenomenal sex just to get by.
I would develop feelings for him and then call it quits. After a month or so he would do something very romantic and thoughtful to pull me back in. He's a charming, good-looking man who I know sleeps with other women. I was sleeping with other people too throughout the duration of our time together but emotionally I had fallen in love with him over and over again. His other relationships hurt me and made me crazy but I couldn't express myself to him for fear of losing what little I received from him. I played behind the mask of being a liberal free love kind of gal, but it's not what’s really in my heart with him. He has this magnetic pull over me where I feel enchanted or drunk by his seduction.
He recently moved a few states away, so I am physically no longer around him and I've done my best to have little contact with him by way of text and a couple of phone calls. I still care about him and want to be his friend but he always brings our friendship back into a sexual nature. I don't know if I can keep him in my life casually because my heart and body really ache for him. Is it possible to be his friend even when I harbor very serious feelings for him, or should I just cut the cord (as much as it will SUCK) and move on? And how can I help my heart heal? – Tender Hearted Lover
GURL. Your question reads a little like a Penthouse letter. You are not friends with this guy. He was, in fact, horrible in the friendship department of your yearlong relationship, and only truly good in the give-a-girl-a-bone department. So what’s your motivation for holding on for a friendship? I think it’s a flimsy cover for trying to keep the door open for things to happen again with him, even though you have never gotten what you need and there’s no evidence to support the idea that you ever will.
Friendship cannot be had by people harboring long-term boners (lady-boners or otherwise) for the friends that they are secretly kinda super crazy in love with.
When things end with a lover it’s hard enough to be friends. But if A) you never were friends to begin with and B) the part of your connection that didn’t work was how he treated you as a human being, then you’re really SOL. You weren’t honest and direct with him, so I don’t blame him for assuming that you are down for whatevs now that he’s out of state. He isn’t totally innocent of your needs, though, because he knew what to offer you every time you went away last year. This union is a damn mess, my friend, and you are not any more casual about him now than you ever were. What you’re doing will not get you want you want, THL. Friendship cannot be had by people harboring long-term boners (lady-boners or otherwise) for the friends that they are secretly kinda super crazy in love with.
So here’s my advice: rip the band-aid off. Stop wasting energy on this guy and find someone else who can make you happy sexually and emotionally. Don’t be so willing to settle for less than you desire! It will suck to go through this loss but it can’t be much worse than wasting more than a year on a man who hurts your feelings all the time. Make choices that make you happy, and bring that tender heart of yours to someone who can treat it right.
The Mission’s resident advisor gets booked months in advance by San Franciscans seeking help with all kinds of relationship issues. So we asked Jessica if she’d come on board to do a weekly advice column, Truth Talk, for The Bold Italic. If you have a burning question for Truth Talk with Jessica Lanyadoo, you can post your question anonymously here or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and check back on Wednesdays to see if she has an answer for you.
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