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Ask Kathy B: I’ve fallen in love with my casual fling

Question: I am madly in love with a man I have known for over two years. I met him when I was quite down, we went out for 2 and a half months and then he broke it off with me saying he would never go out with me again as he was looking for something different. Since then I have changed my life and am much happier.He has had a profound influence on my life as a friend and has been supportive and close. I stay over at his house now and again for a fun and passionate time. I feel we are good together and I love his company, yet when I see him out with his friends he talks of his attempts at internet dating and I am aware he wants to meet Ms. Right. This really hurts and I feel it cheapens our time together.I know I should call our casual thing off, but I live in hope that he will perhaps recognise our friendship as something special. I know if I spoke to him about how I felt, our casual fling would end. Do you have any advice?

Kathy B: Yes, listen to yourself. You already know the answer to this. It sounds like you have a fun thing going with this guy and that he helped you through a difficult time of your life. But if you want more from him than he’s willing to offer you are the one who is going to be hurt. At the moment he’s got everything he wants. He’s been ‘honest’ with you so you can’t have a go at him for cheating on you (because you aren’t going out). Whether you know it or no you are in a fuck buddy relationship. And the rules are there are no rules. You get together when it suits and if either of you gets a better offer than all bets are off. You really need to work out if you can handle the situation as it is, because I doubt very much that it will change. What needs to change is your attitude. Have a really good think about how you truly feel about the situation. If you have a good friend you trust, you can speak to honestly about it all then grab him or her and talk it through for one night only (there’s nothing worse than driving your poor friends crazy by obsessing about someone). Then act.

If you won’t be able to move on until you know for sure if there could possibly be more to your fling than meets the eye then try ‘accidentally’ running into him while you are out with another guy. Or say straight out that you are going on a date with a great new man you’ve met. If he looks surprised but says, ‘Well, have a great time. I’m going out with this cute blonde called Lucy on Tuesday’. Then you know he’s not and will never be interested in you as more than a casual fling. After all this man has already told you point blank that he’ll never go out with you again and that he isn’t in love with you, listen to what he’s told you. Don’t try and read into his ‘true meaning’. But if he starts to freak out about it then it is time to have a talk about how things have been and how you’d like them to be in the future. I’m worried that this situation is totally on his terms and that it is hurting you. But you can change that and it is time for you to take action to turn things around. If you can’t cope with a casual sexual relationship with him then cut ties and force yourself to get out there and date other men. Then, once it hurts a little less and you feel like you can cope with it, you can try hanging out together. But if you only want to hang out with him because you have deep feelings for him, not because you truly want to be his friend then it might be time to wish each other well and move on with your separate lives. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can keep sleeping with him and be open to meeting new guys. They’ll pick up the vibe that you are off the market (because emotionally you are) and it will only drag the drama out for longer. It is going to hurt but it is time to take action and start truly taking care of yourself. You deserve a lot more and it is time you realised that.

If you want Kathy B to answer your relationship dilemmas, email feedback@shesaid.com with your question.

Kathy Buchanan is the author of Charm School: The Modern Girl’s Complete Handbook of Etiquette, Happy Endings: The Ultimate Movie and Book Guide for Women and Quit for Chicks. Charm School offers fun but helpful advice on why manners are sexy and how to use them to create the life you?ve always dreamed of. It deals with difficult love, social and work situations like how to ace an interview, help a friend through a difficult break-up, keep your hairdresser faithful and how to not fall in love with gorgeous gay men. Charm School: The Modern Girl’s Complete Handbook of Etiquette Penguin. RRP $24.95 but only $22.46 if you buy from the SheSaid Bookshop

Happy Endings is the ultimate book and movie guide for every possible situation you could face ? it will become your well-thumbed companion through life?s ups and downs. RRP $26.95 but only $24.26 if you buy from the SheSaid Bookshop

Quit for Chicks is a how to quit smoking support guide for women, with a foreword from supermodel Sarah O?Hare, Penguin, RRP $9.95 but only $8.96 if you buy from the SheSaid Bookshop