Dear Lucia,

My last serious relationship was with an old high school friend. It lasted a very brief four months.

In the beginning I was so excited to have found my long lost friend that anything was possible. I thought this could actually work.

On the occasions when we discussed our relationship, she always said, “It's not like we're boyfriend and girlfriend.” She always said I could see whom I wanted to.

It confused the hell out of me. Here we are going out almost every other day and having sex like rabbits, but yet we're not boyfriend and girlfriend.

After about two months, she started falling for me, but I didn't feel the same way. I was more or less enjoying the sex. I continued to see her because I was afraid to break it off. I didn't want to hurt her feelings.

I knew my feelings for her weren't going to change, but she was investing all her time and energy in me. She would tell me what she loved about me and how perfect things were since we'd found each other.

I didn't know how to tell her that I was just super horny, and I hadn't had any in a long time. I couldn't say, “I do not love you the way you love me. ” It would kill me to break her heart like that. I felt powerless to stop it all.

The truth finally came out by itself. One night we were talking about our relationship, and the subject of sex came up. I was so tired from working late that I answered one of her questions without realizing what I had said.

She responded with, “Wait a minute, so you're telling me that you're with me just for the sex?” And like an idiot without hesitation, I blurted out the words, “Yeah, I guess.”

Boom! It's all over, just like that. She was so disgusted with me that she literally gasped.

The next day, the more I tried to apologize the worse it got. All my efforts to prevent hurting her, and I hurt her anyway.

Now I think the same scenario will happen in all relationships. Do I need therapy? What am I doing wrong?


Dear Nathaniel,

No, you do not need therapy. You are only partially to blame for this. You said you didn't want to hurt her by telling her you didn't feel the same way she did.

So you're saying it's OK to string someone along rather than tell them the truth? How did you think it was going to end? That one day her feelings would just change and you'd be off the hook?

Whenever one person does not feel the same as the other person in a relationship, there is no easy way to deliver the news without the other person being hurt. If you really cared about her, you would have told her yourself, rather than letting the truth come out, as it always does.

If you had been a man and handled it that way, there's a possibility you would still be in contact with her today. What hurt her the most was the fact that you hid the truth about your true intentions rather than the intentions themselves.

Having said that, she too needs to look at the way she handles relationships. By telling you you're not “boyfriend and girlfriend,” she gives the impression that she's not looking for a serious commitment.

If this were true, she shouldn't have been so surprised that you were in it just for the sex, because that's generally what no commitment means. Why was she investing all her time and energy into someone that she supposedly did not see as a boyfriend?

She was either playing games with you or she was in denial, because her actions betray her words. Very few women are willing to see someone almost everyday without some type of commitment.

Maybe she thought she needed to play it cool and pretend she wasn't looking for anything serious. She can't say one thing and mean another. That's why you were so confused. She needs to look at her part in this and decide how she is going to handle the commitment issue in future relationships.

Remember: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.

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