Dear Lucia,

I love your newsletter and how your advice is always so right on! I have been single for about five months, and I have no problem getting dates.

Some lead to fascinating conversations followed by sweet kisses, but most go nowhere. I have a few guy friends with benefits on the side, not guys I’d date, but for no strings attached sex and friendship (watching movies, occasionally venting/searching for advice, not really dates).

I recently started seeing someone. He’s very charming and handsome, and I don’t mean to stereotype, but often these types of guys are trouble.

I’m trying to protect my heart from destruction while enjoying my time with him and finding we have all these things in common. I don’t think this guy is looking for a typical relationship, but I don’t really know what he’s looking for (and I know not to assume anything, or ask where it’s headed).

I kind of like being a “player,” but I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I would settle down for the right guy but not anything less.

What I’m wondering is when do you know you should stop seeing or sleeping with other people? And perhaps more importantly, do you think that my system of compartmentalizing my needs impairs me from being open for a true, lasting relationship in the long run?


Dear Stephanie,

Until you’ve had a conversation about exclusivity, you should continue to see and/or sleep with other people. You don’t know what his intentions are, so getting rid of everyone else in the hopes that he will eventually want a relationship is foolish.

I’ve found that if a woman doesn’t ask, “Where is this going?” or “What are we?” eventually the man will bring it up. At that point, you are in a better position to “negotiate.”

Your question about compartmentalizing was very interesting. I believe you are currently trying to protect your heart by having “no strings attached” sex, and I certainly don’t blame you. I believe the capacity to love and give one’s heart is innate, and although it may be temporarily pushed to the side, when you meet someone who you trust and feel safe with, you will be open to a lasting relationship.

Dear Lucia,

I met a musician eight months ago. I liked him right away, and I think he felt the same.

After the show, he invited me to join him and his friends for dinner. We slept together shortly after that night.

I never made love in such a way in all my life (I am 34). It was simply amazing, fantastic and joyful. I started laughing while making love ... unbelievable. He was sweet and strong at the same time.

The next day he wanted to see me again, and he told me it had been a surprise, he did not expect this. After meeting a few more times, he told me it was not the right moment to start a love story, but he kept on seeing me.

A month ago he went out of town for business, and we have been e-mailing. I told him that I love him so much but that I am not in love. He answered that he loves me too.
He looks happy when he’s with me, and I feel my heart smiling when I am with him, but now I really don’t know how to go on.


Dear Wildflower,

When a guy says he doesn’t want a relationship, he’s leaving out two words: with you. Sorry to be so harsh. It’s very possible he enjoys hanging out with you and having sex but doesn’t want to be tied down.

He’s a musician, so he probably has women hitting on him all the time. I wouldn’t want a relationship either if I were in his position.

I also think you’re being too easy. You slept with him very quickly and you’re already using the “L” word. Where’s the challenge and mystery?

I don’t know if this can be turned around. Keep your expectations to a minimum. You can continue to be friends and see if anything develops.

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