Hello Lucia,

There’s this girl I became good friends with and began seeing after about a month or so. She has a history of being in bad and sometimes abusive relationships.

When I first began seeing her she was in a bad relationship. She told this other guy that she was seeing me and stopped calling him and spending time with him, but hasn’t been assertive enough to tell him it’s over. She’s been waiting for him to do it, which he has not done.

I find that she consistently says one thing, but wants another, and it’s not until I become more aggressive and just go for what I want that the relationship moves forward. I have been completely honest with her about my feelings for her, so she knows I don’t just want to fool around with her then bail.

We have never kissed on the lips, but have slept together quite a few times and just cuddled. We probably could have had sex on at least one occasion, but I thought it was wise not to pursue it because I wasn’t sure where things were going.

Recently she told me that she doesn’t want to be my girlfriend because she feels that she wouldn’t bring enough good things to a relationship, and she doesn’t want me to end up hating her like all her exes (But they have all been assholes!).

She also said another reason why she doesn’t want to be my girlfriend is because of our age difference. I am 20, and she is almost four years older than me. However, she agrees that we have a lot in common and similar life experiences and that I am just as mature.

She said that she would rather have me as a friend instead of a boyfriend for four or five months than nothing at all because she really likes me. She said we could still do everything that we have been doing so far – that I could be her boyfriend, but not really.

This was when I told her that either she likes me as a friend or more than that and that I can’t go back and forth with her whenever she wants – it just doesn’t work like that. I told her that she knows how I feel about her, but I can’t be more than a friend, but less than a boyfriend.

Since then we have been just friends, but I know that she is still really attracted to me and vice versa. Should I continue to spend time with her as a friend, but not as much as before to give her some time to sort things out, or should I become more aggressive to move things forward again?

I am familiar with the “OK, I am going away now” thing, but I feel like this is more complicated. I don’t want to pressure her into something that she doesn’t want.


Hi Jim,

The answer to your question is in your first paragraph: She has a history of being in bad and sometimes abusive relationships. This girl associates love with longing and pain. Then along comes Mr. Nice Guy (that would be you) declaring his love. That’s not what she’s used to, so she can’t relate to that.

The reason she doesn’t want to be your girlfriend is not because of the excuses she gave you, but simply because she’s not attracted to you. The reason she’s not attracted to you is because you’re not a challenge. She’s used to pain and angst, and here you are handing yourself over without any of that. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but you’re wrong for this type of girl.

I think you should continue to hang out as friends. However, no more cuddling in bed together or any other romantic behavior. Do not talk about “a relationship.” Build a friendship first and go from there.

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