Red Responds: She Doesn’t Want to Be Friends With Benefts

Theisa in Ada writes:

About 5 years ago I went through a divorce that was so painful it nearly destroyed me. 3 years ago I started seeing a wonderful, super interesting man who I eventually fell deeply in love with even though I fully intended to never do that again. About a month ago after being together having fun and making couples plans, he broke up with me. I do need to say that he did cheat on me once during our relationship. He was deeply bothered by it and his guilt ate him up. I decided to stay with him and work it out because I loved him. Anyway, now he is calling me and telling me that he wants to still see me but not be a “couple.” My heart is breaking. I can’t stand not being with him but I don’t want to just be his on-call sex partner either. Is there a chance that we will get back together?

Dear Theisa,

I really want to tell you that things will work out the way you’d like them to with this man, but it doesn’t look as if it’s going to go that way. Even though he cares for you a great deal, he is torn between his desires for freedom and relationship stability. Unfortunately, freedom is winning.

Some people, wonderful as they may be, do not do well in long-term, committed relationships. You are in love with such a person. Even though part of him wants to be a loyal partner, and he can honor this side of his nature for stretches of time, the need for freedom and other relationships always seems to surface at some point. Because of this, you need to be careful.

Currently, he isn’t interested in a true reconciliation, but he would love to be able to spend time with you. Within the next couple of months, he will change his stance and begin to talk with you about getting back together as a couple. The problem is, he won’t be able to uphold his end of the relationship. After a few blissful weeks or months, he will leave you alone again. This doesn’t present like it is a conscious plan on his part, but ultimately, he will honor his need for freedom above your desire for stability. Every way I look at it, there is a broken pattern that given the chance, will repeat.

If you don’t want to endure the upheaval of an on-and-off style of relationship, it would be wise of you to uphold your boundaries, and let him go.

I’m sorry. I wish I had better news for you.

Ext. 9226

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