You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel Alone in Their Marriages keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show, Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...
Dear Dr. Sherry,
I have been friends with “M” for 20 years. We met while he was my best friend’s boyfriend in middle school. The two had an innocent friendship, but “M” and I became really good friends and continued a friendship throughout high school and years after. While in high school, there was always an attraction between the two of us but due to my loyalty to my best friend that was just a boundary that couldn’t be crossed. Now many years later, we have reconnected and have been in what I call a “situationship” off-and-on for two years while the last year has been more consistant. The off is mainly me being uncomfortable with the “situationship” and him not being ready to commit, and the on is not being able to completely let go. Our situation consists of spending time together (which is limited due to his work schedule), expressing our love for one another and being intimate. Basically we are in a committed relationship without him wanting a commitment. That is where the confusion is...I have voiced my feelings many times and the only excuse I get is “I want to grow with somebody and see if it can progress into a relationship.” In no means am I trying to pressure anyone in a relationship that is not ready, however I feel that if he is not ready after 2 years I am not who he wants to be with, he is content with where we stand, or that he is emotionally attached to someone else. I do genuinely love “M,” but I am tired of giving so much to someone that does not see me worthy enough to settle down with. I have offered that the two of us date other people and eliminate the sex to help stop all the confusion and just be friends, but he claims that he can’t just be my friend while I date another man and that he can’t continue to grow with me without sex, so his option is to walk away so I can be happy. We have both tried to walk away from the situation with one of us finally breaking to only end up in the same “situationship.” I am tired of all the confusion and hurt feelings; however I don’t want to walk away from true love. I am coming to you for advice because “M” feels like I am overly emotional and always in my feelings. Should I finally wake up and realize that he is just stringing me along and not really feeling me?
Confused and Emotionally Drained
I think you know the answer to your question of if you need to "wake up" and realize that he is "stringing" you along. Mr. "M" is not someone you met yesterday. You have known this man for 20 years and had your “situationship” going on for the last 2 years. Your “situationship” is really an unhealthy relationship. Mr. "M" does not want to call it a relationship because a relationship comes with some expectations and commitments. His excuse for avoiding a committed relationship is “I want to grow with somebody and see if it can progress into a relationship.” Really? This is no more than BS. Now you have the choice to continue to accept it or not. Mr. "M" knows your desires but is not taking you seriously. He has no reason to commit to the relationship because he does not believe you are going to walk away for good. He does not need to see you "worthy" of settling down with because you have placed no real demands on him. This is more than verbal demands. It is not what you say, it is what you do. If you are indeed tried of being strung along, cut the string and walk away for good. If he really wants the relationship, he will do what is needed to have it and keep it. I recommend that you seek individual therapy to work through issues that have kept you tied to Mr "M" for so long. If you believe it is love, you must really look at your definition of love and your emotional needs. If you want more, why are you settling for less?
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