Advice: He wants sex, I want more

Last updated 05:00 14/06/2013

They have a 'bed buddies' arrangement, but she's developing feelings and he's developing jealousy. What to do? 

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Hi, 

I need some advice as I am really confused in my current love situation. I have been seeing a guy for over a year now as basically just sex buddies. However, I have developed feelings for this guy and am completely confused on how he feels about me as I am getting mixed signals from him.

He is 15 years older than me so more experienced, and when we first started sleeping with each other we agreed it wasn't to be exclusive. (I thought it was to begin with, but when I queried it he said no). So I have been seeing other guys casually and I am sure he has been seeing other women, but this is when it gets confusing. 

Even though we agreed not to be exclusive, he gets upset when I say I am away/out seeing other guys so can't see him, despite the fact that I am pretty sure he goes out with other women. After these conversations he gives me the cold shoulder for days, sometimes even weeks. When I am around at his place or he at mine, he gets all cuddly and wants to know all about me but never tells me anything about himself and tends to dodge the question. 

When I said I was going on holiday, he queried when and where and then a couple of weeks later just casually mentioned he was thinking of going as well and around the same time. He even offered to help me move recently which was really sweet and totally unlike him but then he next texts me asking if I have any hot, single friends. 

We never go out in public and he doesn't like to be around my flatmates or me around his and he never invites me out places. We always meet up really late at night as well so I'm not sure if this is because he is ashamed or just trying to hide us. 

My friends think he is just playing me and I need to ditch him entirely but the problem is I do have feelings for him, and sometimes I get the impression he cares about me until he does something odd and sometimes it feels calculated to push me away. 

Help! Any advice would be appreciated, 

Confuzled. 

Dear Confuzled

This really has become a confuzling situation!

The thing that you each are coming to discover is that the phrase 'just sex buddies' is for most people an illusion. There is a popular notion out there in the media and on the internet that it is possible to have 'no-strings' sex. It sounds great too, lots of hot sex and lots of freedom, who wouldn't be at least a little interested? 

Sex can be a powerful and ecstatic experience - that's why we love it. If you share a wonderful experience with another person and have a positive time, you are going to bond with them. In fact the very fact that a sexual attraction exists means that some level of connection is starting to occur. The myth of 'no strings sex' does not factor in the thing that makes good sex great and that is emotion.

What may look like no strings sex before entering the bedroom, probably isn't, and will certainly develop strings on leaving the bedroom which then need to be addressed in some way. 

Furthermore the degree to which you open physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually to another person, the more potential there is for a richer, and also a more bonding experience. To be 'just sex buddies' is to hold an idea that is disconnected from the actual experience of what you are each living, hence the 'confuzledness'.

So in a way it does not matter whether he is playing you at this stage or not, it is not working and I would suggest that you revise your arrangement. To 'de-confuzl' yourself you need to recognise the power of sex and its centrality to your emotional identity. Don't try and compartmentalise sex in the way that you have.  This has lead to your confusion, and puts you at odds with your emotional wellbeing.

Only you and he know if this relationship has a future, and if it does I suggest you build a relationship where you can be both sexually and emotionally connected. That means you can socialise together, share a range of interests and activities together, feel respected by one another, and protect the vulnerability that exists between you. 

The great thing about this experience is that you get to learn the rules of the game, and how it feels when they are not in place. This is great learning, and from this you can start to build the kind of relationship that you can really feel good in. Take what you are learning and move forward with it. Be clear about what you really want and need in a relationship, and be straight with yourself. 

Are you getting this in this relationship at the moment? I would say no. Yes you have developed feelings for him, if its sexual of course you will, however the relationship is not providing you with what you need. Would you agree with this? If you do then you need to either address the situation so that the relationship changes, or end this relationship so you have the room in your life to find a relationship with someone that will uphold your wellbeing. 

Good luck!

Chris

For more advice and information on counselling, visit Relationships Aotearoa online or join them on Facebook.

We'd love to hear your take on this week's issue. Before you comment below, though, remember that this is a real-life situation. This reader has bravely shared their personal life with you; please show them respect by refraining from hurtful or abusive comments.

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