Saturday, January 19, 2008

Separating Friends from Lovers

A couple of months ago I met a really nice guy and we really hit it off. We had a one-night-stand, which I now think was a mistake. I care for this guy very much and want him in my life, but only as a friend. He's made it pretty clear that his feelings for me are more sexual and romantic. He's hinted broadly that he wants to sleep with me again, but I've managed to get out of it so far. I'm tired of making excuses. How can I tell him the truth without hurting him? Terry.

I'm sorry to say that there's probably no way to do that. If he's developed strong feelings for you, he's going to be hurt. This is a very difficult situation for both of you, but especially for him because unrequited lusts and infatuations really suck. I assume when the two of you hit the sheets you were both a little snookered?

It seems to me you have a couple of options. You can tell him that no matter how much fun you had, you never go to bed with the same person twice -- so many men, so little time -- that sort of thing. The trouble with this option is that as you and he become better friends he may see that this is a lie. The second option is just to keep dodging the sex thing until he finally gets the message. The third option is to just tell him in as warm and compassionate manner as you can that you only want to be friends with him, that you care for him and think he's a great guy that -- as you put it -- you want in your life but only platonically. He may be able to get past the inevitable humiliation, accept that you and he are just not meant to be, and keep you as a friend, but if he's a little hung up on you, he might need to move on to get over you. And that's something that you'll have to accept.

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