Gut Rumbles

May 29, 2007

Friends and lovers

Originally published January 28, 2006

My track record doesn't suggest that I am the ideal person to ask for advice concerning affairs of the heart. If I were an expert on that shit, I'd still be married instead of divorced. Twice.

Some people say that the quickest way to ruin a good friendship with a member of the opposite sex is to go to bed together. When you have sex, the friendship gets all tangled up in ideas of love, jealousy, possession, guilt and obligation. When that happens, the friendship disintergrates, battered to pieces by the waves of misguided emotion.

Maybe so. But NOT always. I know "friendly" sex is possible, because I've had it before, and I remain friends with most of those wimmen today. In the past, we managed to sport ourselves senseless without starting to love or hate each other. The sex was GREAT, too.

So... what would YOU advise in this situation:

A year ago I met a girl (she's 26 and I'm 24) who I really like. We started out as friends, of course, and then we started having sex. I thought for a while that I loved her but I soon realized that I never could because some of our values are different. She has told me she has always known that we could never be married. Nevertheless, we still get along well and we e-mail and call each other frequently. (By the way - we've always had a long distance relationship.)

Now I've got plane tickets to visit her. The last two times we've seen each other before we've just been lovers, each knowing that we can't make something more of it. She told me last week that she is now dating someone and "I should know that before I visit."

She did not elaborate. The guy she's dating lives over an hour from
her, and if you were familiar with her job, you'd realize this precludes her from visiting him often. Also, she could not have known this guy for more than a month. So the question I'm left with is how 'together' she and he are. I still want to be her friend (really, I do), but she's also my only source of sex at the moment. I can't help being a man. It is entirely possible that I can be her lover for the weekend, but I don't want to lose a friendship by only seeming interested in sex.

What should I do?

I wrote the guy back and told him what I would do, given his circumstances. What do you think I told him? What would YOU have advised?

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