Every week or so we answer queries from you, dear readers, about your love lives. You can submit your own question — anonymously! — via our contact form here.
Dear Em & Lo
I believed that I had met a wonderful man who became a friend. About a year ago, he was going through a very bad breakup with his girlfriend. We saw each other off and on as friends. He mentioned to me that he was getting “those needs met” by other women, and to be honest, I really did not care — that was his personal business. Granted, we were very attracted to each other, and we were affectionate towards each other — holding each other, kissing each other, and flirting. I expressed to him that I have boundaries that I will not cross.
Just recently we got together to hang out and have dinner. I told him that it was my treat because he had paid for the last two times. The dinner went great, and he took me home and in my driveway he leaned over and started to kiss me. It was fine until he started to get “Roman hands and Russian fingers.” I had to stop him, I told him that I could not just give my body like that (and in all places in my driveway!!). I said that my heart and my body are one, and besides, we did not have a close friendship, it was a distant one.
I thought he was single — he had not mentioned that he was in a relationship. It turned out that he was, and needless to say, I was madder than the left corner of hell! When I called him on it, he said that none of my business, and I “should not be jealous.” Well excuse me, it is my business, especially when he was trying to get to the “holy of holies.”
I realize that there are some women that “get down like that,” but I’m not one of them, and I told him this before. I liked him, and I wanted to give him space to deal with his breakup so we kept in touch with each other. I really did not expect this. It’s now been five months since I’ve seen him. I admit that I’m sad, because in time maybe we could have had something, but not now because I can’t trust him. Whatever he is doing to these other women, I know he will do to me. Why is it so hard for a good women to find a good man? And what is the deal with men??
— Crossed Boundaries
What is the deal with men? What is the deal with women, more like it. Actually, what is the deal with people, period.
Newsflash: If you hold each other and kiss and flirt, you are not just friends.
Question: How could he know that your heart and body were one if you held him and flirted with him when you were barely friends, let alone dating?
Newsflash: Your boundaries are confusing to us, so they’re probably confusing to him, too.
Question: What were you waiting for with regards to this guy, exactly? For him to date a few other women before he noticed you were still there? For him to grow up? For him to get desperate? And if you were waiting, why were you making out with him?
Here’s the thing: If you want to meet a good man, then hang out with a good man. If you want a man to respect your boundaries, then choose boundaries that make sense, and convey them clearly. If you’re going to have fuzzy, confusing boundaries, then you need to pay extra special attention with regards to conveying them clearly. Also, if you want to be just friends with a man, then don’t kiss him or snuggle him or hold him — that’s just confusing to all parties involved. And if you want to date him, then make sure he knows this.
In short, vagueness leads to more vagueness. Fuzziness leads to more fuzziness… which may or may not involve Roman hands and Russian fingers in the driveway. If you want clarity and simplicity and goodness, then set those standards yourself, and kick anyone to the curb who doesn’t play by your rules.
Em & Lo