Dear Em & Lo: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

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Dear Em & Lo,

I have been seeing this guy for a year and a half now, he is my best friend, we do everything together. I am in love with him. He refuses to commit or even give us the title of “boyfriend/girlfriend.” Which in turn makes me insecure, jealous, and basically unhappy with the whole “friend” title. I have tried to “break up” (which I technically can’t do cuz of our “friend” status) and still I just can’t let it go. I can’t go on in this limbo and he just won’t budge in the commitment department. I do not want to lose him as a friend but I need for myself to move on…Any suggestions?


Dear T,

You’ve already answered your own question: You need to move on. He’s been nothing but honest with you about the set-up of this relationship, and after 18 months it’s a safe bet he’s not going to change his mind about it. If you can’t be happy with this arrangement (and you obviously can’t), then cut your ties with him. It’s simple math. You will be happier with the result. It may not feel like it at first, but down the road you’ll wonder how you put up with so much less than you wanted. You might lose a friend, but you’ll gain self respect. (Btw, he might change his tune once you’re out of his life and he realizes what he’s missing, but you should not end the relationship simply in the hopes of this unlikely outcome — do it for yourself. And if he decides to become the “boyfriend” you’ve always wanted, then hey, bonus!)

Go on now, scoot!

Em & Lo

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15 Comments on "Dear Em & Lo: Should I Stay or Should I Go?"

5 years 2 months ago

I had this sort of situation. My best guy friend and I were sleeping together and spending almost every night together and everyone thought we were dating – but he wouldn’t commit to me. It was painful for me to deal with and it made me feel jealous and crazy. I (with the support of my friends and MANY tears) broke it off and didn’t speak to him for a month. It was really difficult and painful, but I learned a lot about myself in that month and started picking up hobbies that I had put on the back burner.

He came and found me after that month was over and told me that he wanted to be with me, and only me, and he had taken me for granted and couldn’t live without me in his life. We’re still together.

But you know what? If he hadn’t come to find me and make me his girlfriend, I would still be much happier than I was with the best-friends-with-benefits situation.

5 years 5 months ago

Great advice. Think I need to take it myself.

5 years 5 months ago

I was in the same boat for 2 years. Cut your ties and go. You will be happier for it. Get on with your life.

5 years 5 months ago

Totally agree with this advice. Unfortunately, you have to move on. There are many reasons why you have stayed so attached to this guy, a couple of which are loss avoidance and a high level of investment.

You’ve put up with this guy for a long time now, waited for him to get his life together, etc. It makes sense why you wouldn’t want to make all of that time a waste by ending things with him. The truth is because of your high level of investment, you don’t want to forget it. But if you do move on, don’t let the time spent dealing with him go to waste.

You learned not to make this mistake again!

5 years 5 months ago

I was in pretty much this same situation. I finally told him I needed to be his girlfriend or I couldn’t see him at all anymore. Neither of us is happy about the situation, but I think we both know we can’t be just friends. We haven’t seen each other or spoken since the end of November and it still is horrible and hard and I think about him every day, but I know that in the long run it is the healthiest thing I can do. He wasn’t ready for a relationship and he was honest. What more can one ask for? Good luck.