Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Is It Enough?

NOT QUITE FULFILLED wrote in to Dear Abby:

I have been dating "Nick" for more than a year.

We have both been married before -- Nick's a widower, and I am divorced.
This is irrelevant, as you'll see.

He says he cares for me, but doesn't feel passionate about me, nor does "love" describe how he feels about me.
She wants to believe that Nick just needs some sort of magic moment to get over the death of his wife. That is why she mentioed he's a widower.

We are intimate, are great friends and spend almost every day together.
Translation: We do it. That's not necessarily the same thing as intimacy.

He treats me great, dates no one else and I can be myself around him.
He dates no one else that you know about.

But am I cheating myself by accepting the status quo?
Sure, if getting to be yourself, being treated great, and having a great friend is not enough for you.

Our intimate times aren't satisfying because of the lack of emotional ties,
Somehow I think they'd be satisfying with your favorite male celebrity crush with whom you have no emotional tie, but I understand what you're saying – you're a woman, not a man; you want there to be more meaning behind the sex.

Dear Abby hit the nail on head:

You and Nick are friends with benefits.
Yup. But then she goes on to write...

Because you have no future with him beyond what you have now, and because intimacy with him is not satisfying because of his inability (or refusal) to emotionally commit -- I'd have to say he's reaping more of the benefits.
How can you say that? You don't have his side of the story. Maybe he would like something to be different. I'd bet he's paying for everything.

If this woman was a caller to Dr. Laura, Dr. Laura would say the woman is basically giving it up for free, and encourage her to move on because the woman wants more. That can be good advice, but we also need to be realistic in that dumping or cutting off this guy does not guarantee she's going to find a better relationship. She has to be willing to be dateless rather than "settle" for a "friend with benefits".

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