Dear Dr. Love,I am an American who has been living in Austria for the last nine years. I am 30 and unattached.Last September while on a plane from Germany to Graz (the city where I live) I met a man. He spoke to me and we soon realized we had a lot in common because he is also an American, and has been living in Graz for 14 years.When I got on the plane I was upset because I had missed the earlier flight, but this man was very consoling and also hilariously funny. We laughed during the entire plane ride, and now I often think how glad I am to have missed the plane because otherwise I wouldn’t have met this dear man.We started meeting for lunch once every week or two, but suddenly the whole thing became more intense and we saw each other almost every day. And every time we had lunch we would talk for hours. I began to have a strong attraction to him and I wondered if he felt the same about me.He visited the States and came back last week and called me when he got back and asked if I had missed him. We had lunch again that day. When he saw me he told me I looked great and he gave me a kiss on the cheek (actually, one on each cheek, as is the custom in Europe).He also asked me if I wanted to take a dance course with him, which surprised me (after all the only thing we’d done together up to that point was go to lunch together).To make a long story even longer, on New Year’s Eve I stopped by his apartment to say hello. I really didn’t expect to stay because I was on my way to another friend’s apartment. It ended up I didn’t want to leave and he asked me to stay, and we drank a lot of alcohol and talked and generally had a very nice time. We kissed when the clock struck 12.We kept talking after that and he told me he wasn’t ready for a relationship because he was still getting over his girlfriend who he broke up with a year ago. He seemed to want to make sure I knew this fact. He seemed to realize that I was ready for a relationhip so I guess he didn’t want to mislead me in any way.He also mentioned that he was in therapy to try and get over this relationship. Well, we had fabulous sex and I stayed in his apartment for two days. He was very nice to me and very caring. Finally he took me home and said we would call each other. That was two days ago. I haven’t called him because I would hate to appear to be running after him.So the question is, what do I do? Do I walk away, avoiding disappointment but losing a friend? Or do I stay with it just for the sex? Do you think he might change his mind about the whole thing? Is there anything I can do to help change his mind?Something tells me to back off and forget it. However, that will be disappointing because he is a very sweet, kind and humorous man. Thanks for any help
It’s not my place to tell you what to do.What I can do, is to help you think through your options.I understand that you don’t want to lose a friend, and since you hope that he will want more involvement in the near future, you don’t want to let go of him all together.One thing is sure, if you continue to have sex with him, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to becoming more and more involved with a man who, at this point, doesn’t want involvement.If he never comes around, where will you be if you have been sexually involved?It seems to me that the safest course would be to maintain the friendship, but not have any more sex. When he feels ready to commit to you on a romantic level, then sex can be added to the mix once again. If you continue to have sex with him, without his being ready for a relationship, you also risk to painting yourself into a corner.If you give him sex without commitment, he will feel comfortable–like he’s having his cake and eating it too.He will also have no motivation to grow past his block, since doing so would permit him to have you and still stay stuck.I think that the frustration attached to not having you sexually, may just be the impetus he needs to stay focused on resolving his issue.Lots of luck with him. I hope he comes around.