Q: I have a very complicated relationship with the guy I lost my virginity to. I've had strong feelings for him since long before that happened, and it's four years later and I'm still into him. Long story short, we hook up rarely (a couple times a year), but it is always amazing and never awkward. He also tells me that I'm amazing, sends me emails of things that remind him of me, says he wants to spend more time together and always responds to my texts.
But we've never actually dated. I have zero idea how he feels about me. Now I've moved on to grad school and want to start a new life, but I can't move on relationship-wise because of the possibility that he might actually care about me. Am I being played? Should I tell him how I feel? Or should I just move on?
– L.J., North Buffalo
A: This sounds more like a booty call to me. Occasionally hooking up without any follow-up discussion about where things are heading is not a relationship. There is a possibility that he cares about you, but you're not going to find out unless you talk to him about it. There really is no easy answer here; you have to have a conversation about how you feel and be honest, no matter how difficult it might be. You may be risking the loss of this “friendship,” but at least you will have peace of mind.
You won't be able to truly move on until you know how he feels. If he tells you he doesn't share your feelings, stop sleeping with him and stop talking to him. Tell him to leave you alone so that you can begin to move on and date other people and have fulfilling relationships.
Q: My husband and I just recently “opened” our relationship. We have been together for five years and want to spend the rest of our lives together; we love each other very much. It was initially his idea and he really wants this. I have been curious about other people but never enough for it to bother me. My husband has always been enough for me. After two days of long discussions, I agreed to it. Now, he has signed up on a dating site, and I'm freaking out. I would really appreciate any advice or wisdom you could share with me, please.
– R.B., Ken-Ton
A: This is a bad idea. Couples should never open their relationships, especially marriages, when both people are not 100 percent comfortable with the decision. If you're agreeing to this because you're afraid of losing him, you're doing it for the wrong reason. You will lose him even faster this way, because as he meets other women and sleeps with other women, you will become jealous and resentful, and your behavior will reflect those emotions.
Instead, talk to him about why he wants to open up your marriage. If he feels there is something missing, maybe you can find other ways to fix it. Or, he simply could be non-monogamous by nature. If this is the case, you have to be the one to decide if you can handle it. I strongly suggest the two of you sit down with a couples therapist who specializes in these kinds of situations as soon as possible and educate yourselves about the risks involved before you dive into the unknown.
Patti Novak welcomes your relationship questions. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and please include your initials and hometown.