Dear Dr. Romance:

I was browsing the net and came across one of your articles "From Friends to Lovers and Back" which I  found very interesting as it relates to a situation I am facing currently.   

I am a young male and I cannot handle having sex for a while with a person I like without getting attached.  I have been seeing this girl which is  four years older than I am since late last year (but we've known each other for a year in all) and for four months I was gradually getting feelings for the person while now I just found out that she was seeing me just for fun and she did not think anything serious could happen between us.  I found this out when she came back from holidays and I could see she is all of a sudden a changed woman and that she was being sensitive and for the first time she opened up and she asked me whether I can give more to the relationship but by then I had made up my mind to move on since I trusted my instincts that she is not interested in relationship (something she never made clear maybe because it would make her feel shamed to admit it was just for sex?). 

Two months earlier I had asked her how would she feel if she saw me with  someone else and she replied: "I don't want to know if you did; but I know we are not a couple and I am not the relationship type."  Perhaps by this she was trying to hint me that for the time she wanted no strings attached. She said "It's not that I want to see other guys but I want my single life." Whether this is possible I still do not know. When I am single I see more than one girl. She also said before she met me she was seeing this guy for nearly three years on the same basis. Meeting up just on weekends.

I decided to give it another go with her this week as she told me it takes time for her to get involved emotionally.  She said she was hurt in the past and she has an issue trusting men.  Thing is right now I am unsure of whether this can work out for us due to  the attitude we have towards sex.  Like can people who detach sex from commitment be loyal?   

Once I remember telling her that if I feel that I need to see other girls while I am in a  relationship I break it off and move on and she says you cannot just forget about the person as sometimes  sex is just a need. Your take on this situation would be greatly appreciated!

Dear Reader:

Your letter is a perfect example of what happens when you try to go too fast in a relationship.  I think she was just trying to get you to slow down and not ask her for a commitment right away.  This relationship is probably worth spending a little of your time.  Since you're trying it again, why not slow down, and spend more time getting to know each other, and less on having sex.

Even in this modern, fast age, women need to know that the man they care about wants more than sex, that he's reliable and trustworthy.  At the same time, they don't want to be rushed into commitment, especially if they've been hurt before. 

Spend time talking, do things together, go out with friends, and  give each other a chance to see who you both really are.  Passion clouds judgement, and both your instincts are telling you you don't know enough about each other yet.  Trust that instinct, and get to know this girl.  "Stupid Cupid" will help you create a successful relationship, and  "Friends with Benefits" will explain the difference between casual sex and intimacy.

The article you refer to was based on my book, Dr. Romance's Guide to Finding Love Today which has exercises and information that will help you learn to develop a real connection.


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Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.