Better Friends Than Lovers

by - 6:00 AM


Dear Dr. Gilda,

I have been seeing this man for 9 months. There is a large age disparity between us, and at first, he said he was okay with it. He is extremely busy, and he travels often. He was married for a number of years before divorcing over 2 years ago. We've been friends for the better part of a decade. 

The problem is, he seems to run hot and cold. I hear from him often some weeks, and others, I may not hear from him at all. I seem to be a low priority on his list, even though he is the one that initiated this romance. He doesn't seem to want to communicate his feelings, even though he is a somewhat affectionate person. I've tried to communicate my feelings with him, and tell him I want to see him more. He agreed, but not much action has been taken. Should I give up, or try another tactic? 

Sleepless in Sarasota


Dear Sleepless in Sarasota,

Sometimes your partner won’t hear you because he doesn’t want to. Other times, it may be because you’re just not hearing what he’s saying.  This guy’s behavior has spoken loud and clear—and your gut filled you in. You’re a “low priority” for him. Period!  

Being an “affectionate person” can refer to his readiness for sex, not his longing for committed love. Sure, he initiated the “romance” because being the pursuer is usually what men enjoy.  But now he’s showing you that he wants only a casual relationship. 

Fortunately, you’ve enjoyed a platonic friendship for over 10 years.  You should be able to draw on that to level with him about what you’re sensing and how you’re feeling about it.  Then hear him out.  But even his words will run shallow compared to the behavior he demonstrates. 

Truth lies not in words, but in behavior.

You may decide in time that the two of you make better friends than lovers.  But glean from this experience that you deserve more than a partner who is emotionally out to lunch.

Dr. Gilda

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