Our beautiful friend, Layla, is in a friends with benefits situation and is asking for our help.
Please can you post this message, as I want to get as much feedback as I can...I am really at the end with this one!
I came across your website today and it really prompted me to write to you for some advice/help.
I have a "friend" who I became close with about 6 months ago and we started sleeping together.
He told me from the start that he did not want to date me and I simply agreed. I thought I could end it anytime and I realize now that I can't.
We have spent every single day together for 6 months, he has met my family, we go out together, movies together etc...
About 3 months ago he moved into my place for about a month, as he lost his job and I told him to come...I then ask him to move out again, as I was struggling with the situation and not being able to call him my boyfriend.
We have done everything together, we got invited to weddings together, cook together, sleep together...EVERYTHING!
He told me I am beautiful and often compliments me, hold my hand, hugs me, kisses me and tries to encourage me.... then there is the other side... he is unemployed, smokes a lot of weed, can sometimes insult me without thinking and often says things about other girls and ask me if I am jealous.
He tells me I deserve to find a good guy but, he will not date me because I am not 'pure' and have a past.
He still smokes weed daily but, I do not give him money for it and he is staying with another guy now who supports him.
Often when we are getting to close, he will tell me that we are not a couple and when I have asked him what he thinks we are...he says really good friends!
When I talk about other guys, he gets jealous and he has very low self-esteem and is always asking me if he is good looking enough, smart enough etc.
I tried to sit him down twice and tell him I can't do this anymore and I even cried my eyes out but, he said he understood and left for 3 weeks. We talk every day on the phone and text and he always says he misses me and loves spending all the time he has with me but, I don't get it!!!
Part of me knows that I need to be strong enough and walk away from this situation, but part of me does not want to lose him and would like us to be just friends.
I don't want to have another talk with him because he says I always push him out when I feel guilty, which is true.
How to I practically deal with this situation, when he texts me every day and asks to come and see me?
Although he no longer stays with me, there are times he comes and stays over... even if there is no sex involved... he will just hug me and watch a movie! I am struggling, this is not my idea of a relationship and I know deep down I deserve to be loved, but I keep justifying that maybe he went through a lot and needs someone to show him she is not going to leave like they all did.... I don't know anymore!
There's always a reason we start to question what we're doing.
You see, deep down inside, we know if a situation isn't right for us. We don't really need anyone to tell us.
We can go for a long time making excuses for someone and convincing ourselves why we should stay and accept the behaviors we're accepting in exchange for whatever benefits we believe we're getting in return.
But at some point, that little nudging within ourselves starts getting a little louder, pushing us to be heard, until we can no longer ignore what's really going on.
And then it begins.
We start to question, we start to ask ourselves kind of questions that get us thinking about what's really going on. We start to see things we didn't see before. And then, as you're now finding out, we come to a place where we no longer wonder if this is OK or not.
Deep down, we know.
And that's where it all begins, Layla.
You see, you're not here to rescue him - or anyone else. Your role isn't to save him to the detriment of your own beautiful self. He's a grown man, and although he may have self-esteem issues and may be going through a hard time right now, these are his issues to sort out and not yours.
I understand you care, you want to help, you want to show him a different kind of love, but the way that he's treating you - the things that he's saying to you - isn't how anyone deserves to be treated.
You've already tried talking to him about all this, and you've gotten your answer from him: he's not going to date you, he doesn't want a committed relationship with you, he's not going to give you anything more than this. He's quite content with the way things are.
And why wouldn't he be? He has you, this beautiful woman you are with so much to offer, so much to give, without having to make any kind of commitment.
It's because you're such a beautiful soul that you're able to convince yourself that you can help him, that he deserves to be helped, and you're so giving, loving, caring, and understanding that you do this so naturally.
All the benefits of a girlfriend, of someone with such a beautiful giving heart as you, and he gets to have all this without giving you anything but a little intimacy and some company when he feels like it. He has it so good!
You know all this, Layla.
Deep down, you know. Trust yourself, trust your gut instincts here.
His terms are clear, but what are yours? This is always your decision, you are doing the choosing here, and it comes down to what you're willing to accept and what you're not.
Define your own terms, set your own boundaries.
You deserve to be loved, you deserve to be with someone who's on the same page as you, who wants the same kind of committed relationship as you do, and is willing to do whatever it takes to have that with you. That's what you deserve, my beautiful friend!
Take out the fear, take out the feeling that this is all there is for you, that he's as good as you're going to get.
These aren't truths, these are fears that have no basis and no place in our lives. It's the opposite, Layla. There is so much more awaiting you! There is such an abundance of love out there for you! Don't hold yourself back believing that love will conquer all and he'll eventually come around, or that you're the heroine in a tragic fairytale.
None of these are true.
What is true is that this is your life to create the way you want it to be be. You choose who you allow in it. You choose what behaviors you allow and which ones you don't. You choose who can call you, who can date you, who can spend time with you, who can have sex with you. You're the one doing the choosing here and not the other way around.
If you've truly had enough, then you know what to do Layla. You are that strong if you want to be.
You can cut off contact with the touch of a button. You can end the back and forth with a word, with an action, with a changed lock if he has a key, with a refusal to open your door and your life - but only if you choose to.
It isn't unkind, it isn't mean, it isn't selfish, it's what loving yourself and putting yourself and your own needs before anyone else looks like.
It is always, always your choice!
What do you think? What would you do if you were in Layla's situation? Tell us in the comments!