Partnering

Q: I’m a 25-year-old male who is “just a friend” (I guess) to this 18-year-old female. We used to kiss & play around in the beginning but not anymore. She has plenty of boyfriends, but still spends time with me every day. She is wild, so I don’t like to say no to her if she wants to do something because I feel like if I do someone else will take my place & then I won’t have any chance with her. I do almost everything she asks because I like to please. Why does she want to be only friends? I’m not much of a talker; I’m more of a listener.

Dr. Klein: This sounds like a one-sided relationship–she decides how things are going to be, while you live in fear of losing what you value. The question is not, “how do I get her to not leave me,” but rather, “what kind of relationship do I want with her,” and “does she want this with me?” Once you decide what YOU want, you can tell her (yes, you’ll have to talk, not just listen!), and find out if she wants something that you do too. If so, you can head off into the sunset together. If not, look for someone who does. Yes, it will hurt to let go of your dream of being with her. But letting go of a dream is the first step toward getting something real.

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