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DrJackiePhD, Doctor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 379
Experience:  I have been doing research in relational/interpersonal communication since 1998. My Ph.D. is in interpersonal communication.
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I don't know what to do.Everytime I try to not interact with

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I don't know what to do.
Everytime I try to not interact with this male friend I end up seeing him.
I am 32 he is 50. that's really not the issue.
I am not in a commitment with him - but we are very close. We spend time together but i am honest with him about other men if i meet or anything eventuates.
There is many things i love about him but i feel overwhelmed at other things. like how he questions a lot about my life - and personal things - i guess we are close. But i just feel like i am in a relationship with him but at the same time im not.
Im scared to get into one because i don't know if it will work. He is very stressed about his work and lack of finances and i also feel like we don't do anything that creates romance because he doesn't spend money.
He has been divorced and has kids that don't live with him.
its not his fault but more on my part - i feel like its hard to just be in a non committal relationship with him because i know his not really happy about it. and im not either. but i just feel this is the only way we can have something together because i am worried that it wont work more because i feel like i am always going to his place and i feel very uneasy and unromantic that he doesn't take me anywhere because he is struggling.
So i didn't see him for a few weeks and just spoke here and there until recently we caught up and because i miss having someone we got close again.
Its just really tricky - I just feel i deserve a lot more in terms of being pampered but i know he cant - so then i try not to get intimate with him but that's hard too.
Hi, I'm Dr. Jackie, a communication researcher/professor and relationship expert. I want to help but am unsure specifically what your question(s) is/are, so I'm going to ask for a few more details to better help me help you...
I know you are confused about what to do. But I think maybe you have answered your own question--you just are not aware maybe that you have.
It seems like you see him as a close friend. But it seems like he wants more. Probably because he is older and has money issues, he knows he can't offer you what you really want right now. So although of course it HAS to bother him that you see other men, he can't really protest because you are "not committed" so to speak.
It also sounds like you are intimate with him at times when you "do get close." If it's physical/sexual intimacy, and it sounds like it is, I think you may be sending him the wrong message. I'm not directing blame in any way or saying you are intentionally doing this. But if this IS happening, I think in your friend's "vulnerable state" (older and feeling financially undeserving of you because he can't treat you), he may be thinking he has a chance with you. However, this confuses HIM because it sounds like he has some self-esteem issues and his stress over that only makes the whole thing more complicated.
As hard as it may be, you probably need to be honest with yourself and ask yourself if you get closer to your friend when you feel you "need" someone. You state that you "miss having someone [so you] got close again." To be fair to him and to yourself, I think you know deep down that you need to first be honest with yourself in terms of how you feel about your friend. Then you probably are going to have to stop the intimacy with your friend, even when you feel lonely, because it seems like this may be leading him on to think there will be hope down the road. You will likely have to stop spending time with him even more than the distance you sometimes set and then go back on when you "need him."
The reason I suggest this is so that your friend can truly have some time to "heal." Even if it's not written in your post, I sense that he is very vulnerable. And of course, I could be wrong, but I think he would be emotionally healthier if the two of you could go back to being just friends period. But in order to do this, the closeness and intimacy has to stop once and for all. And I know this will hurt both of you, but this will likely mean you need to keep your distance for awhile while your friend heals.
I hope this has been helpful. I think a phone conversation or SKYPE or chat would probably help make things clearer. But for now, I ask you to think about these things. And I'll send you my contact information. If you think I'm wrong and would like me to get some more information to re-evaluate, I'd be happy to do that as well.
Please take care and let me know,
Dr. Jackie
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for your response.

I guess what I would like is a way to still be his friend but keep it at a friend level. This is not easy - our connection is strong.

Recently I made the decision and didn't see him for a few weeks. Or go over and just meet other places But then when we saw each other we got close again. He just gets in my head...and i miss love..Its really strange he is always there for me- well except the wining and dining etc hehe - he just does it all from home.

I think we both really deeply care about each other. I am trying to be understanding about his situation but my life is very stressed out as well. I have all these doctors visits all the time I can barely manage my pain and being with him I just feel protected and he is so funny

Im getting more sick and more unwell because it is mentally and emotionally unstable the way it is though. On and off on and off - back and forth. Then he jokes and says when u dont see me you get sick..and he always teases me about how I like being treated well and go out with her man. I guess all this teasing may mean he is insecure and trying to put the pressure on me.

He knows about other guy friends etc - but then again do I stop telling him? He said he was disappointed when I told him about another guy I liked - and how I go on dinners with guy friends. But what can I do?

I miss life and he just likes to do it all in the house - eat etc.

At one point I thought he just wants a casual sex partner.

But he doesn't.

I guess that's why I love him a lot - he has always been there for me.

But I feel guilty even though I have been honest with him about other people who are interested and how they want to take me out etc.

Well its all messy. Maybe im lonely - maybe im not - how do I know if I should give it a go?

But mainly where should I draw the line with disclosing information.

Anything I say even if im catching up with a guy friend - for dinner. Hell start going on about you love your dinners etc. Your need this you need that. He laughs but he over does it. I cant have conversations with him because he takes everything to another level. Guess that's his issues and stuff. Then he asks if I kissed him.

Anyway sorry for this crazy detail. I just wish things were easier . but were all human and no body wants to be lonely