< Back to front page Text size +

Am I in love with my friend?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  August 28, 2009 10:26 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

This letter is juicy. Good for a Friday.

Q: I am a female in my 20s who needs direction in my relationship with my friend, let's call him Ryan.

Ryan and I have known each other for 10 years and throughout that time have been through a lot together. We dated briefly in the beginning of our relationship but I ended up deciding to have a relationship with someone else, and unbeknownst to me at the time broke Ryan's heart. I later found out he was in love with me. We fought due to his anger but made up and remained close.

I stayed in my relationship for 3 years while he dated another girl for 2.5 years as well. Both of our relationships had their problems and ended within a few weeks of each other. We became just as close as we used to be and developed a sexual relationship as well.

Before I continue, I have to point out, Ryan has a bit of a problem. He did not remain faithful to his girlfriend of 2.5 years. There is something about him that causes girls to literally throw themselves at him so he is constantly "hooking up" with other girls. These girls are always quick flings he has no feelings for.

Over the next year of our relationship I began fall in love with Ryan. We continued to spend all of our time together and essentially were in a non-monogamous relationship without the title. I was just "going with the flow" without addressing any feelings we had for each other because it's just something we never do. We literally tell each other EVERYTHING without holding anything back but we NEVER talk about our feelings for each other. We haven't since that time 4 years earlier.

Since he continued to have his flings, I knew that he was not ready to settle down and I kept my options open as well even though I wanted to be with him. I went on dates with a couple guys but then I began seeing someone else and I could tell it was different.

Ryan had also begun seeing someone and I told him I wanted to give my relationship a try. He asked "What about us?" and I was shocked because I didn't think he wanted anything more then what we had. I asked at the time if I ended things with my new guy if it would change anything and he said not to end it because he couldn't promise me it would.

Fast forward and Ryan had a relationship with the woman he was seeing that did not work after a year or so. I ended up falling in love with and marrying the man I was seeing. After 4.5 years of being together he turned our not to be a nice guy and our marriage ended. I was heart broken but am climbing through the rubble and that is not the point of this letter ...

Throughout that time Ryan and I drifted apart. We did not know how to be "just friends" because we had connected so deeply and knew everything about each other and it was hard to turn that off. Throughout my relationship when we did see each other the spark was still there but we ended up arguing because he wanted to be what we once were and out of respect to my then fiance I didn't trust myself to be close to Ryan again so I wouldn't allow it.

Ryan and I did not speak throughout the year of my marriage. He was not invited to my wedding which he now likes to say he would have objected to (I think he's kidding!).

A couple of months after my marriage ended Ryan contacted me. He had no idea that I was out of my relationship. He simply was thinking of me and reached out hoping to reconnect.

We became extremely close again and he helped me cope. I am now moving on from my marriage ending and Ryan and I are closer then ever. We still have that same connection we always had, still tell each other everything. All of our mutual friends have always said we had undeniable chemistry and they always thought we'd be together. If you saw us together you would think we were in a relationship.

The problem is this, the timing never seems to be right with he and I. At the moment I don't want a relationship because I need to focus on me since my marriage has ended and I don’t think Ryan's ready either. So I am not looking for us to be together now but I am afraid to let yet another opportunity pass us by. However I am also afraid that if we ever did try to make something official I could end up hurt if he doesn’t remain faithful and it’d hurt more from him then anyone else because of how much we’ve had between us.

I am going out and having fun with other friends and meeting new guys so I don’t feel like I am falling into a routine or limiting myself to him but it’s different with him. It always has been. We talk everyday, we spend a lot of time together, we cuddle, etc. so although now neither of us seem to be looking for a relationship I can imagine it may end up that at least one of us wants something again.

My questions…

How do you bring up feelings to someone you can talk about anything with but the one thing you probably need to? Since I don’t know what my feelings are should I just wait and see what develops then decide if we need to talk about it?

Sorry this is long! I even cut some but there's just so much to our past and it’s so important I am afraid of missing out and/or messing it up, whichever way it goes!

– Tempting Fate (Again!), Worcester

A: TFA, I don't want to belittle your situation, but I am reminded of "90210." You are the Kelly. Ryan is the Dylan. That's right, folks -- I mean old-school "90210." I don't watch the new "90210" ... those youngsters with their skinny legs and fashionable purses. I was raised in the Andrea Zuckerman era. Long live Andrea Zuckerman.

But I digress.

Part of me thinks that Ryan's bad behavior stems from his first heartbreak with you. Part of me thinks he's just young -- and so are you.

What seems to be missing here is an honest conversation. I don't understand why you cuddle, flirt, get passive-aggressive, love each other, date other people, and then get confused when all you have to do is ask for the answers. You talk to each other about everything -- except what's most important. You're either using each other as placeholders for real relationships -- or you're both too scared to admit you want to give the romance a real go. Regardless, the status quo is preventing you from real emotional intimacy.

If this were "90210," it would go on like this forever -- and it would be mildly entertaining. But "90210" is no way to live. Let's make this a grown-up relationship, shall we? Ask Ryan, "What exactly are we -- and what are we avoiding?" Hopefully, he'll look deep into your eyes with a Luke Perry face and tell you the truth.

Readers? What's up with Kelly and Dylan ... I mean, TFA and Ryan? What exactly do they want? What should TFA do? Share here.

– Meredith

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

185 comments so far...
  1. I would have said Ross and Rachel from Friends myself.

    You need to have the conversation. Throughout the years of failed relationships you keep coming back to each other. If you let the opportunity go again, you may never get it back.

    Posted by KM August 28, 09 10:37 AM
  1. blah blah blah wall of text. All that writing means you are trying to justify something that probably isn't a good idea and you know it.

    Ryan will never be faithful. Just like you found out your husband was an ass after 4.5 years, Ryan will cheat again and you'll be heartbroken again.

    You need to get some therapy before getting into a relationship with anyone again.

    Posted by K August 28, 09 10:42 AM
  1. I am never the one with the harsh comments here, but come on. This relationship sounds like a mess. You said that he doesn't stay faithful. You've been back and forth on this for 10 years, and it still hasn't worked out. You are just out of a marriage. You are both going on dates with other people. This is really a no-brainer.
    He just happens to be a great friend that you obvioulsly like sleeping with.

    Posted by SM1231 August 28, 09 10:49 AM
  1. You're a grownup. Start acting like one. Get yourself right in the head, have a chat with Ryan and either give it an honest shot or start getting over it. And he needs to learn to keep it in his pants if he's committed to someone. Ugh.

    Posted by emmj August 28, 09 10:50 AM
  1. Meredith, where do I apply to get back the three minutes of my life I spent reading this nonsense?

    Posted by Joey August 28, 09 10:52 AM
  1. TFA I agree with Meredith. You talk about working on yourself since you're going through a divorce but I think that an important component to working on yourself is figuring out this situation with Ry-guy! You will never be able to move on with any other relationship in your life if you don't have the conversation about the two of you once and for all. I think that it's unfair to anyone else that you become involved with to constantly be second guessing or asking yourself what if about the Ryan situation. As for your apprehensions about becoming involved with him because of the fact that he hasn't ever been faithful, I guess that's a risk that you have to be willing to take. I would like to think that with all of the history between the two of you he would be different within your relationship but maybe that's how naive I am? Best of luck TFA! Good luck getting yourself put back together!

    Posted by HK24 August 28, 09 10:55 AM
  1. Yes, have the conversation. What's the worst possible outcome? That things aren't realized? Vs the best?

    Ditto on the Ross and Rachel.

    Posted by BP1 August 28, 09 10:59 AM
  1. Another way to put this is to sh*t or get off the pot! I think if this were a TV show the viewers would be getting bored. (In fact I'm reaching out to ask Sally to write some TV dialogue about this...I'm sure she'll nail it!) So M is right -- have 3 bottles of tequila and then an honest conversation. Or maybe not in that order. But get on with already -- I want to change the channel!

    Posted by Alvin Had a TV Show August 28, 09 11:00 AM
  1. Holy crap! This is so when Harry met Sally, or just about any other romantic comedy you can think of. This is a lot like yesterday's situation only over a looooonger time period. Ryan is keeping her on the back burner as a FWB. If he doesn't have to limit himself to one girl and can still have a best friend with whom to hook up with why would he want to change that. It is the perfect storm for a horny young man. I don't know what advice to give other than to hope the scrit writers can come up with one of their happy endings.

    Posted by vinman August 28, 09 11:02 AM
  1. Tempting~
    What the Heck? You make Brittney Spears look like Mother Teresa. Instead of worrying about Ryan, I suggest you spend time stockpiling antibiotics-your gonna need 'em.

    You are self-destructive and impulsive. Where is your family? Are they aware of all the craziness in your life? You need therapy-I mean it. Please re-read your own letter, if you don't understand my reaction.
    Ryan aside-I think YOU need to chill out on the soap opera drama and wanton sexual orgies in your life. Are you ever without a man in your bed?
    Ee gads-you are only in your 20's, but have already had a 3 year relationship with random guy #1, married and divorced after a 5 relationship with random guy #2, various daliances with Ryan and other men...and now you are "going out and having fun with other friends and meeting new guys so I don’t feel like I am falling into a routine or limiting myself.."
    STOP THE MADNESS!

    Posted by Stop the Madness August 28, 09 11:02 AM
  1. I miss the heart at the end of the column. Please bring it back.

    Now the LW: You two belong together, and have from the start. Have the Come to Jesus talk with him, then propose to him.

    Posted by reindeergirl August 28, 09 11:03 AM
  1. ugh. teen chat. right up 3rd person girls alley whenever they decide to bark in today after they get done watching Miley Cirus again on Tivo.

    LW,,..move on. it's over. too much baggage.

    Posted by byubba August 28, 09 11:03 AM
  1. I just simply don't care. I mean seriously, does anyone even care about this? After being married, are people still this totally clueless? Usually with this idiotic bimbo type of letter, I would come up with my usual crazy jerky comments. But this letter just makes me vaguely nauseous, are people really this spineless? I guess the world needs "suckers" to prey on too...

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 August 28, 09 11:03 AM
  1. There is an obvious elephant in the room between them that needs to be acknowledged.

    To me, it sounds like you two love each other - but are each afraid of heartbreak at the hands of the other. And for Ryan, heartbreak #2.

    And said heartbreak would only further damage your relationship.

    BUT, the thing to remember in this situation is: Progress always involves risks. You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first.

    Sometimes to win LW, you gotta risk losing it all.


    Posted by EastCoastGirl August 28, 09 11:04 AM
  1. I think maybe it is time to show him this letter and let the chips fly where they may.

    Bad timing, btw, isn't an omen of things to come, just a vision of your past. Sometimes it is a blessing in disguise, allowing both parties to grow up and create themselves (I hate the term "finding themselves.") I have benefited from "bad timing" in the past. During the period of "bad timing" we both got a chance to grow up, fail in some things including relationships, and then find our way back to each other as more mature adults. If it weren't for the five plus years of "bad timing" my husband and I had, we probably wouldn't have been adult enough to build the great marriage we have now.

    Posted by merilisa August 28, 09 11:06 AM
  1. COOL IT! Sllllooooowwwww down, sassafrass.

    You are in your 20s and have already been married and divorced. In my opinion, IF one gets married in his/her 20s, it should be his/her LATE 20s and should at least last a little while. That is just me though....

    Don't jump into something else right away. It sounds like you might have rushed into your first marriage and that you might be looking for something serious with Ryan, who has relationship issues of his own. Live, learn to be single, then address your issues with Ryan later. If he is worth it and really loves you he will stick around and things will work themselves out.

    Focus on YOU for now...

    Posted by Tricia August 28, 09 11:07 AM
  1. TFA, it doesn't sound like you are in love with your best friend. It sounds like you are in a co-dependent relationship with your friend. You have each other as a security blanket for when times get tough and you don't want to have to grow up and have grown up relationships. Meredith is right. It's time to leave high school (and TV high schools) behind. Have a frank conversation with this guy and then move on.

    Posted by KGF August 28, 09 11:09 AM
  1. I hope you're getting tested on a weekly basis..

    Posted by Christine August 28, 09 11:09 AM
  1. You don't need all the answers to talk to him about your feelings and what is going on. Hopefully the talking would give you the answers you're looking for. Just remember- there's a HUGE difference between best friends with benefits and a committed bf/gf relationship. You've been best buds with benefits for so long (on and off) that he can tell you when he sleeps with other women, when he goes on dates, as you stated EVERYTHING. But I think that will change if you become official... if (and I presume WHEN) he cheats on you, will he still be able to talk to you about everything? He had nothing to lose before by telling you things- you didn't care and weren't invested in the relationship. But he will probably be less honest about his transgressions if he had something to lose this time... you. I hate to be negative, but I don't want you to think that it's always easy to go from being friends with benes to being in a real committed relationship. There are a lot of adjustments to be made, expectations to be made clear, etc. I just hope if you go for it to protect yourself because things change when your best friend becomes your boyfriend. Sucks, but usually painfully true.

    Posted by Blake August 28, 09 11:09 AM
  1. Man. Why were there no easy girls like this when I was 20? I love these quotes -"we became just as close as we used to be and developed a sexual relationship as well." Ryan has to beat the women away with a stick. He loves to hook up and you just go with the flow. I'm only 39 but I still remember how thrilling it was to just hold a girl's hand the first time.

    All you women out there...do you not like to be pursued? When I really like a woman I go after her and make an effort. I don't hook up with other girls. It's how I got my wife! What's the deal? You like these playboy types that sleep around and string you along and never fully commit to you?

    These letters are like a broken record.

    Posted by TR August 28, 09 11:09 AM
  1. I think you guys need a 'reboot'. Have an honest conversation about how you feel and what you want - and then make an attempt to start fresh with each other. This is hard, I know, but what needs to be done.

    Posted by karmen August 28, 09 11:10 AM
  1. LW and Ryan need to both grow up and come to a decision one way or another. The choices are: A) attempt an exclusive relationship or B) admit that you are better off being just friends. The boundaries and emotions are so long-standing and intertwined that at this point, it has to be one or the other.

    I guess that Option C would be to keep dragging this out for another couple of seasons of your TV sitcom, but from the time and effort you put into composing the letter and the underlying anxiety / uncertainty that I can read into it, it sure appears that you are unwilling to continue to put yourself through this dance anymore.

    Personally, I think you have stronger feelings for him than he does for you, but you feel guilty about the past and are unwilling to risk rejection and/or losing your close friend. From his persepctive, it sounds like he's perfectly fine with what he's got: a close friend who cares about him as well as bumps uglies with him in between his real dates / relationships. Think about it.

    Posted by Hoss August 28, 09 11:11 AM
  1. Have the conversation - NOW. Decide once and for all if you're going to have a full fledged, committed dating relationship or not. And if the decision is "not" then reduce Ryan to acquaintance status - just talk on Facebook and send Christmas cards.
    Otherwise you're going to be sitting in his apartment 20 years from now, "cuddling" and discussing the 5 failed marriages you've had between you because you could both never commit to someone else when your perfect friend always remained in the background.
    Your choice is clear - either date each other or stop seeing each other - the "friend" thing is just not going to work in the long run for you two.

    Posted by Sharon August 28, 09 11:11 AM
  1. My advice? Stop letting love and life happen to you. Obeying your heart has led to a lifetime of purposeless drama and failed relationships, including this one. So exercise your mind instead. Do some critical thinking about your value system. Embrace your consciousness and make a decision to stop giving your body to and wasting your emotions on anyone who doesn't share your values and can't be a partner to you in every sense of the word. Then go out and find the man who does and can. You don't need therapy. You need to accept reality as it is rather than hoping you can magically wish reality to be what you want.

    Now please go away.

    Posted by Rae August 28, 09 11:11 AM
  1. WOW. My eyes are burning from the length of this letter...Talk about a dissertation. Ten years and you're still "unsure"? What is it with women who chase men they KNOW are unfaithful? Is self respect that difficult a trait to find these days?

    This relationship IS a mess. And you're going to get a bunch of "been there/done that" comments, mine included. Except it went on for 13 years, and became completely toxic because I was the one that was looking for the next best thing. You've just gotten out of a bad marriage, why would you choose to fall into a bad relationship? If fidelity is important to you, I think you already have your answer...

    Things fall into place for a reason, but I don't think anything in this relationship is salvagable, because it doesn't sound like you can discern the friendship from the benefits.

    Posted by big dummy August 28, 09 11:12 AM
  1. You definitely need to have a conversation about yours and his feelings toward each other. I don't think either of you will have a successful relationship with each other or anyone else until you sort through the mess of a 10 year on again off again friends with benefits mess of a relationship you have with him. Good luck!

    Posted by EM August 28, 09 11:13 AM
  1. Way, way TMI.

    Posted by Sasha August 28, 09 11:13 AM
  1. I am going to go out on a limb here and I'm guessing you're fat.

    Posted by Michael August 28, 09 11:13 AM
  1. You keep mentioning how "extremely close" you are. I think you want to think that you are extremely close without the responsibility that goes with it.

    Extremely close people put topics on the table and work them out - together. They aren't worried about the other cheating on them. Extremely close people don't avoid topics between each other. Extremely close people can rely on each other and don't have to write into chat rooms.

    By the way...if someone throws themself at Ryan, he does have a choice to reject the advance. You make it out like its ok and understandable that he cheats.

    I agree with the other answers - grow up a little - get on your own two feet and focus on submitting substance into your relationships - it is the only way you can expect some back.

    Posted by spaceman August 28, 09 11:14 AM
  1. Hello, and welcome to the DrK Show.
    (applause)
    Thank you. Thank you.
    (more applause)
    No, really. Thanks.
    (applause diminishes slightly)
    Alright. Alright.
    (crowd is now quiet and attentive)
    Welcome to a special Friday edition of our show and once again, give a warm welcome to Meredith and the Love Letters crew.
    (loud applause, some whistling)

    DrK: Meredith, today's letter writer has an interesting dilemma.

    Mere: Yes, TFA is another in a long list of women who just can't stay away from the bad guys.

    DrK: You mean the type of women we see here often that are used and abused by boyfriends with wandering peckers? The type of girls that just don't get that these guys only feel that their casual girlfriends are important when they don't have any other options?

    TFA: But, we have a 'connection'. We are like soul-mates. We have an undeniable chemistry.

    DrK: Here's my advice Kelly...er...I mean TFA. Have fun with this guy and enjoy his company. If the physical aspect is good for you, then by all means, enjoy that too (safely). But honey, I would not marry this guy or consider any serious long-term realationship with him. He will wander again as he has in the past, and you will be heart-broken.
    You are not soul-mates or anyting like that. You are to him simply a good freind with benefits when he needs them. That, my dear is the makeup of your undeniable chemistry. Sorry. Here, let me get you a tissue. It's OK. No need to cry. You have a good friend. Try to keep it that way.

    That's all we have time for today folks.
    Join us next week when special guest Sally demonstrates the art of inducing nasal liquid expulsion when reading her comments and fan favorite Hoss joins us via remote broadcast from his Beacon Hill corner office.
    (applause)
    And on our special Friday edition next week, Admiral Antgro chronicles his top ten favorite feminist posts with special comments on each one. I can't wait!
    (applause)

    Thanks and have a terrific weekend!

    Good luck,
    DrK

    Posted by DrK August 28, 09 11:15 AM
  1. I think you are afraid of the loss of your security blanket. It's like saying, "Hey, if in 5 yrs neither of us is married, let's give it a shot"...though between the two of you, its unspoken and without a definite time expectation. I recently got out of a relationship I knew wasn't working. What kept me in it was the fear of being alone again, not having a partner to do things with, not knowing when I would meet someone again, the lonliness of an empty house and a quiet phone. It's been about a month, and now that the fear of the loss is gone, I can deal with the ACTUAL loss and move on. And the fear of the loss was far worse than the ACTUAL loss because you imagine all these doomsday, worst-case scenarios. I spoke with my ex the other day and felt no sense of longing to have him back. I think you need to set parameters of a couple of months and not speak to him. See if what you are afraid of is the loss of HIM or the loss of this contingency plan that you keep falling back on when your other relationships don't work out. He may just be filling the void and helping you ease your lonliness, in which case, you need to get right with yourself before getting into any other relationship. If you are really and truly missing HIM, you need to have an honest conversation about your feelings and your expectations that you be exclusive if you were to start an official relationship.

    Posted by mavatx August 28, 09 11:15 AM
  1. "There used to be orange groves, as FAR as the eye could see." Andrea.

    Honestly, I hate to endorse tough love, but emmj (#4) seems to have hit it right.

    But if the message is right but the delivery is wrong, try this: You and Ryan have been pining over each other for ten years at the total expense of all your other relationships. He has disavowed all forms of meaningful commitment to hold out hope that you two would be together. You have undermined all of your relationships for the same reason. That you trust yourself so little that you didn't contact Ryan during your marriage means, at least to me, that your marriage was doomed from the start. And, most telling, it certainly was NOT a coincidence that you both broke up from long-time relationships at the same time. How convenient!

    Either you are meant to be together or you're not. But you've spent the last ten years thinking about it at great personal cost. Even if you and Ryan try and fail, at least you'll be able to approach your next stage of life with a clear head and without nagging doubt. Hopefully Ryan can be at your next wedding, in one capacity or another.

    Posted by Nick August 28, 09 11:18 AM
  1. Seriously .. do people live like this, or is this made up? On the off chance this is real, here is my two cents:

    Ryan is probably amazingly hot, and a man, and a horn dog (OK, redundant). You are probably the same .. except for the man part. But there is nothing wrong with your libido either. You didn't say if Ryan got married, so I'm going to assume he was the wiser of you two.

    You both sound a little immature to consider marriage. Ryan is going to "cheat" (and I say that with trepidation - it doesn't seem like he's hiding it all that much). And to be honest, he just isn't the monogamous type. Until he can't get laid with a shotgun, he'll continue to take advantage of whatever is working for him. So, off the bat, if you can't live with that - you will have to be content with just being a friend (albeit a good friend), and occasional booty call. Which, IOW, makes you "the other woman".

    Sweetie -- the only way relationships work is through communication. If you can't have a discussion about your feelings, then your negotiating in the dark. Have you ever told him you loved him? Have you ever had a discussion about what your life is going to be like in 5 years, 10 years? Discussed children? Discussed anything of import (and I'm not talking about the latest Whitney album)

    If you're looking for a deep connection, chemistry, and monogamy, I wouldn't take that bet with Ryan. If you want to settle for 2/3, then that's your INFORMED decision to make.

    Just do everyone a favor -- don't have children until he's done spreading his seed around. They'll be the collateral damage in this affair.

    Posted by frankjcapp August 28, 09 11:18 AM
  1. TFA,
    Take a deep break and tell this man how you feel. Life is short! Take a chance with Ryan. Tell his all your concerns and ask him how he feels. Open up to him on a real personal level and stop being afraid. Learn from your past mistakes with Ryan.....Not being honest and sharing your feeling with eachother. Ryan was probably sleeping around to hurt you and make you jealous, or from the trauma of you rejecting him.Get over the past and move on.

    Posted by LilShorty98 August 28, 09 11:19 AM
  1. He's a fun-type guy, not a marriage-type guy. Stop sleeping with him and move him into the friends-only category permanently. If you can't be just-friends with him, then you need to leave him in the dust. Another relationship with him will fail, so don't waste your time. It seems like you already know all this, so all you need is some willpower.

    Posted by Bee August 28, 09 11:20 AM
  1. siggh... You have known him for so long, had relationships with him, feel that you have the chemistry, have loved each other, hurt each other, now cuddle with each other, keep going back to each other. But you can't have a conversation on your feelings and expectations? what are you waiting for girl? status quo is no good. Either get together or get out. Obviously 'just friends' does'nt work for you two.

    Posted by chins August 28, 09 11:21 AM
  1. Oh, and Meredith, I'm with you on the Kelly and Dylan thing...

    Posted by EM August 28, 09 11:23 AM
  1. #17 summarizes this into the perfect succinct description. Yes "KGF" is exactly right, this is nothing more than a blazing example of a "Dysfunctional Co-Dependent Relationship"... in fact, it is certainly one of the most PATHETIC examples I have ever witnessed in my 40+ years. I think I just threw-up in my mouth...

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 August 28, 09 11:23 AM
  1. I, of course, would prefer the Friends/Ross & Rachel analogy ;)

    I wholeheartedly agree with Sharon (#23) - split a bottle of wine and have the conversation. Otherwise, you will never know what could be, or not be, and thus unnecessarily waste undue amounts of time.

    Good luck.

    Posted by Regina Felangy August 28, 09 11:25 AM
  1. Rico's head is spinning out of control...and a spin-off to Melrose Place (the old one) commercial during another bad 90210 episode...

    Rico thinks the bottom line her is that you are afraid to take a RISK. Yes you have had relationships and even a marriage but you are scared to take a Risk. What Rico means by this, is that you picked a "safe route". The marriage wasn't to the guy you really wanted and now you probably wish you had. Your problem is your own self confidence. This guy wants you and you want him, explain your fears to him and have that talk. At the end of the day who cares about your past marriage or his having girls falling at his feet. If he wants you and you want him then go for it.

    Rico would only be concerned with his ability to be faithful to you. If that is a phase he had in the past and he is past that now then go ahead and take a RISK. If he is still a fallandering (did Rico spell that right?) type then maybe it's time to just let him out of yoru life so you can finally move on. You need therapy and maybe even have him join you for a session or two. Rico doesn't like therapy but it may be good for you and him to be able to talk open and honest in a closed session.

    Rico wants to clarify one thing from yesterday...Rico calling himself a legend was in good fun. If you are a real Rico fan then you know Rico's sense of humor. Where is Rico's counter??? Rico needs help counting. byubba, you can go ahead and copy Rico's words to your own post now....have a nice day.

    Love always and watch out for the storm this weekend...be safe,

    Rico

    Gears not Gas

    Posted by Rico August 28, 09 11:26 AM
  1. Oh, Spaceman, right on -- on every point! LW, read that comment again and again. (And try to ignore the veiled comments here that would gladly have you in stocks for sleeping with more than one guy in your life. Some real Puritans on this board!)

    But seriously, read Spaceman's comment again now. And then another time.

    Posted by Penelope August 28, 09 11:26 AM
  1. woah, harsh comments guys. that being said, TFA, the commenters are right. its been 10 years and you still aren't sure?

    when in doubt. throw it out.

    Posted by MCK August 28, 09 11:27 AM
  1. Hey Liz Taylor, I mean, Tempting Fate....
    I'm all for a good love story. A good, SIMPLE love story. No offense, girl, but you’re in your 20's and your love life is a used-up mess! Take some real time off, stay friends with this Don Juan (that means no hokey pokey) and see how things unravel (to borrow a phrase from yesterday’s LL). Give your love life a hiatus and you’ll figure out what to do.
    Good luck!!!

    Posted by Shorty August 28, 09 11:27 AM
  1. I, of course, would prefer the Friends/Ross & Rachel analogy ;)

    I wholeheartedly agree with Sharon (#23) - split a bottle of wine and have the conversation. Otherwise, you will never know what could be, or not be, and thus unnecessarily waste undue amounts of time.

    Good luck.

    Posted by Regina Felangy August 28, 09 11:29 AM
  1. You should not date for a while, say 3 to 6 months. Go to therapy to figure why you are jumping around so much from relationship to relationship. While in therapy you get to talk to a neutral third party to figure things out. Keeping Ryan in the background as a back up plan, is not healthy. Obviously you are stressing over it with the War and Peace novel length letter you wrote. Being single is normal for someone in their 20's or any age. Enjoy it and get to know who you are as a person. Only once you do that can you be calm and mature enough to be in a steady, long lasting relationship. As for Ryan being a serial cheater, well he may change but probably not. You have to talk about your feelings for him, but only after what you figure out what you want. Not dating for 3 to 6 months will help you do that.

    Posted by Christina August 28, 09 11:32 AM
  1. You should not date for a while, say 3 to 6 months. Go to therapy to figure why you are jumping around so much from relationship to relationship. While in therapy you get to talk to a neutral third party to figure things out. Keeping Ryan in the background as a back up plan, is not healthy. Obviously you are stressing over it with the War and Peace novel length letter you wrote. Being single is normal for someone in their 20's or any age. Enjoy it and get to know who you are as a person. Only once you do that can you be calm and mature enough to be in a steady, long lasting relationship. As for Ryan being a serial cheater, well he may change but probably not. You have to talk about your feelings for him, but only after what you figure out what you want. Not dating for 3 to 6 months will help you do that.

    Posted by Christina August 28, 09 11:32 AM
  1. I've finally figured it out. RICO is a YANKEE FAN !!!!

    Posted by Yankeee Hater August 28, 09 11:33 AM
  1. # 28 Michael:

    I asolutely HATE myself for laughing.

    Posted by Monty August 28, 09 11:34 AM
  1. Keep doing what you are doing. This sounds like a great relationship. Let me know when the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus show up at your house and I will bring the Tooth Fairy and we can all sing campfire songs and roast marshmellows.

    Posted by tomthumbs August 28, 09 11:35 AM
  1. You and Ryan's connection is that you are addicted to drama, not each other. It's shallow and fills the void. So be together, don't be together, it's going to be exactly the same either way. Do not have children, please, until you understand what "connections" really are, and use condoms with Ryan every single time.

    Posted by getreal August 28, 09 11:35 AM
  1. Smarten up!!! after reading it, i'd have guessed the LW was 38 - she's in her 20s?? really???? any question that is 1000 words long – the writer needs REAL therapy – not advice from a love blog. Sweetie – find yourself a good therapist!

    and you think ryan didn't know you were divorced when he just happened to reach out to you? HA! puh-lease!! a quick glance on facebook or a google search & he knew the deal. he didn't just happen to waltz back into your life at the perfect time.... he knew you were single so he rolled the dice & you took the bait… hook, line & sinker.

    Mer – I’m with you, old school 90210 is SO much better than those bratty little pukes in the new series.


    Mer – I’m with you, old school 90210 is SO much better than those brattly little pukes in the new series.

    Posted by polly August 28, 09 11:36 AM
  1. Just TALK about what exactly the two of you are. This really sounds like something very deep, and I'm not surprised you have a hard defining what the two of you actually are. Sometimes emotions run so deep it's impossible to put them into words.

    What I THINK you are, are two people who love each other and want to be together but are afraid to make that commitment because of your past history. If your connection is really deeper than it's ever been, I think you need to just talk and then give it a go.

    You're still reeling from the end of your marriage so I understand why you need time for yourself, but if he is someone you can see yourself being with, have an open and honest conversation about - it's long overdue. Is it really that hard to say exactly what you wrote? Just look him the eye and say "I am not looking for us to be together now but I am afraid to let yet another opportunity pass us by"...and then I would add..."but I think we may have a future together and I wonder if you feel the same way". Then let the conversation take off from there.

    Godspeed and good luck!

    Posted by MattyB August 28, 09 11:36 AM
  1. In the words of Led Zeppelin:
    "communication breakdown,
    its always the same,
    i'm having a nervous breakdown,
    drive me insane!"

    Sorry TFA, but any normal person after 10 years of knowing someone should be able to have a conversation. what the heck are you so afraid of???

    use your words...... it's not hard.

    and at this point after all you've done to Ryan, you're lucky if he still feels the same way as he did the first time you broke his heart.

    communication stabilizes relationships..... you should try it sometime.

    Posted by kr0638@mcla.edu August 28, 09 11:37 AM
  1. You are so banal.

    Posted by YouAreAllMySons August 28, 09 11:39 AM
  1. One other thing I need to add:

    It sounds like LW owes her ex-husband a huge apology for wasting his time.


    Now, I feel like I need to go take a shower and tonight, when I see my kids, I will give them a hug and start working even harder on reinforcing their self-esteem and prioritization of self worth. We've had a string of letter here that clearly demonstrate the completely farked up results of low self-esteem. Yikes.

    Posted by Hoss August 28, 09 11:40 AM
  1. Really? Is this how beautiful/douche people live? Not expressing their feelings and instead just basking in all the attention?

    I guess the other half just have to live with our "normal" relationships, which involve commitment, honesty, and openness.

    I envy your shrink as you will keep them gainfully employed for a long, long, long time.

    Happy Friday!

    Posted by TheNormalOne August 28, 09 11:42 AM
  1. Advice here doesn't matter. It's clear from the self-indulgence and breathlessness of the letter that TFA, if she is real, adores the drama. She wants her relationship to be the stuff of romantic comedies. It makes her feel special to have a complicated (though it's not really) relationship. I call this Harry-Sally Syndrome. And this is an acute case. In fact, it's not implausible that this letter was fabricated from that movie.

    This letter also reinforces my antipathy for women in their 20s. Stop yappin!

    Posted by wam August 28, 09 11:44 AM
  1. Sheezus! How about spending some time with YOURSELF for a while?

    Posted by Betttty August 28, 09 11:45 AM
  1. Some letter writers you can just instantly empathize with and you genuinely want to help. This is not one of those letters. This letter sucks and I cant think of anything constructive to say. These two people sound like they are 13 years old. They can "talk about anything" accept what really matters and what is keeping them in limbo for years. Sounds like you two deserve to continue torturing each other for the rest of your lives.

    Posted by sexual chocolate August 28, 09 11:48 AM
  1. TFA, this letter should have come from a teenager. You don't seem to have matured much over the years. Your friend Ryan is what he is, a guy who likes to play the field and who can't keep his zipper up. Like you, he is emotionally stunted.

    Grow up and move on. Concentrate on work, take up some new hobbies, join a gym, etc. and try and figure out who you are and what you want. Then after all that, look for someone who is stable and who is mutually attracted to you for a monogamous relationship.

    Posted by Framingham Resident August 28, 09 11:50 AM
  1. You've been through all of this and you're only in your 20's?? I feel like a slacker!

    Posted by SB August 28, 09 11:51 AM
  1. Good chemistry is only part of a good relationship. Find yourself a Brandon or even a Steve... it never works out with a Dylan.

    Posted by JPeterman August 28, 09 11:51 AM
  1. Rico wants to add something else here:

    Rico wonders why you are having so much drama while you are only in your 20's...are you being honest here? You have enough drama and years in that letter to cover the lives of two or three 50 year olds. Maybe write a book? Seriously, that letter was long. Rico's posts can be long too but really... Rico has to tell you this: In the words of a great philosopher (Ferris Bueller) "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

    Love always and have a nice Friday,

    Rico

    Posted by Rico August 28, 09 11:52 AM
  1. You seem to live for the drama and make choices without consulting your brain... that said, you're every guy's dream: a best friend with boobs.

    Posted by JPeterman August 28, 09 11:56 AM
  1. #48 Monty - I feel the same way, but I did too.

    Posted by me August 28, 09 11:57 AM
  1. You have been using Ryan for years. I don't mean that in a bad way. He's simply the guy you date when, deep down, you know you are not ready for a committed relationship.

    Maybe you just got out of one, maybe you're focusing on career, maybe you have other priorities... whatever the reason, sometimes we want a steady relationship but we're not ready to fully commit forever.

    So we enter relationships with people who are, for one reason or another, the sort we would never marry in a million years. Maybe it's the bad boy type. Maybe it's someone you could never see yourself bringing home to mother. Maybe it's a person who lives too far away. Maybe it's a person who you know is incapable of being monogamous.

    Intellectually we know they are all wrong for some reason or another. This frees us up to enjoy a temporary relationship and let our hearts be happy, safe in our knowledge our heads would stop us from ever allowing the relationship to proceed to marriage.

    We ALL go through these temporary periods of comitment-phobia. But then we arrive at a place in our lives when we're ready for commitment again, and we move on. Or, the temporary partner presses us for commitment, and we run.

    So can you now see the pattern you've had with Ryan, all these years? Does it make more sense to you why you are picking things back up with him now, immediately after your divorce? Over and over, Ryan has been your rebound man.

    It is quite possible that you have been Ryan's rebound woman too. Nobody is ever conscious they are doing this, of course. So even if you do ask him outright, you may never really get the true answer.

    With that said, it's a pet peeve of mine when people who otherwise can share everything, dance around each other and don't ask the most important questions. You probably should. I think you don't dare, because then next time you need Ryan to be your rebound man, you'll know that's what you are doing and the delusion that it's something more - that he's actually your one true love - will stop working for you.

    So ask the tough questions (of yourself, and then him), or enjoy the delusion for now. Ryan of course has an obligation to ask you these questions too, to let you know if he wants a different sort of relationship. But he doesn't broach these topics with you. Why is that? Possibly because he also enjoys the delusion.


    Posted by anecdotal evidence August 28, 09 11:57 AM
  1. I'm with #10 and #16....S-L-O-W DOWN and just deal with YOU.

    Honestly, I think if both of you took a year off from dating anybody and just focused on constructive personal development, you would both achieve some self-actualization and be able to move forward with stronger concepts of self and be able to be in mature relationships (not necessarily with each other) that revolve around real communication (not holding back).

    We don't always need to be partnered up every minute of our lives. I think our best growth happens when we are alone and don't have someone to run to for escape from the normal stresses of life. Those times alone strengthen us as people and gives us a deeper awareness of our strengths (and weaknesses), which in turn, helps identify who we are as people...and provides better insight of the type of people that would be most compatible with us. Doesn't sound like either of you have had time to just be one with yourselves and go through some stages of life without constant relationship drama. All that "we" drama provides good escape from "me" development...which is why I think many people go from relationship to relationship without pause because it requires less internal work of getting in touch with who we are individually since spotlight is always on "us" and not "me".

    It's been 10 yrs of this kind-of/sort-of relationship of cuddling, telling each other everything-but-not-quite, and going out (and getting married) with other people thing; so why not create some space and just do YOU. Be your own person. I think if you were truly in touch with who you were and not defined by any outside relationships (even casual dating ones), you would see that a full person with a lot to give wouldn't want anything less than 100% from someone....no matter how fun the cuddling and telling each other "everything" (but not really everything) is. Stop settling. If the two of you are genuine "friends", you would each want the best for each other and woudn't both resort to this game-playing charade of neither all-in or all-out.

    Posted by bklynmom August 28, 09 11:59 AM
  1. "You're not my father Jim..." - Dylan McKay

    Posted by CC August 28, 09 11:59 AM
  1. I disagree with Meredith. Kelly should have ended up with Brandon, not Dylan. Absolutely rediculous.

    That being said, STOP THE MADNESS, you are an absolute idiot. Saying the she makes Britney Spears look like the now deceased Mother Theresa. I wish that you would not type in an advice forum, as you are a moron.

    TFA, talk to him.
    Tell him "if you change your mind, I'm the first in line. Honey, I'm still free. Take a chance on me. Gonna do my very best, and it ain't no lie. If you put me to the test, if you let me try."

    Now, as a Jew, I have never had a come to Jesus meeting. But my mother did ask me to come to temple more often. Don't nag him. That is not the best way.

    Another strategy, go with him to Foxwoods. Put a hundred on black. Tell him that if you win, you are officially dating. Try to borrow the 100 from him so you aren't out the money if you lose.

    Posted by Tom August 28, 09 12:08 PM
  1. Did you know - that hot guys have feelings too? Shocking I know..but true. These are the guys that Ryan seems to be, that girls throw themselves at, that are serial cheaters, and have charm coming out of every orifice. The relationship you have with such men depends on YOU. I have been very good friends with such men. Its very interesting to get to know them and find out in fact that they are not horrible. Some are just young, some take what is thrown at them b/c they can, etc. The truth of the matter in some cases is a lot of women enable and allow thier bad behavior. If you command respect from them, you can get it. And that does not necessarily mean not hooking up with them, its your general behavior - don't worship them. I'm not explaining this right but all I can say is i've been friends with guys like that, FWB with those guys, and they have been more respectful to me, and better friends, than the guys I was stupid enough to date. We know these guys and see ones that settle down and never cheat on their wife and almost seem like a different person to that 'player'. The difference is the girl. For the right girl, they will not be seeking elsewhere. I'm not trying to justify all those a$$holes out there - b/c there are a ton - but some guys that exhibit this behavior are actually nice guys that can get away with a lot, and do, and are young, and when they are ready and the right girl comes along, that all changes. LW, I think you have a shot. I think you've commanded yourself well around him. Unfortunately you will have to have that conversation. I don't envy you. I know the feeling of telling someone everything and you want to go to that person, but how do you talk to them...about them! But you need it sorted. 10 years is a long time. I know. And everyone might think i'm stupid for defending a man like that but all I know is one of my favorite friends was the biggest s1ut around, the guy EVERY girl in the surrounding towns begged for. We hooked up on and off for years, but we both treated each other respectfully - we realized what it was and was not. He's now married with children and I know without question that he loves his wife and his family and would NEVER cheat. She was the right girl.


    Posted by hotboysarerealpeopletoo August 28, 09 12:08 PM
  1. LW,

    You need to read your letter!!!! He is and will NEVER be something other that a friend with benefits.Period.

    You need to take some time, serious time, and focus on your own life. Ryan is poison and the only reason he keeps showing up into your life is not because he loves you or because of "destiny"...You have become a "sure thing".

    Time to have some self respect and move on......

    Posted by older and wiser August 28, 09 12:09 PM
  1. Aside from the fact the this is a crazy to situation to be in when you are 20-something, you need to figure yourself out.

    I am going to stop yelling therapy at you (though it probably wouldn't hurt) and imagine myself in your shoes (HA).. ... ..

    Were you happier WITH Ryan in your life? Or WITHOUT him. ? There was a point in time you were without him. However, if WITH is the answer, be prepared for him to never want a relationship, and for him to still want to pin you to a mattress. SO: if you want him in your life. it has to be as JUST FRIENDS.

    I second (or third or millionth) the STD testing.


    Posted by summa! baby bumma! August 28, 09 12:10 PM
  1. First, Mere is dead on with the 90210 reference. Nice one! Second, why are all the commentors being so nasty and bitter today, is it the bad whether moving in that has gotten us all down? LW, I think the only thing to do here is have that conversation. You are always running a risk with him, and you need to understand that, that if you do start a relationship, he Very Well could cheat and hurt you. He has a pattern of this, and its very easy to think that he wont break this pattern, even for you. But have the conversation, follow your gut, and figure it out. Because at this point, it needs to go either way...either give a relationship all you've got, or forget about it all together.

    Posted by bluedaisy August 28, 09 12:11 PM
  1. also, Hoss, why are you not signing the end of your posts? I almost didn't think it was really you.

    Posted by summa! baby bumma! August 28, 09 12:12 PM
  1. You've romanticized the heck out this situation when the fact is that if you thought Ryan was a good idea and if he was ready to commit to you, then you guys would be together. In fact, this sounds like the "fast forward" of yesterday's letter. He's a cheater, you know he's a cheater, you need to let go of him. Follow your instinct to focus on you right now -- I know people on this board don't love the "get therapy" advice, but you might need some support as you process your divorce so that you don't end up in Ryan's arms out of a misplaced need for sympathy or companionship.

    Posted by move on August 28, 09 12:12 PM
  1. Oh dear God, can someone PLEASE ask "anecdotal evidence" to keep their advice to a few lines? Get off your soap box. It is too much, and getting worse by the day. You are NOT Rico or Hoss.

    Posted by EnOuGh August 28, 09 12:12 PM
  1. DrK, post number 30, you are my new favorite! Well, you and Sally and Hoss and Valentino and the good Admiral too. I'm leaving the Smackdown Boys, Rico and Byubba, out of this. Hopefully they'll sort each other out. Or maybe one of them could write a Love Letter about the other and we could all weigh in!

    Now to the LW - you need to take a break from Ryan. You are using each other to avoid more healthy long term relationships. You are FWBs and you both know it but while you are spending time with each other it is at the expense of any other relationships. You are in your 20s, dated him 10 YEARS AGO and broke his heart? How old were you and he at that point? It feels like your maturation process, at least around each other, is frozen at that high school point. You need to move on, view Ryan as he is now not as he was when you dated him, and find someone more stable. A guy who cheats on his girlfriend in high school is lame, but when he takes that behavior into the land of Adult Living it's gross. And the scariest part of your post is "Ryan has a bit of a problem. He did not remain faithful to his girlfriend of 2.5 years. There is something about him that causes girls to literally throw themselves at him so he is constantly "hooking up" with other girls. These girls are always quick flings he has no feelings for."

    You are explaining away, no, actually you are CONDONING his cheating by blaming it on the nameless hussies that "literally throw themselves at him". Ryan is not a poor helpless guy unable to fight off the Amazons who fling themselves at him - he invites the attention because he likes it. That's all folks.

    Posted by J Bar August 28, 09 12:16 PM
  1. This will sound harsh, LW. But you and Ryan sound like THAT couple. The really insufferable couple that plays games with each other, generates all kinds of drama, and break up/make up repeatedly. Each person may be super on their own, but together they are insufferable. You two have been passive-aggressive and ridiculously childish. And I fear you both will continue to be this way if you are back in touch--you both seem to let the baggage from the past interfere with, well, acting like adults, and being forthright and honest with each other.

    I wouldn't get into a relationship with anyone right now. You just got through a bad marriage and a divorce--you need to focus on yourself. I think a relationship with anyone at that point would confuse things for you, and I think a relationship with Ryan--with all of the baggage, unspoken feelings, and patterns of toxic behavior--would be so much psychic cyanide. I sure wouldn't even date Ryan casually, because you both seem to want more but not want to admit it.

    Life is not a rom com. Love is for grown ups. I don't mean to sound as harsh as I do, but you need to grow up. Take this time--away from Ryan--to grow up, grow as a person, and understand what you truly want and need out of life. And you know, give Ryan the space to do the same. Yes, I know, he contacted you. But you are already falling into your old patterns. You two are better off apart.

    Posted by PM August 28, 09 12:17 PM
  1. WHY ON EARTH would you want to be with someone that has a history of cheating? Once a cheater, always a cheater. People DO NOT CHANGE. Save yourself!

    Posted by Cynical2447 August 28, 09 12:19 PM
  1. Excellent commenting from Rico (2), SM1231, Joey, Stop The, Duke TR and Shorty -- and Mere and Hoss natch. The emotional cripples /train wrecks who have written in this week - yep that is harsh but my gosh ladies this is how you come off even tho you may be great gals with a good education and easy on the eyes - need to get themselves physically and mentally fit over however long a period of time and then get back in the game.

    Posted by Maryro August 28, 09 12:19 PM
  1. This is waaaay easier than it sounds. You are his unicorn. He's been hooking up with all those other girls for all these years to try and get you out of his head/heart. Come to the undeniable truth that you belong together. Tell him you believe this but are nervous about doing it because you don't trust him with his past filandering. I bet deep down he will admit to himself he was cheating on all those other girls because he didn't care about the ones he was dating. Bet he'll say that he wouldn't do it to you because he cares about you too much... good luck

    Posted by Mac August 28, 09 12:19 PM
  1. Does Dylan wear AXE by any chance? The guys in the commercials seem to get mobbed by women too.

    I think when you try to talk to Dylan about real feelings, he's going on a bender in Cabo.

    Posted by JPeterman August 28, 09 12:23 PM
  1. Girl, you are very confused. I’m appalled at your own ability to commit. Four and ½ years of marriage? Another short lived 1 FULL year? You need real therapy, Young Lady, seriously, and I mean that with all due (?) respect.

    In college I dated someone who was just like me; in fact it was so queer because we had so much in common, it WAS like dating me. We were born a few days apart, had many classes together, and grew emotionally and intellectually together, yada. We finally split after close to 2 years after graduation and moved on with our careers, etc.

    Now back to you. I see a somewhat similar situation here.

    Firstly, you are both way too immature and confused for any type of monogamous relationship. You’ve been divorced twice already and you’re only in your 20’s, yet you’ve known Ryan for over 10 years? Some post-marital counseling for you (by yourself, not with Ex. #2) is way overdue.

    Secondly, if you don’t know Ryan by now, and how confused he is by tramping around Bean Town/Worcester, then you just need to take your rose-colored glasses off. Get some laser eye surgery.

    Next, I seriously wish you would cool your jets, Girl, and take yourself out of the dating pool for the sake of the monogamous-minded, decent, single men in the Commonwealth. Really: get some therapy, join a health club so you feel something else besides your crazy confused heart, cut your hair, go blonde and re-invent yourself. How can you expect anyone to truly love you when you have no self-esteem?

    Don’t go anywhere near him! Cut off all communication despite the fact that you “talk about everything!” except for your feelings for yourselves. What’s that song? “You’re fooling yourself” and you believe your own lies that you could actually have something real with Ryan. He’s as confused as you are, and someone else commented on your crazy co-dependency. That’s why you have to go away and stay away.

    PS: Rico, we love you and look forward to your comments although we don’t always agree!

    PSS: I agree with Reader #5, Joey! I want my 3 minutes and internet-cost back! Also, DrK: well done today!

    Have a great cool weekend, everybody!

    Posted by JeffreyInMalibu August 28, 09 12:24 PM
  1. #28 Mike that was great. If I knew comments like that would make it through the screening process I'd have been making them long ago. I'm still laughing.

    Posted by TR August 28, 09 12:24 PM
  1. First of all, people need to chill out. Stop bashing this poor girl for having feelings, albeit jumbled feelings, but feelings nonetheless.

    I too am in my mid 20's, and I too have experienced a similar situation. But we never went for it and now every time I see him I have visions of what our life could have been. But it will never happen, and I've moved on (or tried to) and he certainly has. But I kick myself for not knowing what could have been, for not going for it.

    So just do it. Just talk to him. What's the worst that could happen? You lose your friendship or your existing relationship? Sure, but you've done that before when you were married and you survived right? Sure it sucks losing someone so close but.. ask yourself if it would suck more if in 10 years if you're both married with kids and you still wonder what could have been. If you answer yes, that would suck more, then you know what you have to do.

    Good luck, and let us know. Ross and Rachel end up together, do they not?

    Posted by Cleigh August 28, 09 12:28 PM
  1. Possibly THE most annoying letter ever posted on Love Letters.

    To the letter writer: When you get a real life someday, and have real problems to deal with, all of this drama you're creating is going to seem incredibly silly, pointless, and a waste of time. You will be (and should be) thoroughly embarassed. Just grow the hell up, okay?

    No longer reading this column -- I'm officially done.

    Posted by sunshine August 28, 09 12:29 PM
  1. Meredith, where do you find these goofy women day after day after day?

    Are they all sending in letters from the same town? Maybe there's something in the water there.

    Posted by TallGirl August 28, 09 12:30 PM
  1. Dear TFA.
    Did you write this letter while high on percocets? You're all over the place. Seriously, take a risk someday. And admit that you dig the guy in the sack, and are afraid to take the chance.


    Go Sox.

    Posted by Gonzo August 28, 09 12:34 PM
  1. I've always hated those shows - my son tells me that Ross and Rachel are "Friends" characters - and I heard about "90210" from all of the ranting and raving from my co-workers when it was on. Let me tell you this - RUBBISH! Who compares real life with soap opera silliness? I'm telling you today - if people could get their heads together, things would be a lot clearer - and that's what I'm going to tell the LW today straight to her face! Wake up! Stop belittling yourself. You need to wake up and realize that life isn't about soap opera storylines. You need to deal with your issues straight up. I'm not going to buy for one moment that you've let him go to be with other people because you felt as "strongly" as you have. It is painfully obvious that you've let your good judgment get clouded over by how you feel about this young fellow.

    Additionally, are you really wanting a relationship with a man who can't even be faithful to his own partner? He's got a great track record of straying - and that's what he does. you can't change that whatsoever.

    Do you really want to be a life preserver - someone that is on stand-by until their "friend" needs them for emotional and mental support? What happens when they feel all better and are ready to take on the world again? Exactly - they hang you back up in your place and you stay there until needed. You don't need to be treated this way. Stand up for yourself, get some self-esteem and reject all future requests from him. He's poisonous to you.

    I remember a LW not too long ago who said that they were OK with being in an open relationship. Is that what you want? Do you want Ryan to be with whomever so long as he comes back to you? In this way, he's going to be sure to give you a nasty virus and you're going to regret it. You need to treat yourself better. Aren't you worth anything at all?

    The answer to your questions is this. You don't love him. You are using him as a security blanket. Get rid of the blanket and grow up. Be a real woman. Stand up for yourself. Exhibit some self-worth and self-respect.

    Stand down.

    Now, to our friends - #2 - K you hit it right on the head. She's trying to justify her feelings by seeking validation. Not here, not now. #4 That's what I just said. I agree with your statement. #20 I agree with you there too - I remember the electric feeling when you got to hold a young woman's hand for the first time. It is as if you were walking on the moon. Nowadays, people forget to take their time - build a romance and then let love take its course - because we hear so many people complain that they felt horrible after sleeping with someone on their first date. WHERE'S THE ROMANCE PEOPLE?? What has society become? It's a shame. #23 - also agreed with you. I'm actually going to take the over on the 5 failed marriages between them though. I'm a betting man and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to learn that they had 10 failed marriages between them or better. Seems to be happiness is a hand (job) away. #30 - DrK, anytime you want to have me on your show I'd be more than pleased to accept, but make sure your on that Internet radio. My comments could be too sensitive for most young people to tolerate. #55 - Hoss, it seems as if you're a good parent. More kids need the same affirmations and corrections to be as good kids should be. If only more parents could raise their kids the same way. #59 - I'm not one to agree with you, but today I am. Aside from the torture that we were all subjected to by reading this letter, the LW must be tortured by living with her bed buddy but not actually being called his girlfriend.

    Time for golf. At ease people. Have a good weekend.

    Posted by Admiral Antgro August 28, 09 12:35 PM
  1. Suggesting therapy is a JOKE!

    It is definitly NOT the answer to all of lifes little problems or speed bumps... so stop telling every LW that they obviously need it.

    I am damn sure that everyone reading this blog has been in an effed up situation a time or two in their lives and didn't seek or need therapy to make it out alive.

    Posted by EastCoastGirl August 28, 09 12:43 PM
  1. I think you are a terribly confused person. You need to unconfuse yourself, and live a straightforward, honest life.

    Start by creating a lot of distance between you and Ryan. You should not be cuddling, having frequent sex, and sharing all your most intimate thoughts etc. with someone who is not your mutually committed life partner.

    This is not a moral thing. I have no problem with people playing the field. This is about authenticity. What you have always had with Ryan is a fake relationship; it has allowed you to feel like you aren't alone in life, but the net effect is that it has kept you from experiencing the kind of solitariness and loneliness that is a necessary precondition for knowing yourself and therefore being able to find the right life partner.

    Find the strength to be alone, to be apart from Ryan. It will take some time, but you will eventually find a true life partner. So long as Ryan is around you, you won't. Because he's not a good, solid life partner, for the simple reason that he likes inauthentic relationships just as much as you do . . . that's why he comes knocking on your door so often. Do both of you a favor; split, become authentic, and find your happiness down the road.

    Posted by CambridgeDayandNight August 28, 09 12:43 PM
  1. #29 Spaceman wrote: "By the way...if someone throws themself at Ryan, he does have a choice to reject the advance. You make it out like its ok and understandable that he cheats."

    I noticed that too....poor woe-is-me Ryan can't make his OWN choices because of how other women behave (or at least that's the story that gets told to the letter writer). So, not only does the letter writer play the victim with her own choices, but she subscribes her victim thinking to Ryan.

    Spot-on observations as well on what an "extremely close" relationship is really about....so true....like you say it's about working through difficult times as a team and doing really communication...and not worrying about "what if".

    Posted by bklynmom August 28, 09 12:43 PM
  1. Dang, how come the first few comments were so harsh??? I think it's totally legit what's going on and that you only need do one thing: Have the conversation.

    I'm rooting for yous two.

    Posted by Lizziex1980 August 28, 09 12:45 PM
  1. also, Hoss, why are you not signing the end of your posts? I almost didn't think it was really you.

    Posted by summa! baby bumma! August 28, 09 12:49 PM
  1. Are you in love with your friend? No. Is he in love with you? No.

    I'd say you are in lust with him and he is probably in lust with you too.

    If you truely loved him, you couldn't accept his poor behavior. Nor would you accept your own poor behavior either - you don't cuddle with a guy if you are going out with other guys! Unless of course it is all about the sex.

    I can't say why all previous relationships and marriages in both your lives failed, but I would go out on a limb and suggest both his your inappropriate behavior contributed.

    So you have two choices. 1) Grow some self esteem and learn to control the lust. This may or may not result in you losing him as a friend (if you do lose him its not a big loss, trust me) 2) Go with the lust and enjoy it. This will be fun, but ultimately unsatisfying.

    Posted by choice of lust or love August 28, 09 12:50 PM
  1. I don't know why you bothered to write in. It doesn't matter what anyone here says, you want Ryan. So why don't you just talk to him already?

    Posted by yawn August 28, 09 12:56 PM
  1. Rico is a Red Sox fan, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins...he has been to many of the parades too...And goes to the games whenever he can, and not the club seats. He is a bleacher creature!!! Remember those t-shirts?

    Rico wishes everyone a nice weekend

    Posted by Rico August 28, 09 12:57 PM
  1. EnOuGh -

    TESTIFY! Anecdotal evidence is WAY too wordy, and preachy!

    Posted by big dummy August 28, 09 12:59 PM
  1. Everyone here is now more dumb after reading this...

    Posted by jt August 28, 09 01:00 PM
  1. Now that summer vacation is about to end, maybe so to will these letters from 15 year old girls who can't wait for the first school dance of the year so they can break out their new dress and wait in the corner for Dirk to come ask them to dance.

    Posted by tomthumbs August 28, 09 01:04 PM
  1. Meredith, is it end-of-summer laziness or do you think we've all had lobotomies? Where are the serious love questions??? I don't want to give up on this column, but I am begging you to answer some real problems.

    And please refund me the time it took to read this inane nonsense.

    Posted by bored silly August 28, 09 01:05 PM
  1. There are people who read this column and ACTUALLY give advice?? Why? I had to go back and forth keeping track of the relationships, made an outline, marked it up with highlighter as I re-read and re-read. Are you really serious? I think you need to go to therapy with yesterday's letter writer, or at least hang out at bars together. You are both on a collision course with disaster. Heed everyone's advice (?) and either ask him exactly what you are to each other, or keep him as the friend with benefits.

    Posted by legalgal August 28, 09 01:06 PM
  1. First, I don't think LW or Ryan know what a committed relationship really is.

    Second, anyone who can write this sentence, "We literally tell each other EVERYTHING without holding anything back but we NEVER talk about our feelings for each other." is really dense. You can't LITERALLY tell each other EVERYTHING if you NEVER talk about certain topics that are on your minds.

    I think the LW could use a "relationship mentor". Someone of LW’s age would work… someone who has it together, who can be there to caution LW when she starts to recreate Will & Grace, Friends, and 90210.

    The only thing worse than having to listen to LW’s long letter about the manufactured drama in her life is having to watch a PBS station during pledge month.

    Posted by Sigh August 28, 09 01:07 PM
  1. You know, folks, I'll point out, that Ryan seems to be HER booty call. She didn't seem to sweat it too much when he was seeing other women, because she was seeing other men, and married someone different. Which is why I told her to back off--even if Ryan "allows" her to use him (and even if she thinks he's great, etc.) it's going to be nothing but toxic.

    Posted by PM August 28, 09 01:22 PM
  1. As the Amazing Rhythm Aces once sang:
    "Third rate romance
    low rent rendezvous."

    Posted by Bony Melon August 28, 09 01:22 PM
  1. Ensure that when you finally have the conversation with Ryan, and if you move forward as an actual couple, any infidelity on his part may result in bodily harm (or body part harm) to him. At least you're aware of his history of cheating and shouldn't be surprised if (or when) it happens again. Good luck.

    Posted by geez August 28, 09 01:23 PM
  1. If I add up all the time you spent apart, together, dating someone else, married, divorced, together again and brooding, I calculate that you should be 43 years old.

    Obviously there something there, why the looong letter? What are you looking for us to tell you exactly? Woman-up and take the plunge with this guy.

    Posted by lilmonkeybean August 28, 09 01:24 PM
  1. This girl sounds like a skank to me.

    Posted by Dumb Broad August 28, 09 01:24 PM
  1. Lose some weight. He'll commit to you.

    Posted by Anonymous August 28, 09 01:24 PM
  1. If Ryan is Dylan, move along. He has a drug and alcohol problem and his father in law killed his wife.
    If you're Kelly, you need to do something about your coke problem... which actually makes sense considering your letter.

    If you're Rachel, I need you to explain to me why your nipples were always poking through your clothes and no one ever seems to talk about it or even notice.

    And if Ryan is Ross, problem solved. He can't love you back. He's gay.

    Posted by Brian August 28, 09 01:25 PM
  1. Go to India or Africa or Roxbury and feed the poor.

    After two years of this, you may be ready for a LTR.

    Posted by Seriously August 28, 09 01:26 PM
  1. Get an HIV test... NOW! You skank. And "Ryan" is certainly no better.

    REALITY, NOT RICO!

    Posted by Chloe-OBrien August 28, 09 01:34 PM
  1. Love doesn't happen when you want it to. It's always scary to be vulnerable to someone. I say, take your shot with Ryan now, have a talk, agree to give it your most sincere and faithful attempt and let the chips fall where they may.

    Posted by Miss Mandy August 28, 09 01:38 PM
  1. TFA grow the hell up already. Right again, Meredith! Placeholders it is. I think I saw this episode of 90210. Juicy sure interesting? Not so much. Why are you wasting time with this drivel. You could've answered an interesting letter...OMG should I sleep with him? Should I not? But his text said he still cares about me!!! OMG tfa shut up and corner him already. Then he'll tell you how he's not ready to commit and you can move the hell on. Hey I'm not getting on you it's just this is such a common letter that I'm sick of hearing it. I'm more sick of this doofus you're with. He's keeping you on the back burner, don't you see this? You did move on when you got hitched and kudos 4 not letting his sorry ass come to your wedding. Don't fall 4 his BS! Or if you do at least see it 4 what it is. A good shag and fun time on the phone but that's it.

    Posted by Chris August 28, 09 01:39 PM
  1. Maybe you ramble too much by the time you get to make a point, he is already asleep. He gets the milk for free, he doesn't need to buy the cow.

    Posted by hiya August 28, 09 01:40 PM
  1. As reindeergirl mentioned, I also miss the heart graphic. Is Tito the graphic designer actually po'd at Meredith re: the Care Bears comment, or is he standing in the loooong line at the JFK Library today?

    And in Valentino's absence we need a fill-in Haiku.

    Posted by Trueblue22 August 28, 09 01:40 PM
  1. I love Rico! i read this junk mostly to see what Rico has to say. I almost always agree with Rico. Rico is a sweet person (on line anyways). Rico you should have your own column! But i love Meredith too. This LW is a looney bin. This whole "friends with benefits" crap is just that. Crap. Either your faithful or your not. Once a cheater always a cheater. Does a leopard ever change its spots? Cliche i know but true. Why would you want to be with someone that is a confirmed cheater? too icky. And btw; Rico; the correct spelling is "philandering"!!

    Posted by Berti August 28, 09 01:47 PM
  1. This is a tough one. I'm currently engaged to my Ryan. We've known each other for almost twelve years. Throughout that time we were on and off ( the last " off" being three years!) and after that time when we came back together we decided that it was the right time. He is the love of my life. The difference here though is he's open and honest with me about his feelings and intentions. It doesn't sound like Ryan is.
    You need to get it all out in the open and now! don't waste any more time on this guy!

    Posted by luckyinlove August 28, 09 01:48 PM
  1. This is the same woman who wrote yesterday's letter. Meredith - don't you have a rule against this?? From what I read, you had a relationship with Ryan when you were a pre-teen. He's still getting over that? I doubt it. Find a real boyfriend and quit being so needy. Ryan is laughing at you.

    Posted by Harry August 28, 09 01:49 PM
  1. Make sure you pay close attention to #20 TR, and #30 DrK....although your penchant for more drama might tragically cause you to ignore them.

    You have always been that elusive, taken, or not-quite-mine person to him. When you finally make yourself fully available to him, I'd place bets on how fast he'd run.

    Posted by replace dr phil with drK August 28, 09 01:49 PM
  1. #76 wrote:
    "Oh dear God, can someone PLEASE ask "anecdotal evidence" to keep their advice to a few lines? Get off your soap box. It is too much, and getting worse by the day. You are NOT Rico or Hoss."

    You're silly to think I *want* to be a Rico or Hoss. No disrespect intended to either, but I'm not here to become some LL celebrity. I couldn't give two figs about that. I'm also not here because I want a soap box. I am here simply because I've always been utterly fascinated with relationships.

    With that said, yes, I know I can be long-winded and rambly. I get worse when I haven't had enough sleep (I was at JFK library until 2 am). I will try to do better in the future. It's just awfully hard to edit in this tiny comment box. But I do believe that keeping it to a 140 character soundbite is also not fair to the LW, for whom I write. LW's took the time to write in to get a variety of perspectives; they deserve more than just a soundbite or platitude.

    Meanwhile (if you're still reading - ha!), there is this button on your keyboard called "PgDNn." Just be a big boy/girl and flip right on by my posts. Nobody is forcing you to read them and you're not going to kill yourself scrolling on past.

    Posted by anecdotal evidence August 28, 09 01:50 PM
  1. This long, boring, rambling letter could have been summed up simply by asking: Me and my booty call of a best friend, "Ryan", who is a serial cheater, can't talk about our real feelings because we've become emotionally retarded after years of dysfunctional relationships. What shoud I do?

    Posted by Anonymous August 28, 09 01:56 PM
  1. You need to get a grip and stop looking for other people to blame for what seems to be an obvious inability to for you to make yourself happy. From what I read you seem to settle and become predictable in realtionships. I bet your real friends would say the same thing. You sound like a really sweet girl who seems to know what you think you want. Problem is you settle and convince yourself that you are happy with the choices of partners/boyfriend whatever you want to call it. Trust me I have been there myself so I am not throwing stones so to speak. My opinion have a heart to heart with yourself first, you will teach yourself a lot about yourself if you just listen. As for this guy "Ryan" everyone at one point has a friend of the opposite sex that just understands them, everything about them. You feel right, look right but it's not in reality "right". If he says he can't promise to be faithful if you were together that should put an end to it immediately. Good luck hun I hope you find yourself and make you happy.

    you just stop and listen.

    Posted by Rich August 28, 09 01:58 PM
  1. Amen #20! You are right on.

    Posted by Marie August 28, 09 02:04 PM
  1. What a couple of self-indulgent losers. And the commenters here think this is just business as usual? If this kind of moral imbecility is representative of what America is producing in her youth, this nation will not live to see its tricentennial before going up in the flames of a bloody civil war.

    Posted by OverTheEdge August 28, 09 02:11 PM
  1. I had a very similar situation, and it taught me a few things.
    1) Don't get drunk and tell him what you're thinking or let him get drunk and tell you what he's feeling. And don't let the two of you get drunk and start talking.
    2) Go ahead and try it. You will never get over Ryan unless you give it a fair shot. If he says that he can't have a real relationship with you, then at least you tried and you can be done with it. If you get together and he breaks your heart or it doesn't work, at least you tried and won't wonder anymore or continue to return to him.
    3) Do not hang around in the current situation, because you are place holders for each other. You may say that you're not ready for a relationship and neither is he, but that's just not necessarily true. If it's right, it's right no matter when it is. So don't just wait with him. And staying friends with him prevents the two of you from having successful relationships with anyone. I think you've already seen that.
    4) Get some other friends to spend a lot of time with. Even if you and Ryan do start having a formal romantic and monogamous relationship, you can't get good perspective on it unless you take it somewhat slow and spend some time with other people (meaning your female friends).
    5) As a guy, I can say that Ryan is almost definitely crazy for you or he wouldn't be doing this, especially since you say he has no problem getting other women. Few men will put up with a long term relationship like this without being smitten.

    Good luck, and make sure you jump in. Try it or you'll always regret it.

    Posted by go ahead August 28, 09 02:17 PM
  1. Maybe Ryan won't commit to you because he can't imagine spending the rest of his life with such a wind-bag? 'Non-monogamous relationship without the title'? Can't you just say 'F-Buddy' and move on? I'm guessing the reason you've never been able to have an honest discussion with him is that he can't get a word in.

    Posted by Rae August 28, 09 02:19 PM
  1. OK you wonder if you are in love with someone you have slept with lots of different times in your life knowing he was hooking up with lots of other women. You have freely given him sex and allowed him to be with whomever he wants with no strings and you think you will have a "real" relationship with him? Good luck with that!

    Posted by techdood August 28, 09 02:21 PM
  1. Fill-in Haiku

    Saw you onTV
    Nipples piercing your tight shirt
    Are you free tonight?

    Posted by So ahhh...How you doin' ? August 28, 09 02:21 PM
  1. jeez... If you don't like the length or structure of a letter...don't read it.
    If you disagree with the content, try and start a healthy dialog.

    If the length makes you that mad, just don't read it. If you can't figure out something that simple for yourself, why are you here trying to give someone advice?

    Posted by Brian August 28, 09 02:21 PM
  1. Dad said he's sorry for being "preachy" and for foaming at the mouth which sometimes he does especially 'when young people care about themselves as much as the penny they've dropped on the floor with no intention of picking it up'. Those are his words, not mine.

    Happy Friday! GO PATS!!!

    Posted by Son of Admiral Antgro August 28, 09 02:34 PM
  1. I agree with the other posters who suggest a minimum of 6 months off from dating, sex, FWB, the whole mess. Are you a sex addict or a woman who is so insecure about herself that she HAS to have a man in her life to give her validation, approval, attention? Everything you described in your letter says emotionally self-destructive to me. What lead you to this pattern of destructive behavior? Until you can answer that question, you have no business being in a relationship with a man.
    Do not put yourself in potentially awkward situations with Ryan or any other guy (having Ryan come back to your place under the guise of being your "caring friend" and one thing leads to another). Meet men in public places and be clear that you are not interested in anything more than friendship. Don't you have girlfriends? Hang out with them.
    But leaves guys alone until you get your head on straight. What a drama Queen!

    Posted by exvermonter August 28, 09 02:37 PM
  1. I agree with the other posters who suggest a minimum of 6 months off from dating, sex, FWB, the whole mess. Are you a sex addict or a woman who is so insecure about herself that she HAS to have a man in her life to give her validation, approval, attention? Everything you described in your letter says emotionally self-destructive to me. What lead you to this pattern of destructive behavior? Until you can answer that question, you have no business being in a relationship with a man.
    Do not put yourself in potentially awkward situations with Ryan or any other guy (having Ryan come back to your place under the guise of being your "caring friend" and one thing leads to another). Meet men in public places and be clear that you are not interested in anything more than friendship. Don't you have girlfriends? Hang out with them.
    But leaves guys alone until you get your head on straight. What a drama Queen!

    Posted by exvermonter August 28, 09 02:40 PM
  1. I know this is hard and painful, but we can't force someone to love us just because we love them.
    At some level, we all have to realize that the right person will come along for us.
    While we are waiting for this magical event, we have to work on ourselves non-stop to be the best person we can possibly be while we are waiting.
    That means doing things to build our self-confidence by succeeding in our life activities.
    If Madame X just wants to be your friend, it actually may be too painful for you to hang out with her right now.
    You do need to make some new friends and actually ask some other girls out, even though right now it may just be going through the motions. Get involved with new people and new activities and try to build a life separate from her.
    She may even look at the new you and think, "Hey, he's hot!"
    Wasting your life mooning after her will just make you seem pathetic to her and you don't want that.
    You could play a little harder to get and she may even start wondering why you are not panting over her as much as you used to.
    The more you move on, the more appealing you will become, not just to her, but to everybody else.
    "X", I am right. Please give this a try.

    Posted by maria August 28, 09 02:45 PM
  1. Dear "Discombobulated"

    The girl you like is definitely not ready to be with anyone and she is telling you that very clearly. She needs down time to recover and get her head together so let her.
    I also advise against "rescuing" her or playing counselor or therapist. That makes you co-dependent with her and rescuers usually get kicked in the head by the people they rescue eventually so get out of that role right now!!
    While it feels good to be "there" for her and give her advice, when she heals, she will look at you as someone who knew her when she was "down" and that may be an unpleasant association for her.
    As far as keeping the door open, it's possible. You certainly can call her occasionally to see how she is or even see a movie once in a while if she wants to, but anyone who has been through an abusive relationship is pretty damaged for a while.
    Don't forget that her self-esteem has taken a really hard knock, and no one can give that back to her but herself. So back way off, give her space, and see what happens.
    As far as the first girl goes, if it's over, it's over. I don't think you need to say anything but if she pursues this, just tell her you like her as a friend, but that's all. Don't mention the first girl because that has nothing whatever to do with her.
    Above all, try to avoid this triangle. If you are really done with your first girlfriend, then she has to acknowledge it is over. Don't discuss this further with the one you like. If she asks, just tell her it is in the past.
    You are a good guy. I can see you have genuine feelings for this woman but she just isn't ready for anything!
    In the meantime, take care of yourself, and let her do the same.

    Posted by Discombobulated August 28, 09 02:47 PM
  1. Honey,
    This man has a pattern of lack of commitment, regardless of his past marriage. In your case , you believe, you love this man , but he is still showing a pattern of wishy washy behaviors. Yes, he is happy to hear from you because you are a familar stable person from his past life and now.. then he goes on about dating other women again. Hm, does this sound familar to you? The mere fact that he wanted for you to see him being four hours away shows a lack of inconsidereation on his part.... sound like romeo has a lot of growing up to do. Sweetheart, really think this through..serious relationships take work and going by the presention sounds like he needs a friend more then a partner... why tear yourself up emotionally with him. I am all for love and believe a basis for a relationship is friendship and the rest will follow.If he was ready for you , he would show by his word and actions to show you are on the same page. There are people whom need a friend they can confide in while they are dealing with a situation . At times like their egos stroke that a another person is giving them , one to one attention. good luck in what ever you do.
    Serene

    Posted by Serene August 28, 09 02:50 PM
  1. I had the exact same situation (I'm a guy). I had a friend. We we had such fun together, talked, partied, and even a little bit of intimacy (when she was between boyfriends). I loved her with all my heart, but she was always dating other guys.

    Finally, one day she broke up with her boyfriend and I screwed up my courage and went over to her house and said, "I love you. I want to be with you. Not as friends."

    Unfortnuately, she didn't feel exactly the same way. I was crushed, but I never regretted it because I finally KNEW for sure where I stood. She's still my friend. We still hung out, but I knew where the line was.

    Posted by ASK August 28, 09 02:52 PM
  1. I started reading the letter this morning at 9:30am and just finished now. My head hurts and my body aches, which might be because I have the flu, but I'm attributing it to the rollercoast ride TMI put me on.

    At the end of 90210 Old School, I think Kelly ended up alone. And though I don't watch 90210 Prada School, I think she's still alone and has a kid. I actually think you're more cut out for reality television than Aaron Spelling drama, and I think Rock of Love is looking for new and completely crazy contestants. Give it whirl.

    Michael #I can't remember because I'm too sick -- I cringed at your comment yesterday but laughed my butt off today's. Oh, and Tall Girl, go eat a cookie.

    Posted by Sally August 28, 09 03:02 PM
  1. Oh my word, sounds just like what happened to me...I liked this girl for four years...the first, i was dumb and didnt ask her..the second year, she moved to brazil but we emailed every night...she came back and i was so surprised, i didnt learn from my mistake...one of my friends went out for a year and a week...yes, i was so jealous...they broke up bc they kept fighting...I asked her out 6 months later because i didnt want to lose her again! We have been dating for a month and a half and when i am with her, i cant be happier...but i did lose a friend...he was an obsessive ex and now wants to jump me...but he has recently mellowed out...I am happy that i asked her out.. i have loved her since my freshman year...now i just have to get the courage to tell her that... good luck, if you really want her, you are going to have to sacrifice somethings...

    Posted by whyamihere August 28, 09 03:04 PM
  1. So in the time it took to read that letter, I am willing to bet Ryan has slept with another woman while TK was gazing into her mirror, brushing her hair and was thinking about how great a husband Ryan will be after they have dated for a year or so.

    Posted by tomthumbs August 28, 09 03:20 PM
  1. Sally 138: At the end of Classic 90210, Kelly and Dylan agreed to "take it slow" and "see where it goes" because obviously they were "meant to be." And yup, by New 90210, they have a kid but Dylan has run off yet AGAIN. When will that girl ever learn? A cautionary tale for our LW, I think.

    I like the person who said "life is not a rom com" -- for real, LW. Either tell this guy how you feel so he can tell you again he's not ready for a relationship or get over it.

    Posted by brenda walsh August 28, 09 03:24 PM
  1. TR #84.

    It's the first thing I can think of when these chick's start whining about why a guy doesn't want them. I'm still laughing too.

    Posted by Michael August 28, 09 03:31 PM
  1. #138 Sally...ya I thought "Tall Girl" could use a lunch too

    Posted by Michael August 28, 09 03:40 PM
  1. Since it’s “Commentor on Commentor Crime Week” here at LL, I’ll join in:

    Anecdotal Evidence – Max Yasgur’s son called. They were going through the last of the unclaimed items from Woodstock and they found your common sense tucked in a pair of soggy wool socks. Seems you left it behind. If you are able to retrieve it and still wish to post comments here, give us the unabridged versions

    Rico – Good to see you acknowledged your allegiance to all the local teams. Yippee!! Oh, and while we’re on the subject, you are this blog’s equivalent of a pink hat at Fenway standing up behind home plate on the cell phone waving to try to get people to notice you. Know your role.

    Sunshine (and others who have proclaimed they are “done with LL”) – Why are you telling us? So we’ll beg you to stay? I will sign your dismissal slip if needed.

    DJMcG – keep on swinging the hammer. I may not agree with the methodology and the frustration pours through the keyboard, but you are on point in more instances than not and you help shift the balance of power away from the “You go, girl” helmuts who’ve never been told that “Yes, the jeans make you look fat because you are; and by the way your habit of walking around sipping Diet Cokes ain’t foolin’ anyone including the waistband of your MomJeans!”

    DrK – You overstepped your comfort zone a bit today with marginal success. Stick with brevity and you’ll keep up the good work. I liked the “TV Show” fantasy sequence much better when Kramer did it in his apartment.

    Sally – I don’t care what anyone says, just keep forcing through your jokes in place of actual advice. If you were a baseball player, you’d be an all-star with your 30% success rate (i.e. .300 hitter). From what I’ve been told, it should get much better for you in a year or so when you finish menopause.

    Reindeergirl – Valentino called from his honeymoon. He thinks his wife located the last shreds of your self-esteem still tucked away in his Fromunda cheese.

    My name is Hadie Nuff. I have, and you should now consider yourselves….Boom, roasted!

    Bring on a new week and some real letters!

    Posted by Hadie Nuff August 28, 09 03:40 PM
  1. Personally, I think you should go for it. Sure, it's a risk, but if you don't take the risk, will you ever know? Why go through life wondering 'what if' when you could just find out. Yes, you may regret it, but you might not either. Maybe Ryan is in love with you too, and wants to try it. Talk about it and get it out in the open; otherwise you'll just be hurting more. If you act like you two are together and are both not seeing anyone, it will just be a bunch of little hurts when he gets with someone else or you do. Why hurt a little always when another possible option is one big hurt once? I took the risk myself with my best friend, and we've been together now happily for 2 years! He's the best.

    Posted by Rawrface August 28, 09 03:40 PM
  1. let's see......you've been on and off for what it sounded like, 10, 20, 30, 60 years???? Nothing has ever materialized. Even now, you're still both on different pages. You're a divorcee now. Ryan is on the rag. Followed by excuse after justification, blah blah etc. blah etc. blah.

    You two are not the least bit compatible, despite your assertions that it is just the opposite. With all your history, you'd have many children and many years of marriage under your belt by now if you were compatible, instead you have nothing but a tenuous, friction heavy relationship where you both know too much about each other to ever be comfortable in an exclusive relationship.

    Too much baggage. WAY too much baggage. Forget it, Missy, not, uh-neva gonna happen.

    Posted by Clear as air August 28, 09 03:58 PM
  1. I told my therapist that having sex intercourse with more than one person
    is an unrepentable sin, she disagree with me. What do you all think about
    that?

    Posted by stephanie August 28, 09 04:13 PM
  1. You need to have the conversation so you can move on with your life. It seems to me you've had the relationship, at least twice, and for whatever reason it never evolved beyond casual. I'm not sure why it would now. But after 10 years it's time to figure out what the hell is going on. So talk. Force yourself. And if for some reason one or the other of you can't have that conversation, there's your answer.

    Posted by Wendy August 28, 09 04:14 PM
  1. You both sound like a couple of big time losers to me. You should just hook up with him and leave the rest of us alone because your future involvement with any normal member of mankind will only weaken the gene pool.

    Posted by joemac22 August 28, 09 04:17 PM
  1. Wow, don't get drunk together!

    Why would you be with someone that cheated on his girlfriend? Have some self respect. If he did it to her, he will do it to you!

    Posted by M August 28, 09 04:25 PM
  1. Yeah, this sounds very Ross and Rachel (never watched 90210).

    Either sit down and talk about things honestly, or move on.

    Posted by sabend August 28, 09 04:26 PM
  1. Maria, post 134, the LW is a woman, not a man

    Posted by J Bar August 28, 09 04:27 PM
  1. # of times the 3rd person shemale pink hatted cell phone waving Fenway bleacher creature skank refers to herself today: oh who cares. WAY too many

    # of times 3rd person shemale pink hatted cell phone waving Fenway bleacher creature skank grabbed the rabbit today and thought of byubba: @10

    PRICELESS

    Posted by RicoCounter August 28, 09 04:28 PM
  1. Doing a word count leads us to realize LW's letter is 1,000 words long!

    WAY too long a letter! Max 500 words to be in the running for getting a response.

    Posted by Sigh August 28, 09 04:57 PM
  1. 100 percent Ross and Rachel, are you kidding me?!?

    I think you should stop pursing Ryan, move on, theres plenty of other guys out there. You can still be friends with Ryan, but thats it! PLATONIC! If he doesn't like it, then really move on. No lie, though, your letter should certainely be adapted into a show for these new shows coming out...Wow, i was blown away

    Stallion

    Posted by Stallion August 28, 09 05:28 PM
  1. Meredith, you're obviously in love with him. He seems like a boy, however (not b/c he sleeps with all these women, but b/c he can't seem to make up his mind about you). With regard to his potential to cheat on you, most men fall into two categories: 1) those who want to stray; and 2) those that stray. For many men, having sex with a woman they've just met and tossing her away is routine -- even if they are wildly in love with one particular woman. How is that possible? Because, to these men, having sex with another woman has nothing to do with an emotional attachment they feel to their wife/girlfriend. It's just sex. If Ryan continues "bang away," it has nothing to do with his feelings for you.

    That said, it's a mistake to pursue him. He's already lame enough, without being given additional power over you. Worse, he doesn't seem to really want you. If he did, he'd have done something about it by now.

    And, yes, this advice is unlike any other advice you'll receive here. But, trust me, everything I've written is true.

    Good luck

    Posted by Ronin555 August 28, 09 05:31 PM
  1. Tell Ryan you've been thinking about him and would like to be in a serious relationship with him, and say "I'm interested in taking it to the next level with you. How do you feel about that? Do you want to do it?"

    Now see how he responds.
    If the outcome is that neither you nor he want to commit to an exclusive relationship after 10 years, I would call it quits on the whole kit and kaboodle/friendship, as it will only hold you back, and go ahead, recover, and clear the space to build yourself a new future with someone else. From what you've described, with Ryan around in your life, you will never do that, because your relationship with him is (and has been) taking enough of your emotional energy that you don't have enough left over to make it happen with anyone else, yet you really aren't making it happen with him as it stands.

    Posted by Steve in W MA August 28, 09 05:38 PM
  1. Way too long of a letter. Don't even have the time to read it, let alone form an opinion or dole out advice.

    Posted by fram August 28, 09 05:47 PM
  1. Hadie Nuff - Cataplexy much? Go put on a pink hat and make out with your BF in the bleachers. Lick his fromunda with your beer. // Michael - Yeah, and all men look like George Costanza. Jealous of the this week's LWs's boyfriends much? // Yesterday's and today's "fill-in" haiku - lmao! // Ross and Rachel? Dylan and Kelly? Nah. Try Kate and Jack, or Kate and Sawyer.

    Posted by reindeergirl August 28, 09 06:03 PM
  1. "We literally tell each other EVERYTHING without holding anything back" and "but we NEVER talk about our feelings for each other."

    How can these two thoughts continue to coexist inside a person's head...let alone be put in the same sentence? Shouldn't these ideas annihilate each other on contact like matter and antimatter?

    LW - Just being honest with yourself and Ryan may be a good way for you to start getting out of this mess.

    Posted by PV August 28, 09 06:16 PM
  1. Hadie Nuff: you clearly have the I.Q. of a doughnut hole. And you definitely have waaaaay too much time on your hands.

    "Sign my dismissal slip?"... Please, get a life.

    Posted by sunshine August 28, 09 06:18 PM
  1. I have to point out, Ryan has a bit of a problem. There is something about him that causes girls to literally throw themselves at him so he is constantly "hooking up" with other girls.

    ...and the problem exactly is what???? Get over yourself.

    Posted by aj August 28, 09 06:55 PM
  1. Hadie Nuff, why no comment on Hoss? Oh, yeah, right....

    Posted by Hossie Nuff August 28, 09 06:57 PM
  1. i think this woman should stay single and on birth control. nobody this unstable should be allowed to breed

    Posted by dave August 28, 09 07:49 PM
  1. Poster #138, you are a jerk and I want all the short and tall girls just never
    eat a cookie again.

    Posted by kick August 28, 09 11:12 PM
  1. Marry him asap.
    You have gone through so much together and still have that going on....

    Posted by citykitty617 August 29, 09 12:22 AM
  1. Whatever you do - PLEASE do not get pregnant.

    Posted by Joe August 29, 09 02:18 AM
  1. not buying the rachel & Ross comp
    Ross never cheated, they were on a break

    Posted by mike in salem August 29, 09 03:13 AM
  1. drivel

    Posted by nothing but losers here August 29, 09 03:24 AM
  1. You are BOTH afraid to confront your feelings because you are both afraid of the results. Get some ovaries. Tell Ryan to get some balls. BOTH of you get friggin' lives where your self worth doesn't hinge on who is "cuddling, etc" with you...

    Posted by Amazed August 29, 09 06:02 AM
  1. #138, #143 - Sally and Michael

    I'm waiting for modern medicine to come up with a way to transfer fat from hips to boobs. Then I'll hit Ben & Jerry's.

    Michael, you are SO bad! Have you looked at men lately? They used to wait until their 40s to grow big guts. Now they grow them in their 20s. There are hardly any men around that a woman would want to touch - never mind this "Will he treat me like a queen?" stuff.

    Posted by TallGirl August 29, 09 09:05 AM
  1. Men are rarely monogamous. They like to play around. See this for
    what it is and enjoy him as a friend with benefits. Just make sure you protect yourself against STD's. Go out and have fun. Men do this all the time. Don't waste time brooding over "what might have been".

    Posted by Liz Pakula August 29, 09 09:24 AM
  1. Wait, you just totally admitted that you have both been each other's "back-up" choices for 10 years (sounded much longer, by the way). So now you are wondering if that now should make each of you "first choices" in a committed relationship, because, basically, you have each proved your value to the other as a consistent "back-up"?

    Poster Rae said it way above, most succinctly - you are wasting tons of time and energy waiting for a "magic" moment that will turn this relationship into what you wish it would be - while you've already had ten long years to vet this thing out. At the very least, if Ryan ever saw himself with you, long term, I think he would have resolved the situation a long time ago. From the way you describe him, he doesn't seem to be waiting around for you to be free - he's just good enough with your being there when he's in the mood for company or a piece. To my older eye, he clearly doesn't want to settle down now or yet, and definitely not with you.

    I agree, put him back in the friendship category permanently, and therapy wouldn't hurt, it makes you ask the hard questions of yourself. I would hate to see you waste another ten years flailing around only to find yourself back here at 40 in a bad marriage, out of a failed marriage, still single, maybe with kids in tow .... while Ryan is either out there still being George Clooney or, sadder, having settled down with some younger girl who didn't share it with the neighborhood.

    Harsh, I know.

    Posted by SarahJane August 29, 09 09:31 AM
  1. ah.........i need to post my two cents.
    ah.........this is very difficult.

    Yes, they should have the conversation. It's time. If he cared even a little bit about her, he would. I can only assume he thinks this is funny and that is why he prolongs it. It's not funny in the least.

    It would be so easy to rectify this. As usual, IT'S ALL UP TO YOU. If you don't have the conversation I will know your true feelings.

    I'm not, as you say, clearing the space to build myself a new future with someone else. That will not happen.

    Posted by I Swore I was Done August 29, 09 10:18 AM
  1. You're a couple of mutts, you belong together. Just promise us that you won't reproduce.

    Posted by Wayne Kerr August 29, 09 10:21 AM
  1. You are far too old to be holding onto some guy as a security blanket for when there are no other men worthy of holding your attention. Excuse me for being so blunt here, but you two are using each other when you feel lonely..and amazingly enough, when someone else catches your eye (or his) it's that easy to just let this person whom you claim to "love" fall to the backburner.

    That's not love. I am in love with my significant other, and he with me. There isn't a person on the planet (o.k., maybe Jaquin Pheonix back in his normal days ;) that would allow me stray. When you truly love someone you cannot just sit idly by and watch them have a "relationship" (if that's what you'd like to call these redevous he's having) with other women. Nor would you have any interest in other men, especially MARRYING another man!

    You claim to have been in love. You loved someone enough to marry them. This clearly isn't love with Ryan. Stop using each other, grow up and move on.

    I hate to say it, but I doubt you two can be just friends going forward either. I think you'll find in the long run, when you've found the right person that you can't live without, that you're life is going to be so much more complete.

    Posted by inloveinma August 29, 09 10:30 AM
  1. it's ver important for you two to seat down and clarify your relationship so that you can move on together or on your own. you said you are open to each other but you are not, be open to each other about your feelings and see if you can move on together

    Posted by barbra August 29, 09 02:52 PM
  1. Inner relief.

    The vertex
    of a mountain
    appears over
    a rainbow,
    where the light
    of my dreams
    describes in the
    will a perpetual
    desire.

    Francesco Sinibaldi

    Posted by Francesco Sinibaldi August 29, 09 04:11 PM
  1. Here's what you do:

    have indiscriminate sex often with this guy. Enjoy one another in that special way. NSA sex (the best kind). What do you care? You are young and should enjoy, enjoy, enjoy and bring joy to others. Everyone wins. Maybe even throw in some new tricks.

    Posted by Lance Romance August 29, 09 08:05 PM
  1. Does this guy do it for you? If so, roll with it. Sexual chemistry is good to find.

    Posted by Lance Romance August 30, 09 10:14 AM
  1. Stating the obvious here: time for you to see a therapist and untangle the tangled web that is your approach to relationships.

    Posted by The Dude August 30, 09 02:55 PM
  1. Your key statement was about the time you had the opportunity to leave someone in favor of your friend... and he told you not to do it because he couldn't commit. You have a commitment-phobe on your hands, and those types do not change. Play with Ryan - but look elsewhere.

    Posted by fred August 30, 09 05:51 PM
  1. Stupidest letter I've ever read on LoveLetters. You make reindeergirl sound like Einstein.

    Posted by boythereareidiotsoutthere August 30, 09 07:37 PM
  1. Ehhhhh, Meredith, I've getting sick of the Agony Aunt letters from 20-somethings about their high-school problems and similar.
    How about some more letters with grown-up problems, for grown-ups?

    Posted by Don'tCare August 31, 09 09:04 AM
  1. #184 Don't care,
    if you really don't care, why are you here ?
    shouldn't you be in a bar or having an affair already!

    Posted by Don't care either August 31, 09 01:08 PM
 
ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

Ask us a question

Required
Required
archives