I don’t want to be the sugar daddy

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Hi Meredith,

I have quite the conundrum. I actually wrote you almost exactly 10 years ago and you posted my column with some great advice. The title was “She doesn’t want to lead me on” and it was posted in 2013.

The girl from the last letter is long gone. She ended up running off with another guy when I took her on a beautiful vacation. Lol. 

Anyway, fast forward 10 years and I’ve got myself another pickle.

I’ve been in a somewhat steady relationship for about six years, and we’ve been engaged for about six months. Things were kind of rocky the first couple years of this relationship (on again, off again) but for the last few years we have been together, things have been great. We are like best friends. One big problem: we don’t have sex or any kind of romance. I try, and it is just never returned. I’m not in the best shape, but I am decently good looking and am good in bed. Further, I’m a very sexual person, and this is something I really want.

I started looking elsewhere – including escorts. Nothing ever serious, just some fun. I can afford easily afford this with my income (I make a lot of money). I know it would devastate my fiancée if she found out. She’s also a very jealous person so I could see the situation becoming very unstable if she ever found out.

Things have gotten much more complicated recently as I’ve started to become more intimate with one of the escorts. She has been pretty deeply involved in the adult industry for the last few years (really, once OnlyFans/Covid ramped up). She lives in a different city a few hours away, and we see each other 7 to 10 days a month, go on trips, and talk/text a lot.  
I am helping her financially (again, this is a drop in the bucket to me), but haven’t asked her to stop her work. But if I were to ever be serious with her, she would have to.

I’m feeling emotionally connected to this person, even though I know this is probably foolish. I can’t help but think how much time I enjoy spending with her, but also feel like I have been kind of sucked into a sugar daddy situation. We likely do genuinely care about each other, but I know she has had similar relationships that ended quickly when she was no longer being financially supported.

But at the same time, can I get married to someone who I know is not sexually attracted to me? I feel like that usually happens much later on in a marriage, and that going into a marriage like this is an awful idea. My fiancée and I have similar interests, make each other laugh, have the same political views, love each other’s families, etc. It has also crossed my mind that perhaps she could be cheating on me in the same way.

I feel like the prudent thing to do would be to end both relationships and work on myself and try to find something that works on all fronts. But that sounds exhausting, especially when I have two relationships right now that both seem like they could work if a couple things were fixed or if more commitment was shown.

Calling off the engagement sounds brutal. If I ask for some time apart during our engagement, should I spend some of that time with the other woman to see if things could ever progress to the point where we could be more than sugar daddy relationship?

What should I do?

– Confused, and absolutely exhausted


End the engagement! Really, start there.

No matter what happens with the other woman, you need to get off the marriage track. You’re not happy. You’re cheating. Your fiancée should start her own new chapter. The closer you get to a wedding, the harder it might be to bail.

This is is not a “let’s take a break” situation. You know you’re incompatible in some of the most important ways. That’s that.

Leaving the relationship will take a lot of time and energy, and it might force you to pull back from all other extra curricular activities in your life. The hours you spend changing your circumstances might clarify next steps.

As for the other woman, yeah, it’s difficult to know what’s organic and what’s part of the work here. It would be great for you to work on yourself instead of jumping into another serious relationship.

But instead of telling you to end that relationship too, I’ll give advice you might actually take. After you end the engagement, let this other woman know what happened and what you think about. Find out if she’d like your relationship to evolve. Talk about what that would look like.

I don’t know what kind of answers you’ll get, but you’ll have some new information, at least.

Remember that if you’re single, you might want to just … date people. Sleep with them. See how you feel in the world when you don’t have to hide something from a fiancée. 

If you get to that next single step – and I hope you do – maybe don’t tell dates about your income right away. You mention it a bit, and you seem to wonder if that’s what draws people in. You don’t have to talk about money until you know someone wants to be around. 

– Meredith

Readers? Take a break from the engagement? End both relationships? What are the LW’s best next steps?

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