I’ve been hanging out and hooking up with this guy for like four months without a label. He says we’re just friends because he always changes his mind about wanting something serious. But then he gets jealous when I tell him I’m talking to other people or when he sees me flirting with other guys! If we’re just friends, can’t I do whatever I want? Why would he get jealous if he doesn’t want to be my boyfriend? Does this mean he DOES want to be my boyfriend? Tell me what this means!
(Sigh…) When will guys learn that they can’t have their cake and eat it, too? I can’t believe that – even in our modern, relatively socially progressive society – I still have to explain to countless delusional men that without a verbal commitment, a lady is free to talk to, date and kiss anyone she wants!
Of course, there is always a tenuous period early in any relationship during which a guy or girl is faced with temptation before boundaries have been explicitly determined. At this point, it’s best to use your discretion – don’t do anything you wouldn’t want your partner to do and don’t assume your partner is following the same restrictions you are without having an open discussion.
But when a guy has made it clear that he only wants to be “friends,” a line in the sand has been drawn and he’s lost the privilege of bearing any influence on your interactions with other dudes. As a “friend,” you can do whatever you want! And don’t feel guilty about it, either.
The exciting news is that he probably gets jealous because he really likes you. The less exciting news is that it doesn’t necessarily mean he wants to be your boyfriend. It’s as if he wants exclusive rights to driving a car while refusing to buy – or even lease! – the vehicle. Obviously you’re much more than an engine and four wheels, but my point is that he wants to “possess” you without any of the emotional or physical responsibility that comes with a relationship. That’s not a good start for any new romance.
Whether you’ve had enough of him, or are still absolutely bent on locking him down, your best bet is to cut him off. Doing so will send a clear message that you’re not to be strung along and he’ll more than likely come on even stronger once he realizes you’re slipping away. It will be up to you to decide what to do with him then, but at least you’ll have re-established control!
Ethan Fixell is a writer and comedian from New York City best known as one half of comic “dating coach” duo Dave and Ethan. He is also the creator and editor of ActualConversation.com. For more on Ethan, visit EthanFixell.com…or call his mom, Robin.