He wants a romantic relationship without the dating part
I have a good male friend who would like to be more to me, and I am very fond of him, but we are stuck at an impasse that I don't see us getting out of. I was curious what others would think of our situation.
I met J. on a dating site and we became friends and talked about having a poly relationship together. J. is married with kids, as am I, and they were just trying polyamory again after a hiatus of some years. At first, J's wife C. was not sure she wanted J. to proceed with dating me, or anyone, because of their family obligations. (She was, and is, not interested in having poly relationships for herself, although she has has them in the past.) I didn't argue, I just decided, no worries, J. can be my friend, we don't need to be in a romantic relationship together. That changed last November when their family obligations lessened somewhat and C. told J. that it was now fine for him to date me, and even encouraged him to take me out for the evening. We both had a very good time. I expected that he and I would continue seeing each other one on one, and he did make plans with me a few times after that, but they were always plans that included C. as well. (Both us ladies are straight.) I like C., but I made it very clear to J. that I wasn't dating her too. So he'd make plans with me, then invite C. along, and I'd shrug and invite my husband. We all became good couple friends that way, but my romantic relationship with J. did not feel, to me, as if it was progressing at all.
I finally realized that one way to have alone time with J. despite his seeming unwillingness to schedule it, was to meet on our lunch hour (we work fairly near each other), so I suggested doing that. C. cannot have lunch with us because her place of work is too far away from ours. We got into a pattern of seeing each other once a week that way, with no spouses or kids along. That was nice, and did help me feel closer to him, but I need more one-on-one quality time than that if I am going to be in a romantic relationship with someone. I've expressed this to J. upon a number of occasions.
At present, it feels like J. and I are in a stalemate. He's made it pretty clear that he would like to be in a relationship with me, but does not want to spend any alone time with me that would take him away from his wife and kids in the evenings or on weekends. I have made it crystal clear that a big part of what I want in a relationship is someone to go out with in the evenings, dinner, movies, all that mundane but fun stuff. I've had two local poly relationships in the past, and I had a "date night" with each of my boyfriends, and had a lot of fun with both of them. That is what feels normal and appropriate to me.
C. has made it clear to me that she supports J. having a relationship with me, and I do not believe she would object if he saw me in the evenings occasionally without her along. I think the issue is J. feeling guilty about taking any time away from his family to pursue another relationship. He has suggested to me that one way for us to have alone time is for me to come over to his house after his kids are asleep and "cuddle" in his basement. This might work for me if we ended up doing that AFTER spending some fun time together out doing something, but as a goal in and of itself, well, him suggesting that just felt demeaning to me, not very different from the creeps online who try to get me to just come over to their place for casual sex.
It seems a shame to me that he and I are stuck this way. We definitely have an attraction, we live quite near each other, our spouses are supportive, everything SHOULD work, and yet, we're both frustrated with each other and the situation.
J. recently said that he and I just have different needs. I agreed with him, then told him that if you really care about someone, you get out of your comfort zone a little to try to meet the other person's needs.
Last edited by persephone; 04-04-2012 at 12:33 PM.