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January 20, 2011

Boyfriend Addict

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/boyfriend_addict_201101122/

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Serial Monogamy Boot Camp

Dear Yenta,

I just broke up with my boyfriend of about 4 years, 3 weeks ago.  Our relationship had been dying for the past 6 months (but had never been easy.)  He does not live in the same city as me.  I’d been attracted to a very good friend of mine for quite awhile, and a few days after I broke up with my boyfriend, we hooked up.  We’ve been hooking up ever since, and spending a lot of time together. . I’ve been very clear that I do not want to be in another relationship right away.

But, he is a very good friend that I spend a lot of time with anyway, an now adding the physical stuff in just makes it more intense.  I’m having a great time with him, and don’t want to stop, but at the same time, We’ve pretty much slipped into relationship mode very quickly.

He stays at my apartment a lot, we talk almost every day.  It’s hard to say “I don’t want to be in a relationship” with this person that I spend so much time with and care so much about. It’s not about commitment phobia, it’s about wanting to actually feel single and have fun with that. What to do?

-Piper Got A New Man

Click Here to visit AskYourYenta.com.

Dear PGANM,

This is the opposite of commitment phobia.  This is commitment mania.  This is a common disease amongst young attractive women.  They break up, and are immediately swooped in upon, yanked from the gap between lovers, and reinstated into committed existence.  A lot of women envy women like you, with weird rose-colored glasses, because you are the woman who seems to always know how to get the man.

The real question is, how to get off the man.  Yes.  You sound like you want some time to yourself, but are being wooed so fast, and giving in so quickly, that there isn’t, literally, any space for solitude.  With a man’s legs draped across your own, it is difficult to choose the to be alone.

What do you do?  What everyone else wishing to be in your shoes is told.  You need to step back, breathe, and figure out your pattern.  Why is it so easy to give in to this man’s desire for you?  Why is your desire so all-consuming?  Is this about “friendship?”  Or are you using that as an excuse, as a way to guiltily bind yourself to this next suitor?

Friends let friends grieve.  Isn’t that what being single begins with?  A period of grieving, a deep sigh, and then a hot pink dress and some girlfriends at a bar?  Maybe.  Single, it sounds like to me, means worrying about you and not the men who plant themselves in your heart for a hot little minute.  It might mean Carrie-ing it up, but I think it is different, something about disentangling from the influence of a constant partner to decipher who you are and what you really want.

You say, “Homeboy, I love sleeping with you, but I think this is bad timing.  I haven’t had a chance to process what happened with my ex and need that time for myself.”  He might pout, stomp, slam things.  He might ignore you and continue to try and seduce you.  He might hate you.  Whichever it is, you basically need to make a decision about who you are choosing, you or the suitors.  If he is really your “friend” he will get it, let you breathe.

Your job, however, is more important than his.  He might run or he might woo, but you need to be sure you don’t follow him as he seesaws.  Your job is to be strong in your decision, and not give in when the loneliness comes creeping in.  Being single is bold and brazen and sometimes torture.  The reason why many women never get off the commitment train is because that space between is not easy to navigate.  It is not all martini parties and one-night stands and brunches.  When the going gets tough, you have to be careful not to run sobbing back to this male friend, because chances are you will wind up in his bed for many moons to come. 

For more on serial monogamy, click here.

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