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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5220
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology helping with relationships
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(I am a gay girl) I am still friends with my ex. She broke

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(I am a gay girl) I am still friends with my ex. She broke up with me five months ago, primarily because she doesn't want to be in a relationship, and feels like she is incapable of "being in love". A week ago I told her about my confusion in our friendship, about how I still felt like I wanted to date her, and I didn't know if I could ever know how to "just be a friend". On her part, although she doesn't want an exclusive relationship, she is still very attracted to me and would like to have a "friends with benefits type relationship" with me, but feels like it's unfair to me. And now I find myself considering it too. We both have a strong desire for physical intimacy (what human doesn't) although hers is more carnal, and mine entirely based in a desire for emotional affirmation, that in a close enough friendship with a girl, turns into a desire for sex. I guess I just can't decide if my desire to be her "friend with benefits" is a self-destructive desire or not. I can't decide if it's a self-destructive structuring of a relationship just in general. I came to understand my sexuality later in life than most people, my sex drive is entirely new to me, and it's hard for me to understand my sex drive, or want to say no to it when the person I want is someone I also care about a lot.

Hi! I'll be glad to help you with this issue.

I can imagine how confusing this situation must be for you. You think very deeply about things and you want to arrive at the truth of things to feel good. And also to get to good results. You also feel deeply. So you are aware of your emotional connections and you want to understand them. And again to have them feel good and to get good results.

And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. Your ex wants a more "surface", or "superficial" relationship. In terms of emotional connection is what I'm referring to. When you say that you are concerned that to follow her in that path might be self destructive for you, I see you mean that you know yourself to be emotionally too connected, that you cannot separate physicality from your emotional self, and therefore it will become enmeshed in your thoughts/feelings. And you will be hurt because you'll want more than she is looking for.

You're right. And if you look at it objectively, you are really saying you'll get to where you are right now all over again: you'll feel more an emotional connection/need and she'll want more a physical/casual friend relationship. That's the current situation. So it will be destructive for you because you'll have put in a lot of your "heart" and after that emotional climb, you'll fall back to where you are now.

I would like to encourage you to accept yourself as you are. It doesn't have to be a question of which is better. She's looking for what she's looking for based on her self awareness. Your self awareness is what it is: you need emotional connection to be the heart of the dance, not physical connection. That's a good way to be, I believe. But it requires self acceptance and acceptance of others being different as well. That what she needs right now isn't what you can offer and what she can offer isn't what you need can make you sad, but not letting it make you try to change yourself in order to fit her needs is what you're recognizing in yourself. That's a good recognition.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

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All the best,
Dr. Mark