Friendship vs. Fire, Part 2


by The 4-Way Panel

Dear 4-Way,

I’ve been dating someone for about four months. She’s really nice and I’ve never felt this comfortable around anyone before. We also have great sex. The problem is that I don’t feel that “thing” for her—there’s no fire or passion; my heart doesn’t skip a beat when she walks into the room. While I think she’s a really nice woman—she’s treated me better than anyone I’ve ever dated—I’m confused about whether to stay with her since I don’t have those feelings. I know that passion and fire fade into friendship eventually, but shouldn’t you at least have that in the beginning? I feel like a bitch for even considering breaking up with such a great girl.—Confused

Rebecca    The straight woman’s perspective: Rebecca Brown

Congratulations, Confused. It sounds like you’ve found yourself a fantastic new girl friend. And by girl friend, I mean a woman you can borrow earrings from and break down your weekend shenanigans with on Sunday mornings over coffee. Not girlfriend, a woman you want to see naked and consider dating long-term.

It appears as though you’ve landed in Guiltyville, a not-so-charming and not-so-out-of-the-way place you sometimes find yourself in when you’re dating someone who’s so incredibly nice and you really, really want to like her—oh why can’t you just like her? She Tivos Project Runway for you every week!—but you just can’t.

It sucks, but you’re not a bitch. It’s OK not to like people. That’s why we date; otherwise we’d all be married to the first person we ever went out with, and what a disaster that would be. Not liking this incredibly nice woman does not necessarily mean that any of the things your psychologically in-touch friends might be telling you are true: that you have baggage from the past; you’re afraid to commit; you have low self-esteem and don’t feel as if you deserve a nice person; or that you weren’t held enough as a baby.

It may just be your good instincts telling you that she’s not the one. As a friend once told me when I was in your situation, just ’cause it’s on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it.

You’ve given yourself four months to explore this relationship. That seems like long enough to decide how you feel. Do yourself a favor and listen to your gut: Stop over-thinking this and tell her goodbye so you can find someone that really does it for you. You’ll be doing her a favor too.

Check in tomorrow for the straight man's perspective by Chris Kennedy.

The 4-Way is published monthly. If you have a question for our 4-Way panel, please send it to them in care of the editor at To read more of The 4-Way columns or to listen to our podcasts, visit The 4-Way now.

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