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Let the Door Hit Him in the Ass, Part 2

by The 4-Way Panel

Dear 4-Way,

I just met a man I feel like I’ve really connected with, and got the sense that he has really connected with me as well: physically, emotionally and intellectually. However, after our fourth date (in the course of three weeks) he told me that he reconnected with an old relationship and, as a result, has cooled off toward me. The thing is, even though we haven’t had sex, he tells me he really enjoys the closeness we’ve shared and wants to continue seeing me. The woman in question lives in Europe and it would mean a long-distance relationship. I, however, live in the same town and can actually participate in a non-virtual relationship. I’m torn because I like him, but need to pull back emotionally because I don’t want to get hurt. I admit that I’m also hopeful that he’ll realize a long-distance relationship isn’t going to be practical and he’ll rekindle what got started when we first met. He’s being very honest with me—which I appreciate—and we’re both around 40, so there is a certain level of maturity here. I think I need to move on, but I’d also like to hold out to see if he’ll be available. Thoughts?–JG

Rebecca    The straight woman’s perspective: Rebecca Brown

This is a personal hot topic for me and you are about to be on the receiving end of some RB tough love. The hot topic as I see it is why men continue to reach out to a woman WHEN THEY ALREADY HAVE A WOMAN (that’s me yelling in frustration). It isn’t that I don’t think that men can have female friendships while they’re in a relationship, they absolutely can and should.

But it is harder to make that transition to “just friends” when you’ve already “connected physically.” It also begs the question, is he not getting the kind of closeness he needs from this other woman? (Probably not since she’s in the EU.) Is he keeping you on the back burner in case things don’t work out? You don’t want to be Back-Burner-on-a-Low-Simmer-Girl, do you? I’m guessing you want to be Full-Boil-on-the-Front-Burner-Woman, at whatever level the two of you take this relationship to—friendship or otherwise—because sometimes “being friends” in this situation ends up being a few stiffly written emails with no plans for getting together. And that’s not really what friends do.

He gets points for being honest with you since he may not realize that you feel as strongly as you do. If by saying that “you like him,” you mean that you want to be friends with him, I say cautiously go for it … but only if you think you can handle it. You never know where (or to whom) he might lead you. But be careful: It sounds like you’re still holding out hope that a romantic relationship could happen. You can only go on the information he’s given you, and right now what you’re working with is this: There’s another woman he’s interested in more than you. (I’m sorry.) If it stung a little when you read that, I suggest you let him do the heavy lifting on getting this friendship off the ground and get your hot ass back in circulation to meet someone else.

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 rbrown@realgirlsmedia.com. To read more of The 4-Way columns or to listen to our podcasts, visit The 4-Way now.