Savvy sexologist Dr Frances Quirk answers your personal, sexual and relationship questions
Question: I am in a relationship with a guy that I like a lot but don’t consider ’ long term’ material. I have a feeling from some of the things that he has said and done that he might be thinking about me that way though. I have been saying things that are sort of putting him off having that sort of idea but haven’t been completely explicit about it basically because we have the most fantastic sex and I don’t want him to go off in a huff! I am beginning to feel a bit bad though because I guess the bottom line is that I am using him for the sex and not being really honest about my intentions for the relationship. I know that on one level but every time I think about not having sex with him again it just kills me. Is that just too shallow or can I keep the relationship going? Hayley Answer: Relationships can maintain in all sorts of forms and ways of relating to each other and as long as both parties are happy with that then that’s OK. If one side of a partnership is not being completely honest to maintain an aspect of the relationship that they enjoy then it is probably time to think about how that would affect the other person. Your current relationship dynamic relies on not clarifying that you think there is no future in it, your partner is not aware of that or not aware enough to be able to make a decision about whether they want to change anything or reconsider. On one level you know this is not fair and are beginning to feel uncomfortable but you are still reluctant to give up the aspect of the relationship that you prize, the great sex. You might want to give some thought to what it is about the sexual side of your relationship and what sex means to you that is driving you to not consider your partner’s feelings about being ’ used’. Question: I have fallen in love with my housemate’s girlfriend, he is also my best friend. We are both at uni and have known each other since we were kids. His girlfriend is over all the time and often is here waiting for him to come back from lectures or work so she and I have gotten to know each other pretty well, we talk and watch movies while she is waiting for him. I have completely fallen in love with her, she is the most amazing girl I have ever met. It is some kind of personal hell to have to listen to them having sex ( which they do a lot!) and then try to pretend I don’t hear it and it doesn’t bother me. He likes her a lot, they get on really well and there is no sign of them breaking up, but I keep having these fantasies of us being together and how fantastic it would be. I don’t want to end up hating my best friend for his girlfriend. Dave Answer: It is OK to admire another person and have feelings for them but that needs to be tempered by the contextual reality of the situation. Fantasies are great and can be really enjoyable but it’s important to keep them in perspective. You say that their relationship is fine and there is no sign of difficulty or likelihood of breaking up, his girlfriend is probably happy to be able to have an easy relationship with her boyfriend’s best friend. Her way of relating to you is probably coming from the perspective of friends and nothing else and while you can have a wishful fantasy about her as a possible partner the reality is that is currently unlikely to happen. If you bring your fantasy into slightly sharper focus, some of the difficulties of how you could have your best friend’s ex be your girlfriend in the same house might help you to ’ pop’ the bubble and focus more on seeing her as a friend.