I discovered Garnier mineral deodorant works miracles that foot sprays never could when my feet get summer smelly. Wish it was available in the states!
@Awesomely Nonfunctional I've always taken "strings" to mean not depending on one another for anything other than meeting sexual needs. So there will be sexual attraction and/or crush feelings, but one shouldn't expect the other to be there for him/her if they want to go out for a romantic dinner, buy them orange juice and meds when they have the flu, drive them to work when their car's in the shop, think that some day it might be a committed relationship...generally anything you would expect from a partner in a dating/relationship situation. Doesn't mean these things don't or can't happen, but the idea is that neither partner should expect that, and if they begin to get snitty when it doesn't, the "feelings" have deepened.
It's difficult for me to understand emotionally because I have to have a decent emotional connection fueled infatuation to want the sex - which even tho the sexual attraction might be really intense, it doesn't necessarily mean that those feelings last all that long, but I do want it to be monogamous and include date-type stuff for the duration. But I know people who can do NSA because their sex drives are more fueled by visual/physical attraction or they can keep their emotional and sexual feelings more compartmentalized. It's not uncommon that feelings on one person's part deepen, but that's the point the arrangement usually gets ended.
@LittleBookofCalm I don't think you need to clarify at all. It's so important to share stories like yours to differentiate the juiceboxes from respectful people. Judging from my own experience hanging out with someone who was exactly like you ex, your concerns were most certainly NOT just in your head, but juiceboxes make you feel like they are. Also the guy I knew didn't invite his gf friend out when he was hanging with other ladyfriends because he had turned most of them against her. She was a beautiful, talented, smart woman with chutzpah, but they would roll their eyes behind her back and talk smack about her once she left. This guy was actually playing all of these women against one another and he encouraged everyone to think she was the problem, so they wouldn't notice that he was a juicebox. I'm convinced he intentionally did things to try to throw his gf into a jealous rage. And he was very very good at doing this kind of stuff. (I had to pry myself away from all this when I saw him repeating it all with the next gf and doing what felt like using me as a pawn to try to piss her off.) Also it kept the other women thinking they had a chance with him if only it wasn't for the gf, so they kept slathering the attention on him and were all ready to jump into bed with him. And it kept him from having to take any responsibility for himself. So again, your concerns were very very valid!! Even if there are women who will not think stuff like this is a big deal and put up with it, it's totally okay that you didn't and that you felt it was disrespectful! Trust your gut! Not everyone is like this by any means, as we both are acknowledging, but now you know how to spot the ones that are. Ughh...I wish experience wasn't so emotionally expensive!
@Goodness Me! I'd like to echo @MilesofMountains. I was in a shorter, more intense situation, with no cute pets like you, but what the worry in-between the actual cruelty did to my insides was constant. But I get it - some guys like this I think of as human heroin or crack. And like they know exactly how to use cruelty to tear you down, they can be brilliant at knowing exactly what to do to give you a warm cuddly feeling or a rush that you think is worth staying for. Remember that it's part of the manipulative cycle! Remember that it's part of the manipulative cycle. Remember that it's part...I can't say it enough; but it's sooo easy to let your hope take over and forget this...
@special_boots I had a friend like that, so yes that can be a real issue, especially if he likes getting attention by saying and doing things that would be considered overtly sexual or romantic by most of the population. One gf couldn't deal with it; one could. I personally found it super disrespectful to his gf's. I've also been friends with a flirty guy with lots of female friends who never made those kinds of comments but if you ended up with him at the end of a long drinking night, sex seemed like a realistic possibility...but one only had to worry about this if she was a long-distance gf with a promise of monogamy while apart.
That said, everyone who is commenting about all the other types of guys who have mostly female friends have good points too. One of my bf's had mostly ladyfriends because he was introverted and the jockeying for position with the other guys we knew was tiring for him and his close male friends were out of town. But he did maintain these friendships. While his female friends were adoring and sometimes flirty, I was never worried about these friendships at all. A supervisor of mine in a department that was mostly women also only had mostly female friends and his gf had absolutely nothing to worry about; even one who had crushed on him became really close with the gf. When a good guy friend fit came along, he was integrated into the group and ended up marrying the ladyfriend.
So LW#1, go with your gut as different people are comfortable with different scenarios and remember that important pinner rule of thumb that a good relationship is one that makes your life better!
@wharrgarbl @Hooplehead So this. And LW#1: What do you mean by friend? As in he's there for you when you need him, respects you, and finds joy in your company? Or he strings you along in a flirty friendship (a la @whateverlolawants; been there!) so that he has someone to adore him when he needs or he needs a drinking buddy? To be fair, since we don't know too much about either of you: I guess that could be vice versa on the stringing along, too, if you've been communicating your commitment-phobia (and since he's a good friend he knows about non-relationship fun you may have had with others and doesn't see you as a serious relationship person?? Sorry...thinking of an acquaintance who fits from this view of things) but keep him in your life for the fantasy potential of a relationship without the actual having to have a relationship??
Anyway, before I put anything else in parentheses I've gotta echo wharrgarbl in the "ditching this boy, because he is getting in the way of you finding that boy." It feels mighty refreshing to free your mind by doing so!
As a lady with a high sex drive, I never imagined a guy could have as low a sex drive as my ex. And the not talking about it happened because at first I wanted to be sensitive to his comfort level... maybe he'd needed to get to know me better to trust me and be able to let go. I didn't want to put performance pressure on him! I thought maybe this is what an "adult" non-dramatic-y relationship was like. But when a year went by and I still had to use euphemisms to move from making-out to p-in-v so I wouldn't make him uncomfortable (once every couple of weeks at that)...well I began to really desire others. But I initiated conversations about it and didn't want to make him feel like there was something wrong with him (again...nothing wrong with low libido and I also have two female friends who said they'd be happy to only make-out and never have p-in-v) started with the "what makes you feel good? wouldn't you like to do this more often?" which he answered with "anything you do feels good" and "when we're past [stressful time] it will get better." Which, based on similar responses to other issues in the relationship I tried to bring up, kinda began to seem like a passive-aggressive way of ignoring anything that might be a problem. But he was considerate and caring in other ways, so there again, I thought if you love someone you accept where they're at, give them time and space, because he's going through a difficult time.
But...3 years was a long time to go through a difficult time. It was way more than the libido difference that led me to end it, but even though he rarely initiated sex, he must have felt some kind of deep love, because I broke his heart. From what I gather from the guys who have the higher libido but want to be considerate of their partner's feelings, I guess this is why the not so much sex thing is as common as it is.
And while it's not everything, it is important, but we don't exactly live in a society that encourages us to talk about sexual needs up front. I do like the fact that Dan Savage is trying to change this! It doesn't matter if your libido is high or low or if sex is important to you or not, but it's a good thing to know where a potential long-term partner stands before too much long-term lack of fulfilling relationship happens..
@the angry little raincloud, @skyslang, and @carolita Oh my! You are clearly my people of my generation! Carolita, I thought you were telling my story until the Brad part. I was trying to explain the whole "they think I'm not worthy of being treated well or worth a potentially awesome future because I'm not all talking marriage and babies right away" to a friend a few weeks ago! And a few have been very confused and honestly seemed a bit troubled to find out I Really Like Sex because I kinda seem like the girl next door and I'm not known for the casual hook-up. I think we were terribly lied to about men not wanting commitments. I am almost always the less committed one in the scenario, except for when I have a no illusions fling with a player.
the angry little raincloud, I wish you luck in your both your uprooting and your smittenness! I am definitely uprooting again soon and so not even broaching the "feelings" with the wow-we've-totally-had-parallel-lives-and-you-are-so-what-I'm-looking-for-dude. skyslang, is that boat a canoe? Because I would much rather be in a canoe or kayak than watching The Baby Show or The Wedding Dress Show. Granted my adventures of late brought me some trouble that made me think a more settled life would not be half bad, and I would like to find someone who after a year or two I still want to be with! It's just that I rather be lonely sometimes than bored. I've discovered I'm so much more of an explorer and an always trying new things person than most guys I date...
@Faintly Macabre I had to come out of my mostly-lurking mode to comment! What you describe sounds so like a group I was briefly a part of, but imagine LW2 and LW4 in the same group, and both of the LW descriptions are putting it mildly compared to what I saw/heard! The insecurity-based but oh-so-mean drama competitions were almost always at the cruel level (oh and everyone was in their 20s and 30s btw). I don't think some of the "friends" in their group knew what god-awful things were said behind their back. (Think personal detail slut-shaming or making someone look bad to a supervisor to cover up their own lack of work.) And they would also insinuate awful things about my friends they didn't realize I was so close to, also trying to trip me into badmouthing them.
Several of my friends who were only partly in this group tried to invite "everybody" to events (30 or so people), but after awhile, only a handful would regularly show up because they wanted to avoid the "others". Or someone who wanted to test their "friends" or "dibs-guy/girl" would schedule something at the same time to see if they could win. Meanwhile at events, several people were involved in cuddle piles (and people had to cuddle with the LW2 person or she would pout and hate you). The actual couples looked like they were a minute from getting it on in front of everyone at the party/bar. But if partner 1 wasn't letting themselves get felt up at the moment, well partner 2 might drunkenly get cozy/proposition someone else to make partner 1 feel insecure (i.e. NOT in a happy poly way with their partner's consent)! I honestly tried to be mature and talk to the person who usually invited me along about how uncomfortable I was, but was pretty much disregarded and maybe even mocked?? Because they were so cool, and I was the square, you know?
Sooooo, since I was clearly the one who couldn't handle life in the "cool" crowd, I drifted away and now attend mostly small group invite only things with a much smaller circle or two. I still talk to a few people, who managed to stay a part of the first group but never spread the meanness or tried to play people against one another. However I no longer attend any of those social events. I never had any illusions that I was a "good friend", even when they flattered me.
@angermonkey and @Ms. B: Had to chime in! Sadly, being part of a trainwreck couple doesn't stop the Edwards of the world from being creepy stalkers to someone other than their girlfriend (who are often much more bad-ass than Bella). They only get more creative in how they do it - even using feminist discourses, media, and lit to try to enthrall one before revealing their need to possess and control. Apparently this is the novel that needs to be written...If only I had the free time!