Dear Dr. Date,Wow!…

Dear Dr. Date,
Wow! I never thought I’d be writing to you! I have a guy friend who I have a very good friendship with. We also have sex. When we started this relationship, we were both involved with or just ending a relationship with someone else, so there was never really a question of whether or not our relationship with each other would go further. This “friends-with-benefits” thing has been going on for about three months, and, if anything, we have become much closer friends. No problems there.
However, the other night when he came to visit me on campus, we hung out for a while and consequently started doing “what we do,” when all of a sudden, he stopped. So we lay there for a while and then he got up to leave. Long story made short, he admitted that while the sexual relationship was awesome when we started hooking up, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to do it anymore because he was starting to “have feelings” for me. He left shortly thereafter, leaving me in shock. We spoke the next night, and he was very honest about his feelings and his wants.
My question is this: I am not sure if I am capable if making a decision right about this right now. All I know for sure is that I care about this guy very much, and I don’t want to hurt him. The sex is great, and I don’t want to lose that, but more importantly, I also don’t want to do anything that will ruin our future as good friends. I feel as though if I just “go with the flow” and something more ends up developing, it will for sure ruin our chances of being friends when the “something more” ends. Any advice? I could use it.
— In a Mess
You’re lucky. Usually when a rebound relationship like this gets weird, the people involved have a hard time talking about what they are thinking. I’m impressed by both you and your sweetheart’s ability to express your feelings.
I hope you weren’t offended by the label rebound relationship. I think this type of thing can be wonderful for a person like you who is trying to get their life back in order after another relationship has ended.
If you “go with the flow,” your relationship with this man will invariably become much more complex. You could fall madly in love with each other and share a wonderful lasting love. It could also end in an ugly manner. What you need to decide is whether you are ready for that risk. You say you aren’t ready to even make that decision right now, so don’t make it.
Keep the friendship strong. Experience leads me to believe you’ll be having sex again soon.