He says he just wants to be friends

-- Question for John --

I’m 45, have been involved with a man 53 for 4 years. We met over the internet, we are still long distance. Although we see each other frequently. At this point he has decided that we’re “really good friends” and wants to leave things the way they are. I on the other hand am looking for a permanent relationship.

My idea is we have built this wonderful friendship, lets both put some effort into this and see what else can develop. He’s contemplating this, and I feel foolish like I have said we need to have a romantic relationship or I won’t be your friend. With both of us at opposite ends of the spectrum, I’m just not seeing how we can compromise. Any thoughts or suggestions?

-- Answer from John --

If he wants to be really good friends and not be a romantic couple, that’s his call. You cannot really do anything to change that call. It’s his to make. Hopefully he is making it from his wisdom and not his fear. But whatever — it is still his call whatever the source.

It was okay that you asked for more. That was in fact courageous. Because it was a risk, and he could say no, which is apparently what he did say. For whatever reason. I certainly encourage you not to take it personally. That would be stupid and self-destructive. I see absolutely NO REASON for you to feel foolish. You took the risk. OK, sure, fools take risks. But only people who take risks ever end up getting what they truly want.

And so you will, ultimately, but maybe just not with him.

At any rate you now have an opportunity to decide whether what he is proposing is enough for you — being “really good friends” — or whether you would just be kidding yourself and wasting your time and emotional heartspace with that arrangement because you really want something more. It comes down to this: is it okay with you to just be friends with him and keep your heart open to meet someone else with whom to be romantically involved? Or is that just too complicated for who you are?

The answer to that question is your call. It’s your turn to make that call and tell him where you are at with it. He will need to accept the consequences of his call, which is going to be whatever your call is on the situation as you now find it.

Personally I’d recommend reserving involvement for someone who lives in the same town. Meet on the internet, sure. But long distance throws a major kink into the works, even when the two people are both wanting to go for it.