Q: I started a strictly physical relationship with someone almost two years ago, and there was a time that we didn't talk for a few months and I was absolutely devastated. We started becoming physical again about two months ago, after I made the initial contact. I don't want to break it off again, but at the same time I do. He blows me off all the time for his friends, and when we do see each other it's only for maybe an hour, and I'm not allowed to talk about us to anyone. On the other hand, he makes subtle hints about being with me like "I'm sure we'll be dating eventually," or "I promise things will change soon," but nothing has. I want to tell him that I've realized I'm in love with him in hopes that it will trigger a change in his behavior. What do I do?
-- S.M., Tonawanda
A: It sounds like he enjoys the physical relationship he has with you, and his "hints" might be ploys to manipulate you into holding onto false hope and remaining in the friends with benefits situation with him. He is not your friend; he's using you. The fact that he doesn't want to tell anyone about you signifies that he is not serious about pursuing anything further with you.
I feel strongly against booty calls and friends with benefits situations for this very reason. Someone usually develops feelings and ends up getting hurt. Your body belongs to you and you shouldn't be offering it to people who don't give a damn about your heart and soul.
I would advise you to stop talking to him completely, and definitely do not tell him you love him. This guy doesn't deserve your love, or the satisfaction of knowing that he's got you right where he wants you. I know that letting go of someone you love is not easy, but you'll be doing yourself a favor. Make a list of all the things you dislike about this guy and read it to yourself every day to remind yourself that you deserve better. Spend time with the people who care about you and keep busy; you will find someone more worthy.
> Reconnect, rekindle
Q: An old flame from my high school days recently looked at my profile on a popular professional networking site. I haven't heard anything about him in over 25 years, so I don't know anything about his marital status. I just got divorced, but I kept my married name, so he can't be certain that the profile he viewed is mine. I'd like to use his viewing my profile as a window of opportunity to reconnect, but I want to say the right thing. I used to be pretty crazy about this guy. What should I do?
-- C.R., West Seneca
A: It is normal curiosity to search for people from our past online, and considering the site you're both on is for professional networking, it would be appropriate to send him a short note. You could say something like "Hi, it's been a while! What sort of profession are you in? Perhaps my contacts and connections could be of help!" Keep it as simple as that. This opens the lines of communication and puts the ball in his court. If he was seeking you out to reconnect either professionally or personally, now will be his chance to say so.
Keep your expectations in check, however, and don't be disappointed if he doesn't remember you or has viewed your profile strictly for business purposes, or even accidentally.
Patti Novak owns Buffalo Niagara Introductions (www.buffaloniagaraintro.com). Email questions to email@example.com and include your initials and hometown.