Updated: March 18, 2014 4:15PM
We recently heard from HOW IMPORTANT IS AGE, REALLY? She was in love with Hal, a man old enough to be her father. But that wasn’t really the issue. The issue, to me, was the fact that he has a live-in girlfriend. He told her they were “just roommates” and hadn’t had sex in years. I told her that was the oldest line in the book.
I was surprised to learn how many of you disagree with me . . .
CHARLIE: Many, many men I know have platonic relationships with their girlfriends or wives. Just because people live in the same house does not mean they’re having sex.
Here’s why they don’t leave them . . .
1. Money: It’s the number one reason. If Hal and his girlfriend have been together for a significant amount of time and he’s successful, his relationship may constitute a common law marriage. A close friend of mine was in a similar situation. When he threatened to leave his live-in girlfriend, she slapped him with a palimony suit.
2. Emotional blackmail: The same woman also threatened to commit suicide.
3. Children: Another friend of mine is married and hasn’t had sex with his wife in more than five years. He’s staying because he wants to be around for his children. After his first wife left him, she took their son and moved out of the country. He’s afraid that if he leaves his current wife, she’ll do the same.
JOELLE: Hal hasn’t been “physical” with his live-in roommate in a couple of years and he’s only “gently” kissed HIIAR.
How does she know for sure that the reason there’s no sex with the roommate is the roommate’s fault?
Little Hal may not work anymore.
SAMANTHA: It’s possible, but unlikely, that Hal’s live-in girlfriend is just a friend. I did know one couple like that, but it was a special situation where they lived in a bad neighborhood and she was afraid to live alone or with just another woman.
If HIIAR wants to know for sure what Hal’s relationship is to his roommate, the only way to really find out is to meet her. She should introduce herself to the roommate as Hal’s girlfriend. Then she can see what the roommate’s reaction is. Also, if Hal is gay, the roommate probably will tell her.
GRETCHEN: By the way HIIAR describes it, Hal has a live-in girlfriend. His relationship with that woman may or may not be intimate. However, that’s irrelevant. She needs to make some grown-up decisions for herself. Is she willing and able to weather the flak she probably will get from her family? If so, then she needs to tell Hal that if he wants to have a relationship with her, the girlfriend has to go. Period.
If he won’t do that, then there isn’t much chance for a relationship. There will never be a good time for him to leave his girlfriend. My advice is to lay it out for him. Say, “I like you, Hal, but I’m not going to be in a relationship with someone who’s already in a relationship with another person. If you want to see me, you will need to end your relationship with the other woman.”
Have you ever been involved in a platonic relationship? Did you want more? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out my new website askcheryl.net.