Single By Choice

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I had a three year relationship-ish/friends- with-benefits/one- again-off-

again something with a friend of many years. We were both single at

the time, pretty clear that we didn’t want to settle down with one

another, but both enjoyed the comforts of expanding our relationship

with physical pleasures. There were times each of us thought about

escalating to the next level, but we were not in synch, and the truth is

that each of us was looking around while we were dating, which we

both knew though never overtly discussed. The intimacy has been

dialed down to zero for more than six months. After some time off

from seeing one another at all we’ve resumed occasional evenings of

hanging out. I’m clear I don’t want to turn back the clock. But last

night he was sitting inappropriately close, stroking my hands and feet,

and generally giving signals of do-you- wanna. Do I say something or

keep my mouth shut?

Single by Choice


Dear Single by Choice:

The fact that you made this unusual relationship last three years is a

testament to the friendship. Many dating relationships don’t last as

long, at least in part because the people don’t have enough in

common. And many friendships that try what you did don’t survive the

experiment. It’s hard to make it a successful relationship with each of

you having one foot out the door, but good that you’ve kept the core

of your relationship intact. If it took six months to get yourselves

emotionally clear, why entangle again? If the door is shut, you are

wise to keep it shut, especially if you are now single and looking to

date. That’s a message you should try and convey, though perhaps

better without it feeling like a rebuke and rejection.


When you’re together, avoid lots of hugging and touching. And next

time you have a heart-to- heart say you’re finally ready to start dating

again. Tell him how valuable your time together was to your psyche

(and your body). If he asks, what about us, look him in the eye and

say, We both know the answer. Ask if he’ll be able to hear about your

triumphs and foibles dating others. He may not say yes at first, but

he’ll come around.