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Are we dating, friends, or what?

So, you two spend all your time together, you're each other's "last call of the day," you've maybe even been physical a time or ten. You've been doing this for almost two years. But you're "notdating™." You want to be dating, but she doesn't. What should you do...

I feel funny writing about this but I don't have anyone else I can turn to. My friends don't take any of this in a serious manner. I've been seeing this girl for almost 2 years now. She's divorced, and we had a few problems with the ex at first.

Everything was fine for quite some time we have fun together, we love to spend time together, we became very close it to be getting serious. We were in my definition, involved in a relationship. But, when I called her my girlfriend, she got a little upset, so I asked if we were dating she said yes. Well a few months after that she said we were not dating. We were still in a physical relationship. I asked her exactly what we are and she said she doesn't know. I fell in love with this girl and I will swear up and down that she was feeling the same for me. I don't understand what went wrong. We are still spending time together.

I've overheard her tell her friends about how I'm everything she's looking for and that she's just making sure. We weren't in a physical relationship anymore, but she's not trying to get rid of me either. I guess I'm just confused. I've been told that I'm too nice before and turned down because of it. She likes how I treat her, she's the first one to actually like it. I tend to do things for her without being asked to. I do a lot of the little things, that's what she likes.

She's a very sweet and simple girl. Doesn't care about material things, she won't even buy a new outfit unless its on sale for 30% off or more. That may seem stupid to some people but it tells me that I won't have to worry about going broke if I had to support her. I just don't know what she wants. I've asked her but she says she doesn't know.

But it seems like she's holding something back. What can I do to remedy this or keep from making the same mistake again. I just can't keep doing this. I'm 31 now and haven't had a serious relationship last over a year. I keep getting dumped. I know I'm not ugly and I treat people the way they want to be. With respect and admiration. I'm always there for them, but no one's there for me.

First off, I forwarded this to one of my associates, "Ginger," at and her response was "Urgh. That one's ugly. Let me think on it for a little's very early and my brain isn't working yet." So for starters, it's not just your imagination, you're in a tough spot and feeling funny about writing to a website means that you have some good, solid common sense.

Now for my standard disclaimer, based on what you've told me, here are my opinions and thoughts. They may be right, they may be wrong, but here's my take:

As a fellow 31 year old, I understand what you're going through and having just been through an experience of "notdating™" someone, this sounds erily familiar.

Put simply, it sounds like she's taking you for granted and she's afraid of making a commitment. There's a psychologist (Robert Sternberg) who came up with the idea that a truly loving relationship is made up of three things: commitment, intimacy, and passion — what he calls "Consummate Love." (They like to sound pretentious, don't they?) It sounds like you have the intimacy, but she won't make a commitment and you're not in a physical relationship anymore. According to Sternberg, this is the definition of "friendship."

Unfortunately, in my experience, this is not likely to change. Right now, she's getting what she wants from you — lots of attention and good treatment — without needing to do anything in return. Why would she want to give up a deal like that? At the risk of being crass, it makes 30% off on clothes look like a sucker-bet.

After two years with her, you seem to have four choices:

1 - Let things keep going like they are and hope she'll get a clue.
(Hint: don't waste your time on this idea.)

2 - Accept the fact that you're just friends.
(Not fun. Not fun AT ALL.)

3 - Sit her down and give her an ultimatum.
Frankly, you have to believe that you're worth it. Think about it, right now she's wasting your time. You want a serious relationship, she's not willing to make a commitment after almost two years. Have her over to your place, sit her down and say:

Look, we've been "together" for two years, I've been understanding, given you space, given you time, treated you well, been there through thick-and-thin. But it's time for you to make a choice. I deserve someone who's going to appreciate me and want to make a commitment (not to mention the more physical aspects). If you can't do that, I deserve the courtesy of being told upfront so I can not invest my energy in a relationship which isn't going anywhere. If you don't want to "put-up," then I can't spend so much time with you.

Pretty harsh, huh?

But don't you think that it's warranted? Or do you just think that you aren't going to like her answer? And if she says she doesn't want the relationship, you need to quit spending time with her until you can figure out how to be friends. By the way, that's much easier said than done given how comfortable you two are with each other. This means avoiding the long phone calls, the movie nights, cuddling, etc.

4 - Get so busy with other things that you don't have time for her AND start dating other women.
Like I said, I just went through a somewhat similar experience of "notdating™" someone. It's NOT going to work and we are going to stay friends, but, on the other hand, I'm getting together with a very attractive friend tomorrow night and I just signed up for 9 (yes, nine) "informal education" classes through the local college. I have from two to four classes a week for the next three months. I'm not going to "be there" for her all the time and I intend to mention my dates.

As I said, I know that things can't work between me and this person, but under circumstances like yours, either your notgirlfriend may get jealous and may get a clue that she does want to be with you; or you may find someone else who does appreciate you. It's a win-win situation.

One last note, as much as it would be nice to treat women "with respect and admiration," in the process of doing this, you're probably coming across as "someone to be friends with," not boyfriend material. Being a boyfriend is different, women need to know that you will call them on it when they get totally out of line. They also want a man who is willing to stand up for himself. It's a matter of confidence and self-respect.

Good Luck!!!

- "Mr. Nice Guy"