Hey Doc, I’ve got a situation that would really benefit from your advice. You know how you say monogamy is agreeing to not bang other people, not an agreement to never want to bang other people? Well, this is pretty much that. Buckle up, it’s background story time:
Back in 2013 I met a guy called Pete*. We fell into a FWB set up from the beginning, which was what we both wanted. We bonded quickly and the sex was phenomenal. I had been going through a shit time for several years, pretty much everything from finances to a burgeoning drug and alcohol problem. Pete was my rock, and going to his place was one of the few calm, sane moments of my life. So obviously, I catch feelings.
I didn’t stop sleeping with Pete. I did put out the feelers to see if a relationship was on the cards, but for some very good reasons, he didn’t feel capable of being in a relationship. My feelings aside, Pete was a great friend and I’m good enough at compartmentalising that I can be happy with what we had. Meanwhile, I had several other FWBs and I was parting hard and banging a lot of dudes.
Start of 2015, I moved across the country. I was still partying, and got some new FWBs and some casual relationships. Only one serious relationship, and that ended in utter heartbreak. Pete and I are still talking, still friends. He felt ready to start dating again, which was hard to deal with, but I made peace with it and felt like I’d successfully moved on. Completely unintentionally, we both kept having breakups within months of each other, and sleeping together post breakup became our “thing”.
He was never using me, and he’s always been honest with me. He’s a great guy, there was just bad timing. Besides, there’s a lot of reasons we’re much better off as friends. We really wouldn’t last if we had a relationship, believe me.
After a few years in my new town, I met Carl* on holiday. After talking for months, we realise we have feelings for each other, and now I live in his country. We’re getting married in August. He’s absolutely the guy for me, and we’re brilliant together. I’ve not had a lot of serious relationships, but this is the best I’ve ever felt with someone.
We have one issue, and that’s sex. It’s regular, and it’s improving, but it’s not quite there. There’s a few reasons why that is. Firstly he’s only just getting confident and comfortable. We also temporarily live with his parents, which puts a bit of a dampener on things, and he’s away every other week for work.
Then there’s my past. I was self destruction partying for 10 straight years, and my hobby was essentially drinking heavily, upping my number of sexual partners, and getting into wild, crazy situations. I was very good at it. My number got to the triple digits and snorting coke of a stripper mid foursome doesn’t even make my top 5 crazy shit. A bit before I got with Carl, I was trying to sort my shit out, but sudden monogamy has still been a bit jarring. I’m happier now than I’ve ever been and I’m genuinely enthusiastic about monogamy, but I’m kinda having to relearn sex and distinguish between stuff I enjoyed and stuff that was just for the craziness.
Anyway, Pete met a woman around the time Carl happened, and was even taking about marriage. We’re pretty much best friends by now, and I was happy for him. But just after New Years, Pete told me they’d split. We got talking, and soon started joking about the break up booty call situation, as well as reminiscing about non-sexual time together. Neither of us pushed it, but the conversation slipped into flirting and alluding to memories of sex. Somehow, the conversation resulted in me giving him the go ahead to bash one out to old photos and videos of me.
We’ve been talking more regularly since then, and the conversation invariably goes at least somewhat that way every time. And obviously, this has gotten to be an issue. In our latest conversation, he told me that his ex had photos of him on her fetlife account. We joked about forbidden fruit, the conversation itself was above board. But I made a huge leap over the line, not to mention stalkerish and a bit mental. I made a fake account and searched for the ex, scrolling though member lists of people in her town. And I found the pictures. Not only are they ridiculously hot, there’s also a few of them involving a kink that I never knew he had, and it’s one of my biggies.
The chemistry between us is definitely not dead, I feel like I used to when I was driving to his place. I’m getting giggly, I’m getting giddy, just his name popping up on my screen is starting to turn me on, and I’m having fantasies of fucking him or of him professing his undying love to me. It’s 2014 all over again.
I’m in no way planning on cheating on Carl, and it’s not making me doubt the future marriage. Carl and I have maybe gotten a bit too comfortable with each other, we need to spark up again and make sex naughty instead of a nice end to the day. It’s an area that needs work and I’m happy to do it. Pete wouldn’t sleep with someone in a relationship either. And even if we did actively want to bang, I’m a four hour flight away, and a 4 hour drive from the airport. Basically, there’s zero risk of anything happening.
That said, I’m fucking myself up a bit with this. The Pete issue was dead and burried, and now I’m waking it back up again and with no good reason. I know fantasies aren’t cheating, but I think a lot of this is at least in a grey area. I’m also finding that part of me doesn’t want to stop, and that’s not good, is it?
How do I cut this off, doc? I don’t just wanna freeze Pete out, he’s my best friend, and we easily managed to talk non-sexually with each other since we both got into relationships. We can be “just friends”. Is there a way to switch this off and go back to considering him a bro? Can I bury this again? Or am I gonna have to lose a best friend?
PS: I have a therapist and I am talking to her about it but your perspective on things like this is always great.
Simmer Down [Read more…]