Reader Question - I started a casual sexual relationship with a man several months ago. We have been friends for a while and both of us are single and dating other people, we only get together on occasion for sex. It was fine at first, but now I’m having feelings for him. Should I tell him and see if he feels the same and wants to try having a real relationship?
For the really short and to the point answer: Yes, tell him before things go any further.
Continuing to engage with him sexually under the false pretense that things are just casual is not being honest with him. He needs to know all of the facts so he can make an informed decision about how he wants to proceed with your arrangement.
Don’t throw yourself under the bus.
By not being honest about how you are feeling, you are throwing yourself under the bus when it comes to your own wants and needs. For any relationship to work, you must be able to tell your partner what you want. If you want something more than just a physical relationship, you owe it to yourself to speak up and say so. Even if you tell him and he says he doesn’t want the same thing, you have put the intent out into the universe that you are ready for a deeper relationship with someone and you will begin attracting those people to you that want the same thing. Besides, he may even feel the same as you and want to give things a try as a couple. You won't know unless you have the conversation.
Put yourself in his place.
If the situation were reversed, would you want him to tell you and how would you want him to tell you about his growing feelings? This is a good gauge of how you can go about breaking the news to him. Treat him with the same kindness and respect that you would want shown to you.
Face the fear.
It can be scary when you have to admit to someone that your feelings have changed. By speaking up you risk rejection and the loss of friendship and a future relationship with the person you admit our feelings to. However, if you don’t face the fear, the consequences can be worse. You could actually wind up missing out on a wonderful fulfilling relationship, either with your current friend because he feels the same, or with someone else you meet when you let go of your present circumstance.
Jodi Riley, Dating and Happiness Mentor, is the founder of the 5 Steps for Better Living System and the host of the weekly dating and relating radio show MOD Love. To connect with her, visit www.jodiriley.com.