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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 15 November, 2018
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Dear Fifi: My friend with benefits is messing me around - and unfortunately I'm in love with her

It’s Dear Fifi time.

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November, that halfway house between feeling properly festive and wishing it would all just go away for a while. What I will say is that anyone even considering putting up their Christmas tree this early should be rounded up as they are obviously very dangerous individuals. 

Got your own spleen to vent or beef to share? Do it here, anonymously, and I will read it.

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I’ve got a really close group of friends. We all go out together and on holiday as a group. I’ve had a “thing” with one of the girls where we occasionally sleep together but it never develops into anything more. I’ve asked her if we could go out on a date but she laughs it off. I join in so as not to look pathetic and let it lie. I have told her I really like her though. Haven’t said I’m in love with her, although I am. 

I never instigate anything and I leave early, but then she phones and I end up letting her in the flat, or she texts and tells me she misses me if I’ve successfully avoided her for a while. The girls in the group that know say I should stop and they’ve told her she’s being unkind, which I laugh off because it makes me sound pathetic.

She must like me more than than just FWB. She’s a lot hotter than me, if she just wanted sex she could get it easily from much better looking people. Why would she take the chance of causing friction in the group just to sleep with me a couple of times a month? Though I’d love to think otherwise I doubt the sex is any better than utterly average for her.

Some of the lads know, they assume I’m fine with it and I haven’t done anything to disabuse them of that notion. Am I kidding myself or do you think she just needs time? She’s had some nasty breakups. 

Aw, fella. You’re not going to like all of this advice, but please know that it comes from a place of kindness. 

She doesn’t need more time and this isn’t about her breakups. She’s using you and she’s not taking you seriously. It doesn’t matter why, it’s more about her than it is about you. But it’s not nice and you’ve got to take matters into your own hands to stop this going on any longer. 

One thing first. You’re very down on yourself – stop telling yourself you’re unattractive or average at sex. You’ve a large group of friends who care about you and a woman who wants to have sex with you regularly. You’re hardly a pariah. Stop speaking about yourself this way. Life is hard enough without constantly talking ourselves down internally. Plus, this low self-esteem is a feedback loop. Because you tell yourself you’re shit, you’re willing to be treated like shit. Newsflash: you’re not shit. 

Okay. Here is the advice you don’t want but you know you need to hear. You need to be strong and cut her off. Start today. Keep going. That means not ever bowing to her calls or texts after nights out, for a start. Every time you allow her to come over when she asks is setting you back further from where you want to be. No more caving. Stop indulging her.

You’ll have to be really strong to withstand the pressure. She may wheedle, she may guilt you, she may tempt you in various ways. Hold firm. Protect yourself and your heart. You are worth so much more than being picked up and put down at a whim, or having a date request be laughed off. Repeat after me: you are better than this treatment. Be strong, be resolved, shut your phone off when you get in from nights out. Put a Chrome redirect on her social media pages. Stop looking at them. Start a new hobby to keep your mind occupied. But the most important thing? Stop giving in to her whenever she asks. 

There are two possible outcomes to this. On one hand, you might cut the contact and it results in her getting the message eventually, which stops the subtle torture and you can move on and meet someone really nice who treats you well. On the other, being cut off might put the shits up her and she realises how much she misses you – and will take you seriously, not just as a late night booty call who’ll drop everything for her. Win/win really.

You are worth being considered as boyfriend material. That’s what you want. Ask her for it again explicitly. If she laughs it off, tell her that this current arrangement isn’t working for you. (And it isn’t. I bet you’re not open to meeting new people when she’s got you in this position, which is a bad thing.) Then tell her you’re fond of her, but the booty texts have to stop. Then stick to it. 

With either outcome, you’ll be happier. Just be strong. 

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Want to talk?

Confess a story, ask for help or just shout into the void for a bit and see if that helps. All welcome. Anonymity totally guaranteed always.  

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