Dear Wanda and Wayne,
In December I met a man online. We began dating and spending a lot of time together until early May, when we broke it off. He wanted to be friends, and I have been hoping that things would work out romantically between us again.
Since breaking up, we've still spent a lot of time together. We text and talk every day. He initiates the contact as much or more than I do. He's helped me move into my new house. I've taken his dogs out when he gets back late from work. He's watched my cats when I've been out of town. We've taken his sons to movies, gone out to dinner and just spent a lot of time together. I've met his parents and friends. He's met my friends. He told me he's talked to me more than anyone else in his life. We've been intimate twice since breaking up.
This weekend I returned from a conference and went to his house. He had a woman staying over. He said he'd been in Anchorage with a guy friend. I am disappointed that he lied to me and told him so. He said they met a few weeks ago and this was the second time they were together.
In July, I also loaned him close to $5,000. I haven't received any payments. Part of the loan was for his mortgage. He was afraid that he'd fall behind and could lose his house. Last week we talked about him consolidating his debt. I said that I'd be willing to loan him an additional $24,000. I wrote a draft payment plan. I am unwilling to do so now. We talked about the loan quite a bit. We are aware that it's not wise to loan money between friends.
I'm frustrated, sad and disappointed with both of us.
This is a longer letter than normal but we kept it intact because this situation is complicated. I get that you really like this guy, and I know that it's tempting to read into his behaviors (parental introductions, post-breakup sex, etc.) and hope for second chances.
Instead, rather than interpret what men do, listen to what they say. In this case, it sounds like he says he wants to be friends. I understand you wish for a different outcome and I'm sorry you're not getting it, but that leads me to my next point.
You seem like a thoughtful and kind person. Accept that this is a friendship, and start opening yourself up to the next opportunity. You clearly have a lot to give -- including, apparently, money. But don't loan him another dime. Buy yourself a massage, a new pair of shoes and a nice outfit, then treat yourself to a pampering night on the town. You deserve it.
Our hearts make us do crazy things. Like continue to have sex with people who don't love us and are clearly also having sex with other people. Don't loan untrustworthy people money when they already owe us a pile of cash.
Sorry I have to play the bad cop here, but pull yourself together and move on. This guy is taking advantage of you and he isn't going to miraculously fall in love with you. He had his chance(s); you had your moment(s) of weakness. Drop him and don't look back. If he returns, ignore him. He isn't looking for love; he's looking for a friend with multiple benefits, or even an all-day sucker.
I know that it's sad and frustrating when love doesn't pan out, but this situation is only going to get worse if you hang on. Spend your time and money on those who truly love you: your friends, family and cats.
Meow get on with your life!
• Wanda is a wise person who has loved, lost and been to therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.