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My situation is quite complex. I’m living with a guy who is my best friend in the world but who was also once my long term partner. We met when I was 17 and he was 20 (we’re now 29 and 32) and were together for three and a half years. We were each others first loves, and pretty much first everything. We moved interstate together, got a home together, went through a lot together and he treated me like a princess. He was my whole world and I was his, until I got close to turning 21 and got bored. I still cared for him but I just wanted… more. We broke up and got back together three times before I stopped using him as a security blanket and moved away. I know I broke his heart and shattered his world. I spent the next eight months single, and mainly depressed, until I met my next partner who I was with for four years and ended up engaged to. This partner ended up cheating on me, lying, and completely breaking my heart. Karma, right? Although I was still in vague contact with guy #1 through my relationship with guy #2, it wasn’t really until I had split from #2 that we started talking again and hanging out. In the time that we were apart, to my knowledge guy #1 wasn’t ever in another relationship and he hasn’t been in one since I have been back in full contact with him. See, he is pretty much a hermit, a recluse and a self-confessed misanthropist. He has never really had friends, even at school, and even now I am literally the only friend he has. Except to go to work, he literally doesn’t go out unless it’s somewhere with me. We live together because we know each other, we’re both single and it’s safer than living with randoms. He is the one person in my life who has never let me down, he looks after me and I have fallen back in love with him but he is adamant that he doesn’t want me. Even though he takes care of me when I’m ill (yesterday I fainted and he sat at the top of our stairs with me until I came around), lends me money, shouts me dinner and helps me without question with pretty much anything I ask, he tells me that I am annoying and that I should go away. Like, all the time. I don’t really know what to make of it, because sometimes I’ll hug him or go lie on the bed with him to watch TV together and he doesn’t push me away. Last year when my cat passed away, I was devastated and didn’t want to be on my own for the night so he let me sleep in his bed next to him, even though it’s only a single bed. We don’t have a sexual relationship, we don’t even kiss. He never even hugs me; the closest I get is a hand on the shoulder. I don’t know where I stand with him, I want him back. We think so alike, we want very similar things in life (neither of us want kids, we both want to travel to the United States and Canada, we are both into things like games and puzzles and both don’t have much tolerance for people with low intellect). My family is constantly commenting that he is my soulmate and that we will end up married. What do I do?

 

He already knows I consider him my best friend, I'm always telling him so. I just haven't discussed a relationship with him. I often tell him I love him, because I do, and I think he just thinks I mean that as a friend. He never says anything back. I often just get a "great" or "I'm happy for you" - it's hard to describe him, he's got a very sarcastic, non-committal attitude. Doesn't have much to do with his family, gives nothing away, never expresses emotion and even says "I don't have feelings." I think that he doesn't completely trust that I won't hurt him again, but if that's the case why is he sticking with me? We have been living together for almost the last three years as friends, in four different rentals. If he didn't want to be around me, it would be very simple for him to just go and live elsewhere?

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I think you really already know the answer here. Living together really isn't a good idea. It is safe, yes...but it is hampering both of your abilities to move on with your life and find a loving decent partner. Either choose to be together, and frankly I wouldn't recommend that as it sounds like you would be in for a lifetime of pitying your partner and feeling you could have done better, or choose not to be together and start making some clearer boundaries. This guy, from what you say, may be alone for a long time...as you say he is a recluse...he is holding you back.

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>>I don’t know where I stand with him,

 

Yes you do. You're like his sister to him. He loves you like a sister, but the romantic portion of your relationship is over.

 

If you really want to give it a shot, you can talk to him and tell him you want to give the relationship another try. But if he says no, then you need to quit wasting time on him and move out and start a normal dating relationship with someone else. At 29, you should be investing yourself in finding a partner to marry and have kids with rather than living in a brother/sister relationship with someone, if what you want to do is have a marriage and kids, because this relationship is not a romantic one and seems to be leading nowhere after many years. It should have gone to a commitment/marriage by now, and because it hasn't after all these years (even though he's had ample opportunity to take it there), i don't think it will go there.

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I wouldn't write this off quite so quickly. It sounds like he does have certain issues, but you've been together for a really long time in one manner or another and seem to fit well. As in you actually get each other. So this is not an ordinary situation of he is blah blah - leave him. I think that when you left him, you devastated him and a person like him would take it harder than a normal person would. Also, you've been living as friends in a quasi sort of relationship, but if I'm understanding correctly, he is still pushing you away a bit and you haven't really told him you want more???? I think you need to communicate with each other and try and work this out in terms of him forgiving you the past...if he can.... I don't think it's easy for someone like him and it's a rough road ahead. However, you won't know where it leads until you communicate your feelings to him and by that, I don't mean "I love you.", but your whole deal, apologies for the past, acknowledgment of error, wanting more and what you had before, etc. Most importantly he'd need to know that if he takes a chance to open his heart to you again, that you won't crush it again. In your particular case, it just seems like it's worth an honest shot and an honest effort.

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i guess the short way of answering this is to say that after 12 years, if he's not even having sex with you and showing no interest in that or a romantic relationship, i don't think this is going anywhere other than where it is right now. If you are happy to live as just a roommate/sister with him and forgo marriage and kids, then carry on. But if you want a real relationship with a man (and a sex life), then don't waste too much more time on this because you need time to date and find someone and marry before your fertile years are done.

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Thanks everyone for your replies. As mentioned in my original post, I don't want (and possible can't have) children, so my age and fertility are irrelevant in that regard.

 

As far as not discussing a relationship with him, I've jokingly said before that we will end up married and stuff like that, and he just says stuff like "f*ck that!" and "no thanks" and so forth. It's hard to tell how he actually feels because he gives nothing away and we have the sort of friendship where we usually just take the p*ss out of each other.

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It's hard to tell how he actually feels because he gives nothing away and we have the sort of friendship where we usually just take the p*ss out of each other.

 

That does not sound very romantic. I am not saying that a relationship has to be romantic, or even that you cannot just be "bros" with him forever, but he sounds incapable of providing true affection for you at this point.

 

I mean, what do you look for in a relationship? Can he even fulfill your desires in that aspect of life?

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>>I've jokingly said before that we will end up married and stuff like that, and he just says stuff like "f*ck that!" and "no thanks" and so forth. It's hard to tell how he actually feels because he gives nothing away and we have the sort of friendship where we usually just take the p*ss out of each other.

 

Actually, he is being exceedingly clear but you're not listening because that is not what you want to hear. But the bottom line is you're not in a romantic relationship with him and if you want a romantic relationship then you need to stick your neck out and ask him for one and tell him you are serious about that, and if he still says he's not interested, then you're wasting your time if you stick around. Unless all you want is a roommate and don't care whether you have a romantic relationship or ont.

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