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How do you let them down easy? adult content

I'm asking this for a friend of mine. By the way, it's a bit long, so I won't be too offended if you click on Next Question, Please.

Janet* started chatting with a guy online several months ago. They both have a lot of interests in common. She's been divorced twice and he and his wife have been separated for awhile, remaining legally married until their kids are done with high school. Both Janet and this guy, Brad* are in their early/mid 50's. They chat online every single day and he calls her on his lunch every single day. He lives in Florida and she lives in Louisiana.

They talk about it and they think it would be a neat idea for him to drive from Florida to Louisiana for the holidays/winter break (ten days). It's a 12 hour drive from point A to point B. He visits for the whole ten days and things seem to go really well.

As it turns out, he's more needy than she likes. He's been in a terrible, loveless marriage for many years at this point and has latched on to the first person to show him love and affection, and not care about certain things that he likes to do (he likes to wear women's clothing). He was also kind enough to help her out with a few things around her house (groceries, etc.) since she's been low on money this holiday season.

When it came time to be intimate, she felt nothing. She realized that she loves him as a friend, but not a lover. She is absent-mindedly comparing him to her previous lover (they split two years ago) who was much more open to things done in the bedroom. She also feels zero spark between them. Putting it to you this way.. self-pleasuring gets the job done better than this guy.

She's vented to me and one other about this and out of the three of us, we can't figure out a nice way to let him down. We're thinking that he doesn't understand what a "rebound" is and that their relationship is more like a rebound from his failing marriage. There is no way to salvage his marriage; they've done everything to help it and nothing has worked. They live in separate parts of their home.

Brad has already started looking for jobs in areas with a decent (ha) economy and looking at homes where he and Janet could live together. After the ten days they spent together, Janet wants nothing to do with it. She wants companionship as well as a sexual relationship. Brad is not going to be that person. She likes him enough. He's a nice guy and a wonderful man. Her kids and grandkids showed up for a visit and they really liked him. Brad was GREAT with the kids.

But, it all boils down to the fact that she didn't feel anything for him besides friendship.

So, how do you break it to an already broken and fragile man, that you don't want to pursue a relationship?

Thank you so much for you answers. Like I said, three grown adults can't think of a good way to do it.

Answer Question

Asked by _Tam_ at 2:08 AM on Jan. 4, 2011 in Relationships

Level 30 (42,083 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • She's just got to tell him. She doesn't want to hurt him because she does think of him as a friend, but she HAS TO TELL HIM. If she just keeps up the charade that she wants to be in a relationship with him he will only be more hurt when he finds out the truth later one. If she can't muster up the courage to tell him on the phone she could e-mail him. Kind of shitty, but won't prolong the agony!

    Answer by badgirl44654 at 2:25 AM on Jan. 4, 2011

  • I agree with BadGirl. This situation totally sucks, but it would only get worse if Janet wasn't honest at this point.

    Answer by Fistandantalus at 7:20 AM on Jan. 4, 2011

  • I completely agree with the first posters...she is just going to have to talk to him, gently but without mincing words. It's just going to be worse the longer it goes on. I know it sucks--even in high school I had a hard time turning down dates, or breaking off an early "relationship" because I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. But it's going to come to that sooner or later, and sooner is always better. Good luck to her.

    Answer by vicesix at 7:40 AM on Jan. 4, 2011

  • Sometimes the truth hurts. That doesn't mean you have to intentionally try to be hurtful, but she should still be honest. She doesn't have to straight up tell him she'd rather take care of things herself than be intimate with him, but she can let him know that the chemistry just wasn't there for her. If he is looking to future plans then she needs to tell him sooner rather than later so he doesn't get his hopes up anymore than he already has.

    Answer by MaryMW at 11:55 AM on Jan. 4, 2011

  • She needs to be honest with him. Yes, it's going to hurt him. But to be very honest with you... getting involved with a married man is just bad news. She has no way of knowing whether he has been honest with her.

    Answer by gdiamante at 2:06 PM on Jan. 4, 2011

  • gdiamante - Brad and his wife are already separated; his wife has not loved him for a long time. As I said above (I think), they've lived in different parts of their house in Florida for a long while now. They both see their marriage as un-fixable and they're both exploring other avenues at this point.

    Comment by _Tam_ (original poster) at 2:19 PM on Jan. 4, 2011

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