Is he using me for sex?

Q: I have known this guy (that I've been interested in) for three months. We were interested in each other at first. Then he wanted to just be friends and get to know me a bit more on a platonic level. Now within the past week we started having sex (twice, to be exact). I love having sex with him, no question. But I'm worried he might still be caught in the ''friends'' mode with me and not switched back over to ''interested'' or at least casual dating. I know it all comes down to talking with him. But I'm wondering if men ''warm up'' to dating, or whether he will be stuck in the friend mode for as long as we're having sex. I am really interested in this guy, and I am fine with being friends, if it's just that. Or I am fine with dating. Or I am fine with having sex (as long as it's at the least in a casual dating relationship where we are only having sex with each other, no one else). My ''demands'' are fairly simple and not ''serious.'' Even though I love being intimate with him, I am guessing for my own personal sanity and emotional stability that things might get messy if he keeps this ''friends with benefits'' attitude. Especially, when all the while, I'm genuinely interested. Any thoughts on the situation and the best way to handle it and talk with him about it? (By the way, I'm 23, he's 30, never married, no kids.

A: I have to admit I had a bit of a snigger when I read this, because it's quite obvious to me that despite your protestations that you could handle just about any scenario he wanted, it's crystal clear what you'd prefer. Otherwise, why would you be asking for advice? So let's stop pretending. Even if you did have a chat and he made it clear that a ''friends with benefits'' situation was all he wanted, I think it would be emotionally dangerous for you to continue. I think it would ruin the friendship and your self-esteem, because you're either interested in more or you're not -- and you are. I think everyone ''warms up'' to dating in a sense, but it really shouldn't stop you from having a chat now. And come on, it can't be that difficult. You're sleeping with the guy; there's got to be some intimate moment for you to comment on. Why not wait until the next time you make love? When you're finished, say straight out, ''Umm. That was lovely, but I'm a bit confused here. Does this mean we're an item, as in going out, or is this a 'friends with benefits' thing for you?''

If he mumbles something about not having thought much about it and, yes, maybe it is just great friends but no one's getting hurt, and so on, then there's your answer. He adores you as a friend and he's not going to knock back the sex, but that's it. If he is interested in more and not saying anything because he's not sure how you feel, this gives him a chance to move it further on. Whatever, though, please promise me you won't continue to have sex if he isn't interested in more. Don't kid yourself that you aren't either.

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