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You Asked: Am I Just Using Him?

Dear Sugar--

I met a nice guy. He's sweet, attentive, reliable, funny, intelligent etc. We've recently started being physical in the relationship. My issue is with that I'm worried that I'm just enjoying the physical part of the relationship and not the emotional connection. Three years ago, I met a nice guy and we were also physical early into our relationship, but that was the only thing doing it for me with him, and I didn't really feel him as a long term perspective man in my life. I
stayed in the relationship, enjoying the physical part of it and even thought that I loved him. But six months later, I ended up hurting him by breaking up with him.

I didn't feel any pain after the break up as I knew that there was nothing else in the relationship for me other than sex. I feel like I used him. Now I want to make sure that I'm not doing the same thing with this new guy cause I really do like him and care about him. I keep thinking that maybe I should stop being physical with him to break my pattern. I know that I'm not using him in the same way I used my ex, but I sometimes think about it and worry that I will.

Should I tell him that we should stop the physical until I'm sure about how I feel and tell him about what happened in the past? I don't want to rattle our relationship since it is progressing well at the moment. --Feeling Guilty Fiona

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Dear Feeling Guilty Fiona ---

In relationships, it is important to have both the physical and emotional connection with your partner, which it sounds like you have with the man you are currently dating, so are you sure you aren't being too critical of yourself? Before your ex, did you have other relationships that were purely physical as well? While it is perfectly acceptable to have some relationships that are considered mere flings, (as long as your are safe), you're right, it isn't a good pattern to get accustomed to.

Relationships are built on trust and honesty, so if you are worried about falling back into an old bad habit, talk to your boyfriend and tell him your concerns. Maybe taking a few steps back will help you work on your relationship with your heart rather than your libido.

Have you ever thought about talking to someone about your tendency to push the sexual aspect of your relationship harder than the emotional? Are you trying to avoid getting close to someone or have you had a bad sexual experience in your past? Being able to fully trust and commit yourself won't happen overnight, so take baby steps to open yourself up emotionally, and who knows, you might surprise yourself. Good luck!

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