‘My gut says to cut contact’

We chat at 1 p.m. today.

Hi Meredith!

I started dating this guy I met on Tinder about a year and a couple of months ago. We met when I was 22 and he was 27. We get along really well; he's funny and kind, and we have the same values. About three months into dating, though, it felt like the relationship wasn't going anywhere. (Looking back, it seems like our main problem has always been that we're both too scared of it not working out to ever go full force.) Anyway, we decided to just keep it casual because we still enjoyed hanging out, talking, and having sex, so we basically started a friends-with-benefits situation. It was always a little confusing because aside from not being in love with each other, we did still end up doing a lot of couple-y things. We only saw each other about once a week, but we'd go out on "dates," we met each other's friends, and he would mention meeting his family.

I was very hesitant about all of this and still unsure of my feelings, so about three months ago we talked it out and decided to just be friends. I told him I've been hesitant to be open with him but would be willing to try a serious relationship, but don't want anyone to get hurt. He agreed and added that he's starting to think about marriage and kids – something I've been very open about not wanting to do anytime soon or probably ever. We basically agreed that the risk of one of us getting hurt wasn't worth the reward because we're just at different points in our lives right now and have different life goals.

We still talk almost every day, we see each other about once every other week, and I've now met his family, so everything is mostly still the same as it always has been – we just don't have sex anymore. It's still a little difficult being friends because I keep wondering if there could have been something great there; maybe we just didn't give it a fair shot. Because of this, I'm wondering if we should continue being friends. I feel like I'm kind of holding on to this idea of "us" instead of moving on completely. My gut says to cut contact and move on, but I really do value him as a person and as a friend. Any advice? Many thanks!

– Friends?

You should cut contact with this person if:

- the friendship is preventing you from dating other people.
- you're sad after you see him.
- you miss the sex. A lot.
- you feel the need to lie to him (or be lied to) about other romantic prospects.
- the idea of seeing him with another partner breaks your heart.
- you're thinking about having sex with him right now.

My guess is that a few items on that list might be relevant to your situation. That's why you should go with your gut. You can always walk away and return later, when you're ready.

As you make this decision (and talk to him about it), please remember that you did give this relationship a fair shot. In the end, you decided to be friends because he's thinking about having children and you're not. That's a pretty big deal-breaker that has nothing to do with effort.

- Meredith

Readers? Cut contact?