What does he want from me now?

I met a guy in 2015, when I was still in college. I was 25, he was 31. I kept him at bay despite his many attempts. The attempts were so obvious that even our old college professor was calling him my boyfriend. In 2017, we both graduated and things escalated. He asked me if I wanted a relationship and I was honest and told him “I just want to have fun." He was fine with that.

But slowly he started breaking the friends-with-benefits rules. Calling multiple times a day, having sex multiple times a week, initiating cuddling sessions, talking about his personal life, financial dealings, his kids; the list continues. However, my problem has now come to a head three years later. I stopped having sex with him in the spring of 2018, cut off all communication that fall, and then he called me for 11 months from a private number until I gave in and we started talking again.

However, now he has ghosted me 24 hours after telling me he and his girlfriend have broken up. I need advice on why he would stick around after over a year of no sex, and why he kept calling and coming back. I know we are friends and I expect some sharing, but why continue that closeness if you have a girlfriend? Why make such an effort if we haven't been friends-with-benefits in over a year? What could his purpose be in coming back? Why was he trying for so long? Why did he ghost me after coming back? Why is he telling me that he and his girlfriend broke up?

– Confused

"I know we are friends and I expect some sharing ..."

Are you friends? I'm a little confused about what you offer each other at this point. If someone asked you why you stay connected to this former friend-with-benefits – why you've kept him in your life for all these years – what would you say? What do you get from the relationship now?

I'm concerned about the part of your letter where you say he called you for 11 moths until you gave in. Do you want him in your life or were you harassed into picking up the phone?

Instead of trying to decode his motives – because really, who can? – I'd rather you focus on your own. Think about what you want from him, if anything, and then set boundaries for yourself. You can block anonymous numbers if you need to. You can also ask to see him to talk about all of this if you want to try for some real answers. The missing information in this letter speaks volumes. You aren't clear about why you want him around, what kind of relationship you might want, and how your own needs have changed. You have plenty to think about.

Remember that friendship might have been part of your early connection with this man, but that's not what you have anymore. He sounds more like an ex with whom you share confusing history. Call him what he is and maybe you'll feel better about figuring out if he belongs in your life now.

– Meredith

Readers? What is happening in this relationship?