Loving a loner

I'm with a man who doesn't believe in love and thinks he'll end up alone. Will he ever change?

By Cary Tennis

Published May 12, 2004 7:29PM (EDT)

Dear Cary,

I have a wonderful companionship with a single man who is kind, considerate and well-to-do. We spend almost all our free time together and we talk and laugh for hours. The chemistry is really good. We share a lot, including our feelings of desperation and loss sometimes. I feel like we are "meant to be." It has been eight glorious months.

But there are two problems: First, he doesn't believe in love and constantly reminds me that love will end and that it's inevitable that we will part. He's convinced that he will end up alone, thanks to a fortune teller who told him that he will never marry. I think it's also because we see all around us couples who seem to have lost the love and passion for each other. It is not because he's insecure and afraid of losing me. He knows I am totally devoted to him and would make him my No. 1 priority in life, if he wants me. He just does not want a committed relationship with me. He says he cannot see "forever with me or with anyone else." As an only child, he's grown up pretty much on his own and claims he's used to solitude. He also has no interest in having children.

Second, when we first met, neither of us was attracted to each other, since we are not each other's body type. We ended up having sex anyway. The first time was great. After that, he went away, came back, and told me he missed me terribly. We ended up having sex a few more times. Then it stopped. He told me since his last relationship, which was eight years ago, he has not slept with a woman more than two or three times. Most of the women he slept with have been professionals. They are young (around 20-25 years), thin, fair and good-looking. These are girls from a nearby country who come in for one or two weeks, make their money, and leave. He thinks this is the best way to satisfy his sexual appetite. He pays, they make him happy, they leave. No complications.

I am 37 years old, short, and a little on the plump side, though quite pretty. I was the only woman above 30 that he's been to bed with and it was a refreshing change. But he no longer feels any lust for me.

I am devastated by this, as I have always prided myself on being a good lover. Plus, he gave me the most amazing orgasm ever and I can't seem to get it out of my head. I have told him that I feel rejected and he says that I should just accept it. People get rejected all the time. When I ask him too much about the sex, he starts thinking that that's all I want from him and laments the fact that men and women cannot be platonic.

Perhaps I should look for other sexual partners, but I really do just want him. And I don't think I can live without sex.

I am at a complete loss. I sometimes feel that I should just enjoy everything while it lasts. He's great company and very supportive of what I do. When we met, I was in a lot of financial trouble, and he helped me through the difficulty. He has also given me a big loan that I have yet to repay. Right now, he's helping me in a big way on a creative project I am working on. Plus, he's really my mental and emotional pillar. In many ways, I should be thankful for all that he's giving me, but I want more. Sometimes I feel he must care for me because he does so much for me. Or is he just being kind-hearted?

He's a 39-year-old banker who's focused on his goals, generally cautious and extremely disciplined. I am the opposite, with no clear sense of direction, lazy and spontaneous. He says, "Right now we need each other." Again, there's always a sense that all things are temporary with him.

These last months have been mostly bliss for me. I don't think I have ever been more comfortable or secure with anyone, despite the two issues above. Yet, when a guy tells me so openly that he does not want to commit to me or sleep with me, the only logical decision appears to leave and look for someone else. But why should l leave when I am happy, except for the lack of sex?

Should I have patience and hope he will change his mind and have sex with me, should I accept that we'll be platonic and look for other sexual partners, or should I leave him?

Crazy in Love

Dear Crazy in Love,

There is something neither money nor reason can tame, and it lives in the heart of a woman. A man may think there is nothing cleaner than money, so he squirts it like antiseptic over the intercourse of love. But everything leaks. Nothing seals her off. Why can't a banker keep his dollars between himself and the scent of a woman? Why can't he use a little cash to clean off the sepsis of human bondage?

He's trying -- but has he never read history? Doesn't he know what a futile enterprise he's embarked upon? He's all about trade across boundaries and expirations of affection. And you with your all-enveloping passion, you take his money and you talk about art and he tells you about his prostitutes from across the border. He helps you out and he lends you money and nobody talks about the quid pro quo but underneath it all I can see him ever more desperate, plastering the walls with bills, plugging the holes with $20s or $50s or whatever is handy in his oversize billfold. Still your enveloping passion filters through the cracks. Your yin floods his yang. Your love that knows no dollar amount hangs in the air after you leave.

So what's he going to do, I wonder: Stick to his regimen of fair-haired visiting workers? It's hard to tell at such a distance what exactly he will do, but I know this: You are never going to change him.

Maybe he will change on his own; maybe he'll finally see the crack in his monetary system. Until he does, there's nothing you can do. And besides, why should he change? It's a perfectly rational system. He's got a pocketful of money and it suits him fine. He knows what he can afford. He needs his moments alone. He needs to see the figures dance on the lines of the ledger. And he needs to hear your high-heeled boots clacking down the hall after sex, because he can only relax when you're gone.

That's how it is. But why should that be so? Indeed, Professor 'iggins, ¿Por qué no puede al hombre parecerse más la mujer?

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Cary Tennis

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