Dear Miss Emily:

I have been hanging out with a male friend since Nov. last year.  Upon first getting to know him, he asked if I had a crush on him and than said that he was emotionally unavailable at this time in his life.  I took this to be a nice way of letting me down easy and accepted it.  As the weeks passed on, this man would call me or come see me every day.  We would go away places with one another - it was great!  I was so thrilled that this man came into my life.  Eventually, he began to flirt with me and I didn't understand it, but didn't want to pressure him so I just went with the flow.  He even said that we should just get together, because he and I have so much in common and he gets along great with my daughter, etc.  I just ignored him the first time he said it, because I was shocked and he brought it up, again, 5 minutes later and I just looked at him and I said "yeah, ok" and just laughed and he said "yeah, you are right, I don't want a girlfriend!"  Months passed by, and the teasing was becoming unbearable to me - it was as if we were having sex, but yet something would stop him from going all the way.  I eventually told him that it needed to stop, because I couldn't handle it any more.  I asked if we were ever going to have sex and he said "no."  I was in shock and clearly didn't understand his response or expect it.  Weeks passed by and, again, the teasing started back up.  I finally discussed w/him again what was going on, because the night before he said "do you have condoms" and I ignored him, because I thought, what is going on.  He said before, it wasn't going to happen...the next morning, I spoke to him about this, and he said he just wanted friends with benefits.  I explained to him I'm not that girl and wouldn't be able to deal with him being with other women.  He said, "well, it's best it doesn't happen because I don't want to hurt you!  The teasing never stopped, and the other week I said to him that the next time I saw him I was going to take advantage of him, but he changed our plans where we were not alone and it didn't happen.  It upset me, and I began to become really insecure thinking something must be wrong with me that he is not taking me up on my offer.  For the following weeks, he didn't even really come around.  His behavior seemed really distant and the fact that the attention went from 100% down to 20% really upset me.  Just this past weekend, he spent the entire weekend with me.  He even came over again on Monday, and he dropped in unexpectedly which he has never done before and said he was staying just for 5-10 minutes and within the half hour he changed his mind and stayed several hours.  While at my house...while I was making dinner for us...his cell phone rang and I swear he was talking to a girl based on the parts I overheard him say...and then a lightbulb went off that he has someone else in his life who he is spending time with.  However, even though I did not ask or even look at him, he ends the conversation and proceeds to tell me it was his best friend.  In my eyes, and what I heard, there was no possible way he was speaking to his guy friend.  I've heard them talk on the phone before, and something was definitely different and off.  So even though we are just friends, I got jealous, but kept it in check.  But what has me more upset is that if he does have other interests or female friends...than why does he need to lie to me about it?  He didn't need to mention a word about it.  I wasn't looking for an answer, and if he just wants to be my friend why does he feel the need to be sneaky?  What am I to do?  Right now, I feel that I just want him to leave me alone because I don't want a LIAR in my life...and I don't want someone coming around because I stroke their ego all along while he is hanging out possibly doing the same thing with someone else if not more.  What do you suggest because I'm completely clueless.

--------------------Miss Emily's advice-----------------

You've left out some possibilities other than another woman being on the phone -- he's gay (closeted, maybe in denial, bi) or impotent!  You see, you can't know unless he were 100% honest with you, and honest with himself about what he's doing, and where he thinks this relationship is headed. This kind of situation is extremely frustrating, no matter what the circumstances, and it's up to you to make some decisions about him.  Nothing has happened romantically between the two of you other than some flirtation, an off-handed statement about condoms, and an insulting comment about a "friends with benefits" relationship.  Oh yeah, and he "doesn't want to hurt you."  How noble of him.  It almost makes me want to tear up.  He obviously knows how you really feel (you want him), and all this idle chatter about taking this friendship to the bedroom is off-putting, and a little nauseating (from my point of view).  But you have let it happen, and it's time to lay the cards on the table.  Truth:  You are not happy with just a friendship, you have moved way beyond that, and you should tell him how you feel.  Not because you think this will get you somewhere with him, and he will  profess his undying love for you (if he thinks you're going to bow out of the friendship), but because it is driving you crazy living in this uncertain world, with someone who doesn't have the good sense or sensitivity to maintain the friendship, but leave the sex talk to those situations where he intends to follow-through.  Enough of the running on at the mouth with unfiltered thoughts, not to mention his recent rebuff of your "taking advantage of him" remark.  Bite the bullet and settle this, before you start to hate yourself for letting this sad and pathetic situation continue.