"I want to keep things casual but she wants to be exclusive..."
Teddy says “I am so bad at the whole girl thing, I just really can’t do girls long term... I’m good at the chirpse though; I like Milly but she wants us to be serious and I’m not really feeling the whole commitment thing... friends with benefits would be ideal. What do I do…?”
There’s only one solution here - don’t string her along and end it soon-ish. The longer you lead her on and leave it, the more she will like you and want to make things more official, and then ending it will just be 100 times worse. Let her down gently and tell her ‘you’re a cool girl, but I’m just not ready for something serious right now.’ Lay it all out on the table. Of course, she will be hurt and will probably hate you for a while (as will her girlfriends, by default), but if you guys actually do get on, over time you can definitely move past it and be friends if you want to.
But the worst possible thing you can do is to start ignoring her - trust me, I’ve seen this happen - she’ll start going psycho on you and bombard you with 150 messages at all hours of the day, and then it’ll become a big fat nightmare to deal with. So don’t be a dick by doing that.
‘Coming clean’ with your feelings
So Milly wants more but you don’t. If so, you have to come clean and tell her honestly how you feel. Keeping quiet or ignoring her and hoping she will mind-read ain’t gonna cut the mustard as she won’t be able to guess.
You have 2 choices.
- End it. Be a gent and let her down gently and swiftly. Brutal but necessary. Tell her face to face. Don’t even think about doing it by text, email or social media Never easy as rejection hurts like hell! But better than stringing her along on false hopes... But, also don’t make the mistake of feeling guilty, cave in and agree to exclusivity at the last minute if she starts to get emotional, as it will come unstuck very quickly and only make things worse. You do need to be firm and stand your ground.
- Tell her ‘I like you but just as a friend’ making it crystal clear to her that you don't want more now or in the future.
If she ‘ain’t’ happy with this (most likely!!) and ends it, then she has done you a favour. Psychologically, it will also help her state of mind to get over you quicker as she is the ‘dumper’ rather than the ‘dumpee'.
But if she says she is happy to go with this flow of only being friends, you must then both discuss clearly and exactly what this means for both of you (e.g. with or without benefits), your present and future expectations of this friendship etc (e.g. is it going to be awkward just being friends if you start seeing other girls etc), because you do not want her to continue to harbor secret hopes of a possible future commitment from which you don’t intend to fulfil. Communication and clarity is key.
Word of Advice to the Gals:
Teddy’s predicament of not wanting/being ready to commit to a relationship is very common especially in young men. The reasons include: timing (not ready), fear (giving up their freedom and identity, being stuck and not being able to escape), choice (too much(!) and thinking someone better may be round the corner). So don’t beat yourself up about it if he is not ready to commit.