QUESTION: I moved into my house three years ago, but over the past few weeks I’ve started a flirtation with my next-door neighbour, who recently split from his live-in girlfriend of six years. He’s funny, charming and suave, and we’ve now been out on several dates, but at the end of each he simply kisses me on the cheek and bids me goodnight. We text each other daily and there is a frisson between us, but he seems reluctant to take things to the next level. What do you think?
ANSWER: Blimey, your life sounds like the Gold Blend advert and remember how long it took that couple to get together?*
I bet the reason the whole smouldering, coffee-slurping romance moved so slowly was that they fretted about everything going pear-shaped and then having to sidle past their neighbour every day in a sheepish fashion.
We all know that the best way to cure ourselves of a broken heart is to avoid the person who hurt us, but you can’t do that if they live next door.
And what if your walls are so thin that you can actually hear the sounds of ecstasy as they canoodle with someone else? The possibilities for pain and humiliation are endless, which is why you are right to sound a note of caution. It’s a positively good thing this flirtation is a slow burner - if you’d rushed from zero to 100 in five seconds, you could even now be sobbing over a lonely mug of Nescafe.
There are other reasons to advise caution. This man has only recently split from a serious girlfriend and people on the rebound rarely act with good judgment.
Start enjoying this relationship for what it is, not what it isn’t. Relish the many benefits. You now have a male confidant next door, not to mention a charming walker for parties and dinner dates. Better still, there’s a frisson of attraction between you.
Why fret about his reluctance to make a blatant move? That’s his problem, not yours.
The thing to remember is that he doesn’t need to do anything at all to enhance your desirability factor; a woman who is seen out and about with a dashing escort automatically becomes both more attractive to other men - because it fosters rivalry - and the object of other women’s envy.
Just see yourself as playing a long game with your neighbour. That way, whatever happens, it’s a win-win situation. If you never go to bed together, you’ve gained both a flirty friend and (through one another) a wider circle of acquaintances in which to meet a soulmate. Or you might find the spark eventually ignites.
But don’t put your love life on hold for someone who is terminally ambivalent, and as it’s clear there isn’t, as yet, any romantic understanding between you, you should date other men.
I bet the Gold Blend lady didn’t mooch around her house wondering why the Gold Blend man hadn’t rattled her coffee beans: I bet she was over the road drinking Maxwell House with some other handsome chap. There’s nothing like a little jealousy for nudging dithering men into making a move.
And sometimes, it seems, Mr Right does live next door. - Daily Mail