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I can't decide whether to continue with the casual 'relationship' I am in or not. I debate over the possiiblity of getting hurt vs. the anticipation, distraction, and fulfillment I get when Im with him. I apologize for the length, its just important to explain the whole situation.

For background:
Recently (almost 5 months ago now) got my heart put in a blender by a guy I thought was love of my life. He totally changed overnight into some selfish a**hole while in his 3rd month of dental school, replaced me immediately (or, during) with another dental student downstairs who I knew. Denied it all, said terrible things to me starting a few weeks before the sudden break-up, and was just a totally different person. I saw a psychologist for 2 months which helped a lot. I'm on a rebellious phase now, for 2 months, which involves a lot of social activities, drinking, distracting myself with friends, and just distracting myself in general.

Current: This casual thing started when I ran into an acquaintance of this ex mentioned above while in DC visiting with close girl friends. We shall call this acquaintance DC Guy, as I've termed him in past threads. DC Guy was (in the same month as my break-up) cheated on by his girlfriend of 4 years. Totally messed him up, as one can imagine.

Well, lets just say him and I really hit it off ;) I was too drunk though, which helped to tame the initial shock when I woke up the next morning and flipped out over what had happened. It was unlike me, and I couldn't believe it was with THIS guy of all people. For a while I was so worried about what my ex would think if he found out. So I didnt know what would happen between us, but we started talking a lot and keeping in touch, flirting through text messages and talking of seeing each other (with physical/sexual innuendos, mostly) again. It was all non-serious banter and very fun. Kept me on my toes. I felt like I was attractive again and desired.
Well, he came up to NYC where I live and stayed over twice a few weeks ago. However, there were never any serious conversations, just an intense physical attraction, enjoying each others' company, and partying.

Well, to update:
This past weekend I went down to DC. To 'visit my mom' for a large part, but to see DC Guy for a large part as well. I stayed at his apt. both nights. This time, he was extremely affectionate. He poured wine for us on his candle-lit balcony, and when we went out later, he was kissing me and touching me in front of his/my EX'S FRIENDS. This made me feel weird, but I actually got a lot of validation from them which gave me the final bit of closure I needed, I believe. They told me how much they loved me and hugged me all night (I was close with a lot of them), told me how much my ex has changed and that they're not even close with him as much anymore, and how he has replaced a lot of them with these 'dorks that he shows off in front of'. It was actually really fun. Except I made the mistake of having too much to drink and suggesting that I liked him. To which he responded with 'we will see what happens'.
When we got back to DC Guy's place, he actually gave me a bath and was real sweet and we had a lot of fun. We cuddled while we slept, etc. I tried to remain distant the whole time. He is not my boyfriend after all, and won't be, but I did notice the difference, and...I liked it.
Well, the next night, it was a similar situation.
Sunday, he took me out to brunch (the only thing hes paid for for me except for drinks here and there).

So heres the point of my post. I like him. Except I do not see a relationship with him. I just got out of one and the idea of love totally freaks me out. I dont even know if it exists anymore. I am so pessimistic about my relationship future. Plus, he is 4.5 hours away from me for another year. And I also dont know if I can really see myself with him.
However, I still feel this desire to be wanted by him. I feel like I have this fantasy hope that he will just one day change his mind and want me. Maybe its kind of normal considering what I went through? Regardless, I was very confused by his intentions all weekend becaues he was relatively much more caring and openly affectionate. Now that Im back in the city this week, we've talked every day, but its een non-serious again, and via text messaging and IM often. Most of the conversations involve sex or just a lot of comedic banter that leaves us cracking up.

I just dont know if I am crossing any boundaries or expecting too much out of this. Its like a battle within my head.

Well, it came up in our conversation tonight. I had had some wine with a friend prior to this and was feeling a little 'open' with my words. All in all, he is very defensive, has a giant filter, and is real stand-offish when it comes to opening up. As soon as I started saying I wanted to open up more (but knew he didnt want to, so I wouldn't) he started in RIGHT AWAY with the 'I'm not sure what we're talking about here, but let me just say that I dont want a relationship right now'. He was very nice aout it and said he didnt want to hurt me, wanted to be honest, etc., but he was just dealing with too much from his break-up. Well, I said 'yeah I feel the same way'. He called me right away (all of this before was on IM). We then talked and shared our ideas of the whole thing. We actually saw eye-to-eye on a lot. We both don't want a relationship right now, regardless of who it is. We both feel its the situation, not the person, that is the reason why. He told me I was great and that I was going to go places, etc etc., but that he sees me as a friend (who he is VERY attracted to). He said he initiates conversation with me because he likes to, it is fun, and he would feel weird coming to NY, calling me only when hes here, and wanting to come over...thats just not him. He likes to know what is going on with people who are in his life, and he enjoys talking with me. He said he is still used to treating women like gold, due to his recent relationship, and that he wants to make me feel respected and special and all of that. He feels like he holds back a lot to protect himself.

I had gotten into the conversation mainly due to 1) the wine, and 2) due to my confusion over his behavior. However, I think I freaked him out/frustrated him at first, which I was totally trying to avoid! I dont want to end things. Its too fun. He told me that he doesn't want to hurt me and that maybe we should stop hooking up.

Of course, I would love to have this guy come to me and tell me how wonderful and special he thinks I am. Of course I could use a giant ego-boost right now after what happened. At the same time, however, realistically-speaking, I deep-down truly know a relationship is not going to happen here. I dont even know if I could see myself with him. Its just, the things I see, I truly like. And I enjoy talking to him, getting random silly texts throughout the day, and just feeling important to someone in a small way.

I guess after this conversation, I just realize now that Im not important at all. Which is silly, because I guess I sort of knew that. I just kind of feel a little...sad. At the same time, I see him as a fun distraction as well. I dont crave calling him as much as I crave him calling ME. However, I sort of trust him, since I somewhat knew him before all of this (a friend), and I know his friends and everything.

Sorry this is so long. Its just complicated. Anyway, I know women aren't good at this type of stuff, stereotipically. I am sure Im the same. My ex was Muslim, a virgin, and would absolutely die if he knew I was doing this right now, and while Im over that, I guess I still grapple with my recent role of being the queen of my ex's world (at one point) and now being a casual fling to someone else. However, I dont want this to stop. I actually went with DC Guy and hung out with all my ex's friends with him, even though it was hard for me. He kissed me in front of them and all of that, and I guess it just made me feel good. Like I had totally moved on. I did it because I wanted to have fun and stop worrying what other people thought, and I did.

If I stop this now, I feel like it would all be such a waste...I feel like I would go right back to feeling depressed, rejected by someone I loved and trusted more than anything, and alone/lonely.

We dont plan to end this. We actually joked that the conversation went in a giant circle and ended up at the same place. In fact, we said we'd continue it the same exact way we had been doing things.

I guess Im just confused. I feel like I might get hurt if things continue, but I also feel like I dont want a relationship and I really am enjoying the fun, the (mind-blowing) sex, and the attention.

Im so torn. Can anyone give me some insight?

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