email dated March 4, 2020

Hi Project,

I have been reading your forum for several years and I find it particular because there are several original and very unusual messages.

I’m 42 years old, I’m single or in other words I don’t have a boyfriend, I only had one with whom I had a very complex but also very true relationship. I’ve never been too interested in sex, which on the contrary is absolutely fundamental for him. After me he had other boys but in essence it was just a series of illusions-disillusions. In practice he has never lived a truly symmetrical relationship, he didn’t experience this kind of relationship not even with me. He’s young, he’s 32 years old, but he is afraid of becoming old without realizing anything concrete on an emotional level. I can’t say if I still love him or if I have ever loved him, our relationship has always been very convoluted, indeed we have always said that we did not understand each other and that we were looking for different things, that we would have done better to find other people, etc. etc .. But that minimum of relationship that was there when we were together has never been completely lost. He kept telling me that he was interested in me only for sex, because he was afraid that I would fall in love and get hurt, and instead I would repeat to him, using the most varied expressions, that I was really in love with him above all sentimentally: our positions were so different that it was basically impossible to find any balance and in fact the thing is over.

Was ours a couple relationship? I just don’t think so and I don’t think it was even so at the beginning because I always had many doubts about the matter and I never really felt in love with him, as I would have liked, even if I kept saying to him that I was, and on the other hand he too was not in love with me as he would have liked. We were together, there was a bit of sex, too little for him and too much without feeling for me, basically there was nothing concrete between us, yet this “nothing” was not completely lost even after each of us has gone on his way, but even now our love, if we can call it so, is not a real way of loving each other but it’s a way to depend a little on each other, a sort of dependence because he considers me a friend with whom he’s allowed to have sex sometimes, always too little for him and always too loveless for me. In practice we go on as before but only in an even more diluted way, we meet once in a while, sometimes also after months, when he doesn’t find anything better (I know that saying so it’s a bit as saying a bad thing) or when I get depressed and I miss him and I call him in the illusion that there may be an even minimal emotional contact, because I still delude myself that it can happen.

I must say that in recent months I have felt a gradual cooling in me, years ago I missed him very much, that is, when he was not there I was really bad, but now, sometimes I prefer that he is not there, I feel more peaceful, I delude myself that he’s happy with somebody else and this is enough as an excuse to avoid looking for him.

Sometimes I try to put myself in his shoes and I realize that he’s not living well at all, and then I feel a bit of guilt because I’m now truly abandoning him to himself, I would like that between us there was also a minimum of emotional relationship, but he doesn’t want to know about these things, he tells me that he fell in love even recently, but not with me, and that the story seemed important but then the guy began to be jealous and obsessive (which are the same flaws that he reproaches me) and he felt caged and preferred to close the story because he ended up being too anxious. With me, he didn’t close the story but emptied it from within. He tells me that I never accept compromises and that everything must always be done as I say, but I think of him exactly the same. After him I kept away from sex, partly because of the fear of diseases and partly because putting sex in the middle creates a lot of problems, everyone has his own fixed ideas and fantasies, everyone has his way to live those things and it is very difficult to find a common space, and then I came to the conclusion that it is much better to put aside sex and cultivate only friendships, then, perhaps, if any of those friendships were to become deeper and if there was also a mutual sexual involvement, ok, I would be fine, but I don’t want sex without shared love anymore.

In certain situations one remains in the balance between the need not to be overwhelmed by rhythms that we perceive as something foreign to us and the illusion of being able to make others understand our way of life, and there uncertainties, doubts and oscillations begin, but little by little the oscillations fade away and you are definitely in the middle, without real involvement and without real freedom.

I can’t deny, though, that I can’t permanently get him out of my head. I wish he was happy, because then I would be happy too, but I would no longer like him to be happy with me because I know very well that such a thing is impossible. Unfortunately, over time, I’m increasingly led to think that he will not be happy with anyone. I got easily used to not having a couple life, but it is much more difficult for him, because even if he denies it, he needs a strong emotional relationship that is very difficult to build out of a couple relationship, but a couple life would not be compatible with his free way of experiencing sexuality.

Sometimes I think that among the straight people the presence of children dilutes all these problems, in gay couples, on the contrary, where everything happens only within the couple itself, certain problems end up becoming conditioning.

Use this email as you want but, if you can, try to answer me because it would help me understand many things that maybe I don’t understand at all.


email dated March 6, 2020

Hi Giulio,

your story, if you consider it in the abstract, it seems the twisted story of a failure, but frankly it seems to me rather like a difficult love story, and of true love, I would also add reciprocal. It is evident that you are still in love with that guy but it is equally evident that he has never disappeared and that he considers you an important person. In his own way, apparently without affective involvement, it will perhaps be a partial, defective love, different from how you would have liked it, but it is anyway a form of love because it lasts over time and because it has overcome many difficulties that would have easily led to dissolution any superficial couple relationship. True love stories are always very different from how we had planned them, they are always much more problematic, much less linear but at the same time they have the persistence of reality. I don’t believe that your making love with that guy was “without love”, even if there have been many misunderstandings among you, it has never been an irreparable and destructive conflict. You say that you have created a kind of mutual dependence and it almost seems that you consider this fact something quite pathological, but there is nothing pathological, loving each other also entails this, indeed if this mutual dependence (note the adjective “mutual” that is typical of real couples) were not there wouldn’t even be a love relationship. This guy, after all, if he was only looking for sex, he could find it very easily elsewhere, but if he looks for it from you and he still does it after years, well, he probably doesn’t look for just that, he knows that you will accept and understand him in any case, that he can tell you freely whatever he thinks and that you will answer him by telling him whatever you really think. Affectivity can also be expressed through sex. Anaffective sex is ephemeral, it leads to change many partners not to build anything with anyone but that’s not what happened to you with that guy. His love is not exclusive, this could be a problem for you, but for some people exclusivity is not essential and it is possible to develop very serious even if not exclusive relationships, where, however, there is the problem of HIV risk.

Dear Giulio, I don’t think you lost that guy at all. The superficial stories quickly fade away and yours doesn’t seem to me to be a finished story at all, and I’m not saying from your point of view but from his point of view.

A hug.


e-mail dated 8 March 2020

Dear Project,

you say that his is not anaffective sex and really I think it is not. In my previous email I told you that I had a very complex but very true relationship with him and this, sometimes, I tend to forget it. In fact, he trusted me, he also talked to me about extremely private things and I can’t forget this, he exposed himself to a judgment that could also be fierce and of rejection, that is, he risked a lot. He didn’t please me on principle, he was himself all the way. He knows that I love him and even when he treats me abruptly he does it with respect, perhaps also with love. I haven’t heard from him in a while and I don’t know whether to call him. Anyway, thank you for your answer, because you made me rethink him by putting aside my defense mechanisms. He has his strengths, there is no doubt, he never acted with me.

Thanks again.


e-mail of 9 March 2020

Hi Project,

here we are all agitated by the fear of the virus, and I’m too, but I wanted to tell you that today happened something that I didn’t expect at all. That guy, and I would like to say or should say my boyfriend, called me last night and we were talking until almost dawn (the sky was already bright), he was serene and I felt happy, we remembered our first nights of love, reluctances and scruples on one side and the other. You must know, Project, that I believed that he would come to hate me for those nights of sex, because he was so much younger than me, and instead he remembered them as a beautiful thing, as moments when he felt completely free and accepted. He asked me if I had ever felt forced because he was afraid of having forced me to do something that I didn’t want to do. I told him that he was the only guy in my life, indeed the model of my ideal guy. He reminded me that he also has friends with whom he sometimes has sex, I told him that he had talked to me about it at other times, he asked me if it embarrasses me, I replied that it creates me concern about the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and he added: “But, apart from diseases, does this fact embarrass you?” And I replied: “No, because I know that you really love me. You can love other boys too, but this won’t turn you away from me.” It was a very emotional and very rewarding night, totally unexpected and I felt important in his life. That’s all. I wanted to let you know. Obviously you can use my mails as you like better. Thanks again.



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