I met a guy in grad school two years ago. Long story short, we became neighbourhood drinking buddies who talked about work and bounce off research ideas/frustrations to each other. At that time, we were also in long distance relationships and would bitch to each other how much they sucked. There was some initial attraction but eventually, as we talked shop more and the friendship grew, it faded.

Fast forward to this summer where we're both single and after one night involving too many drinks celebrating the end of our long grad school career, we ended up in bed. It was really really good. The thing is, there is no emotional connection between us. The sex is hot, the friendship is great but there is just no romance - trust, we talked about it, considered it, debated it and the answer is still no from both our ends. We both want a relationship, just not with each other.

So we decided to have a fling and enjoy really hot sex this summer (it's been a dry spell for both of us!) but we both want more than a f-friend. I've tried to break the friendship off because we seem to end up getting back to bed while trying to date other people. It's too much to handle sleeping with each other while both of us go on dates  - I feel too old for this.

What's the best advice on bringing the friendship back to the pre-sex status? We've tried not to have any contact for a month or so and it was painful, especially when we end up running into each other in group social situations. We've tried just sleeping with each other but find the aftermath unsatisfactory - we want an emotional connection with someone! And we've tried just hanging out but it becomes either so awkward that we avoid each other when we're around other people or end up back in bed all over again - we can't seem to find a middle ground. I feel that at this point, we either cut off all contact indefinitely or be fake friends and just accept it'll never be the same again and not sleep with each other ever again. I know this, but I need tactics/advice on how to stick to one of those decisions!

Um, well, the only logical tactic is: don’t let him stick his dick in your vagina.  I don’t know how to make that any clearer.  If you’re really serious about detaching yourself from this mess, then I don’t pretend it’s any harder than that, because it ain’t.  It’s called self-control so it’s time to use it.  

Now if you can commit to that then I think you’ve got to be prepared to know that it’s not all going to be sunshine and roses from here on out.  So if I were you I’d pick the lesser of the two evils – the fake friends option.  

It’s not going to be easy but it is pretty simple:  Neither party makes any effort to see each other, but if and when you’re at a social gathering together be pleasant and do some catch up.  It’s obviously going to be uncomfortable and unnatural for a while, but if what you say is true, that there are indeed no real emotional feelings on either side, then that awkwardness should eventually fade.  I wish I could offer you a better solution than this, but thems the breaks.   

Now I’m no dummy, I know there’s going to be a time that your horn-dog ass will think ‘hey, what’s one more nasty ass romp?’  But just remember this B, that every time you falter from the plan, it will only take you further away from what you really want – a real relationship.

REMEMBER: Starting next week, Sasha’s advice and style articles will be posted directly to the LifeStyle section.