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“Can I Have a Real Relationship with my FWB?”

Since September, I’ve been having a “NSA”/ very casual relationship with a guy I met online. We’re both in our mid-twenties. Initially, we met solely for sex. We’re both in high-pressure, time-consuming professions. The thing is, I’m starting to develop feelings for him and want an actual relationship now and I’m wondering if that’s possible.

We only communicate with one another in order to find out if the other person is available to hook-up. We usually meet about once every week or so. After sex, we don’t usually cuddle and one of us usually makes an excuse about needing to go do something because we’re busy. This past week, however, he started rubbing my leg and holding my hand afterwards. I reciprocated, but a few minutes later, he said that he had something to do later. Additionally, while getting dressed, he tried to engage me in conversation, which usually doesn’t happen. The thing that gives me pause, however, is that he hasn’t divulged too many details about himself, and when he does, it’s in response to what I’m talking about. I’m really shy and I think he is too.

What do I do? Do I make myself more vulnerable? I am really hesitant in putting myself out there if he doesn’t want anything more than just hooking-up. From what I know about him (hobbies, interests, etc) I really, really like him and think we’d make a really good couple.

Also, what adds to the confusion is that he doesn’t always respond to my text messages in a timely fashion (or sometimes at all). Then, out of the blue, he’ll email or call me. But when he does call or email, he’s flirty, personable, etc. He still hasn’t responded to my two texts from a month ago (which he has done before). Do I email or call him again? Or, is he just not that into me? I’m so confused. — Wanting To Attach Strings

You’re confused? So am I! You’re in a sex-only relationship with a guy you say you only communicate with to organize your hookups. Even when you’re together in person, you admit that you rarely even engage in conversation. You say you hardly know anything about this guy as “he hasn’t divulged too many details about himself.” And yet, you’ve developed feelings for him and think you’d make a “really good couple”? What are you basing it on? The size of his toothbrush? From what you’ve described, you don’t even know each other.

I get letters from people like you all the time. Literally, almost every day. They’re usually from women — women who, for whatever reason, are in a NSA-attached sexual relationship and have decided they want more from the person they’re sleeping with. My advice to you and to every other woman who writes in with a similar story — a story that involves developing feelings on her part and absolutely no sign of interest from the other party outside of easy sex — is this: MOA. Move on already. This cannot end well.

Once you start sleeping with someone, it’s really hard to backtrack. You can’t just re-write the rules of a relationship when a relationship was never established. You can’t suddenly say, “Oh, I’d like for you to treat me like a person now — you know, engage me in conversation and reply to my texts and show me some interest, attention and affection,” if that offer was never on the menu. Why? Because that’s not what the guy wants. If it were, he would be with a woman who offered that to begin with. He chose you because you’re like a fast food drive-thru to him. He can’t even be bothered to get out of his car to come in and place the order. He wants it quick and easy, and he’s with you (or, was with you) because that’s what you’re giving him. And you’re asking me whether you should make yourself more vulnerable? Darlin’, it sounds to me like you couldn’t if you tried.

It probably sounds like I’m anti-casual sex, which isn’t the case. Casual, NSA sex can work if it’s what both parties want. When one person ceases wanting that, it no longer works and the relationship should be terminated. If I were the person who wanted strings attached, I would not stick around and try to attach those strings in a relationship where none previously existed. Have you ever heard of a fast food place being turned into a fine dining establishment? It doesn’t happen. And if it were to happen, the fast food place would have to be shut down first and then some serious renovations would need to take place.

So, shut it down, sister. Shut it down. Considering the dude hasn’t even replied to your two booty call texts from over a month ago, I’d say it’s pretty safe to assume you’ve already been shut down by him. So the best thing to do now is keep your dignity and MOA. Don’t email him, don’t text him, don’t find him on Facebook and post pretty pictures of yourself on his wall. Just shut it down and MOA.

And then consider this: you are a relationship kind of woman. That you don’t even know this guy at all and you think you’d make a “really good couple” is indication that your light is on. Regardless of how time-consuming and high-pressure your career is, you want to invest in someone who digs you and has your back. You want to build something with someone. You want to MEAN something to someone and feel needed and loved. So, stop selling yourself short. Quit settling for the cheap seats. Quit gorging on junk food. Save yourself for the real deal. It’s out there. It just may take a little more work to find that pulling up to the nearest Mickey D’s.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

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{ 185 comments… add one }

  • avatar Taylor March 22, 2012, 9:14 am

    Well said! There’s a world of men out there who are interested in relationships – it’s not this guy or nothing! I get attached pretty quick when there’s sweet lovin’ involved, so make some space and let your hormones clear. Figure out what you’re looking for, and put that out there into the world.

  • JK JK March 22, 2012, 9:15 am

    Thank you Wendy!!! I think this answer was amazing.
    I´ve never understood this NSA culture thing, but I understand even less when one of the people involved (lets face it, usually the female) wants more. If you want something more, don´t settle for NSA, or look for someone else.

    • avatar Addie Pray March 22, 2012, 9:39 am

      I did what this LW is doing for 8 months – EIGHT MONTHS – with my neighbor. Wait, NINE MONTHS. It was awesome but then sucked really, really bad and made me feel terrible about myself. So, personally, I’m swearing off casual relationships for.ever. This could mean swearing off relationships for.ever., but I’m ok with that if that’s the case.

      • JK JK March 22, 2012, 9:56 am

        Yeah, I´m thinking I would suck at a casual relationship. Hell, I was overthinking my relationship for a couple of years, I would go crazy in a FWB thing!

      • avatar lets_be_honest March 22, 2012, 4:54 pm

        You could’ve grown a baby during the time you were with neighbor boy! (sorry, when I hear nine months, thats what I think. I do this with cigarettes too-you could’ve bought 3 packs for that $30 shirt. Its weird.)

    • avatar Chilosa161 March 22, 2012, 10:07 am

      It’s not always the woman who wants more. I can tell you from experience that about 50% of the time, the man in a hetero NSA situation gets clingy and wants a “real relationship.” I often have to tell myself, “Yep, not my boyfriend,” to avoid someone’s incessant calls.

      • JK JK March 22, 2012, 10:11 am

        OK, I was going by the amount of letters I´ve seen (here and on other sites) from women wanting to know how to turn the FWB into something else. Maybe the guys just don´t write in for advice…

    • avatar EricaSwagger March 22, 2012, 10:15 am

      I don’t understand full on NSA relationships. I couldn’t just have sex with someone I don’t know anything about, like this LW. I just couldn’t and I don’t get it! I’d never be able to do it.
      I mean, I’ve had a FWB, but I KNEW him, we were friends with the same people, we didn’t have feelings for each other except when we were in bed, and we both started dating different people around the same time so it all worked out just perfectly. Lucky, me I guess. But the point is… I knew him. That’s the difference.

    • avatar bethany March 22, 2012, 10:24 am

      I had a great casual relationship that lasted for 6+ months. It met both of our needs at the time, and when it stopped meeing our needs, we stopped doing it. We’re actually still friends, over 6 years later.
      It can be done, but it’s usually the exception, not the rule. Wendy’s right though- the LW and the guy don’t want the same things out of the arrangement, so it’s not going to work. Get out now.

    • avatar Robin March 22, 2012, 10:56 am

      I don’t know, I kind of disagree with Wendy’s advice. I had a seven year relationship that was FWB for the first 9 months. Admittedly, it was more heavy on the friends part – we talked and hung out, which I think made the transition here – and the guy in the letter sounds really uninterested in a relationship. That said, I don’t see any harm in asking him for a date – suggesting movies or dinner or whatever and seeing how he responds before you decide to move on.
      If he says no, well there’s your answer about whether a relationship would happen. If he says yes, then you get to spend some time together to actually determine whether you’re good together.

      • landygirl landygirl March 22, 2012, 11:05 am

        She and this guy aren’t even friends, she doesn’t really know anything about him. She likes the idea of him more than the actual person. I must say it’s true, if all a guy wants is NSA sex then you can bet that he doesn’t want more.

      • avatar jaybro March 22, 2012, 12:11 pm

        Yeah, but I think this is a bit different from FWBs. She makes it seem like the guy doesn’t even know her last name from how little they actually talk. And all she knows about him is his “hobbies and interests”, which is what she’s using to decide whether they’d be a good couple or not. And that’s nooooot really the best way to go about things, ya?

        “Oh mah gawd, you like fuzzy posters?! IIIIIII like fuzzy posters!! Let’s date!”

        Just kidding but not really.

        • avatar jaybro March 22, 2012, 12:11 pm

          For the record, I love fuzzy posters.

        • avatar Robin March 22, 2012, 3:35 pm

          Still, what’s the harm in asking him out? I mean, it sounds like he’ll probably say no but if she likes him and is attracted to him, why not try before MOAing? Worst that happens is he says no and she ends up in the same place as she would be if she MOAed without asking.

          • avatar Lulu July 23, 2012, 4:58 pm

            The harm is because she knows so little about this guy, she could never really know what’s his real intention for saying yes. She would be forever questioning and doubting the relationship, if he said yes, and even herself because of this.

            It will be an emotional hell for her. And it’s not like there’s no other man out there already so the best thing to do is just like what Wendy has said – MOA.

      • avatar Mimi March 24, 2012, 8:20 am

        “I don’t see any harm in asking him for a date…”

        Yeah, if you don’t count her losing what little dignity, pride and — (insert word meaning ‘opposite of vulnerability – but not invulnerability’) she has left…

  • avatar MissDre March 22, 2012, 9:21 am

    Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  • Jess Jess of CGW March 22, 2012, 9:28 am

    LW, it may be hard to hear but Wendy could not have explained it any better. And I really appreciate that Wendy clarified a point that people (my younger self included) so often misunderstand: you cannot rewrite the rules after the game has started.

    • Jess Jess of CGW March 22, 2012, 10:50 am

      There ARE times when a drunk hook-up or one night stand become something more –but those are the exceptions. It’s not just the old warnings about men not respecting women that give it up too soon (to that, I say **yawn**) but it’s about putting the cart before the horse. It’s difficult to do the intimacy part first and the learning about /respecting the other as a person part SECOND. It’s very hard to approach a relationship in that upside down format.

      • honeybeenicki honeybeenicki March 22, 2012, 12:41 pm

        My husband was an acquaintance first (I saw his band with my mom quite a bit after getting my license and being her DD – her coworker was the singer in the band), then we were an attempt at a 1 night stand. 6 years later… well, here we are. I just couldn’t shake the guy! :)

        • Jess Jess of CGW March 22, 2012, 4:20 pm

          It certainly CAN happen. Your post made me wonder about something. I wonder if there is an important distinction to be made.

          LW entered into a NSA relationship with the terms set in advance. Presumably, they sized each other up for this possibility when they were looking at online profiles.

          I think that is very different from meeting someone and developing and overwhelming attraction in which you get carried away and sleep with them immediately. You know what I mean?

          I still stand by what I said about it being more difficult when the physical aspect happens first, but not impossible. Actually my own boyfriend recently used a metaphor which works here. He said when the right people find each other, it’s like 2 magnets approaching from far apart. There are going to be obstacles in between them but if the connection is strong enough, they slowly and surely get around them until they connect.

          • avatar Mimi March 24, 2012, 8:24 am

            The issue is not ‘what comes first’. There have been sucessful marriages that were founded on one night stands.

            The issue is that this guy is not showing any signs of wanting more. And, no – ‘holding hands’ for a moment, or gasp – talking to her a bit – do not constitute ‘signs’.

            God, girl – get a grip and move on, while you still have a tiny shred of dignity left.

  • avatar EricaSwagger March 22, 2012, 9:31 am

    Yeah, yikes. Answer was spot on.

    LW: All you’re going to do by asking for more is ensure that you get hurt. If this guy wanted a relationship with you, he’d be acting like it.

    I have to point out here… you mentioned some instances that made you feel like he might like you. I have to clarify these. He tried to engage you in conversation because you’re both people, and if you can be naked together but not even exchange words, that’s really sad. Him talking to you doesn’t mean he likes you. I talk to people I dislike all the time! As for him rubbing your leg… sometimes just the act of having sex brings people close (duh), so subconsciously, he was feeling “post-sex” close to you. That doesn’t mean he likes you, and the fact that he jumped up and said “uh, sorry, I have somewhere to be so please vamoose” just further proves it.

    • avatar cporoski March 22, 2012, 1:06 pm

      I agree with you but I think you are being harsh. She noticed a change in thier status quo. It might seem flimsy but it is different then it used to be. She just wants something real so bad that she is grabbing at straws. You make it sound like she doesn’t understand basic social skills.

      • avatar EricaSwagger March 22, 2012, 1:48 pm

        No, you said it — she’s grabbing at straws. I was pointing out that just because she sees actions as meaningful, doesn’t mean they are.

  • avatar Addie Pray March 22, 2012, 9:32 am

    I disagree: Chik-fil-A is technically fast food but could *totally* be turned into fine dining because, frankly, it is already super fine!

    • avatar Addie Pray March 22, 2012, 9:33 am

      But I do agree with this: “S that D – shut it down!” – Liz Lemon, my hero.

    • avatar lets_be_honest March 22, 2012, 9:37 am

      Agreed. Just bring a tablecloth and silver to McD’s and, BAM!, fine dining!

      • avatar Addie Pray March 22, 2012, 9:41 am

        As an “amuse bouche,” we could have some gourmet snack warps with an assortment of dipping sauces.

        • Budj Budj March 22, 2012, 9:51 am

          A “flight” of dipping sauces? haha.

          • avatar lets_be_honest March 22, 2012, 10:14 am

            Mmmm. I could drink their BBQ sauce by the glass.

            • avatar lets_be_honest March 22, 2012, 11:12 am

              And now, a side rant about my beloved McNuggets-
              You guys have facebook, right? I mean, everyone in the world does, right? Do you guys have asshole friends on there who posted that video of what appears to be strawberry shake thats turned into McNugget? I hate those people. Like more than I hate anything. I love McNuggets. Like you know whoever was talking about that guy who married his sex doll? I’d marry a box of McNuggets if I could. We would have a McNugget wedding cake. Bathe in BBQ sauce. It’d be amazing. Well now, thanks to those assholes who force their beliefs and propaganda about McDonald’s supposedly being unhealthy on me, I can no longer enjoy the McNugget.

              • JK JK March 22, 2012, 11:33 am

                Did they change the McNuggets in the US last year sometime? Here they went from absolutely delicious to meh. And that makes me sad.

              • avatar Addie Pray March 22, 2012, 11:39 am

                Ugh, that gross pink stuff. Sorry, lbh. One of my firm’s clients is … involved in chicken, that’s all I’ll say. A very famous company involved in chicken. And all the attorneys who have happened to go see the insides of the chicken shop (which is located in a different state so I haven’t been able to see it firsthand) have ALL sworn off chicken of any form, anywhere, forever. It’s that disgusting, allegedly.

                • avatar lets_be_honest March 22, 2012, 11:49 am

                  When it comes to tasty food, my motto is ignorance is bliss (and delicious).

                • avatar DonM March 23, 2012, 7:29 pm

                  It wasn’t Bismarck, but someone said if you like laws, or sausages, you should never watch either being made.

              • avatar silver_dragon_girl March 22, 2012, 11:43 am

                Am I the only one who saw that video and STILL eats McNuggets and other forms of processed chicken? Apparently I can separate the disgusting from the finished, delicious product.

                Totally want chicken nuggets now! Mmmmm

                • avatar lets_be_honest March 22, 2012, 11:51 am

                  I had a long standing rule of not looking at the food as I ate it. Especially the chicken sandwiches.
                  Please give me some advice about how I too can separate the disgusting from the delicious end product! I tried drinking a strawberry shake while I ate the nuggets. I helped a little but not much.

                  • avatar silver_dragon_girl March 22, 2012, 11:58 am

                    Idk, I guess for me it’s because it LOOKS like chicken. Like crispy, breaded, fried, delicious pieces of chicken. Maybe with some stuff put in it to keep it moist, but still chicken.

                    ALTHOUGH every time I get a McD’s chicken sandwich now I’m disappointed. A few years ago they tried to make everything fancier so they switched to those new rolls for their chicken sandwiches, and I don’t like them! It’s too much bread. I want the old cheap mushy stuff back.

                    • avatar lets_be_honest March 22, 2012, 12:08 pm

                      You’re doing it all wrong. You have to order the McChicken. F those fancy ones.

                • avatar jaybro March 22, 2012, 12:14 pm

                  You are not alone! My mind, having since the chicken sludge, tells me not to, but my SOUL CRIES OUT for the nuggets.

              • avatar jaybro March 22, 2012, 12:37 pm

                It reminds me of that Food Revolution show that Jamie Oliver did. When he showed the little kids how they make chicken nuggets, through the whole process of putting in the chicken’s back and all the other nasty parts and then processing it into sludge, the kids were grossed out. Cue the EWWWWWs!! But then when he breaded and fried them into the familiar nugget form, he asked how many of them still wanted to eat it, and they all raised their hands.

                • Lili Lili March 22, 2012, 12:42 pm

                  Did you watch that one about where we get ground beef from? Its gross. I swear that man’s quest is to make me vegetarian. Actually he has. I hate eating meat at places that aren’t like $50 a plate now. I’m waiting for his assault on fish, and then all I will ever be left ordering and eating out will be salads and hummus plates.

                  • avatar jaybro March 22, 2012, 1:15 pm

                    Oh no, I must have missed that one. Ugh, I don’t think I want to know. Ignorance is bliss. Ignorance is bliss. Ignorance is bliiiiisssssss.

                • honeybeenicki honeybeenicki March 22, 2012, 12:44 pm

                  That sounds like what I would do. Although, I also watched Supersize Me in a college class and after leaving, I got in my car to start my 2 hour drive to my mom’s for the weekend and stopped at the first McD’s I found for some on-the-road food.

                  • avatar jaybro March 22, 2012, 1:17 pm

                    No shame. I was watching an episode of My 600 Lb Life with a friend and the lady was eating insane amounts of McD’s, which of course looked delicious, so we drove to the closest McD’s to get some fries. No shame!!

              • theattack theattack March 22, 2012, 1:56 pm

                Ughh, I hate everyone who posts gross or disturbing stuff on facebook. I’ve hidden so many FB friends over videos of “my baby’s first poop.” Then there are the people who post the pictures like “Someone hung these poor puppies by a noose. That’s so cruel!” Yeah, it is cruel, and I don’t want to see that. Thanks for ruining my F-ing day.

                • honeybeenicki honeybeenicki March 22, 2012, 2:34 pm

                  Ew @ “my baby’s first poop” That’s right up there with the gross updates during labor.

              • lucia_la lucia_la March 22, 2012, 5:18 pm

                Why not be mad at McDonald’s for making their chicken nuggets that way, instead of friends who just want to spread the word about the gross and unhealthy things McDonald’s does? It’s their fault in the first place!

                • avatar lets_be_honest March 22, 2012, 5:24 pm

                  Duh! Because McDonalds is as close to a creation from God as its gets. Come on now!
                  Amiright

                  • avatar lets_be_honest March 22, 2012, 5:26 pm

                    In all seriousness though, does anyone really think that they are eating something healthy when they go there? If so, you got bigger problems that unhealthy McNuggets. They aren’t exactly trying to fool you into thinking fried “chicken” is a salad.

                • theattack theattack March 22, 2012, 5:54 pm

                  Because they’re forcibly ruining food for us. They could just say “You guys don’t know where your fast food really comes from!” Instead, they force us to look at horrible pictures we weren’t interested in seeing. They don’t give us an option.

                  • Lili Lili March 22, 2012, 6:00 pm

                    Agreed.

  • avatar summerkitten26 March 22, 2012, 9:35 am

    can I just say that I love love love this response?

    LW, Wendy’s absolutely right. You’re fixating on this guy because you’ve already started something with him, although at this point not what you want, and because you’re in a high pressure, probably time consuming job, it’s the easiest way to obtain a relationship. And from what you’ve told us, you’re a relationship kind of girl indeed. It’s not this guy, though. You know what you want, and if you’ve been successful in your job (which I’m assuming you have, since you’re still in it), then you have the ability to achieve success in your personal life. You just have to be comfortable with yourself first and suss out what it is you want. And yes, he’s already moved on from you, so don’t be that girl who refuses to let go. Good luck!

  • rainbow rainbow March 22, 2012, 9:40 am

    I mostly agree with Wendy, but I wanted to mention that half my relationships started as FWB arrangements and then after a few months progressed to something else. I don’t think that’s the norm, but if you’re going to MOA anyway it can’t hurt to talk to him about it.

    Maybe not “Hey FWB! I don’t know you but I want a real relationship! Want to meet my mom?” but something lighter, like “I’d like to spend some time with you dressed and out of bed, are you up for it?”. But then, if he says anything other than “Yes yes of course great idea, let’s go bowling NOW”, do MOA. Because maybe he values you as a FWB enough to want to avoid making you mad at him, so he goes along with it even if he’s not really interested, and that’s a recipe for disaster. So take anything vague or half-assed as a big NO and forget about him.

    • avatar lets_be_honest March 22, 2012, 9:49 am

      See, I was going to say that it is possible when I just read the headline, but then I read the whole letter. It sounds like they are far from “friends” with benefits, more like sex-only strangers. I think there is a big, big difference.

      • rainbow rainbow March 22, 2012, 10:02 am

        Definitely, I hadn’t thought of that.

        LW, just to clarify: This guys I ended up dating long term weren’t my “friends” in the sense that we didn’t meet for non-sexual activities either, and we didn’t kiss to say hi-bye or cuddle after sex or anything, but we did have very friendly (albeit impersonal) conversations between rounds, and occasionally even slept over when it was too late/cold or we were too drunk to get out of bed. It sounds like your situation is different.

    • CatsMeow CatsMeow March 22, 2012, 10:44 am

      There have been a couple of times in my life where I went into a casual hook-up thinking it would be a one-time thing but it turned into a relationship. Actually, my last two serious boyfriends started out that way. Oops! (But see? Sex on the first date isn’t ALWAYS a no-no.)

      BUT I’ve had it go the other way too. When I was 19 I was soooooo into this guy, and we were FWBs and I tried to keep it casual because I was just out of a long-term relationship and getting ready to move to college, but I developed the biggest crush and ended up humiliating myself. We’re still friends, though, to this day. (And now I have no idea what I ever saw in him. Bleh.)

    • avatar Mimi March 24, 2012, 8:33 am

      Do. Not. Do. That.

      Ignore this advice. Turn in the opposite direction and run away as fast as you can, even as your mind is screaming at you to stop and do what the above poster says. Do. Not. Listen. You will regret it.

      Don’t believe what I”m saying? Go ahead and ignore the warning. Hit this guy up in the most casual way you can. Take his B.S. answer as confirmation. Feel the fluttering of your heart as your blood races and you think ‘how wrong they all were’.

      Two weeks later, or six months later, or a divorce and three kids later, reflect on the advice to just

      Run.

  • avatar ReginaRey March 22, 2012, 9:40 am

    Wendy, this is why I adore you.

    For the record, I’m also absolutely non-judgmental when it comes to casual sex. But the thing is, I often see it hurting more women (I’m going to leave men out of the discussion for now) than it’s “helping.” I think the fact that women can have casual sex, like men have always done, without judgment, is great. I kind of call this my “Sex & The City theory” — The show represented, and I think even influenced, the movement of a whole lot of women finally feeling liberated and confident when it came to sexual endeavors.

    But here’s my biggest qualm – Not everyone is a “Samantha.” Samantha was the kind of woman who absolutely loved casual sex, and never got emotionally attached. It never seemed to have a negative effect on a mental well-being.

    The thing is, I think very few women are true “Samanthas.” If you are — then by all means, have it at, girl. But just because something is acceptable; just because everyone does it and you’re not going to get judged for it — Doesn’t mean it’s right FOR YOU. I think more women should get a little introspective, and ask themselves if casual sex and FWB situations are having a positive effect on their mental well-being. And if it’s not, then you may owe it to yourself to re-think what you’re doing.

    In my mind, the biggest duty you have to yourself is not to put yourself in situations — ANY kind of situation — that has a long-term negative effect on your mental and emotional well-being. That includes shitty jobs (guilty, here), friendships, living situations, and relationships. If a casual sex relationship is going to turn you vulnerable; make you insecure; make you want to emotionally connect with someone who, as Wendy said, had no strings attached to begin with, then don’t hurt your mental and emotional health by doing it. As my mama always said, just because everyone else does it doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for YOU to do…judge your situation individually, and I think Wendy might receive fewer of these types of letters.

    • Budj Budj March 22, 2012, 9:43 am

      Yea – I agree with you. The “romanticization(sp?)” of casual sex I think tricked people into thinking anyone can do it…and in fact…not anyone can. I had to learn that I can’t the hard way in college.

      • Budj Budj March 22, 2012, 9:43 am

        “Not everyone” sorry.

        • Lili Lili March 22, 2012, 2:24 pm

          A rockstar AND a gentleman?!

      • avatar ReginaRey March 22, 2012, 9:45 am

        Yeah, it’s probably obvious from what I wrote that I personally can’t, either. I tried it once in college, and wanted the dude to be my boyfriend in a matter of weeks. It’s honestly just pure biology — intimate sexual experiences chemically alter our brain, and make us want to bond with the person we’re with. All those hormones floating around, and no wonder we end up developing feelings!

        • Will.i.am Will.i.am March 22, 2012, 10:59 am

          You are spot on RR. No need for anyone else to comment. You covered all bases. You need to speed the process up of Grad school!!

          • avatar ReginaRey March 22, 2012, 11:14 am

            I’m trying, Will! I’m turning in at least one application this weekend (fingers crossed that it’s really done by then).

            • Will.i.am Will.i.am March 22, 2012, 3:41 pm

              You want to come here and pursue my Accounting degree for me? Damn college and the ability to make me obtain two degrees!

        • avatar jaybro March 22, 2012, 12:16 pm

          Silly hormones, always getting in the way of things…

    • avatar Addie Pray March 22, 2012, 9:45 am

      I’m going to call 39 likes on this by 11:40 EST. And 50 or so by the day’s end. Ready go.

      • avatar Addie Pray March 22, 2012, 10:57 am

        A little over half way there and we’re right on schedule with the likes! I’m a genius. Is there a high-paying job involving predicting the number of likes someone will get on Dear Wendy?

        • avatar Addie Pray March 22, 2012, 11:41 am

          Well shit. It’s 11:40 EST and RR has only 26 likes. The 13 of you who read RR’s comment and didn’t thumb up it should be ashamed. I’m going to try to find a new career. Predicting RR’s likes is not my cup of tea.

          • honeybeenicki honeybeenicki March 22, 2012, 12:47 pm

            Maybe you were just in the wrong time zone. At 11:47 CST, its at 51 so you were right on :)

          • avatar lets_be_honest March 22, 2012, 1:36 pm

            http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/loungebeauty-new/24850109.jsp

            • avatar Addie Pray March 22, 2012, 3:55 pm

              What is it about yoga that allows people to put a minimum price tag of $50 on the teeniest tiniest piece of cloth? (But yes, I’ll probably buy a pair of these this weekend now that I know Anthropologie carries Bikram clothes.)

              • Lili Lili March 22, 2012, 4:05 pm

                Because yoga is supposed to make you so zen you don’t care about money?!

          • Lili Lili March 22, 2012, 7:37 pm

            So she has 53 likes and the day is not done. I think you have a job in this still Addie.

    • JK JK March 22, 2012, 9:45 am

      I LOVED this, RR!

    • rainbow rainbow March 22, 2012, 9:49 am

      your mama sounds cool =)

      Also I agree with all of this.

    • avatar Renee March 22, 2012, 9:49 am

      For the record, I can be judgemental, which is why I read Wendy’s advice so I can be more charitable.

      Never emotionally connecting with someone through sex seems like a lot work, when you could buy yourself one of those adult toy thingys and disconnect on your own terms.

      • rainbow rainbow March 22, 2012, 10:07 am

        Absolutely, that’s why I’ve switched from FWBs to a drawer full of toys. GO technologically-enhanced celibacy!

        • avatar Renee March 22, 2012, 10:17 am

          It will dramaticly reduce the chances of getting confused, but of course we always hear of some guy in asia trying to marry his female sex-robot. We don’t want anyone to fall that far from reality either.

        • avatar iseeshiny March 22, 2012, 10:19 am

          Rainbow, don’t fall in love with your toys! They’re tools to be used! They have no feelings!

          • rainbow rainbow March 22, 2012, 10:24 am

            I know! I do my best. I don’t name them, I get them all in the same color so they don’t feel special, unique or anything, and when I’m done using them I hold them in front of my face and say “YOU MEAN *NOTHING* TO ME!”

            • avatar Taylor March 22, 2012, 12:47 pm

              Someone should put that in a chic lit book. Hi-larious =)

      • avatar lets_be_honest March 22, 2012, 10:18 am

        Great. Now we can expect a letter next week about some poor LW who wants more from her sex doll.

        • avatar ReginaRey March 22, 2012, 10:20 am

          I once watched a “My Strange Addiction” episode where this creepy dude had married his sex doll, and they have dinner together and he shows her pictures of things he’s done during the day. His name was DaveCat.

          • honeybeenicki honeybeenicki March 22, 2012, 10:36 am

            I remember that one. It was a bit weird and reminded me of a woman falling in love with one of her toys (just wait… we’ll see that episode yet!)

            • avatar jlyfsh March 22, 2012, 10:46 am

              honeybeenicki this is completely off topic but i was thinking about you yesterday after a not so great inspection on my house. i was having a minor breakdown and then i was like if she can do it with everything else going on, i can do this too, haha. buying a house just plain sucks some days!!

              also back to the topic at hand, i also watched that episode. i remember wanting to change the channel but i couldn’t stop watching him!

              • honeybeenicki honeybeenicki March 22, 2012, 12:49 pm

                We had so much go down during the house buying process in addition to the other crap in my life (including financing problems, tenant issues since its a duplex with tenants in it, an elusive washer and dryer, sellers going missing and missing important deadlines, problems AT closing, and a whole bunch of other stuff), but now its ours! Sure… we can’t actually live in it yet, but it was worth all the hassle. T-Minus 42 days before the tenants are out of one side and I can get in and start painting!

                • avatar jlyfsh March 22, 2012, 3:09 pm

                  oh man that’s rough! our sellers are actually fannie mae because it’s a foreclosure. surprisingly enough they agreed to pay for some termite issues/damage. the listing agent sucks though. for example he and his wife ‘forgot’ to have power turned on for the inspection. i am going to have a party after closing!! i’m actually looking forward to the repairs because at that point this process will be over. i’m sure eventually i’ll be overwhelmed by that too, haha.

          • avatar SweetPea March 22, 2012, 11:07 am

            There is also a really heartbreaking movie about this- “Lars and the Real Girl”. Like I said, very sad, but so interesting. I recommend it.

            • CatsMeow CatsMeow March 22, 2012, 11:56 am

              Don’t forget Ryan Gosling. Include him in your recommendations and you might get more people on board!

              • avatar iseeshiny March 22, 2012, 3:34 pm

                Mmmmmmm Ryan Gosling.

            • theattack theattack March 22, 2012, 2:01 pm

              I love Lars and the Real Girl, but it did not break my heart at all. Maybe I’m just a mean person on the inside

    • landygirl landygirl March 22, 2012, 11:52 am

      Off topic – how is the puppy?

      • avatar ReginaRey March 22, 2012, 12:06 pm

        Ha, well, in addition to being extremely cute and intelligent…she’s also got an ATTITUDE. Girl does NOT like being reprimanded or scolded, and has taken to biting at me when she’s bored/frustrated/annoyed. She doesn’t lack for confidence AT ALL, and definitely prances around acting like she’s the boss. So I’ve scheduled private puppy lessons starting next Saturday, haha. She needs to learn who’s boss around here, and that biting is NOT the way to get what you want. I thought I’d be getting this sweet, calm, cuddly puppy…and I got a fiesty little diva. It figures.

        • landygirl landygirl March 22, 2012, 12:26 pm

          My dog, who is the mellowest dog I know, was very rambunctous as a puppy (so I’ve heard, I didn’t meet him until he was 2). Lots of exercise might knock some of the mischief out of her though they are cute when they have that puppy energy.

        • avatar Grilledcheesecalliope March 22, 2012, 1:31 pm

          Scream as loudly and high pitched as you can, when she bites. It will freak her out and she will learn to stop.

    • Lili Lili March 22, 2012, 1:18 pm

      Great advice Wendy 2.0! As a matter of fact if I could wish for one thing, I’d wish for a Wendy/RR duo in my head whenever I am about to do something my gut is telling me no, but my whatever is saying yes.

      But I do have to say, I don’t think its necessarily a BAD thing that Wendy gets a lot of these letters, sometimes people just HAVE to experience this kind of confusion and insecurity in their love lives before they can figure out what they DO believe in-like being a relationship person and not a FWB. My heartbreak and long drawn out breakup + MOA difficulties were the best thing that could have happened to my love life. Because it taught me who I am an who I can’t ever be. I will say though, that the epiphany can ONLY be realized if one has wise and supportive voices guiding them-like you and Wendy and all the other kind and caring DW peeps :)

      And for my parting words I’ll just quote the song stuck in my head…
      ‘I want the love, the money and the perfect ending, you want the same as I so stop pretending.’

  • Budj Budj March 22, 2012, 9:41 am

    No, I think I agree with the LW….he sounds really shy….yep….

    Most shy guys are consistently shy…(and eventually stop being so after you’ve had sex for a bit)…when he stops being shy immediately before hook up time that is called “not shy” and should be taken as “buttering you up for sex.”

    He also sounds like he is picking up your vibes and I think it’s pretty pathetic he is still content using you when you clearly want more. Break it off.

  • avatar silver_dragon_girl March 22, 2012, 9:44 am

    Totally agree with Wendy. And LW, don’t feel too terrible…you are FAR from the first person this has happened to (*raises hand*). A lot of us have learned this lesson the hard way.

    I think you’re fixated on dating this guy because he’s already *there.* It would be so much easier to date him than it would be to go out and find someone better-suited, because you already have a relationship (a NSA arrangement is still a relationship of sorts) with him. Just not the kind you really want.

    Do not call or text him again. Ever. If he texts or calls YOU, be nice, polite, friendly, but say you’re ready for something more and you’re looking for someone to give that to you. If he’s interested, he’ll say so, but he’ll probably just say, “OK good luck” and that’ll be the end of it. Until he booty-calls you again later.

    • Budj Budj March 22, 2012, 9:46 am

      “he’ll probably just say, “OK good luck” and that’ll be the end of it. Until he booty-calls you again later.”

      AAAAAAnd he will.

    • avatar silver_dragon_girl March 22, 2012, 9:49 am

      And let me also add that for all of us who learned this the hard way, not all of us even learned it the *first* time either. Do as I say, not as I did!!!

    • Fabelle Fabelle March 22, 2012, 9:52 am

      Agree so much with “I think you’re fixated on dating this guy because he’s already *there.* “

    • CatsMeow CatsMeow March 22, 2012, 10:47 am

      You know, I almost think she should just come out and tell him she wants more, IF and only if she goes into it with low expectations. I’m pretty sure he’ll turn her down, but sometimes a straight-up rejection makes it more “real” and final and easier to move on, so you’re not always wondering, “What if….”

  • Fabelle Fabelle March 22, 2012, 9:47 am

    Everything Wendy said. LW, I don’t even understand what is making you think you want a relationship with this guy. You’re not even “friends” with benefits, you’ve been in a Craigslist-style casual encounter situation with him since September. How often do you even see him? (I know you said about once a week, but I’m a little confused by the whole “he hasn’t responded to my two texts from a month ago/he has done [that] before.”)

    You’re being… silly. Leg rubbing/hand-holding/sad attempts at chit-chat are not reasons for you to ask “Is he into me? Is he not into me?” It feels like you’ve been building him up in your mind– just because the sex is good (is it? you don’t even say) & his hobbies may align with yours, doesn’t mean you’d make a “good couple.”

    If you want NSA sex, maybe you should deliberately pick somebody who you’d NEVER want to date in a million years (for real, this could help). Otherwise, just go find someone who wants to be in a relationship as well. Either way…not this dude.

    • JK JK March 22, 2012, 9:52 am

      Yeah, that leg rubbing thing reminded me of that other LW a while back that was asking the same question because the guy kissed her on the forehead after sex.

    • avatar rachel March 22, 2012, 4:42 pm

      Right, I hope the sex is good if she’s got so much mental anguish about this!

  • avatar iseeshiny March 22, 2012, 9:53 am

    It’s always kind of depressing to me how we can delude ourselves. Like, “Oh, he rubbed my leg post-coitus, that must mean he has feelings for me,” when maybe you just shaved your legs that day and it felt smooth. I mean, I’ve been there. I had a huge crush on a guy who made it plain that he was just not interested in me. He made it plain by being a total jerk, if he talked to me at all, which was rarely. And one day he said “Good morning,” and I was like omigod he likes me! That waiting finally paid off! And then I embarrassed the crap out of myself. I completely ignored the fact that “Good morning” does in no way equal “I’ve finally seen that you’re the prettiest, smartest, sweetest woman I’ve ever met and I want to take you places and buy you presents and understand the inner workings of your mind!” Just like leg rubbing or hand holding isn’t really a declaration of intent when he’s already been inside you and still hasn’t asked you out on a real date.

    • avatar ReginaRey March 22, 2012, 9:55 am

      Sigh, I know. This dude I was casually dating (but who mysteriously did not want to be my boyfriend) wouldn’t communicate with me for a day or three…and then he’d text me something flirtatious, and I’d be like “OMG, see?! He actually secretly DOES want to be my boyfriend, he just hasn’t realized it yet.” We can trick ourselves into making a LOT out of absolutely nothing.

      • avatar iseeshiny March 22, 2012, 10:24 am

        Uggggghh. I have a friend who is doing it to himself right now. He has clearly been friendzoned, but “She falls asleep with her head on my shoulder! She says I’m the only one who really gets her!” and there is no convincing him that she views him as a sexless therapist/chauffeur/caterer.

        • landygirl landygirl March 22, 2012, 2:50 pm

          The fact that she says stuff like “He is the only one who understands her” says to me that she is aware that he wants more and even though she doesn’t, she likes the attention and says things to encourage him. So sad that people do stuff like that and/or allow it to be done to them.

          • avatar iseeshiny March 22, 2012, 3:13 pm

            Oh yeah. She’s a complete user. She calls him or has him come over where she dishes about all her woes with this fling or that fling or that one night stand, and they watch movies and talk for hours and he’s madly in love with her and it’s mean of me but it’s so pathetic and I simply cannot listen to him bitch about it anymore. I used to have more patience with him but I can’t make him see that this girl is too much of a mess to form an actual emotional attachment with anyone but herself, that she’ll never be his girlfriend because she’s going to be chasing after the approval of the tools who treat her like dirt, that she likes keeping him on the sidelines for the emotional and ego boosts that she doesn’t get from the dicks she dates… ugh. Anyway. I’ve told him this, much more nicely, of course, but whatever, he’s a grown man. Sort of. It just rankles that some other girl’s daddy issues are screwing with my friends head.

            • Will.i.am Will.i.am March 22, 2012, 3:53 pm

              If she ever formed one for him, I wonder if he would just lose interest? You know, he chased so long, finally got her, and now he doesn’t want her. Girls like this are leeches. They love that they have someone at their beck and call. I’ve been there before and it was a terrible situation.

              I had a big crush on this girl and she worked nights. I work days and would get off at 5pm. She used me so bad, it was ridiculous. I would stay up for her to call me at 2am or even hang out with her till 5am in the morning and get very little sleep. It was quite sad what I was putting up with. I was definitely wearing infatuation blinders.

              • avatar iseeshiny March 22, 2012, 5:08 pm

                Could be. I kind of think he’s like the dog chasing the rabbit – once he catches it he won’t know what to do with it. I’ve yet to see him in a relationship lasting longer than four months.

                I think it all comes down to self-esteem, though. The girls with the low self esteem feel like they need to be able to say, “Look, he sticks around even when he’s not getting anything out of it, I must be amazing!” and the guys with the low self esteem are like, “She’s the prettiest girl in the world and she’s not just giving me the time of day, she depends on me!” And they’re just damaging each other in the end. To make a sweeping, sexist generalization that I’m aware doesn’t hold true across the board, it’s like the girl-version of an imbalanced NSA relationship. Only now it stands for No Sex Atall.

                The acronym needs some work, but you see my point.

            • avatar Christy March 22, 2012, 5:52 pm

              I’m just thinking maybe these situations are common across both genders, but the opposite of the girl in a FWB situation is a guy in the friendzone. The FWB girl gets the sexual connection but wants to emotional one. The friendzone guy is getting the emotional connection but wants a sexual one. Nobody gets what they really want!

            • avatar Zepp March 23, 2012, 4:27 am

              send him this onion article: its sooo funny and sadly so true

              http://www.theonion.com/articles/but-if-we-started-dating-it-would-ruin-our-friends,11473/

    • rainbow rainbow March 22, 2012, 10:19 am

      God, I caught myself doing this a few days ago. I’m not seeing anybody right now, and I meant to keep it up for a few more months, but then I realize I REALLY like this friend of mine who is in a long term relationship.

      So I decide I’m not going to do anything about it and will just walk it off, and the next thing I know I’m thinking “So if he doesn’t invite me to his birthday party next week even though we’re friends is because he wouldn’t want me and his GF in the same room and that’s because HE LIKES ME TOO, but since he’s not a cheating pig he’d rather keep me away”. And then I added “On the other hand, if he does invite me, it’s because HE LIKES ME EVEN MORE, so much he doesn’t care what’s appropriate!”

      And then I snapped out of it and poured myself a drink and felt embarrassed for a couple of hours.

  • avatar J. Walker March 22, 2012, 9:58 am

    Somewhere in the last few years pop culture has started using the “friends with bennefits” card to validate every sex based relationship. But you guys were never friends… You met online for casual sex and that is all you shared. Friends with bennefits are two friends, actual friends, who decide to start sleeping together but not date. Call a spade a spade, girl. You’re a booty call at best. No disrespect though, that’s a valid relationship to have with someone when sex is all you want but even if all you want is sex + a decent guy to hang out with post sex this guy clearly is not the ideal candidate.

  • avatar Chilosa161 March 22, 2012, 9:59 am

    Oof, this is familiar. But listen. Stop the “real relationship” dialogue in your head for a moment and get your own definition of relationship. IMO, you’re already in a real relationship, because the sex you have is in reality and you are people who relate.

    I define relationships broadly. I have a longterm, loving relationship with a man that I share no friends with and who lives on another continent. He and I started out as what I thought would be my first one night stand, but two years later we still have the hots for one another. A “real relationship” the way that some define it (monogamous, kissy-wissy, facebook official, leading to marriage etc) simply never took shape. The does not mean we don’t have a real relationship, or that I value him any less that I would someone I considered my partner.

    You define what you want this situation to be. If you want it to be a traditional relationship, see if he’s interested. If you want NSA hooking up, keep things the way they are. But I think the best path may lie somewhere in the middle, where you and he can define your own places in one another’s lives.

  • avatar RMM0278 March 22, 2012, 10:36 am

    Is anyone else getting the married vibe from her description? The long periods of time where they don’t see each other, no responses to text but then BAM flirty text, he never calls, he’s bailing right after sex, he doesn’t talk about himself or any personal revealing details, etc. — those all scream MARRIED or in a serious relationship. I’ll take your word that you’re in a high pressure environment, but I’m not buying his excuse.

    Do you even know his last name?!

    • avatar rachel March 22, 2012, 4:46 pm

      Maybe, but they met for NSA sex – he might just figure that means they don’t have to be friends.

  • avatar Flake March 22, 2012, 10:41 am

    This reminds me of the letter the other day, where the LW was wondering why the guy treated her so well when he obviously was not interested in a long-term relationship.

    I think men sometimes can’t win in these situations. If he treated you completely as a piece of meat, i. e. was rude to you, inconsiderate, and was generally an asshole, you wouldn’t sleep with him. But as soon as he shows the tiniest amount of appreciation and affection, you right away decide that he may be harboring secret feelings for you.

    I also think this has absolutely nothing to do with the guy. I think that you may have bitten off more then you can chew. If you truly were capable of having a NSA sex, you would have broken this off as soon as the first thought about having a relationship with this guy entered your mind. But I do think that if you are truly interested in him, it would not hurt to suggest you do something outside the bedroom. If he is interested, he will take you up on that offer. But do not get too upset if you have misread his gestures and all he truly wants is someone to screw.

    • avatar ReginaRey March 22, 2012, 10:47 am

      I totally agree with your “men can’t win” assessment. Though of course, to be fair, I’m sure there are plenty of men who similarly misread women’s signals.

      I think the “can’t win” thing says way more about YOU than it says about the other person — If they’re “rude” or “secretly harboring feelings for you, either way — You’re projecting some feelings on them, which means you’re too emotionally invested, one way or another, and casual sex is probably not the thing for you.

    • avatar Bklyn Grl March 22, 2012, 11:21 am

      My husband and I were talking about this (sort of) the other day. He was telling me a story about some girl he met years back when he was in a band, and it was clear the girl expected to be going home with him and had no way of getting back to her own apartment (she was his band-mate’s girlfriend’s friend)… He was NOT interested, but didn’t want to rude, so he let her stay at his place, BUT he didn’t make any sort of move on her. The next day, she was even more smitten with him because he had been such a gentleman not to take advantage of her while she was drunk and she couldn’t wait to see him again. My husband observed that if he’d just slept with her and never called, he could have been rid of her faster.

    • avatar moonflowers March 22, 2012, 3:47 pm

      There is a way dudes can “win” – by directly stating at the very beginning that things are supposed to be casual, and making sure both parties understand what it means. A lot of guys leave out that “casual” part when they start dating someone, like the benefits of having a stable partner (companionship and regular sex), and just sort of “forget” to tell the girl that oh, by the way, he sees no long term future with her.

      Yes, it’s a good idea to be less emotionally invested in someone you’ve just started dating, but if it’s been a few *months* and then she finds out that he was sure he didn’t see something going forward from day 1 – well, woulda been nice to know on the 2nd date, *before* all the cuddling and sweet nothing’s happened. Myself and a friend of mine recenly got burned by this.

      • avatar BC March 23, 2012, 7:29 pm

        As a male, I disagree. Being excruciatingly clear about your expectations for the relationship works only as long as both parties are rational. As ably described by iseeshiny and ReginaRey upthread, female bonding impulses are frequently anything but. I once had a conversation with a woman that went like this:

        Me: “I thought we went over this when we started sleeping together. I told you flat-out that I wasn’t interested in anything more complicated or involved than friends-with-benefits. You agreed, and said you didn’t want anything more complicated or involved, either.”

        Her: “I know. But last weekend, when I was sick, you brought juice. I thought, you know…”

        Me: “I brought lime juice to make mojitos with. I didn’t even know you were sick until I came over.”

        Her: “But then once you were here, you cleaned me up and tucked me into bed with a blanket.”

        Me: “Yes, because I’m not a fucking asshole who’s comfortable leaving you lying in a puddle of puke on your bathroom floor. That doesn’t mean I want to date you.”

        I’m not saying that women are incapable of respecting a man’s relationship boundaries. I’m just saying that it’s not as easy as just announcing those boundaries clearly.

  • avatar oldie March 22, 2012, 10:44 am

    I agree with those who suggest that this is not about the problems of casual sex. This is about the problems of self-delusion and day-dreaming to transform the guy you’re with into the guy you need. A FWB is probably ideal for this purpose. He tells you nothing about himself, so he is the perfect blank slate upon which you can dream-write all your wishes in a man. Does he not talk, ignore your texts, and allow you to learn nothing about him? Surely that means he’s the shy, sensitive person you see yourself as, not that he doesn’t want you to know that he’s an ex-con with a wife and three kids. Has he rubbed your leg once after sex? Surely that means he really cares, not that he was just checking to make sure that someone so naive is actually real.

    You need to separate what love means — yes you didn’t say the word, but that’s where you’re going with your feelings– from lust and neediness. You can’t really love someone you know virtually nothing about. You can have your inter

    • CatsMeow CatsMeow March 22, 2012, 10:57 am

      Yeah, given that she knows so little about him and has so rarely interacted with him outside the bedroom, I’d say that the attachment she’s feeling is purely biological. And there’s nothing wrong with that! It’s bound to happen when you’re physically intimate with someone on a regular basis for 6 months.

    • Jess Jess of CGW March 22, 2012, 12:15 pm

      Great points here. It’s true. There is a psychological sabotage at work. 1. Choose a guy that is highly unlikely to fulfill your (repressed) need for companionship and love. 2. Then since you know almost nothing about him, project all your hopes and dreams for a partner onto him. 3. Finally, since he cannot possibly live up to points 1 or 2, watch it explode spectacularly in front of you. 4. React to the hurt and rejection by further repressing your real need for love. And go back to step 1.

  • avatar Lindsay March 22, 2012, 10:57 am

    I hadn’t even read the letter yet, and my answer was already no. I’ve been FWB with guys who watched movies with me, cooked for me and did other things that could be misconstrued. But we were still nothing but FWB. It’s very easy for someone to hold hands or whatever with a person they’re sleeping with — it doesn’t have to come from some kind of deep-rooted, romantic feelings. But you’re FWB for a reason. If he wanted to have a relationship, he’d make some effort in that direction.

    • Eljay Eljay March 22, 2012, 11:55 am

      I completely agree with this. My fwb of 6 months was about the same. We went places together, had awesome conversations that lasted long into the night, texted like teenagers, snuggled & cuddled at movies (in home & at the theater), held hands and did all the romantic things people in relationships do. But we were nothing more than FWB. We both understood it, and it worked for us.

      • Amybelle Amybelle March 22, 2012, 3:01 pm

        I don’t understand this…how is that different than a relationship? Do you not consider it a relationship because you’re not ‘in love’? Or do you mean you dont see the other person as a romantic partner? I’m not trying to be difficult, but I really don’t get the difference. If I like spending time with someone, am close enough to consider them a friend, and am attracted enough to have sex with them, that’s a relationship. I’ve only ever loved two men, but I’ve dated and been in relationships with more than that, were we just FWB and I didn’t know it ? I’m not really a casual sex person, mainly because I’m not really attracted to that many people. i cant imagine wanting to sleep with my guy friends. Maybe I have a more serious definition of friendship?

        • Amybelle Amybelle March 22, 2012, 3:27 pm

          what I’m trying to ask is, what would need to be added for you to consider it a relationship?

        • avatar moonflowers March 22, 2012, 3:53 pm

          Also eagerly awaiting responses to this question. I had to break something off recently with a guy who said he really respected me, liked the way I thought about everything, felt I was fun to be with, and was very attracted to me to the point that you could cut the sexual tension in the air with a knife – but couldn’t see me as his girlfriend. Gah.

          • Eljay Eljay March 22, 2012, 4:43 pm

            This! This is exactly what was missing to make it a relationship! He didn’t want monogamy….with me. Just wanted to hang out & have sex. That is nowhere near my idea of a monogamous relationship. We also agreed that if either of us found someone we wanted to date seriously, sex would end. We’d still be the great friends we are, just no sex. He also said the exact same thing your recent guy said – he loved being around me, liked the way I thought, attraction like the world is on fire, mutual respect, yet I was just not the one he wanted to call his woman. Had a lot to do with me having a child. He wanted someone a lot more, well, portable. What I called a “beck and call girl”. I couldn’t just drop everything and meet him, hang out, sleep with him whenever the mood struck. This was a major sticking point with him. Sucks, because my girl is the most awesome kid a mom (or anyone) could ever know. His loss. On me and my kid. We don’t have sex anymore, but are still great friends. I will not ever understand his reasoning – because he is still alone, and hasn’t had a serious relationship in so many years. It’s baffling how he thinks he’s waiting for all the “pieces of the puzzle” to come together. I don’t see it happening, but he has to see it for himself. I will not be waiting for him to figure it out.

            To answer your question, the guys you dated and were in relationships with were NOT just fwb’s – because you were in a relationship. Even dating. My guy wouldn’t even call what we were doing “dating”. We were friends who had a great time together, that’s it. If I ever even looked like I wanted to have “the talk” he’d get so uncomfortable the beads of sweat would start to form on his forehead. Gawd forbid we would “label” it. Ugh, it’s so frustrating!

            • Amybelle Amybelle March 22, 2012, 7:31 pm

              That makes a little more sense, I guess I wasn’t necessarily meaning a monogamous relationship; to me it still seems a more romantic relationship than friendship, just not exclusive. I was married in 1995 and divorced in 2009, and sometimes I feel like I just flew in from another planet and don’t speak the language! The last time I was dating most people didnt even have cell phones….

              • Eljay Eljay March 23, 2012, 9:32 am

                Oh I can definitely relate! My husband and I started dating at 18 and divorced at 41 (almost 5 years ago), so I am having a bit of culture shock at this whole dating scene. It’s awful! I definitely feel like I’m on a different planet and certainly don’t speak the language. Sigh.

            • avatar Mimi March 24, 2012, 8:46 am

              “I will not be waiting for him to figure it out…”

              >Clapping hands loudly<

            • avatar moonflowers March 31, 2012, 9:49 pm

              Sounds to me like both you and I ran into emotionally unavailable men – dudes who want all the fun but none of the emotional risk/vulnerability that comes with commitment. My guy had this notion that he had to find the right woman to make him emotionally available – that all the ones he felt he could really commit to weren’t into him or were taken, and he couldn’t see himself with the women who were really into him. Excuses, I say. He can keep looking for his “perfect” woman (and incidentally breaking lots of other womens’ hearts by making them think they’ve got something with him), but he’ll never find it because he’s the one that’s lost.

          • avatar Flake March 23, 2012, 9:08 am

            I had a FWB. We had great sex, saw movies together, and generally had pretty good time. I would never have him as a BF though, because I knew how he treated his ”official” GFs. He wasn’t cheating on them, but he generally was an asshole of a BF, in my opinion. And he felt that he should be able to get away with more in the ”official” relationship because the girls loved him and were afraid to lose him, and since I didn’t love him, I had no problem telling him to go screw himself when he acted like an ass.

            I know, the logic behind this is baffling…

        • avatar BettyBoop March 22, 2012, 7:55 pm

          My opinion only, but the difference is in the two of you defining it as a relationship with the mutual understanding of the possibility of it being long term. It may not happen, but it is something I would daydream about. With an FWB I enjoy it moment to moment, knowing that one of us might choose to end it at any time. It’s great if you’re emotionally built for it, but I’m sure it’s torture if you’re not! No shame in either.

  • avatar Dennis Hong March 22, 2012, 11:05 am

    Actually, back in 1985, Carl’s Jr added T-bone steaks to their menu (at least, in Orange County, they did). I swear I’m not making this up. I even remember the exact year, because this was a HUGE deal for me, even as a little kid.

    Admittedly, this didn’t last long. But at least for a few months, my favorite fast-food restaurant had in fact become the fine dining establishment of my dreams.

    But Wendy’s right. It never lasts.

    • Lili Lili March 22, 2012, 12:51 pm

      Do you remember when they had pizza at Mcdonalds? That blew my little mind because now I wouldn’t have to miss out on pizza when my siblings wanted those gross gross nuggets. Side note-I had only had nuggets with ketchup until college, when I switched to Ranch and BBQ the love affair was one.

      • avatar lets_be_honest March 22, 2012, 1:00 pm

        Try them with honey.

        The McDonald’s in Maine serve lobster rolls!

        • Lili Lili March 22, 2012, 1:03 pm

          I DO like honey mustard…HM. I see mickey d’s in my near distant future…oh but after the pink slime thing I switched to Veggie Chikn nuggets. Morningstar’s Buffalo chicken nuggets hit the craving for me, plus so much more convenient-just bake them whenever the fancy strikes you-which for me is usually 3 am.

          • CatsMeow CatsMeow March 22, 2012, 2:40 pm

            YES! The buffalo veggie nuggets are divine.

      • avatar Dennis Hong March 22, 2012, 2:26 pm

        This is why I like food courts and buffets. Everyone in the family can have something different.

    • avatar *HmC* March 22, 2012, 1:08 pm

      The Jack in the Box’s in San Diego decided to go for a fancier “Jack’s” motif a few years ago. They built fireplaces into their restaurants and everything. They were just testing it out I guess… looks like it didn’t take off though.

      And in Del Mar (fancier part of San Diego) there is this McDonald’s that is super fancy! Like, the inside looks like a gaudy french museum, with gold accents and big oil paintings. And they workers are all super creepily nice and attentive. But of course the food is the same old crapfest. So bizarre.

      • avatar Dennis Hong March 22, 2012, 2:25 pm

        I remember that: JBX.

        What an overpriced joke. :-p

        • Lili Lili March 22, 2012, 2:30 pm

          Remember when the Carl’s JR $6 burger was less than $6. I miss those days. And Carl’s JR. damn health conscious Seattle with its mean city zoning permit laws that keep lovely fast food establishments away (sniff sniff chik-fil-a and carls jr). I haven’t had chili cheese fries as disgustingly delish as those from Carl’s JR. add a burger to that and i’d be in a super size food coma for days. Or until I hit the bars. Either way it was amazing.

          • avatar Dennis Hong March 22, 2012, 3:30 pm

            Oh yes, drunken munchies. Quite familiar with those. And we have a slew of 24-hour taco stands here in San Diego that satisfy those munchies, too (if you think chili cheese fries are good, you should try carne asada fries). It’s a dangerous combination.

            • Lili Lili March 22, 2012, 4:24 pm

              I miss CA. I have an ad for Disneyland at the top of the page, I think its telling me I need to go.

              • avatar lets_be_honest March 22, 2012, 4:57 pm

                DisneyWorld is much better! (not that i’ve been to DisneyLand, but I’m pretty sure)

                • Lili Lili March 22, 2012, 5:11 pm

                  Is it near Miami? I’ve always wanted to go to Miami. Mostly so I can say witty one liners and put on my sunglasses. Oh and hook up with a hot Adam Rodrguiez look alike. BTW is my CSI Miami addiction showing. Its ok. I’m not embarrassed (anymore).

                  • avatar lets_be_honest March 22, 2012, 5:16 pm

                    Ha! Miami is nice, but its not that close, about a 3 hour drive I think. I took my daughter a couple years ago thinking I’d like it only because she would and I ended up loving it! You just can’t be in a bad mood there.

                    • Lili Lili March 22, 2012, 5:25 pm

                      Oh and I forgot Dexter! I would love to meet Dexter too. I think I’m a pretty good person so he’d let me live. WOW CSI Miami and Dexter are both set in Miami, man they have a lot of dead people. I’m not sure I want to go now. Although, I do live in Seattle and have managed to not get killed, The Killing style. But that could be because I’m older than high school age. Ah tv shows are taking over my brain…random interjection I am hereby banning AH as a term i type, as they are my x’s initials. And I hate him. From now own I will interject AK..Shit. Still his initials..help me come up with a new term DW peeps what can I say instead of AH?!

    • landygirl landygirl March 22, 2012, 2:53 pm

      In Pacifica, CA, they have a Taco Bell that’s right on the beach. You can eat your taco and watch the surf. It’s been named the Taco Bell with the best view.

  • avatar Phoenix March 22, 2012, 11:06 am

    I think the reason that “this happens more with females” is the whole oxytocin issue. The bonding hormone that is released during female orgasm, childbirth, breastfeeding, etc. Even if you have nothing in common with the person responsible for helping you achieve orgasm, biology is telling you to bond with them. Biologically it served a role for millenia, but not so helpful when it comes to casual sex. And yes, males also have oxytocin releases, but not at the same levels as a female.

    • avatar MiMi March 22, 2012, 11:58 am

      Exactly what I was going to say! It isn’t you, LW, it’s your pituitary gland that wants to bond with a dude who isn’t even holding up his end of the booty call bargain…

    • Fabelle Fabelle March 22, 2012, 12:47 pm

      I also think women tend to indulge in their romantic-y feelings more– like, once the thought enters, it is over-analyzed to death. So then you’re spending all this time thinking about the person (“why did he ___? if he did ___, then maybe he could___?”) which makes you fall deeper in because the person’s always on your mind. Whereas men (& I’m speaking in general terms, so apologize if there’s stereotyping language) might have the thoughts, but dismiss them as quickly as they come.

    • avatar Lamp March 22, 2012, 12:57 pm

      My understanding is that the oxcytocin theory is a myth. I think I remember from the article I’ll post below is that is compounds feelings that were already there, but it can’t completely fabricate emotions for someone. The notion that women “just can’t” have NSA/FWB relationships because of biology is a dangerous way of thinking that produces nonsense like abstinence only sex ed.

      http://io9.com/5606765/myths-about-the-love-hormone-oxytocin-that-could-ruin-your-love-life

      • avatar Renee March 22, 2012, 1:22 pm

        I disagree.

        Been reading up on this issue for years, it’s like saying evolution is nonsense.

        I will accept, that as individuals have free will and will do everything we can to go against nature even if it isn’t to our interests long term.

        Yeah, the oxytocin fact, means were not free completely of the evolutionary design of our sexual bodies.

        That’s reality, if people are really want to have NSA, they’re to try. But as Wendy pointed out she gets a letter daily likes LWs.

        • avatar Renee March 22, 2012, 1:26 pm

          Oops “they’re free to try”

          Sorry to be a thorn, but telling women oxytocin isn’t a factor would be a complete disservice as she proceeds in her relationship.

        • Fabelle Fabelle March 22, 2012, 2:25 pm

          Gonna jump in here on the oxcytocin thing & say that although we’re not completely free of the evolutionary design of our bodies (as Renee pointed out), I do think that the fluffy journalism surrounding these issues clouds the actual science. And it does so in a way that’s problematic– like Lamp said, it’s a dangerous line of thinking. I’ve seen a lot of dumb internet articles that use evolutionary science to stereotype BOTH genders (like women & the NSA sex thing, or men with the whole “They can’t help but cheat! Gotta spread that seed! It’s SCIENCE!”)

          So although biology obviously plays a part in everything, it often winds up being an excuse.

        • Amybelle Amybelle March 22, 2012, 3:18 pm

          I think some women are more sensitive to the effects of their hormones too. Everyone’s body chemistry is a bit different, obviously we are not slaves to our hormones but that doesn’t mean they don’t have an influence. I was pretty skeptical myself until I experienced postpartum hormones, that shiz is no myth!

      • avatar Christy March 22, 2012, 8:02 pm

        Thanks for the link! I like how it showed that oxcytocin is released during many activities, so it is a bit ridiculous to think that it’s such a big factor for casual sex. People love to use science to support their biases!

  • avatar Liz March 22, 2012, 11:14 am

    When people ask for advice on these kind of things, I feel really bad. I understand what the problem is, I think, because to an extent, I feel the same way: they don’t want to go out searching for a relationship, because that would be to desperate or obvious or something, but they want a relationship, so they continuously put themselves in positions that have a remote chance of ending up in one, such as a FWB situation, or pining over one of their dude friends. The problem is that it rarely works out the way you hope in your head, and you’re so much more likely to get hurt. So I totally agree with Wendy- if you want a relationship, put aside your pride, admit it to yourself, and go out and search for someone who wants one as well! The end result will always be so much better.

    • avatar moonflowers March 22, 2012, 4:00 pm

      Great point. And it shouldn’t be a matter of pride or not that someone’s a relationship person or someone is a FWB person. It’s not about which is “better” or “more hip/modern”. It’s just the way you are. Not all of us are Samanthas from SAtC and that’s fine. It’s better to accept who you are and work with it than to try to live in defiance of it and end up just making yourself miserable. If you like relationships, go for relationships; if you like FWB, do FWB. Just be honest to both yourself and your partners and there will be nothing to be ashamed of.

  • avatar yep March 22, 2012, 11:55 am

    in this particular case i would just move on and next boy the lw meets, she needs to try and date…

    but i disagree, my bf and i also started very casual and weve been together for years now… people can develop deep feelings in those situations but just not in the expected way. it doesnt happen all the time but it does happen. i think it really depends on the type of people that get involved.

    • avatar Lulu July 23, 2012, 5:12 pm

      You don’t advice people to spend all their savings on lottery just because someone has won millions in it; it’s the same thing – someone has successful relationship by starting it casual is an exception, not the rule.

      Not to mention that the guy isn’t even interested in having anything more than sex. No, the holding hands and small talk after sex DO NOT COUNT as signs; him ignoring her texts does.

  • avatar jaybro March 22, 2012, 12:27 pm

    As mostly everyone else has been saying, MOA. And if you are completely unwilling to MOA by yourself, just tell him that you want a real relationship/something more and he’ll MOA for you! (*coughcough* Sarcasm). Please don’t invite that extra bit of pain. Be strong, tell him you’re moving on, and then DON’T LOOK BACK. It sucks and it’s gonna hurt a bit and will drive you crazy when he tries to contact you but, like others have noted, that doesn’t mean he likes you. It means he likes your vag. Do not fret though. There IS a guy out there who wants EXACTLY what you want on the spectrum of fuck mates to soul mates.

  • avatar Taylor March 22, 2012, 12:49 pm

    What is NSA sex? Anyone? I read all the comments…is this an internets thing I’m oblivious to?

    • Fabelle Fabelle March 22, 2012, 12:55 pm

      Acronym for No Strings Attached :) I was lost the very first time I saw it, also

    • Eljay Eljay March 22, 2012, 1:01 pm

      No Strings Attached. :)

    • avatar Taylor March 23, 2012, 2:25 pm

      Thanks!

  • avatar *HmC* March 22, 2012, 1:00 pm

    “This past week, however, he started rubbing my leg and holding my hand afterwards. I reciprocated, but a few minutes later, he said that he had something to do later. Additionally, while getting dressed, he tried to engage me in conversation, which usually doesn’t happen.”

    Sad face. You know you are really digging for any sign that someone likes you if you start clinging to examples like these. Briefly rubbing your leg and asking you a couple of questions does not mean he is interested, especially given the overall context of his behavior. The entire letter is full of behavior that strongly shows that this guy only wants sex. It’s funny how we can get so focused on details and seeing what we want to see. If you’re focusing on tiny details like this, that’s already enough to tell you that you have a gut feeling that he doesn’t like you, and your gut feeling is what you should be going with.

    I’m not into casual sex, but of course I know some people are and they can totally handle it. But it is sad when someone can’t handle it and convinces themself they can because they like the other person and want them any way they can get them. Wendy’s right, don’t settle for McDonald’s when you want a filet mignon. You’ll just feel unsatisfied.

  • theattack theattack March 22, 2012, 1:46 pm

    You’re misinterpreting the little bit of conversation he’s given you lately (and I say “lately” very loosely since he hasn’t replied to you in a month?? Wtf??). First you two didn’t communicate at all besides arranging hook-ups, so you didn’t know what to talk about. Now that you’ve hooked up several times, he was just making casual conversation with you. Having a quick conversation only long enough to get dressed does not mean he likes you or wants to see where things go. It doesn’t mean anything besides that he was talking. I honestly don’t see what you’re confused about considering he hasn’t given you any indication that he feels the same. Let me clear it up for you: He’s enjoying the benefits (honestly, this isn’t even FWB since you aren’t even friends), and you maybe want more. Either snap out of it and keep hooking up or end all contact.

  • katie katie March 22, 2012, 8:09 pm

    Wendy, i loved the restaurant comparison. perfection.

    LW, read it, wait a day, then read it again… repeat.

  • avatar Francine March 22, 2012, 11:35 pm

    Totally agree with Wendy on this one. What is it about this guy that’s making you want to get further involved with him? Your letter made it very Lear that you don’t know him.

    But I’m just dying to know why, shy or not, you can ask him to have sex with you but you can’t ask him to go out and have a meal or go dancing with you.

  • avatar Francine March 22, 2012, 11:38 pm

    Totally agree with Wendy on this one. What is it about this guy that’s making you want to get further involved with him? Your letter made it very clear that you don’t know him.

    But I’m just dying to know why, shy or not, you can ask him to have sex with you but you can’t ask him to go out and have a meal or go dancing with you.

  • avatar Brian G. March 23, 2012, 6:32 pm

    if you admit your feelings for him and he runs off, give me a call. I’ll act like I like you for as long as I can keep a straight face. I’ve been known to do that for months at a time.

  • avatar Father March 23, 2012, 8:08 pm

    As the father of kids from 17 to 23, this letter should be required reading at all colleges at freshman orientation. (Of course I would be happy if there was some added discussion on the benefits of FW/OB relationships.)

  • avatar Raika March 23, 2012, 8:43 pm

    THANK YOU WENDY! I absolutely love what you had to say in the last paragraph of your response. I just ended a similar situation where the guy didn’t want a monogamous relationship, and still wanted to have the option of sleeping with other girls (even if we were still seeing each other). All I wanted was exclusivity. I’m glad I ended it when I did, instead of hoping that maybe he would change his mind a few months down the line.

  • avatar SukieTawdry March 23, 2012, 11:00 pm

    So, you only meet to have sex and immediately following one of you gets up, dresses and leaves without engaging in conversation. And you’re somehow dissatisfied with that arrangement. Gee, I can’t imagine why.

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