He told me in the start of it he did not want a relationship and I was fine with that since I was just getting out of a three-year relationship. Since we live about an hour away from each other, most of our communication is on the phone, though in the past year we have seen each other six times. During our first meeting, we ended up making out heavily, but since then the times I have seen him we haven’t touched other than the occasional hug. On his birthday in June, which I gave him custom-made drumsticks with a matching design to his drumkit, we talked and flirted a lot and ended up having phone sex (we have done this on occasion through out the years). Since then zero flirtation on his part. I havent asked if he had a girlfriend because he always has time to text, and he hasn’t asked me.
I just invited him to a concert in October to which he replied that he isn’t sure if he can yet as he already has some plans that month, but he would let me know, which is fine. I am a big flirt, so I tell him I loved seeing him and that he looked great, to which i get no reply. I then tell him if I’m flirting too much he should tell me because I don’t want to overstep my bounds. Again, I get no reply. I am so confused. I will admit that I like him and would like to be FWB relationship with, but I don’t understand what he wants from me.
I have had FWB before and we haven’t gone out to dinner, or done any of the things like I do with this guy. I don’t want to tell him I like him for fear of him cutting off our friendship. I have even gone so far as to tell him that his mysteriousness drives me crazy, to which I just get smiles and the occasional flirty text. I am on the verge of seeing someone else if he can’t just tell me what he wants straight up. What should I do? — FWB or Bust
MATT: I’m losing my hair. About two months ago I found some cheap re-growth product at the local pharmacy, decided to spring for it and started using it faithfully—dreaming of the day that my ever-expanding forehead would soon be covered again in glorious hair. I had sort of convinced myself it was working when I asked my friend Ben if he could tell.
He changed the subject. When I pressed him for an answer, drawing him into me and nodding my head before him so that he could really get a good look (“Don’t you see those little tiny hairs, Ben?”), he just shrugged.
If you ask me, there are some lessons for you in this little hair-parable: people shift and grow, but most people’s first instincts don’t change and some people just aren’t equipped to deliver the hard news. My forehead wants to lose hair and my friend doesn’t have the heart or the guts to tell me directly that I’m throwing time and money at a lost cause, and I’m sorry to report that your boy isn’t that into you, and doesn’t have the balls or brains to spell it out for you, despite your obvious affection for him.
Go forth and date…someone who is willing to show you the attention and honesty you deserve.
JAREK: Okay, I’m just going to recap here in case you didn’t actually read the letter you submitted. You had one class with a guy in college, reconnected three years ago online, developed a friendship (the most he told you he was interested in) that consisted of phone flirting. In the last year, despite only being an hour away, you saw him roughly every two months, of which you only made out once. You bought him unreciprocated gifts, he hesitating on attending a concert with you, you want a FWB relationship with him despite having actually feelings for the guy, and you’re confused because he hasn’t told you what he wants. Can you name one thing this guy did that involves even the tiniest amount of energy to indicate he actually likes you and wants to be with you?
When I’m at the grocery store and am offered a free sample, I take it. The lady teased me with a meatball on a toothpick, so I exerted about as much effort as extending my arm to get something offered. It’s very one-sided. If she was never there it’s not like I would have thought, “Man, I could go for a meatball right about now.” So if all the flirting is being initiated by you and he just goes with it, he’s not really indicating he wants something more. In fact, he’s not indicating anything at all. He’s responding to flirting. He’s engaging in a convenient infatuation. So really, you have nothing to lose by being honest with him. You shouldn’t fear cutting off the friendship because it is the friendship that is frustrating you. Just come out and ask him if he wants more, and don’t be afraid to start seeing that other person because, I’m sorry to say, this guy is not interested in pursuing something deeper than phone sex.
BITTER GAY MARK: It’s time to cool your jets. And rethink things. You gave him what sounds like a pretty kick ass one-of-a-kind present, the likes of which NONE of my FWBs have ever given me. Is this necessarily a bad thing? No, but it may have simply been too much too soon. Moreover, it doesn’t exactly scream FWB. Instead, it squeals, “I really, REALLY wanna be your girlfriend!” Herein lies the problem — with lies being the operative word. I think you are lying to yourself about your feelings for this guy. You are doing classic FWB disaster moves such as behaving like the girlfriend you claim you don’t want to be — all the while delivering killer gifts as you try to lock down future “dates” months in advance… When that fails, you proceed to send a rather needy/insecure text filled with worry and regret that you “may” have been too flirtatious…and all this AFTER phone sex, no less.
Come on! I think you know all too well that you definitely have been too flirtatious. Yet you long for reassurance that you have not…Why? Because then you can flirt some more! Honey, you are the Queen of Mixed Signals! is it any wonder the poor guy is confused? Hell, I’m confused. So are you, it seems. You have to figure out whether you truly want to date this guy or not. Deep down, I think you know you do. I think you know you want much more than an FWB relationship. The problem is, of course, that he may not. That said, you definitely owe it to yourself to solve this mystery. Ask him out. For real. This other guy you mention at the eleventh hour is merely a silly distraction. How can I know that? Because if you were REALLY into this other, clearly available guy, the ever elusive Mystery Man would simply vanish from your mind altogether. Stop lying to yourself. Stop lying to him. Take a risk. The worst thing he can say is, “No.” But even then you will at least be freed from this limbo.
JOE: He’s already been very, very clear about what he wants, which is to not pursue anything physical with you. You’ve made it obvious that you’re interested, and he has consistently backed down when you’ve become too forward. The phone sex is not a sign of real interest — it certainly can be, but not in this case. I drive an hour per day to work. I’ve driven an hour for pizza, for good coffee, and to see a new computer store open. I’d sure as hell drive an hour for sex. The fact that he hasn’t, and that you’ve clearly been interested for years, means that it’s not going to happen.
He’s apparently not confrontational, which is why he ignores texts he finds uncomfortable. He will likely never explicitly tell you that he does not want to pursue a relationship – physical or otherwise. However, he’s already let you know, just not with words. Maybe he has a girlfriend. Maybe his sexual orientation isn’t towards you. Maybe he’s just not attracted. Maybe he has other issues. In the end, though, it doesn’t matter, because the final result is a lack of interest in being physical with you. So, see the other guy. I suspect your friendship with the first guy will improve significantly once your interest in him becomes truly platonic.
ART: You are on the verge of seeing someone else if this man, who doesn’t live near you and won’t text you back, doesn’t drop everything and start seeing you exclusively? Come on. He is far from the only man. If you can’t pry an “I like you too” out of him after months and months [years, actually — ed], that’s because it probably isn’t there. And seriously, who has plans for “October”? That’s some letting-you-down-gently bullshit. You have needs and you need to get them, and yourself, filled. Go date another man and be happy with that other man.
* If you’d like to ask the guys a question, simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “His Take” in the subject line and I’ll pass your question along to them.