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It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in three sentences or less, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. Today we discuss ending a FWB relationship, what to do when your new guy is still active on Match.com, and when to tell an ex to MOA!
But there is no advice for my situation on the internet. There is advice on what to do if you fall for a FWB and vice versa, but nothing about how to break the sexy, sexy ties with a man whom I do not love, do not completely trust, and is in my circle of friends. My initial thought is to simply stop responding to his texts and avoid him at the frequent group events, but he’s a good guy. I actually want to keep him as a friend, maybe even become good friends some day. I need to know how to do this with dignity, to spare his ego and keep my head held high. – Probably Over-thinking Things
Yes, you are over-thinking things. Try this: “Hey, it’s been fun, but I’ve realized that it’s too difficult for me to have sex outside a relationship and I’d rather go back to being just friends without the benefits before our friendship is adversely affected.
He may really like you and you may have a wonderful connection and a good time together, but make no bones about it: he’s definitely keeping his options open and will probably “OBO” (or best offer) your butt the minute he thinks he’s snagged someone better. Give him the ultimatum to get off Match immediately or you’re moving on. Thinking he’s losing you may be the nudge he needs to get his priorities straight (let’s just hope you’re actually a priority…).
We broke up, but after another ‘domestic abuse-and-runaway’ situation a couple months ago, we tried to get back together. As you might be able to guess, that didn’t work out so well. Basically, I’ve recently found my feet and am really happy being single. I’m seeing other guys and have fun going out and meeting new people. Last night I got a call and desperate text from my ex saying that he was in trouble again, and he’d really appreciate me being there for him. Same as before, he jumped his dad and fled from home. Only this time, apparently he had gotten caught stealing or something as equally inappropriate.
I’ve just gotten over him, we haven’t talked in months, and I’m not sure if I even have the power to help him. Where do I draw the line? I want to see that he’s okay, because I really still do care for him. But at the same time, I can’t allow myself to be emotionally dragged under again (especially since I’m finally in a good place). How can I help him without hurting myself? — Can’t Find the Line
It’s not your job to help him and it’s time for you to draw very clear boundaries. Tell him that while you will always care for him, you are no longer his girlfriend — nor interested in being his girlfriend again — and you can’t take an active role in his support system. It may seem brutal to kick him while he’s down, but honesty can often be kindness cloaked in a darker robe.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to follow me on Twitter.