Five months ago, I was introduced to this guy at a bar through a mutual friend. Two weeks later we ran into each other again. One thing led to another and we ended up at my place. I had assumed this was just a one-night-stand, but he contacted me a few days later and we began to communicate. Eventually, it grew into a regular thing. At the beginning, we discussed that it was simply a friends with benefits type arrangement. I was on the rebound from a breakup and he said there wasn’t that ‘spark’ between us. At some point in time, we stopped seeing other people, but still confirmed that we were merely having fun. However, as time has gone by, things have seemed to shift. Of course, there have been alcohol fueled confessions of feelings on both our parts at various points. We now talk on a daily basis and his behavior towards me has changed as well. He shows up with baked treats, gives me unsolicited footrubs/backrubs, and has made a joke about how we’re practically dating. He is slowly becoming one of my closest friends and yeah, I’ve developed feelings for him.
Here’s the other catch: in a month I will be traveling out of state to my hometown. It’s a business/family thing, and there’s no getting around it. Unfortunately, my job here is not a year-round position and I’ve got a summer gig lined up back home. I’ll be gone for three months. So, should I tell him how I feel before I go? Or should I just leave it unsaid and see what happens when I return? Should I just let it come to its natural end when I leave? I’ve been in an unrequited love situation before and I’m really not trying to get myself into that situation again, but things between us just feel right. I’ve thought all along that if he wanted us to be in an exclusive relationship, he would make it happen; am I right in thinking that? — More Than a FWB?
Oh my god, yes, tell him how you feel! Soberly. What are you waiting for? You two are behaving like a coupla cowards. You’ve stopped seeing other people, you act like you’re a couple, you profess feelings for each other with the help of liquid courage. Obviously, there’s more going on here than just a “FWB situation” so quit being a big baby about it and fess up already. The worst that will happen is he’ll say, “Oh, I know I ACT like I really like you, and I know I TELL you I really like you when I’ve been drinking, but the truth is, I don’t like you enough to actually commit.” And guess where that will leave you? Um, exactly where you are now, except with a little more knowledge that will help you make some decisions about the short-term future.
Like, for one thing, if he’s not interested in being more than your hook-up buddy, you can stop being exclusive with him and have a summer romance with someone else if you feel like it. And if he IS interested in something more, you’ve got a little time to figure out your plan for the summer. Will you be “allowed” to date other people, for instance? Will you be close enough to visit each other? These are all things you’ll want to figure out before you leave for three months – and let’s remember, three months is not an eternity; couples have survived much farther distances for much longer periods of time and lived to tell about it. If there’s something worth waiting for here, you’ll be fine. But first, you’ve got to figure out if the desire to be together-together is mutual. And there’s no reason YOU shouldn’t be the one to speak up first. Clearly, if he’s interested, he’s being too big of a pussy to say so. If this thing is gonna happen, someone has to get brave around here. Why not you?
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.