His Take questions are answered by our panel of smart, opinionated, and funny dudes.
For awhile, everything was great — I was leaving my feelings in the past and getting sheet-tearing orgasms on the regular. But now, I have met another man that I am actually building a friendship with before we jump into bed. But, I’m still sleeping with the first one. The sex is so passionate that I cannot tell him no. I told him that I was seeing another guy and, while he had a few questions, he didn’t seem to be bothered. Since I let him know about the other guy, he’s now asking about my personal life, he tried to help me when I lost my job, he makes sure I know he’s there for me, he returns text messages instantly (whereas before it sometimes took a week), and, most recently, he didn’t want me to leave when I went to “see” him and so I slept in his arms all night.
I’m so confused. He’s the one I really want. But I’m afraid that if I confront him, he will be defensive and tell me what he used to tell me: “I can’t give you what you need right now.” On the other hand, the relationship with the second guy is progressing and I’m starting to feel a little guilty. If it weren’t for the first guy, the second guy definitely would have won my heart by now. He’s great too. Help! — Wanting the Passionate One
Brian: Your FWB sounds like he’s having the time of his life! He got action on a first date, has repeatedly given you sheet-tearing orgasms, doesn’t have to talk to you on any kind of regular basis and you always come over. This guy could not be happier about this arrangement — so why would he want to change anything by being tied down and seeing you every day, which could kill the vibe you guys have going? At least, that’s how he’s probably thinking about it, best-case scenario. Worst case? He’s a manipulative a-hole who notices that you’re becoming much more interested in someone else, so he turns up the Boyfriend O-Meter and offers his arms for cuddling, texts you on the reg, and doesn’t want you to leave! Run, WtPO, it sounds like he’s got the dungeon all fixed up now.
The way your describe your feelings for the other guy doesn’t sound like you’re into him, which is why you’re leaning toward trying again to turn FWB into Monogamous Manfriend. Not to be cynical, but I don’t see either of these working out — not yet. I think you need to spend more time with Guy #2 and less time with FWB and try to parse your feelings further down the road. Certainly, you lose nothing if, in the meantime, you drop FWB altogether, spend a few weeks seeing where things go with Guy #2 and, if they go to Nowheresville, then pull an FWB on FWB and text FWB in a few weeks — “psyche! I’m still alive! Down to bone?” (That’s what the kids say in 2016, FYI.)
Drew: Well, let’s be honest. Things probably are not gonna work out between you and the “Important Executive”* But that’s fine… Right? You just got out of an 18-year “long dead marriage”**. So I think it’s okay to chose a passionate ring of fire fling over another mediocre relationship. Or even better, break up with both of them. Don’t be afraid to wake up alone in the morning, enjoy a “quiet cup of coffee”*** and perhaps a delicious “berry parfait”****.
*My Hip Hop Name
**Name of my a capella group
Guy Friday:I know you want Guy 1 to want a relationship with you, but I don’t believe that he does. However, I also don’t believe that Guy 1 is leading you on; call me a sunny-sided optimist, but I think Guy 1 realizes the comfort and connection he was getting with you, knows he’s in danger of it slipping away, and so is trying to make more of an effort to make you happy. Having said all that, I think that the kind of leap that you want isn’t going to happen, because when you’re talking a workload like he has, you can’t really juggle it as well as he’s doing for too long before he drops some of the metaphorical balls, and I think that, given the choice, he’ll drop the relationship ball before the work one.
Also, maybe I’m not up with the hip slang these days, but “separated” doesn’t mean “divorced” or “agreed to see other people.” So while neither of these guys seems to be leading you on, you sure seem to be leading them on. My advice? If the marriage is as “long dead” as you claim, divorce him and move on with your life. But if there’s a reason why you can’t or won’t, then stop sleeping with or dating anyone until you get that resolved. You deserve to be happy, but you have to actually take action on your marriage to finalize it first.
Dennis: Imagine, for a minute, that you’ve spent the last two decades in prison, confined to a solitary jail cell. And in this jail cell, you’ve been fed a pitiful meal of gruel and water three times a day, seven days a week. This is literally the only sustenance you’ve known for the past twenty years.
Now, imagine that you’re finally released from prison. On your way home, your eyes are drawn to the bright yellow arches of a McDonald’s, and you think to yourself, “Well, I’m gonna get my grub on because I’m free to eat whatever I want now!”
So you step inside, and you order the first thing you spot on the menu. Your order arrives, you take a giant bite from your Big Mac, and you think, “Holy crap, this is the best burger I’ve ever tasted. The flavors — they’re just so intense and indescribable.”
And you end up eating at McDonald’s three times a day for the next year. Because why wouldn’t you? It’s the best food ever.
I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this. If you’ve just gotten out of an 18-year “dead marriage,” as you so bluntly put it, then what you’re describing as an intense attraction is likely nothing more than your affection-starved psyche latching onto the first sexual connection you’ve been able to make in two decades.
To be clear, I’m not discounting the hotness of the sex or even the intensity of the attraction you have to this guy. What I am saying is that you can do better than the sexual equivalent of a Big Mac that you’re getting from big shot executive here. I guarantee there are other men out there whom you’ll be able to make a connection with. You’re just not giving yourself the chance to do so if you continue a sexual relationship with this guy while getting to know other men on a platonic level first. To continue the analogy, that would be akin to your continuing to eat at McDonald’s every day while half-assedly checking out the menus from other restaurants without actually eating at these other restaurants.
Here’s the bottom line:
1) Asking about your personal life, helping you when you lose your job, and texting back quickly are not indications that he actually wants to be with you.
2) The chances he’ll ever be interested in you for anything other than sex are approximately zero.
If the level of interest you have in him matches his, then you’re fine. But as you yourself admit, you want more. And because of this, I promise you this isn’t going to end the way you want it to end, and, furthermore, you’re only sabotaging your chances to meet someone else. If you’re still skeptical, or if you still think that what you have with this guy is really all that special, then here’s a blog post I wrote seven years ago, describing almost the exact same situation.
My advice? Lay off the McDonald’s, and try some other restaurants. There are plenty out there. Because seriously, McDonald’s may taste awesome in the moment, but it doesn’t bode well for your long-term health.
Kate B. September 26, 2016, 10:13 am
Dennis for the win!
Ale September 26, 2016, 10:37 am
I side mostly with Guy Friday. FWB when there are feelings is never a good idea when there are feelings involved, even if you are a mature woman. You already feel something about this guy and he is not in the same place. He is acting different because he doesn’t want to lose what he has now, not because he wants a relationship with you. Move on from him and enjoy your newly single status, 18 years in the making! G
Ale September 26, 2016, 10:38 am
I side mostly with Guy Friday. FWB when there are feelings is never a good idea when there are feelings involved, even if you are a mature woman. You already feel something about this guy and he is not in the same place. He is acting different because he doesn’t want to lose what he has now, not because he wants a relationship with you. Move on from him and enjoy your newly single status, 18 years in the making! Go out and see everything, take things slow with guy #2 and if he isn’t the right fit then move on from him too.
Bon September 26, 2016, 10:38 am
Love Drew’s hilarious comment and I must second Dennis’ advice – plain awesome!
Ron September 26, 2016, 10:40 am
Yeah, Dennis is right. #1 will never be your bf and on an objective scale, the mind-blowing, best-ever-in-the-history-of-the-universe is really only in comparison with your ex. You won’t know if sex with guy #2 measures up or surpasses this, unless you try, nor will you know how attached you can become to #2 when your body is generating attachment hormones from your constant hot sex with guy #1. You are being very fair, even cruel to #2, having told #1 about him, but not vice versa. If there truly is not hope for #2, then do the humane thing and cut him loose. If there is a chance, stop the sex with #1 and give #2 a chance. It is never going to work to go slow with a guy in hopes of building a deep relationship, while at the same time secretly banging another guy several times a week. Just cannot work, nor can you truly judge the potential of that relationship. In reality, probably neither guy is right and no guy will ever be right or ever have a chance with you, while you are so hung up on #1. Your relationship life is on hold to a lost cause, if what you truly want is more than hot sex.
dinoceros September 26, 2016, 10:44 am
LW is acting like she has a choice to make between two guys, but Guy #1 is not interested in more than sex. It’s literally one choice, pursuing things with Guy #2 or keeping a FWB who wants nothing more.
Sketchee September 26, 2016, 10:46 am
So what you like about guy #1 is… purely physical. Great for a FWB. What you like about guy #2 is… that it’s physical? All the advice here is to move on. Here’s the thing, what do you want in a relationship? It’s not clear in the letter what exact traits you’re looking for here.
It’s clear that you’re willing to move forward without having any sign or thought about it. Stop and think about what qualities would really work in a relationship for you. I think you’ll clearly see that whatever those are, they’re not here for you with either guy.
The second guy, you’re not even really considering him as an option. That’s okay. Just move on for the sake of your own politeness.
Firestar September 26, 2016, 11:18 am
It comes down to what you want. Sounds like you want a relationship. The executive isn’t going to give you that. Ever. This isn’t neuroscience…I can tell because he told you so. You have feelings for him and want more – that is just the death knell for FWB situations. It is going to end badly…for you. And all you would have accomplished is wasting your time pining after someone who can’t give you what you want. You are going to become resentful. Of him and of the missed opportunities you lost while pining for him. If you want a relationship (and you do) then walk away from the executive and free yourself to meet someone else. He is not the only man capable of mind blowing sex. The reality is that as long as he is kicking around then you won’t get what you want…from anyone.
Cleopatra Jones September 26, 2016, 11:24 am
I love Dennis!
That is all. 🙂
kmtthat September 26, 2016, 11:31 am
Wendy, based on this alone, I see why you married Drew 🙂
And fuck, I really like McDonalds. It’s my one vice, truly. And now metaphorically….it makes sense in my life too. Dammit Dennis. Now I have to quit McDonalds, actual and metaphorical.
Ron September 26, 2016, 3:36 pm
Yeah, you have to quit McDonald’s. It’s fine for an emergency road stop and the fries are decent, but there is a whole world of far, far, far better hamburgers out there and the shakes are just really nasty, artificial and loaded with an unbelievable number of calories — which I could deal with if they actually tasted good. There are places everywhere which make truly great burgers, we have hlf a dozen in my little city. It is worth hunting for them. We all have guilty pleasures, but the key is getting your full calories’ worth of pleasure. A McDonalds hardly even counts as a burger. It’s like calling Velveeta cheese.
RedRoverRedRover September 26, 2016, 3:41 pm
I’ve tried plenty of other stuff, and I still like McDonald’s. 🙂 I think it’s a nostalgia thing. I’m not a burger person though, for me it’s their fries and nuggets.
kmtthat September 26, 2016, 3:47 pm
Hamburgers are my “death row last meal” #1 love. In Chicago we have Au Cheval, and it is supposedly the best burger in the U.S. When I finally tried it, I legit almost cried (it may have been the margaritas I had before…it may have been that some things are just too good for this earth). If I had Au Cheval again I’d HAVE to eat it all the time. God, it’s not even far away….
That said, my once-a-month (or every-time-I’m-at-an-airport) McDonalds binge is just SO GOOD. I eat very, very healthy 95% of the time (because, vanity). Also, I just bought some fantastic gouda while actually IN Gouda last week, and I’d still devour some Velveeta. Just saying.
bunnybear September 26, 2016, 11:36 am
I appreciate that you describe yourself as “strong-willed and mature”, but are you, really? Because mature people: use their words, put on their big-girl pants, deal with their sh*$, etc. Have you actually TALKED to “big important exec”? It doesn’t sound to me like he wants anything more than to get in your pants on the semi-regular (which sounds like is completely on HIS timetable). Because if he wanted to be with you, then he’d BE WITH YOU. Why do you want to be with someone who doesn’t really want to be with you? But, let’s say he’s keeping his deep feelings a secret. How will you know if you don’t TALK? We rarely hear exactly what we want to hear in life, and I’ll be he doesn’t want more than he has already given, but at least you’ll know and can make a clean break full stop and move on. I think Dennis is right on here – I think you may not have processed your past relationship fully, may be trying to figure out who YOU are at this time in your life, etc. Im not sure you should be in a serious relationship at all right now. Be strong-willed and mature and take some serious time to figure out what it is you really need and want.
for_cutie September 26, 2016, 11:43 am
I’m with Guy Friday – maybe you should focus on your marriage status first before planning new relationships. Even a FWB situation could hurt you in divorce proceedings which is frankly a huge risk to take for just “getting off.”
Scarlet A September 26, 2016, 1:36 pm
I disagree. The divorce machine takes a while to churn. Is LW supposed to be celibate and invest more of her time and energy in being faithful to this “dead” marriage? Guaranteed the ex isn’t.
Skyblossom September 26, 2016, 2:32 pm
I think it’s a matter of deciding to divorce if the marriage is over. If it isn’t over, why not? What is holding you back. You can’t completely move on if you are still married. You still have joint credit which your ex could ruin for you if they run up debt even though you aren’t together. It happens. Especially if someone is angry and wanting to hurt their partner or just being a jerk. The worst I’ve heard of personally was someone running up $60,000 in debt while having no job and the wife was stuck paying her share of it. After twenty years they probably have joint assets that need to be divided. If they have kids they need to work out child custody and child support. You can’t fully embrace a new relationship if you have all of these things hanging over you.
Depending on the country where they live they may have to wait a set period of time before they can get divorced which can be several years.
dinoceros September 26, 2016, 3:26 pm
I don’t think anyone is saying she has to make some celibacy commitment. The LW hasn’t indicated that she’s actually started up the “divorce machine” yet, though. She said she’s separated. If she’s chosen to separate and not divorce, then I think there are some loose ends that need to be tied up. Doesn’t mean she can’t date, but creating some sort of a love triangle is only going to make things more complicated. If they haven’t divorced yet, it can affect the process that she’s dating while still married.
I grew up in a state that made couples be separated for a year before finalizing the divorce. If that’s the case, then whatever, all they are doing is waiting. But if being divorced instead of separated is a matter of just not filing the paperwork yet, that’s a different story.
McLovin September 26, 2016, 1:04 pm
Drew-Sheezy laying it down chapter and verse!
I’m of the age where more than a few friends are now divorced like I am, and I tell them all “don’t rush anything. Being single is awesome!” After 18 years of boredom and 3 months of being single – why be in hurry to pick anyone? Date ’em both. Date 2 other guys. Relax. Enjoy being single.