Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

How to Know if Your FWB Wants Something More

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I have known this guy for over 10 years and he recently messaged me on Facebook asking if we could be friends with benefits. I have never done that before, but I decided to take the risk and we began seeing each other. Now I’m beginning to wonder if our FWB situation is something more. He cuddles a lot. He also drops hints, saying things like “this is different,” he’s comfortable with me, and “it’s time I either get a maid or a girlfriend.” He also said that now that he’s in his 30s invitations that include a “plus 1” are concerning for him. And once he was upset when I couldn’t see him. He’s also happy about the fact we love “Star Wars” and are both Leos…

Does he want more? — Wants More

If I had a dime for every letter I’ve received from someone wondering if the “hints” her FWB is dropping means he wants something more, I’d have, well, maybe enough money for a one-way flight to Fiji, which sounds pretty amazing right now. So, because so many of you are asking this same question over and over and over, I’m going to give you the ultimate guide to figuring out if your FWB wants something more. Are you ready? Take a deep breath because I’m about to change some lives.

How to Know if your FWB Wants Something More in Five Simple Steps:

1. Ask him.

2. If he says “no,” then that means he doesn’t.

3. If he says “maybe,” or he’s not sure or he needs more time to figure it out, then that means that he wants to keep having sex with you as long as he can without committing to anything but that, as soon as you give him an ultimatum, he’s out.

4. If he says yes but doesn’t change any of his behavior — like, if he doesn’t spend time with you out of the sack and he doesn’t make plans with you in advance and he doesn’t introduce you to people in his life or act interested in meeting people in your life or show you nonsexual affection — then the answer is no.

5. If he says “yes” and — this is key — he acts like a boyfriend — you go out on dates and spend time together in both sexual and nonsexual contexts and he’s not seeing anyone else and he doesn’t want you to see anyone else — then the answer is yes.

And that’s it! That’s all there is to it. You don’t have to try to decode signals or decipher subtle hints. You don’t have to wonder if his saying he likes that you’re both Leos means he wants to be your boyfriend. That’s the beauty with being direct and simply asking someone what his feelings are! It takes the guess work out of the equation, and it prevents you from wasting time and investing energy in someone who doesn’t want the same thing you want.

And here’s a bonus just for you, LW: If a guy says he doesn’t know whether he wants a girlfriend or a maid, he wants a maid. But, like, one he doesn’t have to pay. And one who will have sex with him whenever he wants. If that’s what you want to be to him, you’re in luck because he’s totally in the market for that. But if what you want is something “more,” I have a feeling you’re going to be disappointed.


Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

55 comments… add one
  • PumpkinSpice September 17, 2015, 8:35 am

    LoL. 🙂 Great column today Wendy!

    I have a question…Why do people say they want a FWB situation, but as soon as it starts, they are asking “does he/she want to be more”. ? If you are not equipped to handle a situation like this, then don’t agree to it.

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    • Nookie September 17, 2015, 9:00 am

      Because some people, myself included, equate sexual feelings with romantic ones. So they think they want a FWB but once those hormones start kicking in, it can cloud judgement. OR like me, they’re sleeping with someone that they have romantic feelings with thinking that that’s all they want or deserve.
      It was a truly freeing moment for me when I realised that I was wired this way. I’ve had a few one nighters with people I never cared to see again but once I realised how I am, I didn’t allow myself to give into those carnal desires with guys I didn’t actually want to date or wanted to date me.

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      • jlyfsh September 17, 2015, 9:05 am

        There are also those people who think that they can change the other person. They accept them as FWB thinking that they can make them want to date them. That doesn’t work either!

      • Ale September 17, 2015, 9:10 am

        That happened to me. I had a FWB who wanted more. He thought that by being FWB with me, I’d want more. He was sure of that. So, that has been one of the biggest mistakes of my life.

      • Nookie September 17, 2015, 9:45 am

        Wait, you’re saying that you can’t make him love you? 😉

  • Moe P September 17, 2015, 8:35 am

    I agree with all of what Wendy said. I bet that if you were to ask the GUY, what the story was, he might say, “I wanted to have sex with this attractive woman so I asked her and so we have been having sex!” There’s a good chance he is not wringing his hands wondering what it might MEAN. Guys don’t usually talk about women in terms of friendship.

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  • anonymousse September 17, 2015, 8:49 am

    Ha ha! Perfection. How many of the forum questions could be answered by: be straightforward?

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  • Ale September 17, 2015, 8:49 am

    “it’s time I either get a maid or a girlfriend.”

    What a douche.

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    • Stonegypsy September 17, 2015, 9:40 am

      Yeah, I cringed a little when I read that line. Like, she heard him say those words and didn’t immediately put her clothes on and leave? Aim higher.

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  • dinoceros September 17, 2015, 9:07 am

    I think people misunderstand FWB. As the name suggests, it means you are friends who also have a physical relationship. Friends — as in people who enjoy each other’s company and might eat food together or have good conversations. The other person is not a robot. They often like things like cuddling or holding hands. But the reason they chose a FWB instead of a girlfriend is that they want to do all of those things without being committed to another person.

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    • Nookie September 17, 2015, 9:46 am

      Yes! Where did the like button go? I agree with this, but I think for it to work out both people have to have a clear understanding that it doesn’t equate to relationship. Otherwise, hearts are going to get hurted.

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    • Cleopatra Jones September 17, 2015, 10:19 am

      Yeah, I agree. The key to FWB situation is that… you are actually friends before you start the benefits parts.
      Just because the LW has ‘known’ the guy for 10 years =/= they are friends. He is in reality, a fuck buddy. Which is cool, if that’s what you want. But if you don’t want that, please say, “NO THANKS”.

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  • Raccoon eyes September 17, 2015, 9:07 am

    Agreed. Holy crap, LW! Run away!!!

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  • Wendys Dad September 17, 2015, 9:19 am

    I know I’m old, but am I so over the hill that people today think it’s cool to ask some woman on Facebook if she’d like to have sex with him? Gross! How about at least asking in person? This guy sounds like a loser.

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    • othy September 17, 2015, 9:45 am

      Apparently 30 is old too, because that sounded unappealing to me too.

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    • Diablo September 17, 2015, 9:52 am

      WD, since we were both a lot younger, we’ve been in the throes of the once-named “sexual revolution.” Sex was going to be free of all the baggage and power politics, men and women were going to be equals. You could just decide to do it for fun and pleasure, and nobody needed to be called a slut or a stud. It really sounded great. And now and again, stuff like that actually happens. I’ve been lucky enough. But the downside of freedom is that we also have the freedom to be idiots and to insult and degrade each other under the guise of openness. I’m pretty much with you. I think it’s super lame more than gross. Just weak. I can’t imagine anyone saying yes to a request so dismissive and feeble. What’s on offer here that you would want or need? As Johnny Rotten once put it, “Two minutes twenty seconds of squishing sounds.” And I can’t believe she didn’t react badly to the “maid” remark.

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      • Nookie September 17, 2015, 9:54 am

        Still, it worked. I mean, I thought that kind of thing never worked but it did in this case!

      • Diablo September 17, 2015, 10:02 am

        Why would you think it never worked? This kind of lameness has worked since the planet began! Why? The downside of equality is that women can be just as lame as men! Oh sure, maybe not a self-respecting person like you, Nooks. But you are making me suspect your name is somewhat ironic, despite the free love it implies.

      • Nookie September 17, 2015, 10:06 am

        Me, I’m super lame. So lame I picked this username based on a bastardation of an old user name I had another website without the sexual innuendo occurring to me. LAMEO.
        I guess it’s why guys still try right? The law of averages, eventually one will say yes. And one did! Saints above, it’s a miracle! Oh lordy!!!

        PS, In some circles people actually call me ‘Nookie’ – like to my FACE.

  • Essie September 17, 2015, 9:32 am

    I’m with Wendy’s dad. Also old, and I’d be a little taken aback by someone sending me a FB message asking if I wanted to have sex but not be his girlfriend. Dude, you can’t proposition me in person?
    Also makes me think that he sent that same message to a bunch of other women.

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    • othy September 17, 2015, 9:46 am

      I love it when guys do this and then get caught in it, because they couldn’t be bothered to send individual messages to each woman and instead send one group message to everyone.

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    • Cleopatra Jones September 17, 2015, 10:29 am

      See, while I agree with WD’s general sentiment, I can’t really fault the dude for asking. How is his FB request any different than getting badly propositioned at a bar/club? C’mon we’ve all been hit on by THAT guy. Y’know that dude that’s just creeping at the bar hoping to score with someone. any one. I never take that proposition personally…cause, well THAT guy does it to every woman he meets.
      But, I do give side-eye to the women who accept that proposition, and then are upset/unhappy that it didn’t turn into the fairy tale romance they’ve always dreamed of. Yeah, he asked in a shitty way but the LW could have hit the delete key on the message, and unfriended his slimy ass.

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  • norabb September 17, 2015, 9:33 am

    I just got the worst feeling from the “maid or girlfriend” comment. Like..ugh. Ew. I need to take a bath.

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    • Essie September 17, 2015, 9:38 am

      Yes. Ugh, that was gross. How on earth does anyone see that as a sign of romantic interest?

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  • Essie September 17, 2015, 9:35 am

    Great list, Wendy! But it seems that a lot of other people have trouble with the second point. The guy says no, he doesn’t want more, and she decides he really means yes, because:

    – he’s just out of a relationship and is afraid of getting hurt again
    – he thinks she’s too good for him and she deserves better
    – (insert more wishful thinking here)

    Or worse, that she can change his mind and make him fall in love with her.

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    • Dear Wendy September 17, 2015, 10:02 am

      Good points! I hear a lot of that in the letters I receive — a lot of justification for the “no,” trying to prove that there’s room for change and that it’s all about timing or convincing the guy he’s worthy. Ladies: NO MEANS NO.

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      • Diablo September 17, 2015, 10:31 am

        Wendy, there are so many layers of delicious irony in your repurposing a long-term anti-rape rallying cry of the women’s movement to a context in which women don’t want to believe men are saying no to them. I think you just bent my mind.

      • Dear Wendy September 17, 2015, 1:06 pm

        I recommend tequila to bend it even further.

      • Diablo September 17, 2015, 2:54 pm

        I have not actually consumed any tequila since Sept 18, 1992, very close to 23 years ago. The incident involved a drinking game, literally sweating through my clothes, a serious injury that should have required stitches being handled with duct tape and a maxi pad, fireworks being set off in a major intersection amid traffic, and running from the police without being able to feel my feet. M STILL gives me a vicious side eye any time it comes up. A night to remember (in disjointed dreamlike fragments).

      • othy September 17, 2015, 11:25 am

        The thumbs are gone, but I’m totally loving this comment.

      • Dear Wendy September 17, 2015, 1:09 pm

        The thumb plug-in broke last week and then this guy who created the thumbs tried to fix things and almost broke my site in the process. did anyone notice the site being totally blank last friday afternoon/evening? It was the thumbs’ fault! and I almost had a heart attack because for a couple hours, I thought everything might be gone. Fortunately, we were able to save the site… bit I’m taking a break from the thumbs for the time being.

  • KMJ September 17, 2015, 9:38 am

    I want to know how that “do you want to be FWB” message looked. Do people really do that?

    Agreed that the maid or girlfriend comment was totally douchey.

    Wendy has it nailed here.

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  • Miss MJ September 17, 2015, 9:43 am

    I’m not sure what’s worse: asking a woman if she’ll have sex with you over Facebook or telling that same woman that you either need a maid or a girlfriend. What a charmer! In any event, LW, he’s clearly not out to impress you, so I think that should be a pretty big sign that he doesn’t want anything more than the current FWB with you. Also, if he did want more with you, then instead of disrespecting the concept of a “girlfriend” by saying that she is equivalent to a “maid,” he’d just have asked you to be his girlfriend. He wasn’t hinting around there; well, at least not for a girlfriend. He doesn’t want you to be his girlfriend. But he’d probably love for you to clean his house. (DO NOT clean his house!!)

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  • MissChievous September 17, 2015, 10:00 am

    To add to Wendy’s point about being direct, I also feel that in this particular situation, a guy that had enough balls to send the LW a Facebook message blatantly asking to be FWBs would have the balls to be like “I like you like you”.

    Also it makes me wonder having initiated this over Facebook, how many other girls received that same message.

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  • LisforLeslie September 17, 2015, 10:13 am

    I was always of the opinion that if getting naked in front of someone and putting parts in other parts meant that you should have a frank discussion about what each person wants from this. When a girl tells me “I gave him a BJ but I don’t know if he wants a girlfriend” My head spins and my eyes hurt from rolling into the back of my skull. You put his penis in your mouth – but you couldn’t be adult enough to say “I want to date you?” what in the what?!

    My add:
    1. Assume people tell you the truth when they say what they DON’T want. “I don’t want to date” – means I don’t want to date (you).
    2. Assume people are lying if their words and deeds don’t match. “I want to date you” but i don’t want to actually go on a date with you means “I don’t want to date you.”

    I have a very hard time when people (men and women) convince themselves that no matter what the other person is doing or saying… there’s some mysterious between the lines messaging. “Well she left this half finished bottle of water, so maybe she wants me to bring it to her at work and then we can go have a drink and then we can get married!” logic astounds me.

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    • anonymousse September 17, 2015, 12:32 pm


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    • Ale September 17, 2015, 12:59 pm

      I can’t like this enough.

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  • suzyinthesky September 17, 2015, 10:33 am

    Wendy, this is fantastic. Simple, to the point, perfect. Did I mention SIMPLE? (i wish you’d written this post ten years ago when I was an insecure 20 year old wondering if my fwb maybe wanted to maybe be my boyfriend 😉 )

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    • Dear Wendy September 17, 2015, 1:05 pm

      Why, thank you.

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  • Kate B. September 17, 2015, 11:28 am

    So does he equate a maid with a girlfriend? Would she be expected to clean up after him? Personally, if a guy said that to me, I’d run for the hills.

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  • Wendy's Sister September 17, 2015, 12:32 pm

    FWIW, we are all assuming that LW wants more from her FWB, but she never says that she does. She just asks if we think he wants something more. It could be that, if he does, she wants to get out of it. Sort of beside Wendy’s point, but I thought I’d throw it out there.

    Also, maid/girlfriend?! As in the same sentence? Oof.

    Also, also, I agree with my dad. Seriously, did she get a Facebook message that said, “hey, let’s be FWB,” or was it a little classier, something along the lines of, “we’ve known each other for a long time, and I’m attracted to you, but I’m not looking for any commitment right now. Would you like to hang out and see where it goes?” Either way, I am not a fan. I was about to type something really judgmental, but I’m working on being less judgmental.

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    • Dear Wendy September 17, 2015, 12:57 pm

      OF COURSE the LW wants more!! She doesn’t need to explicitly say so because it’s so implicitly a given.

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  • Baccalieu September 17, 2015, 12:51 pm

    Umm. Aren’t people kind of missing the point here? She doesn’t say so, but since she signs herself “Wants More”, it appears she does want more than a friends with benefits relationship with this guy so she’s hoping that the answer to her question, “Does he want more?” Is “yes”. Obviously, Wendy is right that the way to find out for sure is to ask him. However, given the list of things she cited it seems quite likely that he wants more, too. Even his “maid or girlfriend” comment in the context seems likely to be a ham-fisted way to drop a hint through a joke. (i.e. while talking about some slovenly habit of his, he says “I need either a maid or a girlfriend. Ha! Ha! Ha!. See what I did there. I equated a girlfriend with a maid. Of course, I don’t believe that, but it was a way to bring the fact that I want a girlfriend into the conversation”) It’s ham-fisted of him because, of course, it’s likely that it would cause her to wonder if he was serious. (Or, as in the case of Wendy and all the commenters, be absolutely convinced that he was serious and held that Neanderthal view without even considering the possibility that he may be joking. Sheesh! Be careful what you joke about guys!)The good news for LW is that if she does take Wendy’s advice and ask him, it seems quite likely that she will get the answer she wants. The fact that we don’t think he’s worthy is besides the point. She wants him and she both knows him better than we do and is entitled to her own taste in men.

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    • Dear Wendy September 17, 2015, 1:01 pm

      Respectfully disagree. I don’t think a guy saying he either needs a maid or a girlfriend is hinting around AT ALL that he wants to be serious with his FWB. That’s like saying a guy who utters the word “popcorn” is ready to be a vegetarian.

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      • Baccalieu September 17, 2015, 2:00 pm

        But it quite likely could mean he wants popcorn. Wendy, aren’t you missing my point that he was probably (or at least possibly) joking? Anyway. it doesn’t matter if we think he’s ready to be a boyfriend or not, She wants him. She should ask him if he wants her. If he says yes, then happy ending (for now).

      • Dear Wendy September 17, 2015, 2:11 pm

        Sure, he’s probably joking… but how does that equate to him wanting something more than and FWB with her?

      • Baccalieu September 17, 2015, 3:49 pm

        Because he’s pointing out that he wants/needs a girlfriend. I agree that it’s a terrible idea to suggest that you need one, so you have someone to do your housework, but, as I said, I think he was probably joking and people make clumsy/bad jokes all the time. Also, as I said, you have to take it in the context of his other remarks. He also said he needed someone to be his “plus one” at formal events like weddings. That seems like a pretty broad hint that he would like a girlfriend (and one that’s hard to put a negative spin on although maybe someone might try). He also said their relationship was “different”. Of course, that’s a cliché and far from clear cut and, like all his comments be no means determinative. Also, of course, she could be placing far too much stress on some random comments (which is why she needs to ask him) but on the whole it seems like she has some reason to hope, doesn’t it.

        I take the point of the people who said that, if he had the balls to ask her bluntly for sex, you would think he would have the balls to ask her to be his girlfriend, but (I’m told) amongst the younger generation, sex is a lot less of a big deal and asking for intimacy and commitment is the bigger deal. They may have it right. After all, most people would agree that it is a bigger deal to ask a woman to marry you then it is to ask her for sex. Maybe it ought to be a bigger deal to ask her to be your girlfriend, too. Plus, I can see a guy would feel less crushed out having an offer of sex turned down then he would about having an offer to be a woman’s boyfriend rejected and therefore feel he had less at stake.

  • Regina Chapman September 17, 2015, 4:14 pm

    What kind of woman hears “It’s time I either got a maid or a girlfriend” and thinks ‘oooh, maybe that means he’s into me!’?

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    • Anon September 17, 2015, 4:33 pm

      One with a sense of humor.

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    • haggith September 17, 2015, 4:46 pm

      There are looots of examples in the forum (not exactly maid but basically applying for the position of doormats)

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      • Unwanted_Truth September 17, 2015, 4:55 pm

        Mmm i mean i can kinda see where one could see that , but very little. I think it would be quite helpful to not only the Lw but to us who are chiming in , if the Lw would actually, herself reply to these comments and give us some better insight, likely not though as it is most only chime in themselves when they dont like the replies of others or get defensive, not all, but most.

      • Regina Chapman September 17, 2015, 6:33 pm

        I know, I know…sad, but true.

    • jlyfsh September 18, 2015, 8:14 am

      Yeah I’m not sure the context but I can’t imagine finding that funny or wanting to date someone who thought it was. And I find a lot of things funny like farting. But, saying you either need a maid or a girlfriend. Sorry, but at that point you’ve lost me. And I know why I think you’re single.

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  • Anonymous September 17, 2015, 4:45 pm

    @regina chapman: there are lots of examples in the forum!

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  • Unwanted_Truth September 17, 2015, 4:48 pm

    Just to add onto anon and some others who have pointed out joking. Speaking as a guy , picture this, cause it’s quite possible, maybe dude has kind of a messy place or he is lazy about picking up his place before LW came over. Either she jokingly made a comment about the messiness or felt embarrassed by how his place looked and said “shit i don’t know if i want/need a gf or a maid”. Lighten up on that comment people geez, it probably wasn’t even directed at her like he expected her to be one or the other. My take is that dude has the feels for her, but is enjoying the freedom of having his cake and eating it too (no pun intended)

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