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Dear Wendy

FWB: was it worth speaking up?

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  • #889603 Reply

    My childhood friend turned friend with benefits (of about 5 years) asked me if I liked him the other day. I said I did have feelings for him, but I don’t always know if I want to pursue them, mainly because of past heartbreak and being a bit gun-shy with relationships now. He said he felt the exact same way. However, I did say that if we were ever on the same page about it, I’d be willing to give dating a try. He said “yeah I definitely get that,” but didn’t really agree or disagree? So now I just feel kind of dumb for even saying that and am thinking I ruined our dynamic, even though he opened the conversation up. Thoughts?

    • This topic was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by avatarDear Wendy.
    #889666 Reply

    So now, you reflect on what you want about him and act accordingly. If you like him and want to give a try as boyfriend and girlfriend, tell him so.
    If you like the status quo, don’t say anything: let it be.
    If he likes you, he can also says so, instead of asking you if you like him. At some point, one has to know what one wants and how one feels, and take the risk if one has a romantic interest.

    #889667 Reply

    Yes, it was worth having that conversation, because now you know exactly what’s in store for you with this guy: Another 5 years (or however long you want it to go on) of the FWB thing you’re doing now. Do you want that? Then keep doing it. Do you want a boyfriend? Then turn your attention to meeting guys for dating, through the apps. This guy is your FWB, nothing more.

    I have no idea why he would ask “do you like me,” and then not follow through with expressing any feelings. Maybe he just wanted to check to make sure you’re not feeling anything more than FWB. It’s unlikely he brought it up because he wants more. If he had, then I think he’d have continued the conversation when you said you were open to dating. The ball is definitely in his court and he’s not picking it up, so

    #889676 Reply

    Sometimes a non-answer, like the one he gave you, is really an answer. If he’d also wanted to change to a dating relationship, he would have jumped at it when you said you’d be open to more.

    So now you know that he’s not open to more, and you can decide how you want to proceed. If you were doing this because you were hoping he’d become a boyfriend, you now know that won’t happen.

    What do YOU want? If this casual, comfortable no-effort thing is keeping you from dating, and you really want to be in a committed relationship that maybe leads to marriage and kids, then you need to step back from this guy and focus on finding someone who wants what you do.

    #889684 Reply

    All of this confounds me.

    Answer the questions below Joonbug (you don’t have to put your answer here) and be honest with yourself:

    1. Would you be heartbroken if your FWB turned to you tomorrow and said “I’m dating a new person and we can’t sleep together anymore.”?

    2. Would you be be disappointed but totally fine hanging out with him and his girlfriend or do you think you’d be jealous?

    3. Are you actively looking for a boyfriend, are you open to dating people or are you using this FWB to avoid getting into a committed relationship?

    4. If someone you liked asked you out, would you hesitate because you didn’t want to disappoint your FWB?

    5. If you did start dating someone, how hard would it be to tell your FWB that the B part of your F is over?

    I don’t think you actually have a FWB – I think you have an unlabeled relationship.

    #889688 Reply

    Well, I disagree with most comments. I think his asking “do you like me?” was obviously opening the conversation; it was an attempt at being vulnerable. Was it perfect? No, but when people are being vulnerable, they’re awkward.

    No one asks “do you like me?” in an attempt to make sure you don’t!

    Your answer was along the lines of “yes, but not sure I want to pursue anything,” which isn’t exactly a green light. Someone is going to have to take a bigger risk and say, “let’s date!” It is in no way, shape, or form “dumb” to do that, or ruinous.

    #889695 Reply

    I don’t necessarily think he brought this conversation up to stop seeing you. I think he was testing the waters. Are you in a relationship in every way but the label? I think Lisforleslie’s questions are* good ones to ask yourself. Think about it. And be honest with him and yourself about what you want.

    #889697 Reply

    Don’t feel bad or like you “ruined” things. He’s the one who asked. And there is nothing wrong with being honest with someone even if you don’t get a response that you’re looking for.

    #889712 Reply

    Honestly? Your lackluster response may have shut him down.

    #889716 Reply

    I agree with Mark. I think he was seeing what you would say, and then mirrored your response. The thing is, clearly you guys like each other if you’re FWB, right? Everyone is afraid of being hurt. Most of us have been hurt before, but we still take a chance if the person is worth it. There isn’t much reward without risk. If you like him and would like more, tell him. If not, don’t say anything more, I guess.

    #889724 Reply

    I mean, were you honest? If so, no action needed. If not, you may or may not want to revisit this with him and be honest, depending on what you want out of this.

    #889726 Reply

    Nice feedback, y’all. Just some notes to clarify:

    – I was honest, albeit taken off-guard.
    – To answer if I like him: yes. And yes, I can see myself in a relationship with him. Me not being sure if I want to pursue isn’t a personal attack at him, but I’m not sure if I want to make myself fully vulnerable to another relationship at this time, which is why I’m not ruling him out.
    – I just don’t truly know what he wanted from the conversation, hence my confusion at his response (or lack thereof). We haven’t spoken since our conversation, but I’ll wait it out a bit.

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