Other questions about FWB (“Friends with Benefits”) and Booty Call:
I met this guy on an online dating site six months ago. We started dating but it didn’t last very long—about a month or so. We had a lot in common and a very strong physical attraction to one another but were having trouble communicating. (I’m extroverted and feel comfortable talking openly about my feelings and he’s introverted and never wants to talk about how he feels.) So he decided that we should stop seeing each other and that we needed to transition into a platonic friendship. He kept making it clear that he didn’t want to lose me as a friend because he cared about me a lot. I told him I needed space from him before I could start a normal friendship.
After just a week he emailed me saying he missed me and that he hoped I was doing okay. We started working on our friendship after that and decided to try hanging out as friends about a week later. We ended up in bed. We never talked about what happened.
Since then we have basically acted like a couple. We see each other regularly and text every day. I’m the first person he calls when he needs to talk or when something good happens that he’s excited about. He’s been there for me through some really tough times as well. When we go out for drinks or to the movies he always insists on paying. He introduced me to his entire family. When we part ways he always kisses me—on the lips if we’re in private and on the cheek when we’re in public. (We’re both not really into PDA.) When we sleep together it feels intimate. There’s a lot of kissing and cuddling afterwards, and he always asks me to sleep over. We’re basically each other’s best friend at this point and it really feels like we’re in a relationship. I don’t know what to call this though. I’m not sure if he has feelings for me or not. I know I have feelings for him. I want to bring up the possibility of us being “officially” together but I don’t know if it’s a good idea or not. The reasons why we didn’t work the first time no longer apply since we have gotten to know each other so much better since then and we communicate better.
I guess my primary questions are: is this typical FWB behavior, or does me like me? Do you think it’s safe to bring up being officially together?
Thanks for your question.
No this isn’t typical “friends with benefits” behavior, at least not from our experience. But each arrangement is different depending on how the two people set it up. Some people hang out a lot as friends and only have sex occasionally, maybe after a party where they’ve had a little too much to drink, or something similar to that. Some people might have a regularly scheduled night where they watch a favorite TV show together, get take out food and then do their thang. The variations are endless.
But your situation illustrates the inherent problem with a “friends with benefits” arrangement. Blurring the lines between friendship and intimacy often creates confusion—and we’d say more so for women. Men seem to be able to compartmentalize the physical and emotional more easily. For men these two realms are separate, and one does not necessarily impact the other. But for many women they are often deeply connected. It seems this is true for you.
So the question is, whether or not this is true for him.
From our vantage point it seems like he’s into you. He’s certainly acting like you are his girlfriend by paying for your evenings out, introducing you to his family, and engaging in more intimate gestures—cuddling, kissing—not always associated with FWB. But the only way to know for sure is to talk to him about it. So yes, it’s safe to bring up the topic, but that’s no guarantee you’ll get the answer you’re hoping for. But at least you’ll get some answer. We think it’s always better to know, rather than to wonder.
We know you’re worried that it might be too soon and that you’ll possibly scare him off. But here’s the thing Jenny. Guys usually know right away whether they want to be with a woman. Sure, your situation is slightly different since you were having communication issues early on, but guys certainly know right away if they’re physically attracted to a woman, which without, there is no relationship for a guy. So what that means is, more time together isn’t going to make him more into you than he already is. Trust us, he already knows how he feels, even if he “hems and haws” when you talk. And our rule of thumb is simple when it comes to having “the talk.” If you’re having intimate physical relations it’s not too early to talk about, and define, the relationship.
So we say go for it. And we very much hope it works out for you. (For both of you) But if he says he wants to keep it the way it is—a “friends with benefits” arrangement—at least you’ll have all the information you need to decide how you want to proceed.
We hope this helps. Please keep us posted. (Leave us a comment and we’ll respond back in the comments section.)
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Online Dating Part 3: How to write a great written online profile (Second example of BEFORE and AFTER version)