Friends with benefits

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Read more Relationship Advice and Dating Advice from THE GUYS:

Breaking Up

Long distance relationship: conflicted


Deleting Friendship on Facebook

Did I make a mistake by leaving him?

Not sure if he’ll commit

Love or friendship?


Dear Guys,

I’ve been doing this “friends with benefits” thing with a friend of mine for about a little over a month now.  He was recently in a serious relationship, as was I. I made it clear that I was not looking for a relationship and he did as well.  We made rules and came to agreements about the situation. One of the major agreements being that we wouldn’t fall for each other and that if one of us did develop feelings we would back out.  However, I am starting to develop feelings for him. I get the feeling that he is harboring romantic feelings towards me as well.  He’s doing little things like reaching for my hand, running his fingers through my hair, or just pecking me on the lips every once in a while.  But he pulls back whenever this side of him starts to show.  I am not saying that I necessarily want a relationship with him, but I can’t help but feel this tension between us-not just sexual.  I have no idea what to do. I’ve never been in this situation before.  I don’t know if I should just ignore my feelings and continue to have fun, or drop the bomb and get it over with.  It would also be helpful if you guys could maybe help me understand what this guys mindset might be?

I’d be grateful for any insight you guys might be able to offer… HELP!


Dear Morgarita,

Thanks for your question.

We don’t know who coined the phrase “friends with benefits” but it certainly has become part of the relationship landscape. In some ways it’s a great situation. It’s safe: meaning you’re limiting your number of partners and cutting down the risk of STDs. And the sex is often great because there’s an immediate comfort level, but still with the initial excitement of an early stage relationship. However, it’s also ripe for confusion, frustration, and hurt feelings.

We tend to think guys benefit more from this type of relationship because they seem better able to separate their emotions from their physical desires. We’re not surprised that after a month or so you’re already developing feelings for your friend. It’s natural. Women tend to look for a partner who is funny, smart, interesting, and stable. Sure, good looks and a hot body are important, but they don’t necessarily determine whether or not a woman will fall for a guy. This guy you’re with probably has all of these qualities otherwise you probably wouldn’t have been his friend before you started sleeping with him.

For men, good looks and good sex, are usually must haves. That’s not to say we’re so shallow that we don’t care about humor, smarts, and other important qualities, it just means if we’re not attracted physically the game is over. But one important point to note: men can have sex with a woman and not be interested in anything more. Yes, we like to connect with the women we love through sex, but that doesn’t mean we love all the women we have sex with.

It’s hard to say what is going on his mind. The tender moments you describe could be him falling for you, or they could be part of blurred boundaries that will continue to happen in this relationship you so carefully and cautiously set up. Putting rules in place seems like a very practical thing to do, but rules and relationships have never been ideal partners, because the heart is going to do what it wants without consulting the head. And in your case, that’s what’s happening.

So we say go for it. Get it over with. Drop the bombshell. It’s been about two weeks since you asked this question, so that puts your relationship at around the two month mark. That’s certainly a reasonable time in which to have a more serious discussion, especially since you’ve already been partaking in activities that usually accompany a more serious commitment.

If he tells you he’s not interested you can always salvage your “friends with benefits” relationship. He will still be interested in that scenario pretty much no matter what you say to him. It might be awkward for a little bit, but trust us, he’ll want to continue at some point unless he finds someone else. Of course, we don’t know what you’d get from going back to the way it was if you truly want more from the relationship than just sex. It seems to us, if you do drop the bombshell, you should be prepared for the best and worst. Hopefully he feels the same as you and wants to take this to the next level. And if he doesn’t, at least you’ll have your answer. We’ll say it again, and probably another 100 times: nothing venture, nothing gained.

Good luck Morgarita. We hope it works out for you.


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32 Comments on Friends with benefits

  1. I feel emotional.Somedays he behaves too good to me while some other days he treats me as if I mean nothing to him. Yup I saw a picture of a girl in his phone once. Maybe he is dating too. I just don’t know how to get farther from him and get over him

  2. Moreover there’s a guy who proposed me recently. He treats me as if I’m a princess. But I don’t feel anything about this guy. It’s all my fwb in my head.

  3. @Sabu…..Have you read some of our posts on the topic? Or our e-report? You might find them interesting. We don’t think your FWB is going to become more serious. So it’s up to you if you want to stay or not. He’ll keep things going as long as you’re agreeable. Basically he’s getting his physical needs met which is all he wants from you. You’re not getting your emotional needs met. Seems like not the best situation for you.

  4. Thankyou

  5. Nicolette // May 25, 2016 at 3:17 pm //

    My FWB wants me to stay all night and 2 out of 3 times all we do is cuddle and kiss. He says he holds back on more because of medical issues but I think he’s just afraid of being hurt. We have been friends for years and he is real moody. I love him to pieces (not so sure if in love though) and would always be there for each other. We are true friends and know each other’s family even. His brother even considers us more. I’m a bit confused myself. He calls me after a night at the bar (when I don’t go home with him) to make sure I made it home ok even. We hang out on occasion with no intentions of sex. Even talk about things we are going to do together that consist of no sex. This doesn’t seem like a FWB to me.

  6. @Nicolette……Thanks for sharing your situation. Do you have a question?

  7. Yeah there are blurred boundaries and then there are outright inappropriate behaviors. My FWB, a guy I work with and have been FWB-ing for about a year, SAYS he’s on the same page as I am but then says things like “I don’t know what I’d do if you weren’t in my life”, “you’re one of the only people I really care about” etc. He confides in me about really personal shit and talks about how I’m the only person who really knows him. He encourages this from me too but I just can’t go there. most of our time together is nonsexual only because we work together so we have lunch, hang out at work, FRIEND STUFF. We’d hook up for sex about once a month. But even the sex is changing where he’ll want to cuddle after. And by cuddle I mean weird shit like staring in my eyes and just stroking my cheek for ages. It feels good and I like cuddling so I’m letting it happen. But I feel like this thing is getting out of control. After sex he wants to go eat, do things. Again I’m ok with this but I feel like he’s starting to catch some pretty serious feelings. This isn’t a young guy. This guy is in his 40s. I’m afraid he’s possibly doing some weird middle aged nesting thing. He’s a great guy and I like him a lot but not relationship material for me. We are both already in relationships (relationships that are disasters but nonetheless…) and this was supposed to be something fun and safe on the side. Not this intense, confusing pile of crap it’s become.

    A couple of months ago, he got very jealous about my platonic male friend coming for a visit. That was the line.

    I’m concerned. Is this just guy crap and I can ignore it or do I have to deal with this?

  8. @Clara…..Sorry to tell you, but yes you have to deal with it. Like it or not, the two of you have a connection, and clearly it’s not just physical anymore. Our advice: Since you’re already in another relationship, we’d advise you to talk with your FWB and let him know you’re recommitting to your boyfriend, and that you need to end the FWB arrangement and go back to being friends. Or….If you don’t want to do that, then you still need to talk with him and reestablish boundaries of what’s okay and what’s not okay. This is not just on him. You’re also blurring the boundaries by going along with it all. You can be nice about all of it, but you also have to be very clear.

  9. @All the Women out There…….We’d love to hear your thoughts on The Perfect Guy? Leave a comment, a description or respond to someone else’s comment. Let’s have a conversation.

  10. Hi guys,I’m in an odd situation with my fwb. So I was in a very serious relationship when I was young, we were “head over heals.” Life took us in two different directions and we didn’t see each other for 15 years, we were first loves. He had never married or had kids and I married and divorced with no kids. We ran into each other 15 years later and have been in a fwb relationship for about a year now. It’s a little weird, we know each others family and friends. We obviously have some kind of connection all these years later. He recently started inviting me to stay the nights, when we first made the arrangement I told him there would be no sleep overs. He just bought a new house not too long ago, and ask me kind of deep questions about how I see me future and about kids and yeah… Idk, what’s going on. He’s hot and cold. I’m just cool really, lol.

  11. @Marie……..Well, what do you want? It sounds as if he might be following your lead? Is that possible? And maybe, you’re hot and cold? What do you think? (And have you discussed being in an actual relationship or have you cut that off before it could possibly start?)

  12. Ok so my situation is I’m 33 and my fb is 29 not that it matters but in the beginning of it all we didn’t have any arrangements but at times he’s confusing me. I first want to say is that he was flirting me in the beginning before any of this started and then when we finally did have sex it was amazing and he said he wanted to take it slow with us and I was/ fine with that but then on the 3rd time he asked me confusing questions..the first was are you falling for me the second was do you want friends with benefits and then he turns around and says well what if I want a girlfriend..? Wtf is all that suppose to mean? Mind you he asked me all 3 during sex.. I mean I’m fine with fwb but I am starting to to slowly fall for him but I don’t want to say anything to him on it cause I don’twant to ruin it cause let’s face it the sex is incredibly amazing and I don’t want to stop cause all the other guys I’ve been with couldn’t do it the way I like and crave it like he can.. so what does this all mean? Is he slowly falling for me or is he just trying to screw with my head.

  13. @Kei……First of all there are no rules to FWB. Which means, it’s hard to say exactly what he’s doing. One important point to keep in mind….. Anything he says pre-sex or during sex are his hormones talking. So you need to listen to what he says immediately after sex. (That would be a better indicator of where his head is at.) Sounds like he either has no idea what he wants or he’s messing with you to keep you coming back for more. Our advice: We wouldn’t let this go too long without some sort of discussion on what’s going on. And remember, a non-answer is the same as an answer. Meaning, if he says he doesn’t know, or let’s take it slow, or let’s just see, or any of that other crap, then you know that he’s not serious. Good luck.

  14. What happens if your fwb shows up at your house because he wanted to see me before he went to his sister’s for Christmas so he just wanted to stop by and say merry Christmas, give me a hug and a cd he burned for me with Christmas songs on it? We dated for a bit and have been fwb for about two months… the last time we hung out all he wanted to do was cuddle… does he have feelings?

  15. @Meg……We haven’t seen many FWB arrangements move to committed relationships. Usually if a guy wants something more serious he proposes it right away. So it’s unlikely. But one way to find out is to cut off the FWB arrangement and tell him you’re only interested in a committed relationship, which means no sex unless he commits. If he continues to pursue you then you’ll know he’s interested in something more. If not, you’ll know it was just about sex.

  16. So I was in a relationship with this guy but we broke up because we felt that we wanted different things. But we had a good breakup and we became very close friends right after. We became fwb 2 weeks after we broke up but we never labeled it as fwb. we hang out at least once a week because we’re in 2 different cities going to 2 different colleges so its hard to see each other everyday. But we talk pretty much everyday, facetime, snapchat, text. We talk about everything – as if we were best friends. He says that I’m his best friend too. But its confusing though. Because yeah, we have sex whenever we hangout (sometimes we don’t even have sex, just hang out). He got me gifts for Christmas, we hold hands in public, kiss in public, cuddle when we’re together. He cooks for me. We even talk about our feelings and stuff, and he calls me all these sweet names when he refers to me. Does he have feelings for me? How do I interpret this situation? What are some other things I should consider about this? Cuz I have feelings for him and I’d like to get back together.

  17. @Jojo…..Why don’t you ask him? What are you worried about? That you’ll lose his friendship? If you ask and he says we’re just FWB, then you’ll where he stands. Understand that guys usually mean what they say. Sure, sometimes the lines get blurred, but if he wanted something more he’d probably be pushing for it. Just our two cents.

  18. I think I’m more worried of just losing him. Then again, I would be okay with just being friends or maybe even continuing fwb. I have feelings for him but I want to know how he actually feels – first; before I put out my feelings because I’m usually always the one who puts out the feelings on the table to talk. We’ve been doing this whole fwb thing for almost 3 months now. What’s a good way I can ask him without him getting defensive or upset? I want the conversation to be very casual. Him and I are usually very open with each other and our feelings but this is the one thing I’m just having a hard time letting out to him. Thank You Guys!

  19. @Jojo……FWB is the wild, wild, west. There are no rules, which is why things can get so confusing. If you bring it up, it’s probably not going to be casual. It’s too serious a conversation even if you do your best to make it casual, although you should certainly try. Our only suggestion is you bring it up over lunch or coffee, not in the evening, and not late at night before or after sex. Keep us posted.

  20. hi guys. i’ve been in a FWB relationship for about 4 months with a much younger man (he’s 47 & i’m 60). we’ve agreed to be sexually exclusive. we have always had an amazing connection physically. i spend 2 or 3 nights a week at his house. besides hooking up, we spend lots of time together watching sports & tv, listening to music, he cooks for me, etc. he tells me that i’m beautiful and could have any guy i want, but that i’m too old to be his girlfriend. he has encouraged me to go out with other men. when i do date someone else, he gets very jealous and tells me that it hurts him. several times he’s told me he didn’t want to see me anymore, but he always calls within a few days to reconnect. i’m confused with the way he wants me but doesn’t want me and not sure what to do at this point. i enjoy being FWB’s with him. but i also have feelings for him and would like to be his girlfriend. i’m just not sure he’ll ever give it a chance. his first wife abandoned him leaving him to raise 3 kids alone. he’s been single for 25 years. his kids, who are grown now, really like me and i like them. i get along well with his friends and they all know about me. any advice you might have to offer would be appreciated.

  21. @smarta……We understand. Confusing. But we think we can help clarify. For a guy who’s not really interested in getting married again, or getting serious again, a FWB is the perfect situation. He gets all his needs met but also gets to enjoy his freedom and space. And he can come and go as he pleases. In your case, 2-3 nights a week is satisfying him……But to answer your question specifically…..your age difference is not an issue for him now. However, he’s looking down the road. (Maybe it’s not fair, but he is.) When he’s 57, he’s not sure if he wants to be with a women who’s 70. At that point he’ll probably want a women 10 years his junior. (If he’s like other guys we know.) We are sorry. We hope we weren’t too insensitive. Just trying to be honest.

  22. I’m a man. I just started this FWB thing. I’m 51, just come out of a sexless marriage. I had sex with a very willing 22 year old but she would not kiss or hug, never mind cuddle. I wasn’t complaining as she was very horny and far be it from me to turn down sex from someone less than half my age! Then I met this other woman who is 50. She LOVES to kiss, passionately! And cuddle and spoon! She wants NOTHING to do with the idea of marriage. She was never married. No kids. No pets. After one night with her, the sex was fantastic, and we both love to snuggle etc. We did a LOT of that. I want to snuggle with her endlessly! I can’t stop thinking about her. Sure, it’s an FWB relationship. We met twice the second time involving what I just mentioned. Why do I feel like I am in love? I know I can’t be, as I don’t even know her? I feel addicted or something. I’ve never wanted anything so strongly on my life, as I want her now. To kiss, cuddle and make sweet love. Notice my wording. It was not just sex, it was sweet love. Wow!

  23. @Don….It sounds great! You ask: Why do you want it so badly? Well, there’s nothing more exciting than new sex. And factor in your past—sexless marriage—you must be jumping out of your skin!! We say enjoy it as long as you both want the same thing.

  24. I as a male friend if he wanted to be fab his wife died 3 years ago he has been alone since. I went over we had oral sex , I text him a week later again we had intercourse,( amazing) again10 days later we hooked up. I text him again but this time he said he was sick and would hit me up when he was better.Then he text me same day how he can’t wait to have oral sex with me again and just texting me was giving him a hard on. Well 2 hours later I sent him a sedated while I masturbated and ended with got to go so I can finish..That was 3 days ago did I ruin it? I deleted his number so I wouldn’t text him stupid suit again, What do you think?

  25. @Terry…..We think that he’ll get in touch with you as soon as he wants more sex. That said, are you content with just having sex with him? We doubt it’s going to develop into anything more serious. What do you think?

  26. Hey guys. About a couple of months ago I started a fwb arrangement with a colleague. Since we work together, we decided to keep it casual and low-key. However I feel like I may be developing feelings for him, and certain things he says and does make me think that it’s the same for him. When we started seeing each other we were both in relationships that were falling apart, and he mentioned that things would be easier if we didn’t work together and that if I wanted the whole relationship package then we should wait until we both completely ended it with our then partners.Furthermore, he always says that he wants to get to know me better, asks me personal questions and tells me personal things about him as well. He also likes to cuddle after sex, looks at me in the eyes, kisses my cheeks and hands,etc. We even have dinner and watch TV together (suggested by him), and he also suggested that we go on a short trip somewhere.. However if I make a joke about me maybe seeing other people in the near future he plays along and does not act jealous but acts a bit more detached. Does he not want this relationship to be something more, or is he just distancing himself?

  27. @Lana……Are you both completely single now? (Meaning have you both broken up with your respective partners?)

  28. Yes, we are. I just broke up with my boyfriend a couple of days ago. But the problem is that we still work together and our company does not allow for office romances.

  29. Oh and he also broke up with his girlfriend weeks ago.

  30. @Lana….Seems like this is still a “Wait and See” situation. It’s a bit too early to know what’s going on. That said, if he doesn’t say that he wants to take the relationship to the next level, he probably doesn’t. But give it a little time. You both are very recently single. Another month or so should be enough time. By then, if he still hasn’t initiated some sort of change in the relationship, it’s likely he’s happy the way things are. (But of course, the only way to know for sure is to ask him. But maybe wait a bit and let things unfold.)

  31. Thank you for the advice. There has been some change. We now meet also when we can’t have sex for one reason or the other (e.g. too drunk, period). He says that he likes to just spend time with me and kiss me. This is also something that confused me a bit since it does not seem usual for a fwb arrangement. But I will do as you suggested – give it time and see where it goes :)

  32. @Lana…..Remember, getting together with you and kissing you is still part of a FWB. It’s about foreplay. There needs to be a discussion about defining the relationship at some point. No huge rush. But don’t read too much into what’s happening if it does not get accompanied by a discussion. Keep us posted. Have fun. And keep those eyes open. And trust your gut!!

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