Friends with benefits

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Read more Relationship Advice and Dating Advice from THE GUYS:

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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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11 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?)

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