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It’s Sadie again and I have another(!!) question for you to please ponder. It’s a follow–up to the question I sent you about a month or so ago (“Long Distance: Should I Pursue?”). As it turns out, even though my internships went well in England I decided to come back to Canada for at least another 5 or 6 months. I’m back to seeing my friend who I went to Rome with. My question boils down to the fact that I’m not sure how he genuinely feels about me. I know you’re not mind readers.
So, let me fill you in about what’s been going on with us since I last wrote you. Since then we’ve been pretty much in constant contact—usually Facebook messages a few times a week and the occasional Skype chat. He became better about instigating contact with me, especially if a few days would go by if he hadn’t heard from me. I don’t feel anymore as though I am the one putting in the bulk of the effort to stay in touch. When I got back to Canada a couple weeks ago he didn’t “play it cool” (as I put it last time) by biding his time before calling me; he messaged me on Facebook a few times and as soon as I sent him my new number he texted me then called me the same day; he wasted no time! So we met up last week and had a really fun time; it was pretty much just like before I left. I haven’t seen him since then because we’re both pretty busy right now so I don’t know yet how the dynamic between us will progress now that I’m back for longer than a couple of months.
Fortunately, I followed your advice you gave me before. (Read her first post readers) But now I realize that the position I have put myself in is that of a FWB (Friends with Benefits).
At any rate, before I came back to Canada I told myself I wouldn’t let myself be a friend-with-benefits but evidently I didn’t do a very good job of making that clear! I kept changing my mind as to whether or not I’d be able to be in a FWB relationship with him. On the one hand, I am happy enough to keep it like this because we do get along really well and I really like spending time with him. I really do value his friendship and I don’t want to risk losing the closeness I have with him if I cut out the intimacy factor. I’m not sure if he would still put in the consistent effort that he does to spend time with me if we kept our friendship platonic. If he were to tell me that he wanted to actually commit to me I’d have no hesitation for that. I know that’s what I want from him but I’m almost thinking if that’s what I want at the end of the day then maybe I should keep it status quo and see if anything progresses?
But that this leads me to total confusion. How does he actually feel about me? Whenever I talk about how he is with me people always think it sounds really positive with potential. But when I did address “us” with him his response boiled down to that he’s not sure if he can be committed in a relationship at this time. Fair enough – but maybe he’s letting me down nicely. He told me he cares about me and he’s sweet with me; and he makes a better effort to see me etc etc On the surface it does kind of seem as though he wants to date me. My take on FWB relationships is that, in general, the friends don’t necessarily feel a super strong enough connection to want anything much more than what they’re already getting out of the relationship. Stemming from that perspective, I’m not really sure about how much they genuinely care about each other. I see those relationships as the kind to most likely just fizzle out because I think that there should be more of a build up or gradual progression in a serious relationship. I know that if he were to tell me tomorrow that he has met someone and wants to start dating her I’d be very upset but I’m not sure how upset he’d be if I told him tomorrow that I met someone and was going to pursue a committed relationship with a new guy. And even though I know I should ask I really don’t want to bring this up because I’ve already had this sort of talk with him before. Should I just maintain this friend-with-benefits relationship and just hope it doesn’t totally fizzle??
Sorry this was so long winded, but in a nutshell I am really hoping you can give me your perspective about how you think he feels about me. Should I just keep it as a FWB situation with him in hopes it might progress into something down the road? I should mention that I’m really good at keeping myself busy and I’m still keeping my eyes open for something more substantial, but on that front I won’t let anything go too fast. ( Lol!) I don’t think I’ll let myself miss opportunities for this one guy I’m fixated on right now even if it stays status quo.
Nice to hear from you again. Thanks for your question.
Here’s a progression for you to ponder:
Phase 1: Friendship
Phase 2: Friends with Benefits
Phase 3: One person—often the woman—starts to develop strong feelings beyond physical intimacy. (Emotional connection)
Phase 4: Frustration and confusion ensue
Phase 5: Heartache
We don’t see a happy ending to this situation Sadie. Sure he likes you, and might treat you well when he sees you, but we don’t see this developing beyond exactly what it is: a fun booty call for him.
If you’re staying in this relationship hoping it’s going to progress into something more serious we think you should move on. If you really think you can handle being in this situation and have fun with it, then continue the status quo. On the one hand you say you’re happy enough to have some sort of relationship with him, but then in the same breath you say you’d totally jump at being in a relationship with him if he asked you. This disparity troubles us. It seems clear to us that you want something more from this guy. (And we think it’s pretty clear to you as well.) And honestly if he’s just sweet and friendly with you because he’s getting “benefits” we just can’t see what you’re really getting from this. If this was just about sex, we imagine you could find many a willing partner for that .
We understand that you care for this guy and really want this to turn into a committed relationship, but from what we can tell, all the signs point to this remaining exactly as it is. And ultimately we see you being dissatisfied with this arrangement, and maybe even hurt by it.
Keep us posted. And good luck.
ps. Let your friends know about us. Thanks!