Friends with benefits....

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Friends with benefits....
5
Mon, 04-28-2003 - 8:43pm
What do guys really think about girls who they're in a friends with benefits relationship with? I just recentally started becoming physical with a friend of mine. We've actually become better friends because of it. This was someone that I had a crush on for a long time, but he was in a relationship. They broke up about a month ago. I've never been in a relationship, i'm a little bit relationship phobic (girlfriend-boyfriend relationships)

He's made it clear that he just sees me as a good friend, that he trusts me and is comfortable with me, but doesn't want to start a relationship with me.

I wanted to know what a guy thinks about these kinds of relationships. It's progressing rather quickly. I'm comfortable with it, but is respect lost if you start sleeping with a friend? I do like him, and if he was willing to start a relationship, I think I might try for it. I'm a little worried that because i'm feeling more for him, than he for me, that i'm going to get myself into a painful situation, where he just sees me as someone to fool around with. And what happens if i try to stop the physicallity of it and just be friends, what will our relationship be then?

Any advice, or personal experience with this kind of relationship would be appreciated.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-28-2003 - 8:59pm
Title: There it is....

"I'm a little worried that because i'm feeling more for him, than he for me, that i'm going to get myself into a painful situation, where he just sees me as someone to fool around with."

Personally, I don't think "friends with benefits" can ever really work in the "real world". And I was just reading a woman's magazine today in which a shrink / relationship expert agreeded with me. To quote her, " a relationship is either patonic or romantic. There is nothing in-between".

The reason why it never seems to work (and I never have seen it work personally...in my own life...in the life of friends...on this board...never) is EXACTLY the problem you have. Invaribly, women see "FWB" as "ok, I am too chicken to call this a 'relationship' but I certainly am emotionally invested". Men, on the otherhand, typically see FWB as EXACTLY what you fear "Here is someone to have sex with that I trust and who isn't going to ask anything of me...so I have a source of sex until I get ready to start dating someone again". Invaribly, the woman assumes that SHE will be that person when the guyt gets ready to start dating again, because she is close by, and she is already sleeping with him,and surely he is feeling the same thing she is. Sometimes, it works out this way. Very often it doesn't.

My theory, for my money, is that the ONLY WAY "FWB" can EVER work (and I've never seen this happen personally...again, in my life, or friends...) is if the two peopel in question have ALREADY DECIDED that thy would / will never "date" each other in a serious relationship. They have to have known each otehr long enough to know each other well...and have have to have already decided "I wouldn't date you if you were the last man / woman on earth". Indeed, they have to have already established a certain level of ...contempt?...for each other. And thus, the sex is just that...sex. Because they ALREADY know that they can't bear the other person from a relationship POV.

You clearly aren't at this place in the universe.

You are probably in for some hurt. Yes, your friendship might be lost when you try to end the fooling around, especially if the friendship wasn't VERY solid and long term to start off with. He might feel betrayed or lied too. On the otherhand, if you keep fooling around, you might end up EXACTLY in the place you fear you are going...that when he is ready for a serious relationship, you won't be a candidate, becaue you were "someone to fool around with". He'll feel betrayed as well, because he will say "you KNEW we were JUST FWB!!!".

Or it might all work out...

My advice would be to come clean with him NOW!!!!! about how you feel...so that he can come clean as well. If you do this NOW!!!!!!! ...your honest and up frontness might save your friendship. Or...hell..it might turn out that he is falling in love with you.

But if you think your solution to this problem is gonna be just ignore it and hope it all works out....you are gonna be in for some hurt.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-28-2003 - 11:48pm
Title: Picking Nits...

Before I go there, I'd like to say to 1katarina--I agree in the main with GoGo here. You are on a path that leads to lots of pain and very little good. If he thinks you're just a FWB, and you "would try" a relationship with him, the vast likelihood is that you'll have benefits for a while. Then he'll meet someone he really likes and wants to date, he will unceremoniously end the "benefits", and he will be utterly mystified when you express your devestation. Tell him *now* that what you really want from him is an actual relationship. That way he has a choice--he can choose that you're not someone he wants a relationship with and end the benefits (which you will enforce 100%, for the sake of your own later happiness). He can also choose to try a relationship with you. This way, at least you both know what's what.

GoGo--I'm not sure we ever really settled the question of my "FWB". I maintain that I DO have a working FWB-thing going on. So does the FWB, for what it's worth. And we most certainly do not feel contempt for each other. We care for each other very much, in fact. If the sitch were different, I *would* want to date him for real. He is so "my type" he's almost a stereotype. Actually, I'm really glad that things are the way they are, because I suspect that if I'd tried to date him for real the results would have been nothing short of disastrous in the long run. This way at least he is someone I'll get to keep as a true friend.

Of course I do realize that with my Very Unusual Situation(tm), things are probably not measurable with the same scales.

--fc

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-29-2003 - 7:56am
Title: Yeah but....

...we've already established that you are the PERFECT "FWB" buddy for a guy....you're "AGWAV"!!!!

Said tongue-in-cheek and with love.....


BTW...by "contempt" (a strong word, I realize) I didn't really mean for the whole person...I just meant "romantically". I am sure most of us have people in our lives who we think are pretty kewl, but would NEVER date. I know I do...a couple I think the WORLD of, but nope, could never be in a relationship with them.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-29-2003 - 8:18am
Yes, FC, you have shown you can have a working FWB.

So have I (in my past, not currently)...

So has Erin (who I believe is still in one)...

I believe there has also been occasional 1 or 2 posters who have also had working FWB benefits situations. Heck, my HR person (now happily married) had a FWB situation when she was in college.

So if GoGo says he's never had one work. Fine. Never had a friend of his where it worked (clearly he's excluding both of us). Fine. However, when he said he doesn't know anyone, or had anyone post on this board that has had one work... He either doesn't read all the posts (you, me, Erin), or he's got a very selective memory.

Brokk...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-29-2003 - 3:50pm
From a female in FWB.....what do you mean does he "respect" you still? Of course he does - he knows that this is just about physical gratification. That's all he's in it for.

You're someone he knows and trusts...as in not to give him a disease, not to lie about where you've been adn doing what with whom.....in a way, although he might not realize it - he's also "trusting" you enough to admit to him when this has crossed into emotional attachment/involvement/investment/commitment to "him and a potential future with him"....becuase FWB is so NOT about that.

FWB is great - you get the physical gratification, you sometimes have someone to hang out with, you get all the initial high of "infatuation" becuase you're never emotionally invested in a future iwth this person in the sense that what they want, do, think, or value is ging to impact you and your future and your potential.

It's friends - I want the best for you as you determine that to be, with a mutually shared base of admiration adn respect for each other as individuals.

It's benefits - sex where i get to play out all my fantasies, try yours on for size, perfect some skills and that's possible becuase I don't want the impact of a relationship in my life at this time, and I want all the cake and icing - but none of the fat.

FWB is that...you get to eat cake/icing...and never get fat!

But...the second, the minute, the very millisecond that you begin to contemplate "what if"..."maybe"....the second that what you do outside of the parameter of "bed" starts having you figure in his wnats, his needs, his schedule....you're OUT of FWB..you're into "giving to get" - as in you're giving him what he wants and trying to make his life with you great...so taht he'll want what you want - which is a relationship.

And the second you're across the line...because he trusts you and if you value the friendship - you speak up and stop "having benefits."

And...just for the record.....I have NEVER known of a guy to go across that line becuase they were very aware of what they wanted when this started...and men do generally "like the chase" - dating isn't a threat to them - it's a thrill.

And once they've had you sexually - the "thrill of dating" is quasi-dead...and that is why for guys FWB partners are rarely considered for dating - they enjoy the pursuit, they are thrilled with the chase and "the chase" isn't something they dread and consider some "tentative state to e ended ASAP"...and because women generally like to deny the reality that sex/emotional investment/future is interconnected in their subconscious - they have the sex/enjoy the moment/project into the future and the downward spiral begins.

Erin

quickblade14@hotmail.com