Is He Leading Her On?

Hi Moxie, (hopefully) quick question from the guy-side of the relationship spectrum.  My quick question is – if you are the guy in a FWB situation, how often would you confirm with your partner that this indeed isn’t a committed relationship?  It goes something like this – met a girl, we dated 6 months. Then we broke up, neither of us saw a future together.  After a ‘cooling off’ month or two, we got together for a drink and she proposed a FWB situation.  Being a red blooded man, I said yes.  We had that arrangement for a few months, she asked if I would like to do a Caribbean Island over the 4th.  After sex at her place one night, we booked a trip online (Turks & Caicos). Everything seemed peachy from my POV until one of my friends expressed surprise that we planned a trip together.  She thinks that the woman might assume this means the FWB relationship we agreed to has developed in to something more.

Would it be worth clarifying that nothing has changed for me in the last few months?  Most of our emails are arranging schedules, while most of our in-person conversation is catching up, so I guess this would best be done in-person if it needs to be done at all.

Sincerely,

M – 37 – NYC

Would it be worth clarifying that nothing has changed for me in the last few months?

That depends. Were the tickets non-refundable? I’m only half joking. This is something that should have been clarified before the trip was booked.If she is assuming that you’re more than FWB, this is going  to take the wind out of her sails. Now that money she spent (please, dear God, tell me she booked her own ticket) is going to possibly go to waste.

Being a red blooded man, I said yes.

Oh no, brah. You’re not going to use that lame excuse. You guys need to pick a side and stick to it. Either you want women to see your as human beings with feelings who know how to control their testosterone or you don’t.  Ya ain’t helping the cause, my brother.  You and she already had the relationship. It didn’t work. There’s no takesies backsies. She basically came back to you and proposed a similar arrangement as last time. Only this new arrangement involved no obligation or exclusivity on your part. At least that’s probably how she sold it to you.

You’re telling me that this woman was your only option for sex and so, despite the numerous emotional landmines that could happen given your history, you still went through with it? You’re way too old to be that naive.

But we both know you’re not that naive at all, don’t we :)

Now let me sink my teeth in to her. Let’s say I’m going out with a man. After 6 months we break up. Now, if I’m breaking up with him after that amount of time, it’s because we’re not on the same page in terms of what we want. 6 months of dating means there was “chemistry”, attraction and mutual interests/rapport. So if she was the one to break up with you, it’s most likely that she did so because you didn’t want to commit, yes? If so, then her going back to you and proposing FWB is basically her saying, “I’ve agreed to bone you on your terms.” Now, she’s obviously playing this very well – kudos – because she got you to BOOK A TRIP TO TURKS & CAICOS WITH HER.And she’s clearly avoiding having the conversation, too, as she knows it will probably ruin things. So she’s staying quiet. You both are. That’s another reason why I think she’s hoping things will naturally progress to commitmentville.  Could she be worrying that you might be getting attached and she doesn’t want to rock the boat? I guess anything is possible.

Would it be worth clarifying that nothing has changed for me in the last few months?

It sounds to me like you like and enjoy this woman. You just don’t want to commit to her. So when you have this six month performance review, that’s what you need to stress. Yes, you need to check in with her, as she very well might be assuming that you two have slipped back in to relationship mode or because she might be worried that the things are now going beyond the scope of what was originally intended. The real question is whether you should do it before the trip or after, and I think that hinges on whether or not you can get your money back. If you can’t, keep your trap shut until the trip is over. Who knows? You might come around and decide the time together has made you want to have a real relationship. But if you can get some or all of your money back, speak up before the trip.

I don’t think you need to do it face to face. If you feel a face to face conversation then you obviously genuinely care for her to some degree. That’s a good thing. I just don’t get why you weren’t just having a full on relationship. I mean, other than you want to have your cake and eat it too. But then, she’s serving it up to you on a silver platter so…

I don’t know. It would be one thing if you and she went out a few times and one of you  or both of you determined that there was no romantic future. But you guys had a relationship. I don’t know why you’d ever think this could possibly work. Nor do I understand why this woman would go back to you and suggest this and would believe that it wouldn’t end badly.

This is just a relationship without the commitment, no?

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55 Responses to “Is He Leading Her On?”

  1. nathan Says:

    Yeah, this is why I think it’s wise to stay the hell away from most FWB situations. It’s just too easy for things to get confusing.

    Whatever it is that you have, you best have the conversation and find out where you’re at. Who wants to go on a vacation and spend it fighting or feeling completely awkward because you’re on completely different pages…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    • Lalaskitty Says:

      Exactly “who wants to go on vacation and spend it fighting or feeling completely awkward because you’re on completely different pages”!!!

      Speaking from my own personal experience, this is totally a vacation killer.

      You will have moments of fun followed by moments of angst and worry about what the other is taking this as, or thinking about, or if they are falling for you deeper than you can handle and blah blah blah!

      Yeah, you are on a wonderful warm and fuzzy vacation, but your stress level will be on high… unless you don’t have a conscience.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    “Being a red blooded man, I said yes. Oh no, brah. You’re not going to use that lame excuse. You guys need to pick a side and stick to it. Either you want women to see your as human beings with feelings who know how to control their testosterone or you don’t. Ya ain’t helping the cause, my brother.”

    Well, there is no “cause” and guys do not speak as a monolith. He doesn’t need to make an excuse because he’s done nothing wrong – or even questionable for that matter. Any person — male or female — may accept a gift – in this case, sex and fun without serious consequence. As long as he says “thank you,” it’s all good.

    As for the woman, this is probably a trick. It’s happened to me enough times. You can’t give the woman what she wants. You tell her in so many words. She gets upset and “leaves,” only to return a little while later with a lower offer. (In this case, “FWB.”) I agree with Moxie’s call that it is probably not what she wants. Possible, but less often than not in my experience.

    What I don’t get entirely is why the guy feels he needs to say something. I know Moxie is always about “talking things through” but what’s the problem here? As far as he knows, they have an understanding and they are both happy with it. If she wants something “more” from him that fact will eventually come out and, when it does, they can decide at that time whether the situation is still working for them. There doesn’t seem to be any real drama there to worry about. And, if it never comes up organically, I don’t see what is accomplshed by raising the issue nor or ever. In fact, I think the whole attitude behind the question and Moxie’s advice is somewhat paternalistic and patronizing. She’s an adult and is capable of making decisions for herself. Men are not responsible for rescuing women from their bad decisions.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

    • Paula Says:

      I’m with DMN on this one, and that’s coming from a woman who has been in several FWB situations.

      Once one or both sides establish the status quo (“I’m not feeling what I need to feel for this to be considered a progressing relationship”) then unless it changes for one or both of them, then nothing more needs to be said. In fact, having one of the two keep reiterating it can end up being insulting, patronizing, paternal/maternalistic to the other party, by assuming that it’s the other person who can’t keep their emotions in check, or won’t have the gumption to speak up if they’re in something that is no longer working for them.

      If a FWB situation was proposed to the OP, it may be because the woman has doubts about him too (“neither of them saw a future together”) and so she knew she could handle things at that level, while keeping him in her life (especially if the sex, and/or the friendship, was good.) Again, just because she’s a woman doesn’t mean that she can’t control her emotions (assuming there are any to control) or is simply proposing the FWB deal because she thinks that’s the best she can get from him.

      I had a FWB situation turn into a relationship, but traveling together was a hallmark of our situation even before we considered it a relationship. In fact, if I could find an FWB that was also a travel and concert-going companion, I think I just might give up entirely on finding a relationship for the time being, since I don’t want to be married, have children, or live with anyone else right now. Maybe that’s admitting defeat, I don’t know, but dating is exhausting, and I’d almost rather be with one person who doesn’t give me everything than keep looking for what seems like the needle in the haystack.

      But my latest “in-between” (I like that, or also what my buddy D calls it, “deluxe friend”) freaked out when I invited him to a concert a month in advance, thinking it meant something big, when all it meant was as a fellow music lover, he was the one I thought would appreciate it and be able to discuss it the most. I think I’ve talked him down from that, but hearing “I’m just not that into you” again was really not necessary to protect his conscience: it just made me annoyed that he would presume I’m so into him that I need to keep hearing that, and was almost enough for me to end it entirely, if there is going to be this kind of drama from a non-relationship.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

      • dimplz Says:

        Forget the fact that you and the guy don’t have a relationship so he doesn’t have to be “into you” like that. If someone has to be that damn rude, maybe you should find better company. I don’t think that’s helping your self-esteem.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

        • Aldonza Says:

          I’m with dimplz. Any *friend* (as in *friends* with benefits) wouldn’t feel the need to talk down to me like that. A simple clarifying “hey, that sounds like something you’d want to do with someone you’re dating, are you sure you want to go with me?” would’ve sufficed. No need to rub anybody’s nose in it.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

          • dimplz Says:

            That doesn’t even sound like something a friend would say. Big woo, you’re asking to make plans to go to a concert in one month. If you’re that afraid of a commitment just to listen to music, I’d rather be alone.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

        • Paula Says:

          He is definitely on probation, because I’ve already put him on notice that he doesn’t get to take away my self-esteem with his indecisiveness about what’s going on between the two of us. I was ready to call it all off, even the concert, until he called last night to wish me luck about something big that’s happening for me today. That *is* something a friend would do. So we’ll see how the concert goes, and then take it from there. He was definitely sick and cranky that night, so he might get one pass if the next time he’s calmed down, but if not, then I’m over it.

          What I have to figure out is whether sex + relationship-level drama – relationship > platonic friendship.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

          • dimplz Says:

            I think anything + relationship drama = not worth it.

            Maybe he will prove to be different.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

            • Paula Says:

              I’m pretty allergic to drama, so we’ll see. The trouble is that I seem to be most attracted to those who have a lot going on upstairs, which seems to include analyzing the situation so much that they feel compelled to tell me how I should be acting and feeling, or just assume it rather than talking to me about it. This guy has complimented me on my self awareness, so hopefully he’ll keep his worries and concerns on his side of the fence, rather than projecting them onto me.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  3. Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

    I know Moxie is always about “talking things through” but what’s the problem here?

    The problem here is that his friend pointed out to him that, by agreeing to take a trip together, the woman might take that to mean that they are more than FWB

    As far as he knows, they have an understanding

    Yes. But since when does having this kind of relationship involve traveling together? Look, I’ll give you the whole pizza and a movie thing. But a trip? There’s being oblivious and there’s turning a blind eye to the obvious waiting for the other shoe to drop. Granted, she’s totally setting herself up for it. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay for the guy to just trudge forward when his internal compass is already clanging.

    Men are not responsible for rescuing women from their bad decisions.

    Agreed. But where you and I differ is that there is such a thing as having a conscience. Just because technically you have your bases covered, and have laid down that disclaimer, doesn’t mean and you’re any less shady for allowing something like this to continue.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      “Look, I’ll give you the whole pizza and a movie thing. But a trip? There’s being oblivious and there’s turning a blind eye to the obvious waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

      It’s because you have a blind spot for “in-between relationships.” I travel with my friends. I’ve travelled with my girlfriends. I’ve travelled with my “in-between” friends. I just don’t see these categories as so distinct. Even the same two people can pass in and out of these various phases in their lives. I know, I have. Sometimes, it doesn’t “work out” but sometimes traditional relationships don’t “work out.” I don’t think conscience plays a role.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

    • OP Says:

      ‘But since when does having this kind of relationship involve traveling together?’

      We traveled together well when we dated. We like the same stuff, have the same energy levels and stress levels.

      It’s not easy finding good travel companions. Whether you have a physical component or not, I recommend keeping good travel companions in your life.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        I’ve had relationships where the entire relationship consisted of meeting in or traveling to exotic (for me) places and laying on the beach, gambling, drinking and having tons of sex. Let me know when this sounds like it “went badly.”

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  4. AG Says:

    You are joking, right? What are the both of you doing/thinking. I’ve done the FWB with a person who was just an acquaintance. Never slept over, never a vaca. What you are having is a relationship. Only you don’t know it, LOL

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  5. jesse Says:

    On the surface, finding a lover who you can treat to nights out and to vacations without becoming emotionally tangled with does sound enticing. One might think you can keep the fire going by limiting meetings with your lover twice a week, but without the “love” connection, how long can that last? Doesn’t the sex quickly turn mechanical if your heart isn’t in it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  6. Saywhat! Says:

    it’s better late than never. Something obviously clicked in this guys head to think he might have to ‘check in’ with her. The question is at what pioint. Maybe that’s when he should have asked her.. then again if it was right after sex, maybe not.

    He safest bet going into a discussion like this with her is to say beforehand it’s not going to be good. Most likely she is looking for the realtionship but in denial of it. He has to accept that first in order to not sound like a douchbag when they finally have the talk. Be sensitive toward her but first know why neither of you saw a future together.. Do you want a future with anyone? if so, then why are you wasting your time on this one instead of looking for the right one? Are you dating anyone else? if you haven’t discussed these topics with her or find yourself hiding her from thinking you might be seeing anyone else, then maybe you do like her and the reasons for not seeing a future have nothing to do with her at all.

    Sometimes we scare ouselves out of things. At this point in your life you really want to start over again? Why not just go thru whatever shit to try and make it work. Do you actually think you’re going to find someone that will be everything to you? Maybe you have some figuring out to do with yourself before you dive into this discussion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  7. Craig Says:

    I’ve been down this road before. Make no mistake: a woman who proposes a FWB relationship with a man after they dated for awhile and then broke up is still emotionally attached. The proposal is a means of keeping things alive in the hopes the guy will change his mind. All the while, she’s getting more and more attached as things continues to get more emotionally attached. Surely the OP isn’t so naïve that he can’t see what’s going on here. And now he’s gone and booked a romantic getaway for two with her. Good grief.

    Look, if a woman offers up free ass I’m all for taking it as much as the next guy. But you’ve got to own up to what you’re doing. My experience with FWB situations is this: enjoy them for a month or two and then move on. Most women you have sex with will get attached over time. It’s not cool to knowingly let that happen if a guy knows he’s not interested in a relationship with her. Yeah, a guy is not responsible for protecting a woman from herself. But the flip side of that is you’re supposed to look out for your friends – if that’s truly what she is to you.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

    • Aldonza Says:

      Free ass is almost never free.

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      • Craig Says:

        Truer words have never been spoken.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Paula Says:

        I just want to say “free as in kittens.” Because that’s advice I regularly give in my day job.

        But I’m one of those women who doesn’t get attached who resents that the sex/companionship has to end just because he *thinks* I’m getting attached. Good sex and travel companions *are* hard to find, and I hate having to start all over again with someone new just because the guy is playing into gender stereotypes. Take each person as they come — don’t assume without asking them how they’re feeling, and be honest in conveying how you yourself are feeling.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

    • OP Says:

      ‘a woman who proposes a FWB relationship with a man after they dated for awhile and then broke up is still emotionally attached’

      So your arguement hinges on the assertion that our CURRENT situation is a disaster. It seems fine to me. We invite each other out occasionally, enjoy each other’s company, enjoy sex.

      You inspired me to check her match profile – ‘Active within 24 hours’.

      It’s been seven months. Total tough, ‘where are we’ conversations? Zero. If you are saying that I have a ticking time bomb on my hands, how the thell long is this fuse?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        Let me state for the record that I know who the OP is. So I’m not being all brassy while hiding behind my blog.

        That said:

        You can convince yourself all you like that, because her match profile was active in 24hours, that that means she not getting serious. And maybe she’s not. That’s totally possible. But I can tell you that having been in this situation myself, I was making it a point to date other guys. Not because I necessarily wanted to. Because I knew I needed to. You’re talking about spending a night/weekend together here and there.Big deal. This trip will be full on, 5+ days or so of you and she being together 24/7 going to dinner, going to clubs, hitting the beach. I’m not doing that with anybody I’m simply “eh” about. To be able to last together on a trip like this there has to be some real compatibility. Do not think for a second she’s not going to use this trip as “proof” that you and she get along and work well together so hey why not just go all in.

        And I swear to god if you only booked one room together I’m going to come over to your office and bitch slap you so hard your grandkids will feel it.

        Hugs!

        Me

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

        • OP Says:

          Of course we only booked one room, how would sex twice a day happen in two rooms?

          She paid her own ticket and half the expected expenses btw (to answer you questions in the original response).

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

        • D Says:

          FWIW I’m in almost the identical situation. We’ve been FWB for over a year and just recently got back from a two week trip to Asia. People we met while traveling assumed for obvious reasons that we were exclusive partners. We usually just tell people we’re BF/GF initially, then call it an open relationship if the conversation goes in that direction.

          It’s probably much easier for us to maintain this situation compared to others because we live 1000 miles apart and only see each other once every 5-6 weeks. One of our first topics of conversation when we reconnect is “so, who have you boinked recently?”

          So far so good.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

          • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

            We’ve been FWB for over a year and just recently got back from a two week trip to Asia.It’s probably much easier for us to maintain this situation compared to others because we live 1000 miles apart

            Forgive me, for I am about to be uber-ranty.

            This is an ideal situation for someone who either a) doesn’t want or b) isn’t capable of having a real relationship. Yes, it IS easier to maintain something like this because she (and you) are out of sight and therefore out of mind for the most part. It’s amazing how easy it is to keep things contained and distant when there’s miles of space between you. I’m not knocking it, and at least you’re saying it’s a FWB instead of trying to play it off like it’s a real relationship. I know someone right now who’s pulling that and it’s unbearably hard for me not to tell him to stop trying to pass what he’s doing off as anything other than maintaining a long distance lay.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

            • D Says:

              c) I want a relationship with someone in my zip code, but in the meantime still like to have sex with someone who likes having sex with me.

              I’ve done several long distance relationships in the past that ultimately crashed and burned (including my marriage). This time around I vowed not to do that.

              I’ve gone on first dates with probably 20 locals since this FWB situation started over a year ago. Only a few have turned into second and third (or more) dates, but none of them have turned into a full relationship.

              I want a girlfriend, but I just haven’t found anyone who really does it for me. Ironically, I’ve gotten closer to the FWB over time and if she lived near me full time I would call her my girlfriend.

              HOWEVER – we are both divorced, don’t have or want kids and don’t want to get married again. So there’s not a lot of pressure to have a discussion about “where the relationship is going.”

              Plus we both make high incomes doing work we love, so again not a lot of external pressure.

              This is not a common situation and I’m sure I could never have set out to make it happen. But it did happen, we’re both reasonably satisfied with it and I don’t think it’s automatically symptomatic of your a) or b)

              BTW she wants a local relationship in her zip code too. I’ve even browsed Match.com profiles with her. She’s dated (and even slept with) a few guys but nothing has turned into anything.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Paula Says:

        Maybe the “ticking drama bomb” won’t go off as long as you’re keeping the wick wet, so to speak. Which it sounds like you are…

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

    Make no mistake: a woman who proposes a FWB relationship with a man after they dated for awhile and then broke up is still emotionally attached.

    Thank you. This isn’t about male or female stereotypes. The fact that they had a relationship prior to the FWB arrangement is what makes this situation implausible.

    Again, just because she’s a woman doesn’t mean that she can’t control her emotions (assuming there are any to control) or is simply proposing the FWB deal because she thinks that’s the best she can get from him.

    Sorry, but that’s exactly what’s going on in the situation. And we can discuss the whole gender bias issue, but the fact remains that she was the one to propose this. Which immediately puts her judgment in to question.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

    • Paula Says:

      If he proposed it, and she agreed to it, wouldn’t you be saying the same thing? That she’s just going along with it, even though it’s not what she wants, because that’s the best she can get from him?

      Her proposing it to me shows she’s taking charge of the situation and going after what she wants, rather than passively waiting for the OP to dictate the terms. They broke up for a reason. I’d like to hear more from the OP about that, but from what he’s already said, it sounds mutual.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • Paula Says:

      >>The fact that they had a relationship prior to the FWB arrangement is what makes this situation implausible.

      It seems like a fair number of FWB situations actually start that way — you date, test the relationship thing out, and then reach a point where it can’t go any further. You really like the person, are sexually compatible with them, but don’t see a future: maybe you’re in different places in your life, career, or maybe there are some significant differences that can’t be overcome for a relationship to work out. Or maybe, honestly, you’re waiting for something better to come along, but it hasn’t yet, and you don’t want to be celibate in the meantime, or have to go through a breakup if something better does present itself.

      If he’s made it 7 months with no drama from either end, then I can’t think of a better example of a FWB situation that’s working as it’s supposed to work.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  9. Aldonza Says:

    For me, the part of this story that’s missing is who broke up with whom and why. Relationships almost never end with “we both decided…”. Somebody wanted something the other didn’t. If things broke off because she was looking at a future and he wasn’t…then this whole situation is a ticking drama bomb. (I love that phrase!)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    • OP Says:

      I initiated the conversation, told her I liked her & had fun but didn’t see a future. She sat there nodding, when I was done she said she was thinking the same and it was a relief that I brought it up. We were just back from Croatia and it was before the holiday, so it was actually a good time to shake hads and say ‘it’s been fun’.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • dimplz Says:

        This is why you’re getting the side eye I think. After a month or two, she couldn’t find anyone she could be sleeping with and *would* like her like that? By that time, I would have long forgotten about the person and been moving on to someone who could see me like that. If she hadn’t been looking for more than that, you wouldn’t have dated. You would have been friends first and FWBs later when you realized you wanted more than friends but less than dating.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Aldonza Says:

        It’s very possible that she was saving face by saying “I was thinking the same thing”, and that she does have deeper feelings for you. Proceed with caution.

        Personally, I believe that if I’m with someone that I enjoy enough to go on a romantic vacation with, that person belongs “on the table” for something more serious. But I guess that depends on the reasons you didn’t see her as LTR-material in the first place.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  10. sarah Says:

    i was in a situation like this too. We went on vacation together. He referrred to me as his girlfriend (in my opinion, it was in name only). i felt stupid the entire week in Mexico w him as all the other real couples were reminiscing and talking about all the vacations they took together, being on honeymoon, celebrating an anniversary. And there I was…..with my FWB. But I did manage to have fun, though the conversations were shalloew since I couldnt talk about future stuff/ anything that was important to me. I still think he should save the convo for when they get back, because the vacation will still be fun for the most part. FWB does not work with exes…..that was the case with this guy

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  11. Mike Says:

    Hopefully you can clarify that you two are just FWB before you go on the trip. Otherwise you feel like you wasted your money because you were not able to just relax and enjoy it.

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  12. Devon Brown Says:

    I think that the girlfriend (let’s just call her that because that is what she is) is a criminal mastermind. She proposed a FWB relationship with her ex. Okay, maybe the sex was just that good and she desired more of it. But then she was able to get him to go on a trip together. No, not a trip. A vacation. A romantic vacation. NOW he wants to reiterate that they are just FWB? Sorry, dude, but you aren’t FWB anymore. You are a full-on boyfriend again. What if you went on this trip and met someone you liked? Would you be able to take her back to your room? What would you do? Put one of your FWB’s bras on the doorknob? The fact is, you will be there with her, in a couple capacity.
    At this point, I think he either has to have another “talk” and end all benefits with her or just accept the fact that she is 100 times smarter than him and that he is now her boyfriend. Again.

    – Devon

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    • OP Says:

      “What if you went on this trip and met someone you liked? Would you be able to take her back to your room? What would you do? Put one of your FWB’s bras on the doorknob? ”

      Oh. My. God. What the hell is wrong with you people? Are you all 18yo frat boys?

      No, Devan, I wouldn’t. Not if I were traveling with her. Not if I were traveling with family. Not if I were traveling with co-workers. Not if I were traveling with friends.

      Because we are ADULTS in an ADULT RELATIONSHIP.

      No wonder none of you think the two of us can come to a realistic understanding of ‘not on the path to marriage, but enjoy the friendship and the sex”. I couldn’t have either when I was 18.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

  13. marsi Says:

    Wow. Truly a pathetic post. Having a relationship then going into a casual mode… then back and forth… when are you going to realise that what you do is not irrelevant….you cant just do what you please and expect to get good results…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  14. Lyuda Says:

    FWB was begining of journey for my sister. She is married with two kids… She traped him using FWB

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • dimplz Says:

      You might as well be telling an urban myth if you think about how often that happens. Anyway, I don’t think it’s any big feat when you say “trap.” If you have to work that hard at getting the person, my opinion is they aren’t worth getting.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  15. Vox Says:

    Devon has hit upon the perfect solution for the op.

    Tell her that if either of you meet someone else while on vacation, you agree to go to the other person’s room. Tell her in person, and carefully watch her response. If she doesn’t readily agree – and I’d bet she won’t – you will have your answer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  16. sarah Says:

    If what you want is a relationship then ask for it. Don’t use the FWB as a way to “trap” someone. Isnt trapping someone a waste of time and effort? Isn’t trapping someone completely undignified? the woman who ended up marrying a guy she “trapped” is the exception, not the rule. OTOH, I dont believe you can “trap ” someone if they don’t want to be trapped, in which case it isnt trapping. Sounds like they are bf/ gf again, but he still wants to keep his options open. I heard the best saying…….don’t make someone a priority when they are only making you an option

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  17. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    People here never cease to confound me. If you are traveling with (and sleeping with) a friend of the opposite sex, you generally don’t have sex or “meet” other people on the trip. You’re traveling with that person because you like them and enjoy their company. If you want to go on a singles trip to “meet people” don’t bring the person you are sleeping with. K?

    These are relationships. I don’t deny it. Adult ones of the modern variety, your silly titles of fwb notwithstanding. So what? It seems people here have a hard time grasping relationships where you are not jealously stalking a person every minute and worried about marriage proposals and so-called commitment after 3 weeks. Fyi, the crazy call the sane crazy.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

    • D Says:

      Well said. It’s annoying that people feel the need to pathologize relationships that don’t match their personal ideal. Once upon a time the vast majority of people did the same thing with homosexual relationships.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  18. Mark Says:

    I’ll just keep this focused on the call of the question posted by OP’s letter. You went from relationship to a FWB situation. Currently both are making travel plans. E-mails are mostly on point. and don’t suggest that this is/may lead to a return to relationship status. So how often to re affirm the status quo? I guess in this instance only if you feel that things are edging out of the understanding that you two have formed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • Paula Says:

      Mark proposed what I think is a perfect credo for a FWB situation. Establish the status quo, especially the frequency of getting together, terms by which either side may initiate something, and any other boundaries….some of which may include no overnights, no travel, no kissing, still dating other people, etc. (I don’t necessarily agree that any or all of these are necessary, but some people do). Make clear that neither party is interested in a relationship. Then let it go.

      You really don’t need to revisit it, unless one of two things happen: 1) someone starts violating the terms, or something new is proposed that seems inconsistent with the spirit of the terms; or 2) someone’s feelings change, in which case it’s incumbent on the one with changed feelings to speak up, so that the other person can respond, either by ending it or becoming open to exploring a relationship.

      It doesn’t have to be complicated. If it becomes so, then it probably isn’t suited for a FWB situation. But if it stays simple and stuck in the same place, then it’s exemplifying what a FWB situation should be.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  19. sarah Says:

    who the hell wants a relationship where it is constantly reiterated that the other person doesnt deem you relationship material for them. Plus, having weird ass rules and boundaries. Call me crazy, but the purpose of a relationship is to take down the walls/ boundaries

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  20. Cricri Says:

    I think people get confused with what they call “relationship”. If someone wants to randomly have sex with you repetitively then let’s just call it random sex. But if they want to hang out with you and go on vacation and do datey stuff, then you guys are having a relationship, period. The problem comes from that over compartimentalization of the romantic rapport. FWB, FB, and so on. No wonder people turn neurotic. Romance is a la carte, feelings are on a menu when people can choose to ACT like douche bags but chose not to FEEL like some. Don’t be naive OP, you’re on the path to GF/BF town. I wouldn’t go on a romantic vacation with someone I don’t think romantically involved with. Period!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • Paula Says:

      But it’s not random sex if it’s with a friend and it happens repeatedly. It’s quite different than a one-night stand with a stranger that you’ve never met before and will never see again.

      I don’t see why everyone needs to call something lacking long-term commitment and monogamy a relationship just because they eat pizza or go on a vacation together. Either you’re on the road to becoming someone’s life partner or you’re not.

      That should be the distinction, rather than whether they’re doing date-like activities.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  21. sarah Says:

    I agree w Cricri. I mean honestly, the OP is 37 years old. He has to know she is going to read SOMETHING into going on a vacation together!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  22. boston blondie Says:

    There are two common psychological games played between men and women and this is likely one or the other:

    1. Female tells guy that she’s totally ok with just having sex and no commitment. She’s saying it out loud to convince herself as much as she’s convincing him. She wants to believe it’s true but her actions belie her words.

    2. Female wants a guy to like her, be in a relationship (or something to that effect) so she tries to trade sex to get love.

    In both scenarios the girl is (whether conscious/aware of it or not) lying to herself. And, guys are not responsible for the girl getting screwed over by her own game. We’re all adults and human … we need to be respectful and honest with one-another. And, if a girl tells a guy that she wants to have a FWB situation then she can’t (in all fairness) get pissed off if that’s all she gets.

    Everyone else has covered the ground of “hey are you dating other people?” and “you’re TRAVELING with her???” so I don’t need to beat that dead horse.

    Moving on … let’s keep being honest … what guy wants to have the “you don’t think we’re a couple, do you” talk??! ha ha But … you do want to get the air cleared, right? ok … then you gotta start dating and let her know you’re dating. She either freaks out or is cool with it. There’s your answer.

    Good luck.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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