I don't think I can have this Friend With Benefits

I write this from the town that Johnny Id and I visited when he was here at the beginning of August. I’m here with my Mom and some close friends.

The stores and places remind me of him. Then there was the man who looked EXACTLY like him sitting on a park bench. My Mom did a double take, as did I. We ended up seeing him multiple times over the course of the afternoon, and were even at the same restaurant for dinner. We’ve passed the hotel we stayed at several times.

I caught myself looking at gifts for his birthday numerous times. Then I had to give myself a shake and remember he’s not talking to me.

It happened more than once. I suppose it’s natural. All I can do is take one step at a time.

To that end, as you may have read, I met this man named Andrew who seemed to be a good way to find stress release through sex, be reassured that someone finds me attractive (the weight gain is really bothering me), and just help me move on in general. He was completely fine with a regular FWB relationship.

But I have a problem.

I don’t think I can be in a FWB relationship. First, I never seem to have the “F” part, whatever that’s supposed to be. Historically, I’ve gotten the “WB”…but nothing else.

Even my Mom, when I told her about seeing Naked Ironing Man a few days ago, said to me – well, did you ever actually go out anywhere? Sure, we had dinner out a few times, but that was it. That is NOT any kind of “friendship”, let alone “relationship”, in my book.

If it’s someone I don’t see any future potential with, then it’s easier for me to have a sex-only thing. If I don’t like them at all, then I really can’t have sex with them. I managed for a long time with Shenanigans. But he was smokin hot, so there was that.

Right now, it’s the craziest thing. I’ve been with Andrew just THREE TIMES (yes I will write about the other times). We’ve talked on the phone several times. He’s been mature and insightful and kind and open with me. He told me about his two regular lovers, so he’s not hiding anything.

We had a conversation about what men think about women who sleep with them on the first date. He said – other than truly traditional men, it shouldn’t matter. If a man likes you, he likes you. Period.

So what’s the problem, you might ask?

I met him for a threesome, for chrissakes. But here I am, feeling possessive feelings – ALREADY. For example, while he’s not a big texter, one night this week I didn’t hear from him at all and I found myself wondering if he was with one of his other lovers. It’s ridiculous!

I don’t even know if there’s any real potential between the two of us. I mean, he’s far better on the surface than many guys I’ve dated, sure. But gosh, that doesn’t mean much. So why do I care if he’s sleeping with anyone else? Why does it bother me that I sent him a hot photo (of my hand down my lace panties, at work, no less) and I didn’t hear back for a few hours?

He did call me one morning to tell me something hot (that he woke up with a raging hard-on at 5am) right when I was going into a meeting. I know he likes me. I get the sense he wouldn’t waste his time talking to me if he didn’t. He said with one of his other lovers they don’t talk much, and he is really looking for someone who also turns on his brain.

He owes me NOTHING. He’s said one of the things he doesn’t like is pressure. But he also told me I should be honest with him.

I compulsively want to sort things out. Have it all tied up with a bow. I can’t stand the unknown, when it comes to these kinds of things. On the one hand, I’m dying to know if he’s slept with anyone else in the week between us seeing each other. But do I really want to know that? It will hurt when I find out that the answer is probably yes – both other women, in the past week.

I seem incapable of just “chilling out” about the whole thing. Every question in my head sounds insane to me (does he like me better, will he stop seeing them since he likes me, would he seek out sex with them and not me, does he say the same things to them during sex). So I do know I shouldn’t ask them. I feel so fucking needy and it’s making me crazy.

Bottom line is right now, I don’t think I can have an FWB situation. I’m off all the dating sites still (haven’t been on Tinder after that first couple of days). I have the comedian, the lawyer, and Andrew, all hanging around. I barely have time to see my friends so men are definitely not the priority right now.

The Comedian and I have seen each other for lunch since that night. It was nice. We are friends and always will be. Perhaps we may kiss again.

The Lawyer has actually been in regular contact. He invited me for a drink again but I had to cancel. He’s been traveling and I’ve been crazy busy but we’ve stayed in touch. Not sure what will happen there, if anything. But he’s proven to be more than just a fuck-and-leave.

And then there is Andrew. I have more stories to tell about him, which are all good (as in, sexy but nice too). What I’ve learned is that he is way more than I thought he was. Which is good, except for the fact that I know he’s with others. Regardless of whether I should, I can’t handle it. I don’t want to handle it. It causes too much noise in my brain.

I’m feeling far too vulnerable right now (which I HATE, by the way) to be able to try to be all mature about someone seeing multiple people at the same time. It’s ironic that I can’t be in this FWB relationship because I actually like the man. I’m not exactly sure how to have that conversation, but I suppose I will just say have to say that I can’t see him anymore and let him know why.

Of course, all suggestions are welcome.

0 thoughts on “I don't think I can have this Friend With Benefits

  1. I don’t think I could ever be in an FWB relationship for most of the same reasons that you listed above. That little voice in my head would never shut up – it would drive me crazy!

    • Ditto. I could never do it for all those same reasons. And that extra sucks for me because I’m a man so, y’know, I’m “supposed” to be all about casual sex. But that’s never been my scene. Part of me has always admired those who can do that (hence, why I follow blogs like this so I can read about it) because it sounds like it would be awesome, if everyone is one the same page.

      As for Ann, I wonder if this is just because you’re still not really over Johnny? So you’re just kind of messed up emotionally right now?

      • I am TOTALLY messed up emotionally right now. I am definitely not over Johnny. No question in my mind. And that’s partly why I think I need to remove any kind of extra stress or complications. I know I need to sort these feelings out, but it’s too much for me to handle in addition to everything else.

    • While I’ve been with men who I’m sure were with others, there was often that illusion of exclusivity. I knew deep down it wasn’t the case, but the artifice kept that voice at bay. Now this is different (for multiple reasons) and I’m finding I don’t like it at all.

  2. Have you ever wondered why you have the urge to go exclusive as soon as you like a man? What is pushing you? Do you feel that they shouldn’t want anyone else if they have you? Does it make you feel insecure? If it does why? Why should the thought of him fucking other people bother you so much? Is it the feeling that you aren’t enough for him? Or is it something else?

    Is this because you view a relationship, whether it’s FWB or anything else to change as soon as there’s some kind of friendship attained? Why does it change things?

    FWB for me means that I actually want to be friends with them, like you describe with Andrew. I appreciate that they tell me that they have other lovers and apart from knowing that it’s all safe sex and I don’t have to worry about catching something nasty I let it go.

    Is this someone you want to live happily ever after with? If not then where does this possessive feeling come from?

    I’m just asking questions that I think would be interesting for you to think about, not that you have to answer them to me at all! These are generally the things I ask myself if I start feeling possessive.

    Why am I feeling possessive with a FWB? There is no possession in this kind of relationship, there can’t be. Like you said, you can’t really do that with a FWB.

    So maybe you do need the time away to figure it out.

    x

    • These are great questions to think about, thank you, and I will probably write a full post in response to these and some other comments I received.

      I know for sure I feel insecure, and I absolutely at some level wonder why I’m not enough (because gee, it’s not like I won’t give as much sex as they want). It’s not like I’m at a place where I think he’s the one for me, forever…so yeah…it all begs the question why feel possessive.

      This is the first real kind of FWB I have the potential of being in. I think everything is just too raw for me still and it highlights all of my insecurities. So I’m not sure I’m built for these kinds of relationships at all. But it doesn’t mean I don’t want to understand why I have the kinds of responses I do.

      • That’s always a good place to start πŸ™‚

        I always love asking myself the hard questions. Sometimes the answer doesn’t come up straight away and sometimes it does. But I think you’ll be a lot more happier and better at understanding yourself and what kind of relationships you need right now.

        Maybe a FWB is off the table until you figure this out but just fucking isn’t? That’s your call though πŸ™‚

        • I can do the sex thing, but I don’t want the fuck-and-leave kinda thing. Right now I just don’t have the time or energy to find someone new. I barely have time for my girlfriends and family and they are the priority.

          Hmm…perhaps I should call Shenanigans. He’s such an asshole that there’s no worry of any feelings getting in the way πŸ˜‰

          • I know that feeling well. Life has taken over and I don’t have time for anything like a shag. I miss it, but not to the point I want to run out there and shag the first random person that comes into my path either.

            I’m actually enjoying my alone time right now and I don’t think I want to give it up yet. I’m feeling lighter today and that’s a step in the right direction πŸ™‚

            Here’s to hoping you find some clarity soon too Ann <3

    • No. He’s definitely an interesting guy and appealing in several ways. But no, I’m not head over heels and thinking he’s the perfect catch.

      Which yes, makes my reactions odd. I totally get it, and it’s why I’m writing.

      • Maybe it’s because of where your head is at with Johnny. But it seems if you are honest with Andrew, take a little break and maybe come back to it then you could have a great thing on your hands.

  3. Do you feel guilty perhaps of being a tad hypocritical when it comes to the FWB thing and how you feel versus what you want? Bear with me; with JohnnyId the two of you went through so much intensity in your time together (and btw-I still think you two are unfinished business) and at first you were an open relationship but admittedly freaked out early on when he was out with a woman local to him and having sex. Then the relationship closed and then etc. Ultimately, JohnnyId thought (key word “thought”) he could be exclusive and okay with you being open and in the end (so far) that hasn’t worked. Now, you have a seemingly ideal FWB situation with a self-actualized man that admits he is a player, with two semi-consistent but possibly infrequent lovers and some of the feelings and emotions you’ve posted about is contrary to what you’ve said you wanted and needed at this point in time. And that’s okay Ann, it is because you know yourself well enough to know that you have indeed just gotten out of your marriage, you are a busy executive and trying to figure out exactly who you are, what you want and what you need. Maybe it’s the naturally competitive nature intrinsic to who you are? It isn’t that you want to be exclusive with him but you do want to be his preferred lover. His favorite? And you want to know that you are his favorite and his preferred FWB? Just some thoughts that percolated as I read your post. I do think it’s normal, as a human, no matter how unselfish we are in many aspects of our lives, sometimes, sometimes we are selfish enough to want to have our cake and eat it too. Thank you for sharing such an honest post.

    • This is a very very insightful comment…I will write a post in response but in the meantime:

      I don’t want an imbalanced relationship where I have all the freedom and my partner doesn’t. I was doubtful it would work but Johnny insisted he was okay with it – and I know he truly wanted to be – but I can’t see any situation where it doesn’t breed resentment. So I don’t want that…but sure, it would be the easy path for me because I wouldn’t have to deal with my emotions – but it is a death sentence for a relationship.

      The contradictions are what are really interesting to me, however I have not changed my opinion that what I need right now is the freedom to explore and figure out what I want. That is the same. That’s exploring relationships and other parts of my life.

      The other thing I am sure of is that I need to have things be easy and uncomplicated. And while Andrew may on the surface be those things, if I can’t get my head away from the negative thoughts associated with actually being in a real FWB situation, then it’s not the right thing for me either.

      But I will write more. Thanks again for such a thoughtful and thought-provoking comment.

    • Oh and yes, I’m not over Johnny. Not even close. So sure, there may be things that are unfinished, but I sense he’s so angry with me his version of the story and my motivations just gets worse and worse. I bear no anger or ill-will toward him, nor do I think his motivations came from a bad place. I wish I could say I think the reverse is true, but with everything I had read of his, I seem to become more of a monster with each passing day.

  4. I tried the whole FWB thing before but I couldn’t do it. It became way too involved, and while I accepted the part he was fucking another woman, I never really liked it…but what could I say?
    FWB is a tricky thing, I believe. And I think ofttimes people relate FWB to being just with each other, even if technically that’s not what it means.

    • Thanks so much for your comment! It makes me realise that this is probably the first real “FWB” situation I’m in…in that we actually could have the Friendship too. But I’m definitely not cut out for it – at least not with everything else going on.

  5. Having talked to several men and women (friends) about this topic, I have to tell you something: Men and Women do not see an FWB relationship in the same way. Statistics and biology, let’s blame them. There are exceptions…I am in a kind of FWB relationship at the moment so it’s not like I can talk much.

    I have noticed that many women enter into an FWB relationship with expectations that this sort of relationship will become something more; either exclusive (some FWB relationships are exclusive indeed anyway, it’s not like it makes any difference in being anything other than an FWB thing) or into a committed relationship. This is because we, women, see sex as a very intimate thing; and having sex with a man connects us to them. As time passes, most of us get attached. As I said, there are exceptions, this is just what it seems to be the general rule.

    On the other hand, men see sex as only sex. Sex is sex, that’s it. If they don’t want a committed relationship with someone (or with anyone at all), having sex with them won’t make them change their minds. Having sex with someone won’t make them fall in love either. Yes, there are exceptions. Because an FWB relationship, is a friendship as well, people end up spending some time together, as friends, and there are cases that either the man or the woman can end up fall in love. Well, it can happen.

    However, it is not common (for men, mostly).
    If you follow the FWB rules right, you’ll see that it can become easier for women too! We just complicate too much and we end up in bed with guys that we actually fancy or expect that somehow, all that sex will lead into something more. WRONG. This is not the ideal FWB.

    Who is the ideal FWB? You know these people that you feel attracted to and you even like them enough to be around them, but you just don’t see yourself falling in love with them? Well, that’s your ideal FWB there. You should be having an FWB relationship with someone that you know that you won’t be wanting anything more than sex at any point. Any.
    Jealously is forbidden because it is still some sort of emotion.

    I genuinely think that you should be analysing your feelings about this guy if you are feeling jealous already at some point.

    Also, it shouldn’t be considered not ‘normal’ not having a friendship with him and that he enjoys talking to you. This is what an FWB is all about. There are other sort of things, such as: Booty calls, one night stands, etc… However, a friendship with benefits is supposed to be that: a friendship as well. People should be honest with each other, because ultimately, it is still a friendship and you shouldn’t feel that the fact that the guy is talking to you is a privilege or makes it fall into any other category. It is just part of the deal.

    Sorry, ahhhh , this ended up getting so long. Haha.
    All the best, hun.

    • Thanks so much for the thoughtful post. I have had casual sex before with little problems (obviously), mostly because I didn’t think there was any potential with that person. Now, with Andrew, it would seem to be the perfect set up – I do like him, there’s some interesting potential (perhaps) but my emotional responses say I’m just not in a place where I can do this. Maybe at some point, but not now.

  6. Fact of the matter is you’re getting emotionally attached. If you werent, you wouldnt give a rats about who else he was seeing. It could be a good thing, could be a bad thing.

    Personally, I’m just trying to get over the fact that I just saw 2 bugs having sex on my tablet screen while I was trying to read this post. Could it be a sign..? Hahaha

    If it was me and I had felt that a fwb could potentially be an option for an exclusive arrangement, I’d rather just tell them. Either they feel the same way (and you can discuss relationships) or they don’t (and you’ll probably have to go to friends *without* benefits to avoid emotional roller coasters). I don’t like suspense, I’d rather just get it out there and deal with the reaction then spend too long worrying about it.

    • Hmm…bugs having tablet sex….not sure what to make of that πŸ˜‰

      I suspect I’m becoming emotionally attached because of everything else going on. I mean, he is a great guy but I’m keenly aware that the affection and kindness goes straight to the part of me that is damaged right now – so it’s having an even stronger effect than usual.

      And yes, I plan to tell him. I saw him a couple of nights ago and this stuff was in my brain and during a long conversation he said he could tell I was distracted. I figure honesty is the way to go – and if it ends up that I end up sex-free, well… like everything else, I have to be true to myself and accept the consequences that come with that.

  7. I’m so confused. I thought that you wanted an open relationship because you don’t want a commitment in a closed relationship right now?? But you would prefer the male in your life be closed? I know I personally can’t handle a FWB relationship, I am far too needy. Are you ready to close yourself off from seeing other men for this guy? Unfortunately in life we can’t have our cake and eat it too without someone getting hurt.

    • What I can’t handle right now is something that is exclusive and on a fast path to something more permanent. I still have a lot to figure out about my self and what I want in life, including from relationships. I will be a far better partner to someone when I know what I want and what I need.

      I don’t actually think that open relationships are for me – ever. I could be with someone and the two of us might occasionally engage with other people, together (like a threesome or a night at a swingers party), but it keeps that connection with your significant other. Open I can’t see working for me.

      Imbalanced definitely doesn’t work, even when both people want it to. It creates far too much resentment in the relationship – as I’ve personally witnessed.

      What I’ve realised it that I don’t think I want an FWB right now either – I still feel fragile, for lack of a better word, and I need to have tranquility in as many places in my life as I can, given there is so much noise elsewhere. Anything that causes me to have such internal turmoil I need to walk away from or figure out how to calm the noise.

      • I think if you accept the fact that you have a high sex drive and will probably never be happy with one lover, you might try swinging as it puts sex on a purely physical level and separates it from love. When you party with someone else’s husband/wife then later are talking football/sewing with their other half, it reinforces the sex part and not the love part. Plus when you get together, it’s not for drinks, show, dancing, etc. etc., it’s for fucking period and depending on your stamina you are back in the living room in an hour or so talking to other people and maybe lining up your next victim. πŸ™‚

        The friendships that you make with other swingers are extremely close and hard to explain. They become like close family members and sleeping with them bonds you together. The fact that he/she knows that you’re screwing his/her other half keeps it out in the open, which seems to keep jealousy and possession away.

        As I follow your blog, I think you are making progress and coming to grips with yourself. None of us are without fault and when you can finally accept the fact that you are you and not the person you’ve put on a pedestal, you can realize that you are not perfect but come to love the actual you.

        Sorry but my amateur psychologist side is coming out or maybe I’d just like for you to lay on my couch and see what pops up! LOL

        • Larry – I never responded to this but just noticed I had missed it… I think you are totally right about the swinging thing, and in fact have just written about it. Thank you πŸ™‚

  8. Despite the fact that you feel needy, I feel that you are processing a lot and that will only make you stronger. You’re self awareness and ability to assess your true emotions puts you leaps and bounds beyond so many who simply “live” in their jealousy. Ya know, I have been thinking a lot about sex before love, and I guess while a guy may say it doesn’t matter, I really believe it still does. Men and women are conditioned from generations of beliefs, and they are deeply unconscious. Anyway, if you google “sex in the first month study” there’s a lot of interesting stuff that pops up.

    I say love your tenderness. You are not made of stone, and I believe that no matter what you feel, whether needy or unattached, that is what you feel and therefore it’s absolutely justified. The heart doesn’t follow rules.

    I am also glad you can speak with your mother. What a blessing.

    • Thanks so much Jami. I’ve heard of that study and must confess I initially dismissed it because sex is so important to me that I’d want to ensure I have that chemistry with someone early. BUT…I know that it clouds things, for sure.

      I will work on loving my tenderness. It will be very interesting to see how Andrew responds when I show it to him.

  9. Didn’t he say he was looking for a relationship? So, if you like him and he likes you, perhaps you could move from FWB to dating and take the other two lovers out of the equation. I know you’re hesitant to get into something serious…and it doesn’t have to be that. You don’t have to date with the goal of locking yourselves down forever in the back of your minds. You can be exclusive without feeling hemmed in. It sounds like Andrew has enough tricks up his sleeve to keep you satisfied sexually. I would absolutely be feeling the same things in terms of wondering about the other two women. You still have a vacation coming up though, so my suggestion would be to hold off on any relationshippy talks until after your vacation so you don’t have to feel tied to anyone in anyway in the event that there is opportunity for smoking hot vacation sex.

    • Hollie this is very good advice and yes, ideally it would be great to have him take the others out of the equation and just see where things go. He did say right up front that he was getting bored with them and that he wants someone he can talk to (and he can talk to me). So its possible that it may happen. But I definitely am not asking for someone to make a sacrifice for me.

  10. I don’t know the first thing about FWB, so all I can really do is say I’m here if you need to chat. It may take some time to get all the things in your head and your heart sorted out.

  11. I’ve experienced this and with someone I knew I would never want anything serious. We were FWB’s for months and then I was rejected by someone I did see potential with. That’s when the attachment started to form. I was just too vulnerable. I called it off immediately because the feelings were so clearly inappropriate and I gave my heart some time to heal before jumping back in the sack with anyone. Be wary of attachments formed at this stage. A wounded heart affects one’s judgment.

    • Its good advice and yes I am very much aware of this. My heart is definitely wounded; I feel like I have completely lost someone whom I love.

      I am very vulnerable right now and know that all emotions are heightened.

  12. For a couple years I was in a FWB with an actual friend, possibly one of my best. But we were oddly exclusive, which he accepted because I knew that I couldn’t handle being paranoid and jealous all the time. Our exceptions were travel, if we were in different cities then we could hook up with other people. And I dealt with a lot of those same anxious feelings that you’re having. Even now that we’re no longer FWB just F, though much less so than we used to be, I get jealous when he is with other girls. What I always remind myself is that it’s not because I have feelings for him or want to be with him romantically, it’s because it makes me question myself. The jealously isn’t about him, it’s about my insecurity and wondering, well how could I not be enough? I put myself in a comparison with those other girls, which isn’t fair to them or myself. The only interaction that mattered was between Levi and me. I wonder if it’s the same for you and this Andrew. Technically, the other women are already out of the equation regardless of whether he stops seeing them. Because they don’t exist in relation to you. But that’s the hard part to remember and move on from.

    • I’m so sorry I missed this comment!! Yes, I know EXACTLY what you mean about questioning yourself. It’s a terrible thing. Andrew and I did talk about it later and he tried to explain that it’s not about choosing one over the other, but I can’t help feel that way.

      Thanks so much for your comment πŸ™‚

  13. I think you’re on the right track as always, Ann.
    By the way, you’re in my neck of the woods again? I thought my neighborhood felt cooler/sexier! Do me a favor, will you? Have as much fun as you can.. .please! You deserve it!

  14. I’ve sworn off FWB and all sex that doesn’t involve just myself as like you I’m too vulnerable right now. As much as I like sex I just can’t do it – too much scrambled eggs going on upstairs. It’s just part of the process. I think if you like Andrew keep seeing him but have a plan to distract yourself when those thoughts begin to enter so it doesn’t eat you up!

    • i’m so sorry I missed this comment… scrambled eggs upstairs I can totally relate to. Ultimately I didn’t succeed in distracting myself from those thoughts, and I think it’s probably what accelerated the end of our “relationship”…

  15. It seems as though you are quite honest in your very hypocritical reactions (which are completely human) of wanting the man to be exclusive to you but you to be free. That’s incredible to acknowledge, and I hope you work through the emotions to the best of your interest.

    • Thank you so much. I’m not sure that I want an open relationship – I don’t mind dating someone exclusively – but I am not quite ready yet for something that is a serious relationship.

      Does that make sense? I find it hard to explain…but in some ways, it’s a process of elimination to figure it out. So far, I haven’t found what feels right. It could just be the nature of the place I’m in now.

  16. I’ve had to do this. I just told the guy I had to end it and why. He said he understood. That was it. I was bummed for a while but then I was fine. I guess it’s the only thing to do.

  17. From the sound of your post, I think you’re right about the FWB situation with Andrew. If you’re having all those thoughts about him with other women, it seems that would lead to a lot of heartache for you if you continue more down that road. I’ve never had a FWB, and I’ve wondered if I could’ve maintained it for long. I could see myself, pre-marriage, getting too attached to a lover whom I clicked with, and that leading to me being emotionally hurt if we were only in a FWB situation.

    • The thoughts have slowed down a bit the last couple of days. Part of the reason is that he and I have spent some time together and I’m getting more comfortable with how he feels. However, I really don’t want to get ahead of myself – it’s not like I know he’s my soulmate.

What do you think?