I am new to Gurl.com and I have been reading your advice and I can’t get enough! I also have a question that I would like to be answered… I have recently become “friends with benefits” with a guy whom I have feelings for. When we started hooking up, we both agreed to a no strings attached relationship and I thought I could handle it but now I’m not so sure. I think I want him to be my boyfriend. How do I make things more serious?
First of all, thanks for reading! Glad you like the column. As for your question, it’s actually one I get a lot in person, so I’d be happy to help.
Ideally, the simplest (and most obvious) way to turn a casual fling into a legit relationship is address the issue head on, and let the guy know what you want. If you can sense that your dude is starting to develop deeper feelings for you as well, a “State of the Relationship” discussion will be the first step towards more commitment. You can even start by asking him how he feels things have been going before working your way up to throwing out words like “boyf” and “girlf.”
Unfortunately, there’s a reason “it’s complicated” is a relationship status option on Facebook. Often, as any romance develops, one partner may desire more intimacy than the other may be ready for. (This previous post might help you figure out if your dude is a player.) To avoid such frustration, you always have to be careful about getting invested in any “no strings” situation. But if you’re already in too deep, and the straightforward approach hasn’t worked or you’re certain it won’t suffice, you might need to use more advanced tactics.
I don’t advocate playing games once exclusivity has been established, but a little mystery has never hurt any couple in their earliest stages. If you can tolerate it, give the relationship some space. Don’t ignore him or act like a jerk, but back off from initiating plans and reaching out to him for a bit. If he’s into you, he’ll come running back once he feels like you’re slipping away. If he just lets you fade into the background without any sign of a fight – trust me, he was never meant to be!
Ethan Fixell is a writer and comedian from New York City best known as one half of comic “dating coach” duo Dave and Ethan. He is also the creator and editor of ActualConversation.com. For more on Ethan, visit EthanFixell.com…or call his mom, Robin.