After my ex and I broke up, we decided to be friends with benefits. It really was a mutual thing, and I was actually the one who brought up the idea. We promised each other that as long as this friends with benefits thing was going to happen, we would only sleep with each other. One day, we were talking and he brought up that he has been feeling like he wants to have sex with other girls. I told him he can do whatever he wants, but the second he does that, he and I will no longer be hooking up. He said he knows that, and that’s the reason he’s holding himself back from it even though he wants to.
My question is, if he doesn’t want to get back together, then why is he worrying about losing me? I feel like I already know the answer to that though, and that it’s because he doesn’t want to me as an option for whatever reason. I’m not really sitting around waiting for him either, I do talk to other guys and have been on a few dates, but my heart is still with him. He claims he still loves me and compliments me here and there, but I don’t take it seriously anymore. I want us to be an actual couple again, so I was wondering, is there anything I can do to try to make that happen? Do you think the possibility of that happening is high? I really want to know so that I can know if I should just cut him off completely and give up on trying to win him over again.
Before we get to the complications of “friends with benefits,” let me say that I firmly believe it is an extremely rare occasion where people who have broken up should get back together. 99% of the time, getting back together only happens because of habit, and whatever it was that broke you up in the first place eventually resurfaces. I’m not saying it can’t work; I’m just saying it’s very unlikely and you’re probably better off seeking other options.
That being said, you already know how tricky it is to navigate the feelings that inevitably enter the picture in a friends with benefits situation. While they almost always start off on equal footing, as soon as one person starts actually staying true to the idea and seeking new partners, the emotions you didn’t think you had somehow kick in. It’s good that the two of you are being open and honest with one another, but it sounds like it’s probably time for you to end your current arrangement.
You’re dating other people, and clearly he’s looking at other options. While this in itself isn’t bad at all, the fact that you’re sleeping together will make things a bit tricky in terms of getting invested fully with someone else. It’s sort of like an emotional hangover or lag. It’s hard to explain, but from experience, believe me that it’s there. That’s why you feel like your heart is still with him – because you haven’t actually broken up completely. Also, the excitement of being physical and close with someone new will be lessened because you’re still having that void filled by your current friend with benefits.
Along with that, you clearly get why both of you are still keeping things as they are. Each of you serves as an emotional safety net for the other, and it makes you feel less alone whether you realize it or not. That too is unhealthy in terms of finding someone new, as it will subconsciously impact how you are on dates.
While friends with benefits are a really great thing if you can make it work, it’s really not a long term solution if you’re looking to find a “forever” partner. Being in that sort of a relationship unintentionally clouds your feelings, so my advice is to go to just being friends, and get out there and find yourself a new guy!
Best of luck!
Joel Freimark has done a lot in life and seen even more. From last minute international travel to bizarre places to writing award winning books, he’s here to bring his wisdom to all your problems. He hosts a weekly advice series on Youtube and a music series also on YouTube.. No question is too outrageous or personal, so go ahead and fire away! Follow him on Twitter.