More Than “Friends With Benefits”

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By Shelley Walton
January 04, 2010 @ 03:40 pm
Use these strategies to get him to go from "friend" to "flame."

{title} Want to be more than just friends with benefits? If you’re ready to move on from FWB to romance, proceed with caution, says Toni Coleman, a licensed psychotherapist, relationship coach and founder of Consum-mate.com. First, consider your friend's needs. Has he been sending signals that his feelings run deeper than friendship? If so, be very tactful and give him a lot of wiggle room when you bring up the topic of a deeper relationship. “Begin with a very open-ended comment or question. It can be something like, ‘You know, we’re just so great together, how come we’re not dating?’” Coleman says. Whatever you do, aim for a gradual exploration of his feelings as opposed to something that would hem him in, she says. It would be coming on too strong to cut to the chase and say, “I want more from you.” It’s best to allow both sides to explore their feelings without feeling pressured – particularly if you want to keep the friendship intact. You can watch his body language to determine if you should continue the discussion. You’ll know your FWB isn’t comfortable with the chat if he “starts to shut down, they fold their arms over, they kind of pull back in their chair, they’re kind of looking around the room, they’re not making eye contact,” Coleman says. That’s when she advises people to back down from pushing the discussion, because most people don’t want to end up losing the friendship if their romantic feelings aren’t shared. Stopping the Sex, Keeping the Friend Deciding to stop having sex with a friend isn’t difficult. The trick is phrasing things in a way so that no one has hurt feelings. Coleman advises clients to use a stroke, a kick, and another stroke. Start out by telling them how much you care about him and that you’ve had a great time together. Then give the gentle “kick” by telling him that you’re ready to move on, make some changes, and stop sleeping together. Then give another “stroke” by making it clear that while you want to leave the sexual relationship behind, you don’t want to leave his friendship behind. You may face anger from your friend, or even lose the friendship if he isn’t willing to understand your reasons for ending the FWB relationship. But you may also find that he had romantic feelings for you all along but never expressed it, Coleman said. “Somebody pulling back and talking about pulling out of the relationship in order to find real love could end up opening up a dialogue about, ‘We’re great together, why don’t we talk about that,’” she said.

Related article: Study finds friendship, but no love, for friends with benefits.

 


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15 Comments

gale
November 21, 2007

absolutely useful for many of us in relationships smile love the open-ended approach to addressing the issue of FWB’s situations. you sound very experienced and i love the content!

Hazel
March 09, 2008

We began this relationship as strictly FWB, however, shortly after he began to say things that made me feel like he was trying to pull me in closer. I brought it up to him and I said he was sending mixed signals for someone who just wanted to be FWB.  He apologized and said he was only being honest.  I have fallen for him, and have tried to keep it under wraps, but each time he says these sweet things it only makes me want to be closer to him.  He has a girlfriend and I don’t think he and I will ever be more than FWB so should I end this now even though I love being with him?  Why would he say these things to me if he only wanted FWB…we were already doing just that!!!

JRW
March 10, 2008

Actually, I think most women want the truth. At least the ones who do not have the patience for the excuses. To patronize a women by offering a token of nice words can sometimes come across like you are trading something minimal in value for something that is not worthy of the truth. The real truth..not some version of the truth. If faced with the situation that involves a friend…. the only way to salvage the friendship is have enough respect for the other person to be honest. Of course, I am strong willed and it is a waste of my time and emotion for you to tell me some three step approach to why you made a mistake. Simply put sometimes honesty may hurt the most at the time…but most of all remember that person deserves more than a excuse as you see it. When you break up with someone or vice versa…saying we can remain friends,....That is like telling the hurt person that their dog died but they can still keep it. What is that?

Three years ago I would have said your approach is correct. But after listening to people ascend you upon a platform in order to ease their guilt…does not help anyone. Look me straight in the eye and be honest…and if that relationship is worthy of the friendship to begin with…in time it will be again. But this non complacent BS is patronizing. Honesty is honorable…and there is no such thing as letting someone down easy. Remember we don’t chose who we love.  We have no idea going in a relationship what is going to happen. The only thing different between like or love…. friendship or marriage ....is what your heart does with that emotion.  Have enough faith in the other person to be honest and trust them with that.

Amanda V.
June 29, 2008

Beneficial friends is really tricky. As women, it is almost impossible to not once think ” wow, i could really be with this person”. The important thing to remember is that although it is a possiblility that he may want to turn your strictly sexual relationship into something more, more than likely he wont. Its just a matter of how much your willing to invest to find that out. Ultimately, keep in mind, as much as you may want it to be more, if its just sex, its just sex. Becoming clingy wont keep him around any longer than he would of originally;in fact, he will probably hit the road faster. So, if your starting to have feelings, i suggest you drop out of the picture. It may save your heart in the long run.

Alex
January 04, 2009

hi, i have a slight situation involving fwb that if anyone had advice for that would be greatly appreciated! I’ll skip the details and get right to it though-
My question about fwb is whether it is possible to evolve into a relationship, if he had interest in dating before becoming friends with benefits, and once again once we first started. Thanks!

Babs99
January 28, 2009

I am in college, and I started having a FWB since last semester. I just got out of a four year relationship, and I wasn’t ready to start dating again. The guy I am sleeping with is my best friend’s roommate. We hung out one night at a party, and we have been having sex since then. The guy is very respectful, funny, and he is just all around fun to hang out with. Nobody know about it, and he gets angry when people ask questions about whether or not he likes me. We don’t want anybody to know.

The thing is, I want to end the FWB because I am starting to have feelings for him. He is graduating this year and moving away, and I just don’t want to take things further. My question is, how do you end a FWB? I am not sure if I should tell him I want to end it because I have feelings for him, or if I should just let things fizzle out. Either way, I don’t care as long as we don’t fight.

emily
February 02, 2009

I was in this FWB relationship for 9-10months and couple of months ago i wanted to let go of this because this wasn’t me and i was not looking for a relationship that will break my heart in the end, yes i had feelings for him, but kept it within myself and he would probably disappear from my life and thinking him not in life would be devastating because i like him and wanna keep the friendship. He agreed to break this but yet he came back and still is here, i’m thinking why is he still here and wanting this and i have no clue why that is, im thinking both ways either he wants to get closer with me or wants sex so badly and later find somebody else to love and cherish..that would get my heart broken even more so i’m keeping my heart guarded and move on gradually, though the attraction i had for him is going so i will be ready to date someone nice, decent and want what i want..also to keep him in life..

Kim in VB
March 03, 2009

I recently began a FWB scenario. He is younger than I am. Lately, he’s been asking why I haven’t had a child, don’t I want one?, etc. He has also asked why I don’t want a steady boyfriend. I thought he and I agreed to the FWB thing, but are these questions a sign that he is sending me mixed signals and possibly wants something more?

michelle
August 23, 2009

The only thing that i want to know is how guys can go from being in a deep relationship with a female. after a year of being together, come out and ask if she wants to be just friends with benefits. How do we as women understand what is going on in the guys head. Please help me to understand..

kasey
September 16, 2009

so i have a guy that started out as just one of my best friends. i ended up falling for him, but he didnt return the feelings. we continued to be friends, and got closer and closer. now, we have become friends with benefits but my romantic feelings for him are coming out more and more as we more? i love him so much and i think i am fooling myself by continuing to be his “friend with benefits”.

AshleyJoy
November 07, 2009

I have been friends with this guy since we were kids and now we are in twelveth grade, in the same school and in some of the same classes. I have had really strong feelings for him for a long time. When we were in seventh grade i told him i liked him and asked him out..he rejected me. Reasontly he broke up with this girl he has been off and on with,and who we both are good friends with. She knew i liked him and went out with him but prior to saying yes, had asked me if i was okay with it, stupidly i said yes but then two months of dating she broke his heart in many ways, and even when he professed his love for her she said that she liked his best friend. He since has tried to go ask her out even though every time she rejects him. Finally he realized that she didnt like him at all anymore. Even though many people knew that before he realized it. So when he gave up on her, i asked him if he would want to be more than friends but less than bf/gf. He said yes. We have hooked up multiple times since and the first time we hooked up was our first time ever having sex. We were both virgins. We have talked about realationships and how he has thought about us in one but just doesnt feel like its the right time. I went in this FWB thing knowing it would bring feelings back and it has. He knows that i liked him in the past and that i like him now, but he still wants to carry on with this. I have told him many times reasontly that i cant do this anymore because i have feelings for him and because i value our friendship and i dont want to continue having sex with him, knowing that nothing more will happen. But every time i try to end it, its like i keep going back and cant let go of him. The one thing i hate is that he plays mind games. When hes playing these mind games its hard to tell, if hes serious or just joking when it comes to the subject of us as an item. He sends me signals and his actions say everything but when i ask him he denies it. All my friends say its not worth it, but i just cant seem to stop thinking about him and hoping that he has the same feelings that i do. I want to end this FWB thing but am afraid that if i do he will go to someone else. I really like him and think that i am falling for him but dont know what to do when it comes to telling him i want more and telling him we need to end it but ending it without me running back to him .....that i know for a fact. So Can someone help me or let me know what to do about this??

Kristina
January 22, 2010

I have a FWB that started out with just the benefits. I didn’t initially think he was boyfriend material. I was fine with it that way, but he started saying cute things to me. Then I started to like him. I believe he was blowing smoke up my butt to soften things which made me mad. But then I questioned that too. Recently found out he has a woman he is seeing (I was seeing other people, but not right now). He gave me details about her and now I’m weirded out with thoughts of “why her and not me”.

no fwb
February 03, 2010

I just got out of a friend with benefits, it was really hard because I developed feelings of love for that person and wanted to be more than friends but he didn’t. I tried to end the relationship many times since we saw each other for 2 1/2 yrs, but he didn’t want it to end; so I took him back. So he knew exactly how I felt, and this last time tried to woo me even stronger than before. I almost fell for him again but I found out he was dating our co-worker; I was so hurt. Never again.

Leigh
February 18, 2010

I find myself screwed up. We started off as FWB then it developed into a non-commital relationship. I pushed for more but she then said she wants to be ‘just friends’ and has since been texting and ringing me, but we have not discussed US. I am backing off and leaving that bit up to her, we have not had a chance to discuss it face to face yet and I am trying real hard not to try and get her to meet me. Is she playing hard to get and keeping me on my toes to establish who is in control here, or does she really just want friendship? HELP!

Leigh
February 22, 2010

Please confirm when my thoughts will be put on this site and I would like an answer to the question? Thanks, Leigh



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