Can I Go From Friends With Benefits To Having A Great Boyfriend?

Dear Rob,
I recently got out of a 3 year relationship.

I ended the relationship with almost no hurt feelings since I had been out of love with the guys for a while.

However I now have issues with relationships because I don’t want to invest time like that again and gain nothing. After we broke up I moved towns and into student housing. I’m only 20 so I want to take advantage of the opportunities and just have fun.

Since I started living here I have become very close with my neighbor. We made out a few times and never took it further except our friendship grew stronger.

Everybody who knows us thinks we should be together and tells us how apparent it is that the other person likes the former.

We started about a week ago hooking up and going further and established that we are indeed friends with benefits. I don’t know if he wants more because I was very blunt about a) not wanting a relationship and b)not wanting to complicate our living situation.

And to add to the situation, he has a “sorta” girlfriend. He likes her, but he doesn’t think they work together and they have broken up at least twice in the month they have been dating. In that time we have hooked up while they were off and on.

I don’t know what to do. I feel like if I told him I would date him then he would end everything with her. However I’m not ready for that, but I want to continue to hang out with him and hook up with him.

So now, either he cheats and I don’t get to be around him if he is with her, or I commit and jump into something I may not be ready for, or he tells her/ends it with me and I lose my very best friend.

Is there any chance I could win this?
Thanks, Michelle

Hi Michelle,
I hope that you didn’t think I wouldn’t reply.

I read your email once I received it and have given it a lot of thought as I read it over the last few days.

I think the main thing is to start at the beginning, not of your relationship, but as to how men and women relate differently to the same things.

I’ll give you an example as a starting point:

Men and women have different views of pornography and of romance, friendship and sex.

Generally, for men, porn is simple the act of sex, and the thoughts that follow it as a guy would think “I can do that too!”.
Men like to see things that they can do too… it’s easier for a guy to copy what another guy does than it is for him to do what another guy says. With porn, and how it relates to sex, a guy sees and wants to do it too. Simple, right?

Guys having sex, generally with women (yes, the other options are totally gross!) and that excites them, and also it desensitizes them as well. Sex, with no consequences, no relationship “issues”, no love, no commitment. While this image isn’t heaven, it sure isn’t hell to a lot of guys. But it’s an awful example to follow in the real world.

Women, on the other hand, like to feel the emotion of the sexual moment. They don’t want to be told what to do, they want to be told how to do it, they want to feel what it is.

That’s why women’s porn is not the viewing of the sex act (direct naked porn), but rather the emotion that precedes and includes the moment. It’s the romance, the enveloping, the complete giving of yourself to another, that creates the right act of sexual fulfillment for women.

While men can easily exclude their emotions from sex, women can’t.

While women have been tricked into thinking that sex can exclude a relationship bond with their partner, it really can’t. It’s all been lies.

And then, we have this weird notion of “friends with benefits”.

Really, the only benefit is to the guy, sex without commitment, without romance, without obligation. It’s just what he wants, what has been told is his to have… his ultimate goal (until he grows up and matures anyways).

Women have the risk of pregnancy, of loss of self-esteem, loss of identity. Simply becoming a sexual thing, a plaything.

And when you ask me these questions, of being able to take advantage of your (newly single) situation, of having fun, and I have to ask you, where does this lead you? It is rather obvious that you’re uncomfortable with this “FWB” adventure, right?

You tell me that you’re unsure if he wants more from you but that he also “sorta” has a girlfriend.

Well, doesn’t that already mean you’re second place to another woman in his life?

Doesn’t this mean that you’re really just “sex” and nothing more, just as he’d watch a football game he goes to his neighbor’s house for a little uncommitted sex and fooling around.

And this is “safe” for him because there isn’t any relationship boundaries to cross other than the fact that there is no relationship at all!!

Then you say that you’re not ready for a relationship, but might date him if he stops seeing this other girl.

Or might not. Even you have been mislead into misunderstanding your own thoughts and needs.

Do you see how you can’t win here, either way?

Here you have a guy that is ready to just have sex with anyone, (and really, I mean anyone that is convenient…), has a girlfriend but can’t (or maybe does) get what he wants from her, is ok with having to get it elsewhere and is just as happy without making a commitment to her because he doesn’t have to decide about one and he has other options.

You’re playing the wrong kind of game here and you can’t win.

I think that even if this guy were to dump his “sorta” girlfriend and decide to “kinda” make a commitment to you, you’d see him for the shallow guy he is. (BTW, he can’t cheat on her of she isn’t already his gf!)

And I define shallow as being unable to decide your own direction in life and willing to take advantage of the moment in a way that does not create any direction for your own future, short or long term.

And now that we have covered all these bases, it’s time for the home run:

Just because you have opened up your heart to this guy, telling him all of your secrets, all of your insecurities, do you really think that he hasn’t put that information to use, and manoeuvred you into bed?

That rather than being your “best friend” he has actually been simply waiting for the moment to strike? And he has used your own words to trick you into a situation that you would have never dreamed of being possible 4 weeks ago?

Do you see how everything is so much more complicated than you think it is?

Do you see how important it is for you to end this now, to retreat back into your own purposeful life, without giving yourself away so cheaply, so indifferently, so without reason or commitment?

You’ve had a long relationship, and with no details all I can go on is that you were dating a guy since you were 17… but do you see how much you have changed since 17?

You were a girl, playing dating games, but now it’s the rest of your life, and you’re giving yourself away.

And I don’t just mean sexually, I mean completely.

Your thoughts mislead you, your body betrays you, your emotions lay open and bruised from not knowing what will happen next because there is nothing next to happen.

No commitment, no future.

I am sure that I have answered your question.

Maybe more in depth than you expected.

And I sense that you’re going to accept what I have written to you.

Look inside yourself.

Give yourself 2 or 4 weeks without “hooking up” with this guy and see how your life is different.

You only have your future ahead of you.
Best wishes,
Rob.

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