“A few months ago, I fell into the ‘friends with benefits’ zone with a guy and now I’ve fallen for him. We spend all our time together and when I bring up dating, he says he’s not ready to commit. He says he needs more time to decide. I think I like him more than he likes me and he’s constantly sending me mixed signals. Should I stop pursuing him and tell him I don’t want to be friends anymore?”
Goodness. I have gotten several emails recently that surround “friends with benefits” and a guy sending mixed signals.
But back to this specific situation at hand.
1- Friends with benefits.
It always, always leads to this. Someone always gets hurt. You cannot be physically involved with someone–even couch cuddling and occasional hand-holding–without getting emotionally involved as well. Your brain, body, and heart aren’t wired to operate independently. If you grow in deeper intimacy in one area, the others will follow. I strongly urge you to commit to never doing the “FWB” thing again.
2- As the ol’ momma saying goes, “Why buy the cow if you get the milk for free?”
It’s such a crass saying, but it’s true. It sounds like this guy is already getting everything he wants from you without having to commit and be your boyfriend. He’s getting his physical and emotional needs met, because, y’all are basically acting like a couple. But he doesn’t have to work for it or have any of the responsibilities that come with being in a committed relationship.
3- He doesn’t need more time to decide.
By saying he needs more time, he’s actually already made the decision to not date you. If he wanted to be in a committed relationship with you, if he wanted to introduce you as his girlfriend, he’d be doing it.
4- I hate that he is sending you mix signals because you don’t deserve that.
You deserve a guy who thinks you’re amazing, is committed to you, and desires to really pursue you and make a relationship work.
5- You don’t ever need to pursue him.
That’s his job. Yes, once you’re in a committed relationship there is more give and take. But until you are calling a guy your “boyfriend”, he is the only one that needs to do the pursuing. Even once you’re in a relationship, you’re not “pursuing” him, you are encouraging and cultivating the relationship.
6- You need to create and communicate very clear boundaries.
You need to talk to him face-to-face and explain to him how you feel. Don’t play games, just be honest. Tell him that you want to be in a dating relationship with him, but since that doesn’t seem to be what he wants, that you need to pull away and not be around him any more. Set clear expectations and boundaries like “I’m not going to avoid you and certainly I will be kind if I run into you, but I need you to stop calling, texting, and contacting me. I need you to give me space. We can’t be friends right now.” Talk through specific situations or scenarios you know will come up.
Now, I know you may go into this conversation with hope that he will say, “you’re right… let’s date” and sure, anything is possible. But what’s more likely, is that he won’t. So prepare yourself for that. Don’t go into this conversation with false hope. The goal for you should be to set boundaries and start protecting your heart. You are doing both of you a disservice by playing this friends-with-benefits game. By drawing clear boundaries you are protecting your own heart and you’re setting the bar higher and pushing him to become a better man.
Too many of us have experience this, what other advice is out their for our sister-friend? I know some of you [sneaky] college guys read my blog. What say you?