10 Boyfriend-ish Things You Should Never Ever Let Your Friends With Benefits Do

Shutterstock / Matthew Nigel
Shutterstock / Matthew Nigel

Dear Friends-With-Benefits Boy,

I’ve been in a lot of friends-with-benefits arrangements. I’m practically a walking advertisement for them. I love them. They work out successfully for me. But you… you’re making this complicated. You don’t understand the concept of FWB, and I’d like to take a moment and clarify to you, why you’re going to end up loving me or hurting me at the end of this. There are exactly ten things you’re doing wrong. And I’ve gotten so far into you, I’m not sure if I want you to start doing things right. But for the sake of trying to save this FWB thing we have going on, here are the ten things I never should have let you do…

1. You want me to spend the night

Rule Number One in ALL FWB arrangements. You don’t spend the night. That’s intimate. Falling asleep and waking up next to someone is bad for our arrangement, because it makes us think we’re in a relationship. A good morning kiss is a lot different than a sexually fueled midnight kiss. They mean two different things. At midnight I’ll make-out with you like the inner tiger in me is dying to get out. In the morning, you’ll see the kitten. The softer, vulnerable side. You’ll get the kiss that says nothing sexual at all- it’s purely emotional.

2. You bring me out on dates

Friends with benefits are friends. Want me to kick it with you at a pizza joint? Watch a movie at your place? Sure. But you brought me to dance lessons- you introduced me to your friends. You slow danced with me barefoot on your bedroom floor. You took me out to breakfast and held hands with me when we walked down the sidewalk. You treated me like a girlfriend, and I’m not your girlfriend. I’m your friend. Friends don’t date.

3. You open up to me, a lot

I get it- we’re the kind of friends that can talk about anything. I love that you talk to me about the other girls you’re with. That shows you trust me AND it shows that I am a ‘friend’ to you (not just another girl). But you open up a lot more than I think you normally would. You tell me everything. About your family, your hopes and dreams- your past, present, future. Your worries, your fears, your friends and work. I know it all. I know too much. Friends know enough- not everything. And I feel like you want me to know everything.


You ask me a lot of questions

How am I feeling? Do I like you? What do I think of certain things? You shouldn’t care. You shouldn’t care what I think of the other girls, or if I’m falling for you, or if I’m falling for someone else. You’re my friend, not my lover. And friends would just complicate things if they opened up about some hidden romantic feelings. I don’t answer your questions because I can’t. We can’t have those conversations. We’d ruin things if we did.

5. You kiss my forehead

Don’t get me wrong- I love forehead kisses. Every time I get one butterflies shoot through my body like little lustful fireworks going off. But I cannot have those fireworks going off on your behalf. Those forehead kisses make me want you. The second I start wanting you- I’ll want only you. And there goes all chances of this whole FWB thing working. Forehead kisses are bad for me. Save them for the girl you want to spend forever with, not just tonight.

6. You say things you shouldn’t

Remember the night we both got drunk and you pulled me into bed and said “I like you way more than I should.” or the time you got intoxicated and told your friends how much you liked me? We can’t do those things. You can’t do those things. You can’t say you like me. That’s not fair to me. I’m trying desperately hard not to like you back, and you’re confirming that you have feelings for me- but then you turn around and share those same feelings with other girls. Don’t play with my head. Don’t say you like me. You’re not allowed to like me. We’re ‘FRIENDS with benefits’ remember? Friends don’t like each other… not that way, anyways.

7. You stand in as my knight in shining armor

You are such an amazing person- but you took it upon yourself to protect me. We both know I don’t live in the best situation in the world, but I made it clear I could fend for myself. You let me know that it was okay to lean on you, and I wasn’t used to that. But you slowly, kept persuading. And eventually I began to lean on you. I let you be the knight in shining armor that saved the day. Friends are friends- yes. And you were a good friend. But you were more than a friend too. You worried about me the way a more-than-friend would.


You question our arrangement

Veering back to another drunken night. Do you remember the evening where you said, “I know with our arrangement and the way things are right now- things couldn’t work for us. And I guess that makes me a little sad.” What you meant was that you’d like to try to have a serious relationship- but because we’re both in different spots in our lives, we can’t do that. But you said you’d like to. Once again you confirmed feelings for me that you shouldn’t have. And made me debate reciprocating feelings that I shouldn’t have.

9. You want to know if I’m jealous

I can tell you this: I’d only be jealous if I liked you. At times I get a little jealous, ya. I mean- the other girls have been around longer. They’re likelier prettier and thinner. And you’re probably closer to them. Of course I’d have some jealousy come up. But I’d only have constant jealousy if I truly liked you. Luckily, right now, I’m keeping my platonic feelings in check- and I’m not terribly jealous. But the more you ask if I’m jealous, the more I think you want me to be jealous. And the more I wonder if you’re going to be jealous when I tell you I slept with someone else as well….

10. You tell me I’m your favorite

Ugh- boy, you can’t have favorites. You have multiple girls and I know for a fact they’re hearing that line as well. I’m not stupid enough to believe it, no matter how many times you try to persuade me it’s true. You can’t have a favorite anyways. Once you have a favorite, you’ll want an only. And once you have an only- you’ll want to be that girl’s only. And once you’re her only- once you’re each other’s only other person- you’re in a relationship. No favorites.

Favorites aren’t allowed. And I wouldn’t want to be your favorite anyways. Once we start choosing favorites, and onlys- one of us is either going to fall for the other one or get hurt- or most likely, both.

I like you, boy. I like you a lot. I like our arrangement and what we have. I want to be your friend for a long time- long after we quit having sex. But we need to get some things straight. We’re friends, we can be good friends- but I can’t be your girlfriend.

Don’t send me mixed signals, unless you’re honestly feeling mixed feelings. In which case, quit sending me mixed signals and voice your mixed feelings. This sh** is complicated, and I realize that. But we can straighten it out together. First we need to quit this mixed stuff. I don’t know what I want. I know you don’t know what you want. We’ve labeled ourselves “Friends With Benefits”. A label is good- but it’s only good if we’re acting in a way that fits our label. Right now we’re not. So let’s start at the beginning.

I don’t know if I want things to be right between us- maybe I enjoy our ‘wrong’ FWB thing way more than I should. But for the sake of saving what we have, at least I’ve clarified what we’ve done wrong. We can keep being wrong, if you want. But there’s no guarantee that anything right is going to come out of this. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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Dawn Webb

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