Your Call: How Can I Tell If My Friend with Benefits Is Falling for Me?

We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call by leaving your advice in the comments section below:

Dear Em & Lo,

I’m 24 (as is the guy I’m writing about), and just a year out of university. I met a guy while out dancing almost two months ago, and instantly hit it off. We danced all night (although it was cute “swinging and twirling” each other, rather than grinding), had a few drinks and exchanged numbers. After a week or so, he admitted that he liked me a lot, but since it’d only been a few months since his last relationship ended, he wanted to take things slow (usually means the relationship is doomed, right?). I took that as an “I’m not interested,” and kept any convo we had casual.

After weeks of texting, we finally decided to meet up. We ended up sleeping together because honestly, the chemistry is FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC. It’s been almost two months, and we see eachother 3-4 times a week. While we have sex everytime, we do also watch movies and TV, cuddle a lot, and talk about each other’s families and life plans. He’s met my brother, although it was really by accident if I’m being totally honest, and I’ve met his brother and friends, but it was on a drunken night out — can I really put stock in that?

He’s far more affectionate, and says he thinks I’m perfect, and that our “sexual appetites” match each other. He uses the “L” word a lot to describe things about me, which is pretty new…and I find he’s started to become self-conscious around me, and touches, speaks and holds me more intimately. While everything is very FWB-ish, I’m wondering if the positive changes in his behaviour indicate that he’s started developing feelings for me, or if this is just a result of us getting to know each other and becoming more comfortable because of it.

Of course, I know the only real way to find out is to ask him…but I feel in doing so, I will reveal that I have developed feelings for him too. I’m told in relationships I behave like a guy, and to an extent it’s true; at this point, I could go either way with this guy: if he wants a relationship, then hallelujah! If not, I can literally switch those feelings off and keep on bangin’ him and be a merry booty caller.

Either way, I do know that I need to understand our direction or I may drive myself insane with over-thinking. How can I know if he wants more than just sex? I know he could come out and say it, but since I’m a very sexually-charged flirt, he may well be worrying if that’s all I want. What are “signs” I could look for? Or what may be an objective, ambiguous way to talk about it/finding out without ruining what we’re doing right now if he doesn’t want more?

— Dazed and Confused

What should D&C do?


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13 Comments on "Your Call: How Can I Tell If My Friend with Benefits Is Falling for Me?"


Malibu
1 year 6 months ago

This is EXACTLY my story EXCEPT that he’s 15 years my junior (45-30). We have become the best of friends after having known each other just over a year now. We communicated via text and email for a few weeks before we went on our first date. The second date was when we ‘hooked-up’ and we’ve been friends ever since. We took a 6-month hiatus from our FWB relationship and had a solely platonic friendship. Other than the sex, nothing between us ever changed. We hang-out all the time and have had sex only a dozen times in the last year. We do lots of stuff together, plan dinners and evenings, hang out and generally love each other’s company. We text and/or call each other every single day. I absolutely love our friendship and care deeply for him as he does for me, however, just like ‘Dazed and Confused’, I’d love it to be more but am also perfectly happy leaving well enough alone. I’d never want to lose him, sex or no sex. He means the world to me!

Malibu

Archer
2 years 10 days ago

I’m the veteran of this type of ‘grey’ relationship. The only way to know for sure is to nicely request that you guys end the benefits package and try focus on being just friends. Say its for your own personal reasons that you find hard to talk about right now, and a good guy will respect that. Make it clear that you care about him and the friendship and want to continue being friends, though with focus on the platonic.

Its very rare (though not impossible) for a guy to wanna date a girl seriously when they already have all the freebies without the strings. And if the guy has a manipulative side, he could be knowingly trying to encourage hope in you without being guilty of openl wrong-doing or ‘leading on’.
OR, the guy could also just happen to be an extremely soft-hearted guy who treats anyone he cares about with compassion and intimacy. The lines are the easiest to be blurred with such fwbs even though they are (in my opinion) the best types (true friend, real respect, no feeling of being used, AND partner in crime, even if ur not each others fairytale).

The only way to get to the next level is to take half a step down to platonic friends. After a month or so, they will either ask you out to be in a committed relationship or just continue being friends with you. (Some might chuck a sad/ get scary/ emotional. Some might calmly try manipulate you to get back in your pants without the commitment again. Depends on the personality of the guy.)
Either way, you get your answer by stepping down and staying true to being just friends for the next few months.
Worked for me.
I’ve had a few bad reactions from guys who were unfortunately..problematic.. One guy resorted to violence due to emotional instability and another tried to manipulate his way back to fwb via guilt tripping and other strategies. Which just goes to show their true colors are revealed from their responses to your request.
Another guy, we remained friends though we did drift apart in time. And the last one asked me out properly after a month and a half. He said that it took the feeling of loss to realise he wants me to be completely his.
Hope you found some of that useful and hope you find all the happiness in the world :)

Johnny
2 years 27 days ago

^ Don’t bring it up! Things are going well. Just interpret his affectionate gestures as being a good thing (if you want more from him, that is), and roll with it.

Kyra
2 years 27 days ago

I’m in a very similar situation,
I met this guy at a coffee shop and we instantly hit it off, we texted each other for two months, when he asked me out once and I said yes but we never went forth with it – we finally met at his place and ended up having sex within an hour, we hang out a couple times a week and he’s recently started cuddling and once we even fell asleep in each others arms since we both had long tiring days. It’s confusing, because he’s a great guy and I care about him but I don’t want to mess with what we have by bringing it up.

What I would say is bring it up indirectly, or tell him you had a date and it went great and see how he reacts, that might tell you all you need to know.
Good Luck!

MissGv
2 years 2 months ago

My fwb is a very sweet,kind man.when we meet we have the best time ever. Before making out he takes me out to dinner or we go dancing together. And buys a bottle of wine and ice to the hotel room. We always make out in hotels becouse we keep it secret. When we make out its the best I ever have.then we talk and cuddle all night. In the morning we make out again then go to breakfast and he never let’s me pay for anything when he drops me iff he’l give me some money to go do my hair or nail and he likes to take care of my needs. Then we part. And he will again the next time he want fun . We see each other once a week . He does not like to keep in tough but then I dnt call him too .but what confuses me is the special treatment I get when we meat. He is a virgo I’m am a capricorn I heard virgos love to serve others maybe that’s why.