Friends With Penalties

December 3, 2012

Dear Susan,

I have been hooking up with a guy consistently for four months. It started out that we both wanted a friends-with-benefits situation, and we would basically hang out, do homework, etc., and of course hook up, but that was it. He made it very clear to me that he wasn’t into me further than a physical relationship and that he was on a break with his gf, so he still had feelings for her. I didn’t really have them for him either, though. I just thought he was attractive and fun, so perfect hookup material.

Throughout these four months, I helped him deal with his gf calling things quits and I have been tutoring him in school, and we have become overall closer friends. He even told me that I am his best girl friend and that he trusts me more than any other girl he knows.

Recently he has started acting really sweet to me and like he wants something more:

  • He gets really upset when I need to leave him and always finds excuses to spend more time with me. 
  • He also has started wanting to go out on what I would usually consider to be “dates”, and he pays for me. 
  • He has been calling me beautiful and gorgeous a lot and he gives me random unexpected compliments much more often. 
  • The other day I awoke from a nap we were taking and he was holding me in his arms and just watching me sleep. 
  • He even mentioned that his mom (yes, I met his parents, but in a “just-friends” situation) thinks I am really pretty and that I seem like quite a catch, and he regards his parent’s opinions very highly. 
  • He also always makes comments about how he could see us being married in the future, but he does it in a joking way of course. 
  • He even wants to do more couple-ish things together, like cook and learn more about each other’s lives. 

Basically, I feel like these are all signs of him falling for me as more than a FWB, but am I just fooling myself? Could he just be doing this because he is single and bored/lonely? Even though he pays for me now, he has never said anything about it being a “date”, and he has never tried to hold my hand or kiss me in public.

I just don’t get why he is trying to be so much more involved with me if he knows he could still hook up with me without putting in the time and monetary investment. So I am pretty much just confused about whether he actually is developing feelings for me or if I am just getting my hopes up for no reason.  

Thanks,

Hopeful But Confused

 

Dear Hopeful,

What jumps out at me immediately from your letter is the fact that you obviously have strong feelings for this guy and hope that the two of you can become a couple. I wonder why you ever thought that “attractive and fun” was perfect hookup material, rather than relationship material? You say that you just were looking for a FWB, but I don’t understand what the benefits of that arrangement were. If you really weren’t interested in a relationship, you wouldn’t have developed feelings for him, right? But it sounds like you fell for him anyway, which is what usually happens in FWB – someone catches feelings. Sometimes both people do, but it’s much more common for one person to get hurt. 

I agree with your perception that his recent actions appear to signal increased interest in spending time together, and a more emotionally intimate relationship. It may well be that he does like you and wants to make something work. There are several things I think you need to be concerned about:

  • Is he truly over his ex?
  • I share your worry that he is lonely and adrift right now, enjoying your company. Is he just biding his time with his great FWB until he falls for someone new, or is he trying to make this something more?
  • He has relied on you for support, both emotional and academic. Does he feel that he owes you in some way? Can it be that he has picked up on your feelings for him, and is responding in a way that pleases you? 

One of the most common mistakes women make is that they read too much into the time they spend with a guy. A guy can spend a whole weekend with you, cook meals together, laugh together, be passionate – do all the things that feel like being in love to a woman – and have absolutely zero emotional investment. If he is in a “no relationship” mindset, or views you as FWB material only, he can enjoy your company and the sex without any worries that you might get hurt, because these are the terms you both agreed to.

It’s time to stop guessing and ask him directly. You don’t need to make a big confrontation out of it, you could just say something like, “You’ve really been acting different lately, what’s up?” to get the conversation going. Because you like him, you need to find out asap whether the feeling is mutual. If not, you need to get out right away. 

There’s an article in The Atlantic today about a new study of FWB relationships, Romance Trumps Friends with Benefits. (H/T: Stuart Schneiderman). Researchers from Harvard, Syracuse and Purdue conducted an online survey of college females, half in FWB and half in traditional romantic relationships. Their findings:

  Friends with Benefits Traditional Romantic
Total # sexual partners 6.4 1.9
Frequency of sex Lower Higher
Non-sexual time spent Less More
Satisfaction with relationship Lower Higher
Comfort expressing needs and desires Lower  Higher 
Comfort setting relationship boundaries      Lower  Higher 
Discussion of other sexual partners Higher Lower
Condom use Higher  Lower 

 

I don’t find most of these findings surprising, but am particularly struck by the difference in sexual history between women in FWBs and women who are dating. This suggests, at least to me, that the casual, no-strings nature of a friends with benefits arrangement leads to faster dissolution of those relationships and increased likelihood of entering additional casual relationships, leading to partner counts for women more than triple the women in relationships.

If you were cut out for casual it wouldn’t matter, but you are not satisfied, you want a traditional, romantic relationship. So why don’t you get one? If not with this guy, with some other guy. As long as “attractive and fun” doesn’t mean “unavailable,” there are many other guys out there. 

Like so many women who try to do the FWB thing, you’ve found that it doesn’t really work. We are not meant to relate to other human beings in a strictly sexual way. We want emotional intimacy. I recommend that you not settle for anything less in future.

Hope this helps,

Susan

Filed in: Uncategorized
  • JP

    I love advice columns (because of the comments sections)!

    This blog needs more “Letters To Susan”.

  • Jonny

    As a man, these are the problems that I wish I had when I was single.

    1. He can string you along. This is his power.

    2. He can get you to commit in a somewhat girlfriend relationship without having you has his girlfriend.

    3. He can still have sex with you while confusing the heck out of you emotionally, which wouldn’t be possible with another arrangement. So perhaps he doesn’t want you to be his actual girlfriend.

    4. His ex-gf is a ruse. He is already over her when having sex with you. Men are like that. New and frequent sex with someone else makes it very easy to get over an old girlfriend.

    5. FWB is a booty call really. You don’t turn a booty call into a girlfriend.

    6. He is paying for you. Perhaps he likes to have you kept. By doing this, you’re sold.

    This is just my amateur opinion. Not to be taken seriously.

  • http://stuartschneiderman.blogspot.com/ Stuart Schneiderman

    Part of the problem with these FWB relationships is that the two people have made an agreement. Now, if either one of them wants to change the terms of the agreement he or she will feel like he or she is going back on his or her word.

    Since the LW is not very clear about what she wants– she is willing to take it further but she is also willing to continue hooking up– she is not in a great place to try to renegotiate the contract.

    If she wants a relationship then she will have to tell herself that the FBW situation cannot continue.

    Obviously, she is reading the signals and I think she is reading them fairly well. If she thinks his parents do not know what is going on, she is very naive. I would say that parental influence is changing the way he sees her and that that is a positive.

    As for what she should say to him– she might suggest that sometimes she thinks that it might be a good thing to renegotiate their agreement… and she might mention that their relationship seems to have evolved in a direction that neither of them expected. That is, describing a situation without speaking for the other person.

    Hope that that’s of some help.

    I too would be happy to see more letters on the site.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @ALW aka Hopeful but Confused

      Great to see you on the thread. Stick around or pop in and out, there will likely be a lot of good comments for you. This advice from Stuart is gold, I think:

      As for what she should say to him– she might suggest that sometimes she thinks that it might be a good thing to renegotiate their agreement… and she might mention that their relationship seems to have evolved in a direction that neither of them expected. That is, describing a situation without speaking for the other person.

      I also think it’s interesting that some of the guys feel that it’s clear he is invested. I didn’t have as strong a sense of that, but I always recommend listening to the guys carefully.

  • INTJ

    I fully cosign Stuart Schneiderman’s advice.

  • GudEnuf

    The higher condom alone probably makes friends with benefits safer than a traditional romantic relationship. (Unless they’re using another BC)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      The higher condom alone probably makes friends with benefits safer than a traditional romantic relationship. (Unless they’re using another BC)

      No way, the number of partners is the strongest predictor of STDs. Condoms don’t prevent HPV at all or herpes transmitted orally. Well they would if people used them orally, but no one does.

      Look at this infographic for some rather alarming stats re condom use:

      cc

  • Joe

    To Hopeful but Confused, yes, listen to Susan and Stuart. They are wise. It’s going to be hard to add to what they’ve already said.

    Susan, you’ve always wanted a way to point this blog more accurately towards your desired demographic. Carefully chosen letters like this would be the perfect way to accomplish that without alienating the base you’ve already garnered.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I agree with those who suggest that posts featuring letters from readers are interesting and informative. There are a couple of reasons why I’ve taken a break from featuring them:

      1. The emails became overwhelming, and doing letter posts increased the volume a lot. I now state up front that I can’t possibly reply to every letter.

      2. There were times when the guys came down like a ton of bricks on the writer. For an example of what I mean, see Doug’s comment, then multiply by 25 more guys choking on the red pill. Comments like that are actually not at all helpful. I’ll ask people to refrain from such mean-spirited feedback, and I will delete if necessary.

  • Doug

    She wants the hot handsome guy for more than just sex, the guys willing to date here she’s not into until she is no longer as hot. She’ll finally have an aha moment once she is less attractive, then and only then will she consider less hot guys.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Doug

      I’d like to illustrate why your comment is unhelpful, even worthless:

      She wants the hot handsome guy for more than just sex

      Hopeful has already stated very clearly that she wants her “fun and attractive” friend for more than sex. No need to add this as an accusation. I will point out that the guy is question is obviously not a player, as he has been nurturing a broken heart after a relationship breakup.

      the guys willing to date here she’s not into until she is no longer as hot

      Hmmm, do you recognize Hopeful from her letter? Is she a friend of yours, or perhaps she rejected you for the FWB? I’m curious how you know anything about her personal life or preferences.

      She’ll finally have an aha moment once she is less attractive, then and only then will she consider less hot guys.

      How old is Hopeful? 18? 24? 32? How do you know where she is on her personal “attractiveness curve?”

      How do you know how attractive Hopeful is? Perhaps she is exquisitely beautiful. Perhaps she needn’t consider “less hot” guys at all, but just guys who aren’t looking for a rebound.

  • Yogini_Hope

    Great response to the letter. Stuff like this is pretty common with FWB situations. I have to agree with Susan that we are not meant to relate to human beings in a strictly sexual way. I think a lot of folks agree to these FWB situations and don’t realize how attracted they are until after the fact. I feel Susan provides some really great advice on how the letter writer can handle this situation moving forward.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Yogini Hope

      Thanks for the feedback :) My advice is off the mark sometimes, of course, so I’m happy to have people comment to hash it out.

  • Passer_By

    Not to beat a dead horse on this, but I’ll repeat a comment I made the last time some woman was being confused by mixed signals in a FWB. Advice from women tends to be of the “either/or” variety – namely, either he has feelings and you’ll get the “happily ever after” or he doesn’t have them and is in it for just the physical relationship. The likely answer is “neither of the above”, because you are ignoring the male hareming instinct. Yes, unless he’s a dark triad type, he probably does have strong feelings for her – and not just friendship feelings. But it doesn’t mean they are or will be strong enough to cause him to want long term exclusivity. In another society, he might make her one of 3 wives and have very strong loving feelings for all of them. In other words, women tend to associate those feelings with the desire for an exclusive relationship. Men are fully capable of having those feelings for multiple women at once. He might not have them for any other woman right now, but that doesn’t mean his feelings for her are so deep that he will want to forego that possibility. On the other hand, I’m fairly certain he would be quite bothered if she showed interest in other guys.

    But that’s just one possibility – it’s possible that he’s so into her that he wants a gf type relationship. She just has to have a discussion like and adult. If he says no, she might see how he reacts to her dating other guys. lol

  • http://x OffTheCuff

    PasserBy sums up what I was thinking nicely. Clearly this guy is emotionally attached – it’s just that neither are willing to “go on the record” to be explicitly mongamous. She appears much less emotionally attached than him, though, so, she should wait for him to DTR.

  • Passer_By

    @susan

    “Well they would if people used them orally, but no one does. ”

    LOL. Nothing creates intimacy like kissing with a dental dam.

  • JP

    I’m trying to figure out what those 13% of men are doing with their condoms.

  • Escoffier

    In the “how the world has changed” category, it simply never occured to me–or to anyone male I am guessing–that a guy could be having sex with a girl and be emotionally attached to her and still be out hunting other girls. Unless he was a rampant cheater but that had to be done surrepticiously because there was no way any girl would tolerate it.

    Today young men can more or less openly cultivate “harems” as long as there are not in-your-face explicit about what they are doing. But there’s no need to lie, apparently, a little vagueness is enough.

    Way to go, girls, how’s this working out for you?

  • Passer_By

    @escoffier
    I think it’s going a bit too far to suggest that this is calculated harem building on his part. I doubt he is really aware of it – it’s just wired in. Sort of like women aren’t thinking consciously about the flip side – the hypergamy.

  • Lokland

    @LW

    “ould he just be doing this because he is single and bored/lonely? ”

    Yes.
    I’ve done that before myself, increased flirting/romance another woman because you’re lacking intimacy in other areas.
    With no intent of forming a relationship.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Susan’s advice is right on. Don’t settle for being a FWB. That is like putting a sign on your forehead saying “I’m not good enough to be the girlfriend.”

    Stuart’s advice is also good. Renegotiation is tough, but not impossible. You could try for the label “lover” instead of the more official “girlfriend.” Sounds better than FWB and carries connotations of actual love.

    I would say start emotionally escalating if you do have some feelings. Men want to see vulnerability and emotionality in a woman before giving over some of their own emotions.

    He’s possibly testing the waters to see your reaction. If you keep blowing him off to protect yourself, he will do the same and nix his own budding feelings in the bud so he doesn’t get hurt. You have to be the first to tell him you want more, if you want more.

  • Escoffier

    PB, whether it’s calculated or not, what strikes me is that the behavior is even thinkable/conceivable. I don’t doubt that the wish for such arrangements is biologically present in a lot of men, perhaps the majority of men. But in my coming of age, it was just not thinkable because we all knew that no girl would tolerate it for an instant. So unless you wanted to be a skulking cheater, indulging that impulse was impossible.

    It was also a lot harder in those days to be a player, for many of the same reasons.

  • alw

    This has been so helpful, thanks so much Susan! I agree that communication is the best idea in this situation in order to sort everyone’s feelings out. Thank you also to Jonny and Stuart for your male opinions on the situation, it is always nice to hear advice and tips from the guys!

  • http://en.gravatar.com/marellus Marellus

    Dear Hopeful

    Your biggest obstacle in this “relationship” is that ex-gf of your partner. Your war is with her, and not with the condition of your current relationship.

    You’ve gotta beat her. And that means that you will have to be a bit of a coquette.

    And by being a bit of a coquette that means that you must withdraw from the “relationship” ,and give the guy the time and the opportunity to fall for you.

    Give him the gift of missing you.

    Give him mixed messages.

    Alternate between passion and coldness. Drive him mad with this, for it will.

    Game works on men as well.

    Sincerely.

    Marellus.

  • Cooper

    “It’s time to stop guessing and ask him directly.”

    Why? They’ve technically already had this conversation, and I have a feeling he would have brought it up first if his feeling had changed.

    I think the whole FWB-dilemma stems from underestimating how decisive men can be with their relationships, and that spending time together and having sex doesn’t override the initial decision.
    Male relationship-intensions is one instance where I’d argue actions don’t speak louder than words.

    All in all, the dilemma is played out, I’ve seen it IRL too many times. I feel very little desire to spell it out on why isn’t a bad recipe – when its usually from the get-go its’ usually quite spelled out.

  • JP

    @Lokland:

    “Yes.
    I’ve done that before myself, increased flirting/romance another woman because you’re lacking intimacy in other areas.
    With no intent of forming a relationship.”

    I’ve formed relationships because I’m lonely and bored.

    So, I don’t think this applies only to the FWB situations.

    However, that was my first and only experiment in trying to form a relationship with someone to whom I was not attracted, but whose personality I liked.

  • JP

    @Hope:

    “That is like putting a sign on your forehead saying “I’m not good enough to be the girlfriend.”””

    Yeah, but then you can end up in the situation where you are good enough to be the girlfriend, but not good enough to marry.

  • Damien Vulaume

    “A guy can spend a whole weekend with you, cook meals together, laugh together, be passionate – do all the things that feel like being in love to a woman – and have absolutely zero emotional investment.”

    Except maybe for some odd male specimens, this I seriously doubt.
    Besides the fact that I don’t grasp this “friends with benefits” concept, since being friends and sleeping together is no longer being friends, it appears to me, based on the signs she lists, that he is smitten (and probably shy) and doesn’t understand what’s happening to him.
    It looks like this girl is rather insecure about herself. She is questioning the relationship more than she should. So far their “relationship” goes well. They can keep living it and see how much their mutual feelings will grow, or not, and that’s it.

  • Cooper

    @Damien Vulaume
    “He is smitten”
    Nnooo! (Smh lol)

    What Susan said is correct. Why? Cause I personally know guys like this.

    I know guys that will “spend a whole weekend with you, cook meals together, laugh together, be passionate – do all the things that feel like being in love to a woman” like planning the occasional “date” with their FWBs, all while having “absolutely zero emotional investment.”

    What strike out to be is the scary similarity to what Hopeful described, cause I’ve seen it in action. Especially the unexpected “gorgeous” comments, and wanting to go out on dates. I’ve seen these things from guys who say things like “ugh that girl is going to make for a horrible wife for someone” or tall about how they are contemplating giving her the boot cause there’s a new cute girl at the office they want. (the only contemplation they give is whether it not to break it off temporarily when they pursue another girl, cause the consider it the right “friend” thing to do)

  • Damien Vulaume

    @Cooper.
    I guess you know better than me on that one. I’m probably already out of touch with the American Boys/girls dance. What you describe is scary. The only guys I’ve seen behaving like this were the obvious vain professional seducers systematicaly targeting the no less obviously vulnarable girls.

  • alw

    Cooper- I was glad to see all of the positive ideas, but now I am interested in what you are saying ( I am Hopeful, in case you are wondering). I didn’t realize guys were really that mean and deceptive!

    So if he isn’t actually into me, how do I stop this all before I’m in too deep? He is my friend, so I don’t want to be bitchy, but I don’t want to keep being strung along if this isn’t actually going anywhere. If I am going to end things, I want to do it in a way that says I deserve more than this, but I don’t want things to end badly (considering I still have a year of college left with him and it could be awkward having all of the same classes together and not being on good terms.) He is really persistant, and I could see him getting really upset (possibly fake upset, he has good game), and then I would probably end up giving in because I feel bad.

    Basically, how do I stand my ground and tell him I don’t want this if it’s not going to lead to more?

  • JP

    “Basically, how do I stand my ground and tell him I don’t want this if it’s not going to lead to more?”

    This is one of those self-answering questions.

  • JP

    Now that I think about it, this may be the best blog post title that I’ve seen recently.

  • LJ

    Just tell him that your arrangement has become too difficult for you and you’d like to go back to being just friends without benefits.

  • LJ

    Also, this:

    “He is really persistant, and I could see him getting really upset (possibly fake upset, he has good game), and then I would probably end up giving in because I feel bad.”

    Um… you do realize that if he does that then he’s not the type of guy you want to have ANYTHING to do with, right?

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    alw, in my experience, honesty is always the best policy. Tell the truth, non-accusingly, without drama, and without expectations. People appreciate knowing the facts without pressure.

    That way, you will have no regrets, no what-ifs, and can keep or at least salvage your dignity. If he does not give you the same courtesy, you can walk away with grace.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Tell the truth, non-accusingly, without drama, and without expectations. People appreciate knowing the facts without pressure.

      That way, you will have no regrets, no what-ifs, and can keep or at least salvage your dignity. If he does not give you the same courtesy, you can walk away with grace.

      +1 Say what you need to say. No shame. When I did this with Mr. HUS and got a disappointing response, I walked away with my dignity. I even felt ennobled in some weird way for having spoken honestly and with courage.

  • HanSolo

    @alw

    What do you really want out of this?

    Are you in love with him now? Do you just want to be FWBs? Do you want to go back to being friends w/o sex (a difficult path perhaps)?

    First, decide what you want, then focus on what he wants.

    Assuming you really would like a gf/bf reln with him then you can try emotionally escalating a bit more to see if he is distant or responsive to your gestures.

    After trying to emotionally escalate, if he reciprocates then just continue more emotional escalation until you’re bf/gf.

    If he doesn’t reciprocate or do any more of the things you mentioned (that show some interest beyond just FWBs) then that is probably a sign he doesn’t really want to be bf/gf.

    If all else fails, talking to him and seeing where he is and sharing what you’re thinking and feeling is a good move. At least you’ll both know where you stand.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Cooper, with two-faced friends like that, you should be careful yourself.

    Some men claim to treat their “bros” better than “hos.” In my and my husband’s observation, that is not often the case.

  • Cooper

    “I didn’t realize guys were really that mean and deceptive!”

    Can it be consider mean and deceptive if it’s mutually agreed upon?

    The situations I’ve witnessed it’s been where both parties consider themselves “single.” Despite seemingly dating.

    And the guy ‘breaking it off’ before seeing another girl is much closer to “letting them know” because the feel obliged to, (like a common curtesy) out of friendship and perhaps a implied exclusivity.

    Hopeful, I’m not necessarily the ideal advice giver.
    All I want to say is all his “actions” don’t necessarily indicate he wants a (long-term) relationship with you. Only in having him confide to you that he does, will you know.

    “I don’t want to keep being strung along if this isn’t actually going anywhere.”
    I’m not sure if this is how you always felt, but if it is you shouldn’t have entered a relationship with him, in the first place.
    I believe guys are usually quite honest, albiet sometimes vague, in what they see you as. (Cads aren’t required to lie these days!)
    If he was explicit about what he saw you for at first, don’t even consider anything he does as evidence otherwise – unless he starts singing a different tune.

    Not that I really want to encourage you, but him talking about you two married someday is the most promising.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      All I want to say is all his “actions” don’t necessarily indicate he wants a (long-term) relationship with you. Only in having him confide to you that he does, will you know.

      I’m with Cooper on this. Forget reading the tea leaves, a conversation is needed. I hope that ALW will be pleased, but here’s the thing. If he likes her, he’ll be thrilled she feels the same way. Bingo, relationship. If he doesn’t, he’ll be required to say so, so that she can make an informed choice. Either way, ALW is better off dealing with this directly, IMO.

      The misunderstandings that have occurred under the heading of “don’t ask, don’t tell!”

  • HanSolo

    @Hope

    That reminds me of the PUA’s in The Game and Project Hollywood where they were trying to pickup each other’s girls behind their backs.

  • Cooper

    @Hope
    Duly noted.

    Though, I don’t feel they are very “two-faced” or deceptive.

    They don’t seem to have any trouble getting girls to accept what they divulge.

    They’re explicit in 1. Not wanting a relationship any time soon 2. Not seeing themselves getting married, or having children 3. Not seeing themselves as “in-relationship” with ‘FB’

    Where are they wrong if girls still choose to sleep with them?

  • HanSolo

    @Cooper

    Yeah, they are not being deceptive, and alw is not being strung along based on the terms of their original agreement.

  • Damien Vulaume

    “Basically, how do I stand my ground and tell him I don’t want this if it’s not going to lead to more?”

    By doing just that. Tell him calmly and carefully phrase your speech so as it doesn’t sound like a ultimatum, and then you’ll see.

  • Lisa C

    @alw (Hopeful)

    “… I don’t want things to end badly (considering I still have a year of college left with him and it could be awkward having all of the same classes together and not being on good terms.) He is really persistant, and I could see him getting really upset (possibly fake upset, he has good game), and then I would probably end up giving in because I feel bad.”

    You have the right to change your mind. Tell him honestly that you thought you would be happy with a FWB arrangement, but now you want something more. He makes his decision, and then if it’s not the one you want, you take a big breath, summon up all your self-control, and make him live with it. If the current situation is working for him, he probably will be upset, but that’s not your doing. Even if your future encounters with him are awkward, that beats painful!

    You haven’t done anything wrong, and he shouldn’t be surprised that a FWB arrangement puts the friendship at risk. Tell him that you enjoyed the past few months, and that you (obviously) like him as a person, but that you can’t be friends in the future. Unfortunately, remaining friends is probably not an option unless you immediately are able to shut down your sexual attraction to him, which is very, very hard to do.

    Good luck! This sounds painful, and I wish you the best. Hopefully, the answer will be that he does want you to be his girlfriend!

  • Damien Vulaume

    “They’re explicit in 1. Not wanting a relationship any time soon 2. Not seeing themselves getting married, or having children 3. Not seeing themselves as “in-relationship” with ‘FB’.”

    Then you’re talking about a completely different situation than what “Hopeful and confused is describing”. At any rate, not very cunning deceiving players.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Cooper, telling a girl to her face that she’s great then talking smack about her behind her back is classic mean girls behavior. It’s why I avoided female herds like the plague. When guys do it, it’s not better.

    But you are right, those girls are still going after those guys. It’s just that I wouldn’t befriend such a crowd. My husband as a restricted guy left his “dark game” friends while still in college (they used him, too). The company a man keeps can be telling.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      My husband as a restricted guy left his “dark game” friends while still in college (they used him, too). The company a man keeps can be telling.

      +1

      At the least it is tacitly condoning unethical behavior. I used to tell women to evaluate each guy on his own merits, but after hearing countless stories I’ve realized that assholes are contagious – their “good guy” friends get a very flexible sense of ethics after spending time with them.

      The most important thing any woman can do relative to mating in her entire lifetime is filter out cads. Filtering out friends of cads is smart.

  • Cooper

    ” At any rate, not very cunning deceiving players.”

    On what are they deceiving, if not their relationship intensions?

    Awl’s guy seemed to be explicit in labelling her a FWB. (Red flag!)
    Unless she DTR, or his explicitly addresses them as “in a relationship” – they’re the same scenario IMO.

    She’s been strung along, hoping for more, when the guy hasn’t deviated from what was originally agreed upon. What responsibility does the guy hold in this case? (How does it differ when he finds out there are emotional attachment involved? How about when he doesn’t?)

  • Lokland

    @Hope

    “telling a girl to her face that she’s great then talking smack about her behind her back is classic mean girls behavior. ”

    I disagree here.

    Its entirely possible to call a women gorgeous turn around and says she’s a whore you’d never marry.
    The two are not incongruent statements.

    There’s nothing deceptive about not hurting someone.

    Example, you don’t go up to a fat chick and say she is too fat to be attractive. You say something nice about her personality.

    It’s all about the Golden Rule and not hurting others….

  • J

    The other day I awoke from a nap we were taking and he was holding me in his arms and just watching me sleep.

    This says love to me.

    If I were the LW, I’d mention in the most low-key way possible that the relationship seems to have taken a turn in direction and see what he has to say. If he says his feelings have deepened, then I’d say renegotiate the relationship. If not, move on.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Lokland, if you talk about the Golden Rule, I would strive for honesty. I value honesty very much. I’d rather my husband tell me the brutal truth than lie to me. His honesty is one of his most attractive traits. I am also honest with him. That mutual honesty and open communication is why we have had such a smooth relationship.

    But I’m apparently weird, so probably the games these people play suits them just fine. I just think it’s sad to be the girl if she thinks he likes her when he thinks she’s a whore. I’d rather know the truth and gtfo. The guy before my husband who told me he wasn’t in love with me, he did me a huge favor. I was able to emotionally move on and meet the love of my life.

  • Iggles

    @ J:

    The other day I awoke from a nap we were taking and he was holding me in his arms and just watching me sleep.

    This says love to me.

    I disagree.

    Once upon a time I would have believed this too, but IME I’ve seen that some men love to play the “boyfriend” role with a girl regardless of whether or not they intend to commit to her.

    Cuddling, small actions that read as sweet and thoughtful, holding hands, talking of future — in the latter the guy actually means his words at the time because it feels good to say them. But it’s far more prudent to not just listen to what a man says, but to see if those words are backed up by his actions. In many cases of “future faking” the man bails when he realizes he cannot or does not want to live up to the expectations/promises he made.

    I had a friend who was dating a guy for three months or so. He acted like her boyfriend both in public (proximity, affection, and protectiveness) and in private (amount of time spent together, compliments, kisses, etc). When she brought up exclusivity — not seeing other people as they take time to figure out where this is going — he balked. He wanted to continue to date other people (i.e., spinning plates!) and she said no. They ended things.

    Moral of the story: Acting like a boyfriend does not make a man one!

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      But it’s far more prudent to not just listen to what a man says, but to see if those words are backed up by his actions. In many cases of “future faking” the man bails when he realizes he cannot or does not want to live up to the expectations/promises he made.

      Indeed. Remember the case of Thomas and Jane? He was spinning two exclusive relationships simultaneously for a year and a half – one home, one school. He spoke to both girls about a future together and professed love to both. Later, when asked, he confessed that on several occasions he’d had sex with both in the same day.

  • INTJ

    Slightly OT, but personally I think the Golden Rule is BS. Another word for the Golden Rule is “projection”. And we all know how well that works out.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Slightly OT, but personally I think the Golden Rule is BS. Another word for the Golden Rule is “projection”.

      WTF the Golden Rule is the basis for great religions.

  • INTJ

    @ Hope

    My husband as a restricted guy left his “dark game” friends while still in college (they used him, too). The company a man keeps can be telling.

    The company I keep is filled with light triad guys who haven’t had any success with girls – and not for lack of trying. You’re right. It is telling… 😀

  • INTJ

    @ JP

    I’m trying to figure out what those 13% of men are doing with their condoms.

    “So I put this on my ear, right?”

  • Cooper

    “The company a man keeps can be telling.”

    I’m going to have to derail here, and defend myself.

    I’ve run with all sorts of crowds. I’ve spent weekends club hopping, as well as having LAN-parties.
    I don’t think it’s necessarily a straight unrestricted/restricted split – although the generalization isn’t incorrect.

    The only thing that was certainly different between the “club” and “nerd” groups were one had majority of the guys getting laid regularly, and the other quite rarely. (If not still virgin)

    Now, I’m not at all advocating that a man ability to obtain sex (albeit casual) should be a determinate of anything. But I can tell you that the guys not getting laid were far more likely to admit to thinking so, than the guys that were.

    But much more importantly than getting laid, was how they treat the girls they did go out with. The gamer guys that I hang out with, commonly desperate, would allow girls to walk all over them, put up with all sorts of red flag, and generally just accepted what was offered to them. (as if they concurred they deserved no better – quite sad really)

    Where as the “club” guys were usually quite intolerant of poor behaviour. (Some very intolerant of “emotions” you’d swear) They would not put up with red flags, and would never allow a girl to get away with flaking.
    Simply, the upheld their demands for behaviour. And it was usually done so because they “could afford to.”

    Now, I’m much happier hanging out with friends of mine that i consider on the nerdier side – it’s my fit. (I also hang out with plenty of guys that I would not group into either of these groups) But I do have to defend the players a little bit, cause to me their overall contemptment is far more admirable than the desperate mans’ (overall) complacency.

    It’s kinda like when Susan says if given the choice women choose all alpha, over all beta.

  • Jonny

    “Basically, how do I stand my ground and tell him I don’t want this if it’s not going to lead to more?”

    Goodbye usually works and usually that’s what you’ll get anyways.

  • Lokland

    @Hope

    “I just think it’s sad to be the girl if she thinks he likes her when he thinks she’s a whore.”

    You misunderstand. He does like her…body.
    I don’t comprehend why thats so wrong, he’s simply not insulting her to her face. Most people vastly prefer that.

    “I would strive for honesty.”

    You said yourself that your unique. Most people, men and women are not interested in hearing the truth but platitudes that make it all better.

    I agree with you but I have to deal with others. I play by their rules.
    I don’t tell the kid he is not smart enough to work for me.
    I don’t tell the girl she is not chaste enough to marry me.
    I don’t tell X they are not Y enough, thats what our PC culture asked for.

  • INTJ

    @ alw

    So if he isn’t actually into me, how do I stop this all before I’m in too deep? He is my friend, so I don’t want to be bitchy, but I don’t want to keep being strung along if this isn’t actually going anywhere. If I am going to end things, I want to do it in a way that says I deserve more than this, but I don’t want things to end badly (considering I still have a year of college left with him and it could be awkward having all of the same classes together and not being on good terms.)

    Tell him that the FWB thing isn’t working out for you, and that if you can’t have an actual relationship, you’d rather be just friends (no sex).

    He is really persistant, and I could see him getting really upset (possibly fake upset, he has good game), and then I would probably end up giving in because I feel bad.

    It doesn’t matter if he is truly upset or simply fake upset. Either way, it’s manipulation. There is only one way to deal with to such people who manipulate others by gaining sympathy. You have to cut off contact with them. You’ll want to evaluate whether this guy is worth pursuing a relationship with. If he’s manipulative, get the hell outta there.

    P.S. I know I ended a sentence with a proposition. Nothing wrong with doing that. Don’t sue me.

  • Damien Vulaume

    @Cooper:
    “On what are they deceiving, if not their relationship intensions?”
    Giving full caring attention, showing genuine interest, and saying all kind of amourous flatteries to someone and make sure to have him/her on a leach, only to later bash that same person when between friends is to me some kind of deceiving. It looks like that, for some here it’s the definition of politeness, but to me I call such behaviors those of either a bitch or a swine.
    “She’s been strung along, hoping for more, when the guy hasn’t deviated from what was originally agreed upon.”
    From what she writes, he’s been deviating a lot lately.

  • Mike C

    Today young men can more or less openly cultivate “harems” as long as there are not in-your-face explicit about what they are doing. But there’s no need to lie, apparently, a little vagueness is enough.

    Escoffier,

    I’ve mentioned this previously, but I’ve had two distinct time periods roughly 1998-2000, and 2005-early 2006 where I was dating multiple girls simultaneously with various stages of sexual progress. I never lied…I never needed to lie. The operating assumption always was we are not exclusive unless we discussed and agreed to it. As I stated previously, some of these girls never even asked. I think BroHamlet and Jimi would back me up on this, if your SMV as a guy is high enough, many women will by default assume you are seeing other women. I think in some cases they don’t even want to have the discussion. I have no other explanation why many women I was seeing at one time never asked me who else I was seeing or what else I was doing. Maybe things have changed now though. Many of the female commenters here seem to more directly question men they date.

  • Mike C

    I don’t doubt that the wish for such arrangements is biologically present in a lot of men, perhaps the majority of men. But in my coming of age, it was just not thinkable because we all knew that no girl would tolerate it for an instant.

    Escoffier, this is interesting because my experience is the exact opposite, and I don’t think we are that far apart in age…as I think you are about 5-8 years older than me (I’m 38)? Now I didn’t date in my teens (I was a late bloomer), but I was with my first serious GF exclusively from 22 to 24. But at 24-25, like I said, I didn’t experience what you are describing from women at all (that they wouldn’t tolerate it).

  • Cooper

    @Damien
    “Giving full caring attention, showing genuine interest, and saying all kind of amourous flatteries to someone and make sure to have him/her on a leach, only to later bash that same person when between friends is to me some kind of deceiving.”

    Fair enough.

    But I think Lokland has a good point:
    “Its entirely possible to call a women gorgeous turn around and says she’s a whore you’d never marry.
    The two are not incongruent statements.”

    I think it would be deception if the statements were congruent. (Ie “you’re a wonderful gf” then “she’s such a bad gf,” or “she isn’t even my gf” behind their back)

    I think what Susan is rightfully highlighting in this post is to not confuse one for another. The guy could be saying all sorts of things, spending all sorts of time with you, and say he enjoys his time with you ever so much, but it doesn’t speak to his intensions for the relationship. And most importantly that only DTR-talk can be consider DTR – and nothing else.

    I’ve kinda gone off on a tangent, in mention guys wt FWB, when all I was try to do was encourage girls to (strictly) Define the Relationship.

  • JP

    “The misunderstandings that have occurred under the heading of “don’t ask, don’t tell!”””

    Yes, I noticed that this tends to result in lots of crying and emotional pain once the telling part (eventually) happens because the issue is always forced eventually.

  • JP

    ” And most importantly that only DTR-talk can be consider DTR – and nothing else.”

    This DTR thingy is really one of the most interesting concepts that I’ve picked up on this blog.

    It beats stumbling around relationship-world lost and/or confused as to what’s going on.

  • Doug

    It’s because these chicks are a dime a dozen. Nurturing a broken hears? Come in you obviously have zero clue about single men. I commend you for trying but you’re old and married, it’s an entirely different language.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      It’s because these chicks are a dime a dozen. Nurturing a broken hears? Come in you obviously have zero clue about single men. I commend you for trying but you’re old and married, it’s an entirely different language.

      Say Goodbye Doug.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Hey Alw!

    Glad you are commenting here. You need to have “The Talk” with this guy, of course, but all the statements here seem to be resoundingly negative. I think it would be nicer if you had a little bit of confidence heading into this talk, rather than mourning some getting shot down experience that might not even happen.

    I remember when I had The Talk. It was actually something I initated, because I didn’t want any misunderstandings. I wasn’t actually sure I wanted a relationship with the girl, tbh, but I figured we should have a talk about where we were going. Didn’t want girl drama. I think I sort of approached it like a jackass, though, sort of a “so…ahhhh…you catch feelings yet?” sort of question.

    She actually shot me down! I was shocked. Don’t girls usually want relationships? Then she told me she only wanted to see me a few more times because she doesn’t like FWBs. Goddam girls are crazy. I actually felt like crap the next day. On my daily multi-mile run, I hamsterized it as “well, at least I have a Fuck Buddy for now! Most guys don’t have that right now. I must be awesome.”

    Oh, hamsters.

    Exactly 7 days and 19 hours later, we were standing in her driveway, and she was asking me to be her boyfriend. I quickly said yes, we saw each other three times that week. Yay hormones.

    I don’t want to build up your hopes, either, but, hey, you never know. Something good might happen.

    @ Hope

    Cooper, telling a girl to her face that she’s great then talking smack about her behind her back is classic mean girls behavior. It’s why I avoided female herds like the plague. When guys do it, it’s not better

    I work with a bunch of 20 year old guys. Recently I apparently said something they didn’t like or started acting douchier than normal. So instead of directly calling me out on it, they decided to make a lot of snarky and sarcastic statements.
    I don’t know when men became women, but goddam. I lol’d my ass off and things are back to normal.

  • Cooper

    @JP

    LOL. I think was SayWhaat and Iggles that were tossing the DTR phrase around, and I was at a complete loss for what it stood for. I tried searching the sites glossary, cntr+F on previous pages for “DTR” results – nothing.
    It was finally the UrbanDictionary, from googling, that I figured it out. (Though I was already familiar with the term)

    Interestingly, I think the DTR-talk is something most girls fear bringing up. Which is a shame, cause it shouldn’t ever be provided their with the right guy. I think what too many girls think is that there it’s more about timing than anything, which I disagree with. If a girl fears that her BF is going to be spooked by DTR, then I argue he went in dreading it. Vice versa, a guy who welcomes it was going to the entire time.

  • Kathrynthegreat

    Care to elaborate about “emotional escalation?” What exactly does that look like?

  • Escoffier

    Mike, every girl I dated demanded exclusivity, as did every girl my friends dated. That was the culture of the time and place. Sam Malone players were very few and few of the girls who got with them were honest with themselves about just wanting a hookup, most tried to convince themselves that they could land him for real.

  • INTJ

    @ Doug

    It’s because these chicks are a dime a dozen. Nurturing a broken hears? Come in you obviously have zero clue about single men. I commend you for trying but you’re old and married, it’s an entirely different language.

    Not all single men are like you or your friends.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “The most important thing any woman can do relative to mating in her entire lifetime is filter out cads. Filtering out friends of cads is smart.”

    This advice runs pretty well in reverse as well.
    Don’t date a girl whose friends are all hoes/club hoppers etc. Regardless of how good she seems.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      This advice runs pretty well in reverse as well.
      Don’t date a girl whose friends are all hoes/club hoppers etc. Regardless of how good she seems

      Agree 100%. I have seen these bad attitudes rub off on women as well.

  • A Definite Beta Guy
  • Iggles

    @ Cooper:

    I think was SayWhaat and Iggles that were tossing the DTR phrase around, and I was at a complete loss for what it stood for.

    Lol! Sorry for the confusion. I think it’s on Susan’s acronym page..

    Interestingly, I think the DTR-talk is something most girls fear bringing up. Which is a shame, cause it shouldn’t ever be provided their with the right guy.

    Eh, it’s good ol’ fear of rejection rearing it’s ugly head. The uncertainty feels even scarier when you want something very badly.

    I think what too many girls think is that there it’s more about timing than anything, which I disagree with. If a girl fears that her BF is going to be spooked by DTR, then I argue he went in dreading it. Vice versa, a guy who welcomes it was going to the entire time.

    True.

    I initiated the DTR talk and my boyfriend happily agreed to make it official. I had no way of knowing beforehand though. As I mentioned upthread I’ve seen things go in the other direction with friends. In my case, we both were looking for the same thing and we felt lucky to be with the other person. The value of that cannot be underrated! 😀

  • J

    Once upon a time I would have believed this too, but IME I’ve seen that some men love to play the “boyfriend” role with a girl regardless of whether or not they intend to commit to her.

    There is indeed a diffrence between love as an emotion and love as a commitment. That’s why I said that if nothing comes of a DTR talk, she should move on. OTOH, of all the sweet gestures a guy could fake, this is the one that makes the least sense to fake because a sleeping woman isn’t going to see it. I believe this guy does feel something. What he’ll so with that feeling–who know?

    But it’s far more prudent to not just listen to what a man says, but to see if those words are backed up by his actions.

    Always good advice–for both genders.

  • Kathy

    @ Hope

    ” I value honesty very much.”

    Me too, Hope.
    Having had a first husband who was a compulsive gambler and a constant liar, made me very wary in my future dealings with men.

    “I’d rather my husband tell me the brutal truth than lie to me. His honesty is one of his most attractive traits. I am also honest with him.”

    This is how it is for me and my husband. His honesty and integrity were indeed very attractive traits to me. From the first time I met him when he came to my house to give me a quote to cover my patio, I knew that he was something special. His honesty was a breath of fresh air.

    It’s because we are so honest with each other, and trust each other implicitly that we have had a very good solid 17 year marriage.

    “But I’m apparently weird.”

    Well, that makes two of us then. :)

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    The most important thing any woman can do relative to mating in her entire lifetime is filter out cads. Filtering out friends of cads is smart.

    Yeah IME a man that feels strongly anti assholism wouldn’t be close friends with an asshole, is true that men are loyal to each other but they are selective in the important matters to who they are going to be loyal, YMMV.

  • Lokland

    @Susan

    “WTF the Golden Rule is the basis for great religions.”

    You say that like its a good thing…

    Watch what I can do with the Golden Rule…

    I want to be cheated on/ have an open relationship and if I were not okay with it I would allow my SO to do it anyway.

    I like it when people punch me in the face randomly.

    I wish someone would kill me.

    —————

    The Golden Rule acts as excellent cover to get away with lots of crap thats unacceptable.
    INTJ is also correct, not everyone wants to be treated equally.

    I like to ignore someone unless I have something important to tell them.
    Most people are not important.
    If I Golden Rule’d that I wouldn’t speak to more than 5 people and be generally considered an antisocial elitist.

  • JP

    @Susan:

    From a random Psychology Today Article.

    “The Golden Rule is so thoroughly embraced as sacred that even folks who don’t believe in sacredness embrace it. The religious say the Golden Rule is the foundation on which their sacred religions are built. Atheists say that anything sacred you build on top of that foundation is superfluous and a distraction, because the Golden Rule is all you really need.

    Still, I’ll argue here that the Golden Rule is empty nonsense on stilts. It’s a fair-weather friend pretending to solve the problems that arise in bad weather. It only works in win-win situations. In conflict, the Golden Rule is mute, so we abandon it, and then give ourselves or our opponents a hard time for not living up to its supposedly gold standard.

    At best the Golden Rule is a paradox: “We should all compromise so no one has to compromise.” As such it’s perhaps a useful way to frame a moral dilemma but it’s neither golden nor a rule. Dilemmas masquerading as principles are a big part of the problem with how humans handle conflict. The supposed rules deceive us into thinking there’s a problem-solving formula when there isn’t. They distract us from wondering about exactly the dilemmas that need our careful attention.

    These are fighting words, I know. But I’m no belligerent. I’m a gentle guy as happy to accommodate others as the rest of us. Indeed, it’s out of kindness that I aim to expose the Golden Rule’s emptiness, since it’s often used as a cudgel for bullying people. If I want you to accommodate me, I can pressure you by saying “Hey remember the Golden Rule! You’d want to be accommodated, so accommodate me.””

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ambigamy/201208/how-the-golden-rule-makes-us-dumb

  • Jason

    The Golden Rule was merely Jesus summarising the law and the prophets. His own law was a little higher. “Love your enemies,” and as Chesterton opined, “and your neighbours, because they’re generally the same people.”

    Also, when reading rabbinic statements remember that they’re implicitly qualified, not all encompassing. If you start to think, “wow, I could come up with some really stupid interpretation of this,” you’re probably extrapolating it far beyond what the speaker intended.

  • Passer_By

    You know you have a tough crowd when people get all pissed about the golden rule.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      You know you have a tough crowd when people get all pissed about the golden rule.

      Haha, seriously!

  • Mike C

    Mike, every girl I dated demanded exclusivity, as did every girl my friends dated. That was the culture of the time and place.

    Escoffier,

    After I got divorced in early 2005, I ordered a bunch of David DeAngelo products as I reentered the dating scene based on the recommendation of a guy who had taken up helping me get back into the game so to speak.

    Anyways, one of the concepts he was big on was not seeing or talking to a girl too frequently to trigger the whole girlfriend/where is this going effect. Revisiting my experience in the late 90s, I had done this simply by sheer accident which is why I think I didn’t have girls demanding exclusivity. I wasn’t giving off the “boyfriend” vibe. I’m not sure it is about the culture of the time and place exclusively but also the vibe and frame that gets set up early in interactions.

    Using the restricted/unrestricted paradigm, I suspect the more restricted a girl is the quicker she will be in wanting to define the exclusive parameters of the relationship or end it entirely. I think the more unrestricted a girl is the more likely she is to go along with a more ambiguous “seeing each other” arrangement.

  • BroHamlet

    @Mike C & Escoffier

    if your SMV as a guy is high enough, many women will by default assume you are seeing other women. I think in some cases they don’t even want to have the discussion.

    Yes. A lot of times, if you don’t say anything, she won’t either. Add to that, the fact that there are plenty of women out there that aren’t looking for commitment, temporarily aren’t looking for commitment (post-breakup), are up for fun with the right opportunity regardless of whether commitment is in the wings, or decide based on the guy what her chances are of actually getting any meaningful commitment and voice their expectations or don’t say anything based on that perception. To me the whole “restricted/unrestricted” discussion is a simplification of what’s going on out there.

    Suffice it to say, as Mike said, when you move up the totem pole a bit, the way women relate to you changes a lot.

  • LJ

    “Using the restricted/unrestricted paradigm, I suspect the more restricted a girl is the quicker she will be in wanting to define the exclusive parameters of the relationship or end it entirely. I think the more unrestricted a girl is the more likely she is to go along with a more ambiguous “seeing each other” arrangement.”

    Presumably in that case she’s seeing other guys as well, and of course you can’t ask for monogamy if you’re not providing it.

  • JuTR

    A modified golden rule seems to work well for me.

    Don’t do unto others as you would not have them do unto you.

  • Iggles

    @ LJ:

    Presumably in that case she’s seeing other guys as well, and of course you can’t ask for monogamy if you’re not providing it.

    Good point.

    My initial reaction to dating several people at once and none of them asking about exclusivity was confusion. How does that work when you meet someone you have chemistry with and can’t wait to see? Where do you fit in the time to juggle multiple dates when as time goes on, presumably the ones you click with will demand more of your time? How do you continue to date and not have it come up at some point? But Mike C’s comment put it in perspective for me.

    The answer it seems is simple: if you’re dating multiple people then you have low investment in each “relationship”, and each one has low investment in you.

    Even damaged girls with low self-esteem will want a sense of what she means to the guy she dating/sleeping with. They may bring it up indirectly or get possessive, but the desire to stake her claim on the guy will be there. If a girl never mentions or asks about the relationship status then it’s likely she doesn’t give two shakes about having the guy she’s sleeping with as a boyfriend…

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Iggles

      Even damaged girls with low self-esteem will want a sense of what she means to the guy she dating/sleeping with. They may bring it up indirectly or get possessive, but the desire to stake her claim on the guy will be there. If a girl never mentions or asks about the relationship status then it’s likely she doesn’t give two shakes about having the guy she’s sleeping with as a boyfriend…

      Yes, that is what I have always observed, with one exception. A girl may avoid asking because she is afraid of the answer. She figures she’ll give it all she’s got to “win” the guy and if she succeeds, it’s all good, no questions asked. It’s a not uncommon mating strategy, especially among low self-esteem women.

  • JuTR

    And I have zero advice for Hopeful.

    I am very sorry that society lied to you about your own gender’s sexuality and how you allow yourself to be used for no connection or commitment, because that’s the norm these days. I do hope you find what you are looking for.

  • Jackie

    @Passer_By

    “You know you have a tough crowd when people get all pissed about the golden rule.”
    ===
    Ha ha ha! That’s bringing the hard-core misanthropy alright! 😉

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Mike C, The Rawness had a great post along the lines of what you mentioned, the boyfriend vibe.

    http://therawness.com/raw-concepts-double-messages/

    Ricky Raw’s post is brilliant. Read it, awl!

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Hope

      That double messages post is my absolute favorite by Ricky Raw. It really is brilliant.

  • Jackie

    @ALW

    Hi Hopeful/ALW!

    It’s nice to meet you– and I like your koala avatar! 😎

    I think the advice you’ve gotten here is very good: Things can’t remain like this. You’re going to have to talk and see what happens. Then, no matter what, you know where you stand. Even if it’s not what you hoped for, it’s better than where you are right now (ie not knowing).

    I do have a question or two, if you don’t mind:
    “It started out we wanted a FWB situation”

    Question: Is there ever really a “we” when it comes to this? I mean, if he had asked you out, not just hooking up, would you have said Yes?

    If so, why did you settle for hooking up? It just seems like such a rip-off, unless you are someone who does not get emotionally attached.

  • passionstudy

    i wanted to point out that the transmission of stds has nothing to do with the amount of partners one has… some people are very unfortunate and get it with the first or second person they hook up with (not even intercourse). this is the reason there is a huge stigma is that promiscuous sluts are the ones with stds when a lot of the times the innocent are that ‘luck of the draw’ and those who engage in a lot of unprotected casual sex are the ones who dont contract anything ever. Being correctly informed about all stds and how to be safe with a person before engaging in sexual activity is a safe way one can attempt to avoid it as best they can.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @passionstudy

      i wanted to point out that the transmission of stds has nothing to do with the amount of partners one has… some people are very unfortunate and get it with the first or second person they hook up with (not even intercourse).

      Um, no. Everytime you engage sexually with someone, you risk an STD. The more times you do that, the greater the risk. The research is very clear – multiple partners is the strongest correlation to STD incidence, by a mile.

  • Deli

    I was reading this and the comments, and I am thinking that FWB is basically the male equivalent of the dreaded Friendzone(tm)
    (btw, I strongly recommend Girlwriteswhat latest video on the Friendzone. Youtube is blocked on my corporate computer, so I can’t link it directly, but it is REALLY good)

    Both FWB and Friendzone(tm) have several things in common:
    1) They fulfill only one side of the equation, only one sex’s idea of what the relationship is about:
    1.1) FWB fulfill the physical side of relationship
    1.2) Friendzone fulfills the emotional *cough*tampon*cough* side of relationship

    2) Both lead to the danger of one side implying(!) that by agreeing to such a one-sided deal he or she can earn (!!) the right to balance the deal with some goodies from the other side
    2.1) Guys in Friendzone want to get some action
    2.2) Girls in FWB want some oxytozin/commitment/emotional attachment

    3) And finally both can be diffused (sometime – though elimination of the contract altogether) by a simple and honest talk about
    3.1) Do we both really want this?
    3.2) Only this?
    3.3) For how long?
    – and I would add –
    3.4) Since we both understand that this relationship is loopsided for the both(!) of us, what are we doing to balance it out eventually, maybe with involvement of other people?

  • Just1Z

    @Deli
    GirlWritesWhat – Look out! It’s a Nice Guy! DESTROY HIM!!11!

  • szopen

    @intj, JP

    I’m trying to figure out what those 13% of men are doing with their condoms.
    “So I put this on my ear, right?”

    Condom jokes time!

    There were those two woodmen, who all the day and all the week were working in the forest, not seeing anybody ‘xcept themselves. One day they suddenly came from the forest into a highway, and there was a car, a broken car, with a desperate little blonde sitting next to it. SO one of them looked into the car and, while being no engineer, just by being lucky he was able to fix it.

    She was so pleased she said they can have “it” with her. But she gave them condoms and said “I don’t want to get pregnant or get STD, so wear it!”
    Two months later, one of woodmen broke the silence and asked the second
    “Hey Jim, did she wrote to you?”
    “Nope. You?”
    “No. Do you care whether she gets pregnant?”
    “Sure I don’t. So, what do you say, maybe we should take the condoms off?”

  • szopen

    @anacaona

    IME a man that feels strongly anti assholism wouldn’t be close friends with an asshole

    It takes time to identify an asshole. I was friend with assholes once without realising that they were assholes – and I think I qualify as stronly anti-assholic :)

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Here’s another great Rawness post on this subject:

    http://therawness.com/raw-concepts-means/

    Just say no to friendzones and FWBs!

  • Iggles

    @ SW:

    Yes, that is what I have always observed, with one exception. A girl may avoid asking because she is afraid of the answer. She figures she’ll give it all she’s got to “win” the guy and if she succeeds, it’s all good, no questions asked. It’s a not uncommon mating strategy, especially among low self-esteem women.

    True. Not the smartest strategy, but this does happen. Though, I feel like these women are still likely to “stake their claim” in some way, whether its creating drama with suspected rivals (mean girl-ing) or being clingy *shrugs*

    @ passionstudy:

    i wanted to point out that the transmission of stds has nothing to do with the amount of partners one has… some people are very unfortunate and get it with the first or second person they hook up with (not even intercourse). this is the reason there is a huge stigma is that promiscuous sluts are the ones with stds when a lot of the times the innocent are that ‘luck of the draw’ and those who engage in a lot of unprotected casual sex are the ones who dont contract anything ever.

    It’s true that sometimes people catch STDs from their first partner, or while in a committed relationship from a cheating partner.

    Being correctly informed about all stds and how to be safe with a person before engaging in sexual activity is a safe way one can attempt to avoid it as best they can.

    I disagree.

    There are some STDs that are transferable even with condom use, such as herpes, HPV, and crabs!

    The more sexual partners you have, the higher you’re risk of exposure. That is why promiscuity gets a bad rap. Sure you can catch something you’re first time but ultimately it’s a numbers game, meaning that as your partner count rrIses the likelihood that you’ll remain unscathed decreases significantly.

    @ Deli:

    I was reading this and the comments, and I am thinking that FWB is basically the male equivalent of the dreaded Friendzone(tm)

    Yep. I agree that they seem analogous.

  • OffTheCuff

    Wow.

    Passionstudy clearly does not understand the concepts of: probability (people who have sex with multiple partnerts are more likely to catch STDs), risk (certain diseases are more dangerous than others, your risk is the probability times the severity of undesired outcome), correlation (e.g., people who binge drink tend to have more STDs, but drinking doesn’t causes STDs), and causation (swapping bodily fluids is a disease transmission vector).

    An ignorance home run.

  • JP

    Anyhow, I found one thingy on the love doesn’t last issue that Susan points out that I talk about, but that she disagrees with.

    I actually got it from psychology today articles a few years ago.

    Anyhow, here’s an NYT *Opinion* article entitled New Love – A Short Shelf Life.

    I’m not actively searching this topic for data; I just ran across from randomly reading new MetaFilter questions and noticed that it was kind of on point.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/opinion/sunday/new-love-a-short-shelf-life.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=opinion

    “When love is new, we have the rare capacity to experience great happiness while being stuck in traffic or getting our teeth cleaned. We are in the throes of what researchers call passionate love, a state of intense longing, desire and attraction. In time, this love generally morphs into companionate love, a less impassioned blend of deep affection and connection. The reason is that human beings are, as more than a hundred studies show, prone to hedonic adaptation, a measurable and innate capacity to become habituated or inured to most life changes.

    With all due respect to poets and pop radio songwriters, new love seems nearly as vulnerable to hedonic adaptation as a new job, a new home, a new coat and other novel sources of pleasure and well-being. (Though the thrill of a new material acquisition generally fades faster.)

    Hedonic adaptation is most likely when positive experiences are involved. It’s cruel but true: We’re inclined — psychologically and physiologically — to take positive experiences for granted. We move into a beautiful loft. Marry a wonderful partner. Earn our way to the top of our profession. How thrilling! For a time. Then, as if propelled by autonomic forces, our expectations change, multiply or expand and, as they do, we begin to take the new, improved circumstances for granted.

    Sexual passion and arousal are particularly prone to hedonic adaptation. Laboratory studies in places as far-flung as Melbourne, Australia, and Stony Brook, N.Y., are persuasive: both men and women are less aroused after they have repeatedly viewed the same erotic pictures or engaged in similar sexual fantasies. Familiarity may or may not breed contempt; but research suggests that it breeds indifference. Or, as Raymond Chandler wrote: “The first kiss is magic. The second is intimate. The third is routine.””

  • Lokland

    @OTC

    “An ignorance home run.”

    Bazinga.

  • INTJ

    @ Deli

    There’s one difference between those though. A guy who is unhappy about being in the friend-zone is called a nice guy(tm) and considered a creep for wanting sex. A girl who is unhappy about being a FWB is not considered a creep for wanting emotional commitment.

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com/ Bastiat Blogger

    I like to differentiate between two types of typical FWB arrangement challenges:

    Type 1: things seem great in the FWB, but parting is such sweet sorrow. Why not turn it into an LTR? Wouldn’t that make it even better??!!

    Type 2: FWB is just not fun for one or both parties. (pretty straightforward solution)

    Type 1 can be insidious; because you are getting good performance at one relationship bandwidth does not mean that you can extrapolate from this to safely conclude that it will work for an LTR/domestic type of deal. There are actually people who are very good at being FWB partners—they might not be great in, say, a long-term cohab situation because they are wired like top-fuel emotional dragsters: they give you a lot, then need space to withdraw and recharge, then come back with romantic intensity again, then withdraw and recharge. The space between the meetings is very important to them.

    It is not a person who necessarily does well in captivity, but that doesn’t make him or her a jerk. The Japanese have a concept called “ma”, which roughly translates as “interval” or “negative space” or “lack of clutter” (but of course it is much more sophisticated than this). Aesthetically, it means that it is the true essence of the thing is best retained and appreciated when it is set in isolation from other objects and surrounded by empty space.

    Of course, someone could want an FWB scenario simply because it provides a contingency plan for getting laid if all else fails. I’m talking about something that starts out emphasizing the sex and then gradually grows into a more intricate relationship—the Dear Susan letter writer’s situation seems like this. I think it is important to prevent this from automatically snowballing into a full-blown traditional LTR with shared domestic chores and heavy emotional load-bearing stresses, because you can kill its potential if you put too much on it too quickly.

    IME, over time that FWB situation can morph into something more structured and BF-GF like, but these have to be small, incremental, internally-generated changes and I would caution someone against a highly confrontational Relationship-Defining Talk-type of ultimatum.

  • Zach

    @Susan and Hopeful

    “One of the most common mistakes women make is that they read too much into the time they spend with a guy. A guy can spend a whole weekend with you, cook meals together, laugh together, be passionate – do all the things that feel like being in love to a woman – and have absolutely zero emotional investment. If he is in a “no relationship” mindset, or views you as FWB material only, he can enjoy your company and the sex without any worries that you might get hurt, because these are the terms you both agreed to.”

    Second this. It’s completely true. To us (or me at least) it’s the equivalent of “having fun”. Having sex is fun. Cooking with people is fun. Laughing is fun. None of those to mean to us that we should be invested. There are plenty of women I would enjoy doing those things with but wouldn’t want to date, and that can be for any number of reasons. I tell girls that before the sex, because I think it’s unfair not to, but if they sign on for a not-serious sexual relationship with their eyes wide open, I don’t really feel I owe them anything, no matter what might happen. Also, plenty of guys don’t say that up front, FYI.

    However, I do have to say that your guy does seem to be getting invested (and I’m the ultimate you’re-dreaming-he’s-not-into-you guy). There’s really only one thing to do. Bite the bullet and have “the talk”. Otherwise, unless he grows a pair, you’ll be stuck in limbo forever.

  • Deli

    2 INTJ
    True, that’s what GWW’s video is about.

    On the bright side, the whole idea, that it is actually possible(!) to have a one-sided relationship contract that favors male’s primary attractor is relatively new.

    Unless you also count prostitution, of course.

  • Passer_By

    ALW:

    You need to come back and let us know how it turns out, so that each one of can reframe the facts through our own prism, declare ourself right and taunt everyone who disagreed. Looking forward to it!!

  • JP

    “Second this. It’s completely true. To us (or me at least) it’s the equivalent of “having fun”. Having sex is fun.”

    Whereas I always thought of sex meaning that you have to get married (and stay married) to the person you are having sex with.

    Ideal N = 1.

    The sex=hedonistic fun/FWB was not on my radar as a permissible (read morally appropriate) human interaction.

  • OlioOx

    I just want to add my voice to those recommending girlwriteswhat. Check out her video on Anders Breivik especially.

  • Ted D

    “The sex=hedonistic fun/FWB was not on my radar as a permissible (read morally appropriate) human interaction”

    And add to that, *I* don’t personally believe I’d even enjoy sex without emotional attachment. If I need a “release”, I’d prefer to take care of it myself. I can be done in 10 minutes and on to something more productive. Picking up a ONS would take hours of work, and might not even pan out. I’ve never been rejected by myself, and it seems to me all your get in a ONS masturbation with someone else’s body anyway.

  • J

    Second this. It’s completely true. To us (or me at least) it’s the equivalent of “having fun”. Having sex is fun. Cooking with people is fun. Laughing is fun. None of those to mean to us that we should be invested.

    Right, but you need to realize that “having fun” IS bonding behavior.

    I tell girls that before the sex, because I think it’s unfair not to, but if they sign on for a not-serious sexual relationship with their eyes wide open, I don’t really feel I owe them anything, no matter what might happen. Also, plenty of guys don’t say that up front, FYI.

    From a practical point of view, you may not owe anyone anything, but you need to realize that you are sending out a powerful mixed message. Sex, eating, and laughing together are courtship behaviors that bond a couple closely–even after many years. When the kids are gone for a weekend, those are things DH and I do to renew our bonds, with the conscious knowledge that we are doing so in anticipation of the empty nest that awaits us in a few years and in full recollection of our memories of courting. (“Hey, hon, remember the moring we spent in bed and then I made us stawberries with a Devonshire sauce while you scrambled eggs…”)

    People pay far more attention to what we do than what we say. If you behave like a lover, you’ll be responded to as a lover. Playing house with women will INEVITABLY lead some of them to catch feelings and believe that you have caught feeling as well. Intentionally or not, you are leading them on by acting in a way that encourages the growth of feelings.

    When I was dating, my friends and I would refer to men who acted as you describe as “honest assholes.” Yeah, you warn those women and it’s good as far as it goes, but you are still reaping the benefits of eliciting near instinctual behavior from them when you have no intention of fulfilling their needs. Smart women will run from you like the plague, but don’t kid yourself that you have nothing to do with it when someone gets hurt.

  • J

    “Stawberries” or strawberries, either will work. 😉

  • Ted D

    J – “Playing house with women will INEVITABLY lead some of them to catch feelings and believe that you have caught feeling as well. Intentionally or not, you are leading them on by acting in a way that encourages the growth of feelings.”

    But that is NOT the guys fault. If woman is naive or doesn’t know herself well enough to realize she WILL catch feelings, why is it the guys responsibility to look out for HER best interests?

    Again, I understand what you are saying and I agree. However, if the relationship is framed as FWB from the word go, IMO it is the woman at fault if she catches feelings. Basically, she is breaking the boundaries she set for herself at the beginning, and he is in NO WAY responsible for it nor does he owe her anything because of it.

  • BroHamlet

    J – “Playing house with women will INEVITABLY lead some of them to catch feelings and believe that you have caught feeling as well. Intentionally or not, you are leading them on by acting in a way that encourages the growth of feelings.”

    Now I totally agree that if you don’t want a relationship, don’t set the boyfriend vibe, and that some of the things two people do together do constitute bonding. BUT, you do realize that the argument you are making is the same one that stereotypical “nice guys” are making when they try to justify catching feelings for girls that owe them nothing (not a relationship, not sex, not even validation) for all of the time they spend with those girls, right? I’m not seeing a difference here, and I have no sympathy for those types of guys. It’s on them to get the self awareness and he skills to keep themselves out of trouble and in the running to get what they want. Same applies here.

  • J

    But that is NOT the guys fault. If woman is naive or doesn’t know herself well enough to realize she WILL catch feelings, why is it the guys responsibility to look out for HER best interests?….he is in NO WAY responsible for it nor does he owe her anything because of it.

    Right, I began by saying, “From a practical point of view, you may not owe anyone anything, but you need to realize that you are sending out a powerful mixed message.” I realize that women need to responsible for their own feelings, but men need to realize that when a woman catches feelings under these circumstances, it is inevitable.

    Let’s try a similar scenario. Let’s say that I’m not in the mood for sex, but I’d like a nice shower. I walk into the bedroom where DH is reading a book, begin a conversation that gets his attention and then start to strip down in front of him BUT I DO SAY, “Hon, I’m not in the mood for sex, but I’d like a nice shower.”

    While talking casually to DH, I turn away, drop my bra strap while looking over my shoulder and wink. I wiggle out of my panties and shake my hips in his direction, then pop into the shower. He follows me in and asks if I want my back scrubbed. I smile and say sure. He scrubs my back and then my front. I climb out of the shower, dry off and put on some flannel jammies…with feet. Then I go to sleep–but hey, it’s OK because I said, “I’m not in the mood for sex, but I’d like a nice shower. “

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @J

      LMAO at your shower scenario. One lesson I have learned: If a woman is really not in the mood for sex, she can reduce her chances of having it by not stripping in front of her husband. :)

  • J

    People need to take of themselves, Bro. They really do, I agree, but they also have to take responsibility when they lead others on.

    See my post to Ted.

  • JP

    @J:

    “Let’s try a similar scenario. Let’s say that I’m not in the mood for sex, but I’d like a nice shower. I walk into the bedroom where DH is reading a book, begin a conversation that gets his attention and then start to strip down in front of him BUT I DO SAY, “Hon, I’m not in the mood for sex, but I’d like a nice shower.”

    While talking casually to DH, I turn away, drop my bra strap while looking over my shoulder and wink. I wiggle out of my panties and shake my hips in his direction, then pop into the shower. He follows me in and asks if I want my back scrubbed. I smile and say sure. He scrubs my back and then my front. I climb out of the shower, dry off and put on some flannel jammies…with feet. Then I go to sleep–but hey, it’s OK because I said, “I’m not in the mood for sex, but I’d like a nice shower. “””

    I could turn this into an excellent law school question for contract law.

    Offer, acceptance, consideration, meeting of the minds, etc.

  • Passer_By

    @JP
    “Offer, acceptance, consideration, meeting of the minds, etc.”

    Don’t forget the issue of unenforceability due to public policy.

  • JP

    @Passer_ By:

    “Don’t forget the issue of unenforceability due to public policy.”

    The you get into the question of conflict of laws.

    Did any portion of this happen in Nevada?

  • BroHamlet

    @J
    Then I go to sleep–but hey, it’s OK because I said, “I’m not in the mood for sex, but I’d like a nice shower. “

    Boo hoo, lol. He could just not listen to you and stay on the couch. He’d fall for this maybe twice, if at all. A very notable difference here is that you are legally married versus two people dating- the expectations are VERY different. Need I even bring up the can of worms that female shit testing both in and out of relationships brings up with regards to mixed messages? Every woman would have a “rap sheet” a mile long… and I don’t believe that, do you?

  • Ted D

    J – “Then I go to sleep–but hey, it’s OK because I said, “I’m not in the mood for sex, but I’d like a nice shower. “”

    Well, I for one would NOT have just followed you into the shower without making it clear I intended to knock one out afterwards. Why? Because I don’t like to leave things open to interpretation.

    “but they also have to take responsibility when they lead others on.”

    ahhhh but here is the rub. To the average man, this is NOT leading anyone on. I’m sure he genuinely enjoys spending time with her, but he does NOT intend to make it a permanent deal. He is simply getting as much out of the deal they made as he can, which from a practical standpoint is a VERY good strategy.

    Her fault 100%

  • INTJ

    @ Deli, Just1Z

    Wow, just watched that girlwriteswhat link. I’ve always considered her to be a rational voice in the men’s rights movement. But until today, I hadn’t realized just how brilliant she is. First rate mind right there.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    J, the Rawness links I posted cover all of these examples, including FWB, friendzone, and wife teasing the husband.

    Those people will never stop leading others on, because they’re enjoying it too much. The rest of us need to avoid them.

  • Zach

    @J

    How is going out to dinner, watching movies with wine, or any of that “playing house”? I’m not pretending we have kids or anything. To me it’s simply just dating. I could just skip all that and text them at 10 PM to come over, but it has to do with what I like as well. I enjoy going to dinner sometimes with a girl I find attractive and interesting, I enjoy watching a movie with good female company, and I enjoy laughing and hanging out with girls. Do I have to be in exclusive relationship to do those things?

    However, not every single girl I do those things with is a girl I’m going to want to commit to. If I make that clear to said girl (which I always do), it’s her prerogative to say yes or no. Maybe she likes doing those things as well but doesn’t want to commit either. And if she does want to commit, she should stop.

    And I resent the notion that I’m an asshole because I don’t want to exclusively date every girl I go out with. I have a good time with lots of girls I go out with, and am happy just having a good time without dating them. And “eliciting near instinctual behavior”?? So I should be pissed at women who wear revealing clothing because they’re “eliciting instinctual behavior” from me when I stare at them?

  • J

    Well, I for one would NOT have just followed you into the shower without making it clear I intended to knock one out afterwards. Why? Because I don’t like to leave things open to interpretation.

    Then you are a very special and perceptive man because most men would assume that the sexual teasing was going to lead to sex. That’s what makes mixed messages so effective…and why even Roissy suggests men send them. many of his tactics are in effect mixed messages.

    ahhhh but here is the rub. To the average man, this is NOT leading anyone on. I’m sure he genuinely enjoys spending time with her, but he does NOT intend to make it a permanent deal. He is simply getting as much out of the deal they made as he can, which from a practical standpoint is a VERY good strategy.

    For HIM, but at some point, if you realize that you are doing things that benefit yourself more than others and you keepdoing them, you are becoming a user.

    Her fault 100%

    Fault isn’t the issue. Let’s say that you go into a bad neighborhood, flash a wad of cash and then get robbed. That’s, to a large degree, your fault. But the guy who robbed you is still a thief…and ultimately, it’s on his soul. Or consider the used car dealer who screws you with the small print. Caveat emptor, but sooner or later, he has to ask himself if that’s really who he wants to be. It’s a matter of character.

  • Ted D

    J – “It’s a matter of character.”

    I agree with you totally here. But keep in mind, what constitutes “character” these days is VERY subjective and prone to perspective bias.

    If a woman says she wants a FWB and the guy takes her at her word, his behavior should in NO WAY matter, because clearly she isn’t going to ‘catch feelings’ since she said so. Right?

    “Then you are a very special and perceptive man because most men would assume that the sexual teasing was going to lead to sex.”

    LOL not really. I spent years in a sexless marriage J. I am VERY, VERY clear about my sexual expectations in my current marriage because of it. I learned. 😉

    Basically, if my wife starts any kind of flirting/teasing with me, I tell her that if she persists, she is gonna get laid. No uncertain terms, no grey area to speculate in. I’m not getting a raw deal again, and I’m damn sure gonna make sure it doesn’t happen. Best part? She doesn’t tease me unless she plans to please me, because I’ve already set the standard for that behavior. I took that right out of Athol’s work: set the default behavior for sex in your relationship the way you want it to work, and then everything else is the exception.

  • INTJ

    @ J

    Fault isn’t the issue. Let’s say that you go into a bad neighborhood, flash a wad of cash and then get robbed. That’s, to a large degree, your fault. But the guy who robbed you is still a thief…and ultimately, it’s on his soul. Or consider the used car dealer who screws you with the small print. Caveat emptor, but sooner or later, he has to ask himself if that’s really who he wants to be. It’s a matter of character.

    What if you’re the one honest used car dealer and you’re going bankrupt because you can’t compete with all the other dishonest used car dealers?

  • Zach

    @J

    “Then I go to sleep–but hey, it’s OK because I said, “I’m not in the mood for sex, but I’d like a nice shower. “”

    Ah, but see the correct analogy to what has been said would be your saying, right when you walked into the room “I’m not in the mood for sex, but I’m going to give you a little striptease”. Now, personally, I’d try my best to get you to change you mind, but I’d go into it knowing that I probably wasn’t going to get laid. I’d be pissed that I wasn’t able to get you to have sex, but I wouldn’t blame YOU for it. You told me you weren’t going to have sex, so why should I expect it? And if you did it enough, I’d probably toss you to the curb for being a tease.

  • JP

    “Then you are a very special and perceptive man because most men would assume that the sexual teasing was going to lead to sex.”

    Whereas I would be more likely to experience mixed message confusion, since I’m generally not paying attention.

    The words would register on some level, and I may or may not be so lost in thought to notice the non-verbal communication. I may pick up on half of the non-verbal communication or miss the verbal or vice-versa.

    I would probably conclude that *something* had been communicated (maybe), but it would not necessarily be clear to me what just happened. I would be unlikely to do anything due to my confusion as to the nature of the communication.

    So, Ted and I may make the same decision, but he would do it because he demanded clarity whereas I may just be confused, just having my mind knocked out of trying to solve quantum encryption by a nakedish woman.

    (I’m exaggerating a bit, but generally, I am in a fuzzy half-paying attention foggish zone a lot. Ergo, the reason I think I have so-called “Inattentive ADD”.)

  • Zach

    @J

    “Or consider the used car dealer who screws you with the small print. Caveat emptor, but sooner or later, he has to ask himself if that’s really who he wants to be. It’s a matter of character.”

    Actually, the correct analogy would be a used car dealer whose title page reads “WARNING: CAR IS DEFECTIVE AND WILL NOT LAST IN THE LONG RUN” and then buyer saying “I know that, but the color is so pretttyyy!”

  • Lokland

    @J

    “Caveat emptor, but sooner or later, he has to ask himself if that’s really who he wants to be. ”

    No they really don’t.

    You as the person who got used assume that the person using you uses everybody.

    Thats not the truth.

    I used many people for many purposes throughout my life. If they offer, I have no problem taking advantage of someone else’s stupidity.

    There are many others whom I respect a great deal and would never consider using in anyway even if they pinned a billion dollar to cheque to their back that said steal me.

    I’ve had a FWB whom I treated the same way Zach does his own.
    I subsequently went on to date a girl who was worthy of relationship shortly thereafter without using her.
    If FWB had not been a) delusional, b) an idiot she could have had a nice boyfriend who actually liked her and wasn’t using her to cover his own need for intimacy.

    If your stupid enough to flash a wad of cash at 8mile, might be the fault of the thief but your the one out the money.

    Bitching about how you were wronged and it shouldn’t have happened doesn’t bring your money back to you.

    Watch your own back no one else lives with the consequences regardless of who does the wrong.

    PS Your shower story. Evil, pure evil. Jokes.

  • J

    @Bro Hamlet

    Every woman would have a “rap sheet” a mile long… and I don’t believe that, do you?

    Not every woman. Believe it or not, I don’t shit test, manipulate or cock-tease my husband. I don’t believe they are nice or fair things to do, and fairness is very important to me. I also need to live with some sense of internal consistant and integrity, so I don’t play games much. I’m also pretty direct, as I’m sure most can tell by reading my posts.

    @Hope

    I love The Rawness! Such great insights.

    @Zach

    And I resent the notion that I’m an asshole because I don’t want to exclusively date every girl I go out with.

    That’s interesting that you are owning the notion of yourself as an asshole as I was intentionally trying hard to frame that as my perception of some men’s actions towards me and my friends 30 years ago as opposed to your personality today. Re-read the sentence you’re reacting to. I was conveying a conversation (or two) that I actually had. I didn’t call you an asshole, you made that jump yourself. If I had wanted to call you an asshole, rest assured I would have. Right now, I just see you as someone who doesn’t quite understand what his effect on others might be.

    And “eliciting near instinctual behavior”?? So I should be pissed at women who wear revealing clothing because they’re “eliciting instinctual behavior” from me when I stare at them?

    I don’t know that you should necessarily be pissed, but I do think women need to be aware of the impression they create when they lead with their bodies and realize that men will react to them as bodies. I believe I’ve said that numerous times here as well.

  • Ted D

    J – “I don’t know that you should necessarily be pissed, but I do think women need to be aware of the impression they create when they lead with their bodies and realize that men will react to them as bodies. I believe I’ve said that numerous times here as well.”

    Really? Tell that to the NYC police officer that simply suggested woman should stop dressing provocatively in an area with a known, active rapist on the loose. You’d think he told them all to get home and take off their shoes to get started on dinner!

    You see, I agree with you on the “everyone should be aware” line of thinking. But, you and I BOTH know that “should be” and “actually are” don’t match most of the time, and we are seeing it here. Women “should” expect guys to stare at their boobs if they are hanging out. Guys “should” expect women to catch feelings for them if they go out and do date stuff.

    But, the real issue is, we should NEVER assume anything, yet as a society we assume a lot and often.

  • J

    I used many people for many purposes throughout my life. If they offer, I have no problem taking advantage of someone else’s stupidity.

    Different srokes for different folks, I would have problems.

    If your stupid enough to flash a wad of cash at 8mile, might be the fault of the thief but your the one out the money.

    Yes. That’s why people have to be wary. OTOH, the thief shouldn’t deceive himself about who he is or what he’s done. And no court will let him if he’s caught.

    PS Your shower story. Evil, pure evil. Jokes.

    LOL. I just made that up. It is egregiously nasty though. 😉

  • Lokland

    @J

    “Yes. That’s why people have to be wary. OTOH, the thief shouldn’t deceive himself about who he is or what he’s done.”

    This assumes he robs others. What if your the only person he robs because you made it so easy?
    Should that one moment of dishonesty be the defining moment of his life?

    Personally, as someone who has done similar (never stolen anything), I can assure you the feeling is guilt free.

    “And no court will let him if he’s caught.”

    Unless we buy Susan a black robe and wooden mallet, theres no relationship court. Getting caught doesn’t exist in a FWB situation.

  • Ted D

    J – “OTOH, the thief shouldn’t deceive himself about who he is or what he’s done. And no court will let him if he’s caught.”

    But unlike the thief, a guy taking a woman at her word on a FWB setup is NOT doing anything illegal, or immoral, by treating her BETTER than required by the agreement. If she then “catches feelings”, it is her fault for allowing herself to go past the set boundaries.

    Now, if at the beginning she says “I want to do a FWB thing, but you have to treat me like total shit when we aren’t having sex so I don’t fall for you” and he does it anyway? THEN I’m with you and he is the bad guy.

  • J

    Ted– You’re preaching to the crowd re the NYC police dept. I believe I made this point during that discussion–or hundreds just like it.

    All–To reiterate this point for the thousandth time at HUS. Yes, people need to protect themselves from those who would potentially hurt them, intentionally or not. OTOH, people also need to mindful or their effects on others. Someone else’s stupidity is NOT license to take advantage of them, nor can you morally absolve yourself because of it. You need to own your behavior.

  • Zach

    @J

    There was no jump to make. You were in mid-air, and I described where you were about to land.

    “When I was dating, my friends and I would refer to men who acted as you describe as “honest assholes.”

    Translated: I’m not calling you an “honest asshole”, I’m just saying that guys who behave exactly like you, look like you, and talk like you are honest assholes. But I swear, I’m not calling you one.

    It’s an eons-old bit of semantics that is very, very easy to see through.

  • J

    I could turn this into an excellent law school question for contract law.

    You should, JP. I’d love to hear that discussion! Report back to us if you do it.

    @Lok

    Should that one moment of dishonesty be the defining moment of his life?

    One moment? No, everyone makes mistakes. A pattern of bad behavior justified by the idea that the weak and stupid deserve what they get is problematic though.

    @INTJ

    I have a friend whose husband who is not a used car dealer but does have a history of shady business dealings that have made him very successful and a fantastic provider–better than my DH, actually. They have two kids, a spoiled, petulant daughter and a slimy, little bastard of a son. They also have a beautiful house; I’m glad I don’t live in it.

  • Iggles

    @ Zach:

    Ah, but see the correct analogy to what has been said would be your saying, right when you walked into the room “I’m not in the mood for sex, but I’m going to give you a little striptease”.

    If that’s the case then men who give off the “boyfriend vibe” need to say, “Hey, I’m going to do couple stuff with you because I enjoy them too, but I have no intentions of actually being your boyfriend. Alright, cool!” *pours bottle of wine*

    //end snark//

    Do I have to be in exclusive relationship to do those things?

    In a word, YES.

    Hanging out with a girl one-on-one, cuddling, having sex with her, teasing her, stroking her face, looking at her “just because” with open affection, fostering inside jokes, go to activities with her as your “partner in crime”, etc.. are all fun things to do. For you that’s all it is. But for most women, and on HUS, many of men agree this all behavior that fosters intimacy and bonding of couples. When you do this with a girl you’re non-exclusive, it should be no surprise that since your actions seem to signal you want more than “just sex” — in their view YOU are the one initially changing the dynamics of FWB.

  • BroHamlet

    @J

    “Not every woman. Believe it or not, I don’t shit test, manipulate or cock-tease my husband. I don’t believe they are nice or fair things to do, and fairness is very important to me. I also need to live with some sense of internal consistant and integrity, so I don’t play games much. I’m also pretty direct, as I’m sure most can tell by reading my posts.”

    Good on you for being so well-intentioned. I do think you are exceptionally reasonable based on reading you here. But you are just that: exceptional, and you are years into a loving marriage judging by what youve wrote here. Even our host has a few stories to share, apparently. Some nuances of fairness are in the eye of the beholder, and you have to wonder if there is a generational component to this, because I think most people in my generation would agree that not much is owed either party in an early dating situation.

  • Zach

    @Iggles

    To go through your list of things I do and do not do with FWB:

    Hanging out with a girl one-on-one[yes], cuddling[no], having sex with her[yes], teasing her[yes], stroking her face[no], looking at her “just because” with open affection[never did that even with actual gfs, I find it creepy], fostering inside jokes[happens with girls I go on one date with], go to activities with her as your “partner in crime”[why do women love that expression so much?? can’t she just be the person I do it with? no one likes to eat dinner alone], etc.. are all fun things to do. ”

    Further, teasing and having sex are not classic relationship behaviors. Teasing is the ultimate flirting behavior for any guy with any girl. So for you there’s no middle ground between booty call and a committed relationship? I like going to dinner at good restaurants, and I’d sometimes rather do it with an attractive girl than with a couple of dudes. Does that mean I’m “leading her on” to a relationship? If so, I shouldn’t go on a single date ever, because I suppose I’m leading on every girl I ask out. By your definition, essentially every single interaction between men and women is “couple stuff”. I should basically go up to girls, grunt at them, rub my penis against them, and hope they respond because then I definitely wouldn’t be leading them on.

  • BroHamlet

    @Iggles

    “If that’s the case then men who give off the “boyfriend vibe” need to say, “Hey, I’m going to do couple stuff with you because I enjoy them too, but I have no intentions of actually being your boyfriend. Alright, cool!” *pours bottle of wine*”

    Two questions, because this whole “boyfriend/girlfriend vibe” concept is a really slippery slope that people of both genders use to excuse themselves of self-responsibility:

    1) What constitutes a concrete definition of “couples stuff” to both parties early in dating?
    2) When does “couples stuff” stop being metaphorical and become the act of doing things as an actual couple?

  • J

    Not really, Zach, though I can understand your reaction. Internet, tone and all that…nonetheless, I had a point that you are ignoring.

    You can believe me or not, but my point to you is that your behavior, intentional or not (and I did use that terminology in my OP), does not take into consideration its effect on others and that continued behavior of that sort is very harmful–to yourself and others. I attempted to show you how it leads people on. Again, you can believe or not, but what I said is going to be true for all but the most jaded of women. A continued pattern of that sort of action, once you’ve been made aware, IS indeed “honest assholery.” It’s your choice to make, your character development at stake. And the quality of women you attract? We’ve discussed your desire to attract “realtionship quality women” here. An intelligent, relationship quality woman will not want to be with someone who has a history of FWB/”she let me use her” relationships.

    Take it as motherly advice or ignore it, but be honest with yourself that indulging in bonding behaviors with people is going to facilitate bonds that you may not want and then take some responsibility for that. If some girl falls for you because you fed and fucked her, take it as a fact of human existence, not her stupidity or inability to stay with an agreement. Don’t pretend you’re just an innocent bystander. You have agency here, what you do creates an impresion on other women in your environment and people will react to it in ways that influence your other relationships. That’s a fact.

    Sorry, it that hurts you or if you resent it. It’s just honest feedback.

  • Lokland

    @J

    “people also need to mindful or their effects on others. Someone else’s stupidity is NOT license to take advantage of them, nor can you morally absolve yourself because of it. You need to own your behaviour.”

    No, people really don’t.
    If the person receives no ill effect from their treatment of others there is no reason to alter their behaviour.

    Doing so might be a bad idea for themselves because they might end up worse off than they were prior.

    Again, there is no need for moral absolution when there is no consequence. Double that if the person does not fear burning in hell.

    If there is absolutely NO REASON not to do something that will forward yourself other than the harm it does someone else, people are gonna do it.

    Which is why you must learn to protect yourself.
    Any other nonsense about how its the other persons fault for taking advantage of you is merely whining.

  • JP

    @Lokland:

    “No, people really don’t.
    If the person receives no ill effect from their treatment of others there is no reason to alter their behaviour.”

    The funny thing is that life is ultimately fair as time approaches infinity.

    Actions have consequnces.

    When you pick up one end of the stick, you pick up the other end.

    That’s just a feature of existence.

    You can deny that feature, but it won’t make that feature go away.

    See gravity for details.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    It takes time to identify an asshole. I was friend with assholes once without realising that they were assholes – and I think I qualify as stronly anti-assholic

    Well that is different I meant if a guy knows another man is an asshole and still seeks out his company a part of him must agree that assholessness is not that bad after all,so declaring himself a good guy is moot,he is just an asshole of lower expression,YMMV.

    Condom jokes time!
    You know you have a though crowd when no one follows this to share more jokes.

    To the average man, this is NOT leading anyone on.

    Isn’t this like the average girl not knowing that her male friends want to sex her up? I didn’t heard any male saying is not her fault that he wants to be more than friends when all she offered was friendship and he agreed, did you?

  • JP

    @Lokland:

    Everybody, soon or late, sits down to a banquet of consequences.

    – Robert Lewis Stevenson

    It’s a feature, not a bug.

  • http://www.femaleframechanges.blogspot.com Olive

    To the folks suggesting that Zach and the guy in the post are giving mixed messages to their FWBs,

    Consider that a FWB arrangement is sort of an imitation relationship, without the label (friendship + sex, how is that not at least a pseudo-relationship?). The FWB is really about benefits for the guy, who can enjoy relationship-like bonding with a girl but stay open to other options as well. Any girl who gets into a FWB situation is basically an idiot (and I say that having been in one before) because she’s essentially giving sex without the expectation of exclusivity, and that is HER mistake.

    I think someone upthread suggested that FWB arrangements are basically a way for lower SMV girls to create sort-of relationships with higher SMV guys, the sacrifice being the exclusivity. I would take that even further, and suggest that the girl makes the arrangement often hoping to “convince” or “convert” the guy to a relationship mindset, by showing him how good a relationship-like situation can be. I can tell you for a fact that when I arranged a FWB situation with my ex four years ago, deep down there was a part of me hoping he would finally take me back.

  • BroHamlet

    @Anacaona

    “Isn’t this like the average girl not knowing that her male friends want to sex her up? I didn’t heard any male saying is not her fault that he wants to be more than friends when all she offered was friendship and he agreed, did you?”

    Actually, read my last few posts. I said exactly that about “nice guys”.

  • HanSolo

    Though women are more likely to catch feelings for their FWB men can also and get attached and then she moves on. That’s happened to me before. I think I’m more on the romantic side of things. I have also had the more typical thing happen where the woman really liked or fell in love with me but I didn’t.

  • Joe

    @Lokland

    Again, there is no need for moral absolution when there is no consequence.

    No, JP and R.L. Stevenson are right. NOTHING you do is without consequence.

    Don’t let it drive you crazy. But recognize it as a fact of life. You either touch others for good or you touch others for ill. You can’t get away without touching them.

  • J

    Good on you for being so well-intentioned. I do think you are exceptionally reasonable based on reading you here.

    Thank you. I appreciate being visible to you.

    But you are just that: exceptional,

    In the ‘sphere, I guess so. IRL, I’m not so sure.

    and you are years into a loving marriage judging by what youve wrote here.

    I see young couples, usually kids of friends heading in the same direction. It gives me hope for my own kids.

    because I think most people in my generation would agree that not much is owed either party in an early dating situation

    I think once people have sex, they open a can of worms and expectations. That’s not generational. What is generational is the expectation that no one is supposed to be hurt when in fact they are.

  • JP

    Well, if I throw a fluffy stuffed duck at somebody in anger and it hits them straight in the stomach with it’s fluffy soft duckness, causing their tummy to jiggle a wee bit, there really isn’t likely to be much in the way of bad consequences.

    So, there’s a common sense component here, kind of like the golden rule fiasco earlier.

  • Ion

    “Tell that to the NYC police officer that simply suggested woman should stop dressing provocatively in an area with a known, active rapist on the loose. ”

    If it’s the incident I’m thinking of last summer… There were tons of flyers posted, etc., because the guy targeted women in the “trendy” neighborhood known as Park Slope. This neighborhood has TONS of “progressive” yuppies, etc., so they shouldn’t be indicative of the entire population of women (even though they’re pretty safe normally).

    I know women were reminded not to wear short skirts, as a perp can easily bend them over and rip off their underwear. So its “easy access” clothing, not just because the clothing is provocative. It is safer to wear exposed cleavage over a short skirt and no tights. I remember hearing “welllll its hot outside, I want to dress this way blah blah”. I believe one of the women assaulted was also ridiculously drunk outside at 2am.

    Now, a cop saying that about East Flatbush, which is so unsafe that women can be assaulted on their way home from church or in their nurses uniform would be a completely different story…..

  • J

    @Lokland

    What JP said in #154, 156.

    It’s just the way it is, really.

    @JP–Dude, you are fcuking brilliant!

    Don’t let it drive you crazy. But recognize it as a fact of life. You either touch others for good or you touch others for ill. You can’t get away without touching them./i>

    Yes, exactly. Very well said!

  • J

    I know women were reminded not to wear short skirts, as a perp can easily bend them over and rip off their underwear. So its “easy access” clothing, not just because the clothing is provocative. It is safer to wear exposed cleavage over a short skirt and no tights. I remember hearing “welllll its hot outside, I want to dress this way blah blah”. I believe one of the women assaulted was also ridiculously drunk outside at 2am.

    She was stupid, but the guy who assaulted her is still guilty of assault. Neither should be surprised at what happened though.

  • Ion

    “I think someone upthread suggested that FWB arrangements are basically a way for lower SMV girls to create sort-of relationships with higher SMV guys, the sacrifice being the exclusivity.”

    Or girls who live in a population where men refuse to commit because of a shortage…say…college campuses.

    Anyone who hasn’t seen average betas bag FWB never went to an Arts school. 😛

  • J

    LMAO at your shower scenario. One lesson I have learned: If a woman is really not in the mood for sex, she can reduce her chances of having it by not stripping in front of her husband

    LOL. Whoduh thought?

    Just to emphasize this to anyone who isn’t reading the thread careful– this is a made up example, not something I did.

  • BroHamlet

    @J

    “In the ‘sphere, I guess so. IRL, I’m not so sure.”

    You need to keep this in mind. The ‘sphere’ seems to overstate some things from what limited corners of it I’ve read, but they’re not wrong or even far from the mark about everything (in fact they’re getting at the truth a good amount of the time based on my real world experience). They tend to overstate the unreasonable behavior we are talking a out because the type of guy who ends up there typically has been subjected to this side of women for a variety of reasons, the most important of which being that many women in my generation can’t respect a guy they couldn’t in some world be attracted to. The rest of us don’t find it shocking because we learned to deal with it before we ever saw it described in writing (or just got to a level where we rarely provoke any of the more questionable instincts women have). But make no mistake, I have seen the way women tend to treat certain types of men, but you know what? I don’t see any mass consequence waiting in the wings for young women who behave badly to guys in innocuous ways (shit testing), so why bitch about it? That is why I lean towards people controlling what they can control and not making some huge moral crusade out of the rest.

  • Ion

    “She was stupid, but the guy who assaulted her is still guilty of assault. Neither should be surprised at what happened though.”

    Absolutely J! Without question he is guilty.

    But we don’t go to dark alley’s while drunk, flashing hundred dollar bills and listening to our iPods at 3am. That’s the same as walking around drunk at 2am with a miniskirt and high heels you can’t run away in. In both cases, the rapist/criminal is guilty, but there are things we can do to lessen our chances of assault.

    Girls need to know how they can help lessen their chances of being assaulted too (without guilty feminists reminding them that they can “wear what they want”, and party as hard as they want), imho.

  • Lokland

    @Joe

    “NOTHING you do is without consequence.”

    Your gonna have to point out where I said otherwise.
    I did say that if the consequences for someone else are bad whilst being good for myself, I see no reason to exploit another persons voluntary idiocy.

    “Don’t let it drive you crazy. But recognize it as a fact of life. You either touch others for good or you touch others for ill. You can’t get away without touching them.”

    Of course.
    I have no problem with doing ill if it does good to me on the condition that the person wants me to do ill to them.

    There is no need for moral absolution as I don’t feel bad and theres no god in my world.

  • J

    Girls need to know how they can help lessen their chances of being assaulted too (without guilty feminists reminding them that they can “wear what they want”, and party as hard as they want), imho.

    Absolutely, that’s why I said, “She was stupid…” She wasn’t mindful of her environment, and environment has a way of trumping any real or imagined rights a person thinks they have.

    My younger son thinks he has the right to go out of town on a Greyhound bus that also serves a federal prison to play music with some friends. He wants to carry with him an expensive bass, an equally expensinve guitar and two amps. He will wear his expensive jacket and carry cash. I told him that when someone cracks his skull open so they can take his stuff, I will write on his tombstone, “He had the right.”

    You can bitch about rights all you want; you just can’t make other people respect them.

  • J

    They tend to overstate the unreasonable behavior we are talking a out because the type of guy who ends up there typically has been subjected to this side of women for a variety of reasons,

    Yeah, I know a lot of guys feel this way. I would never suggest hat every girl out there is an angel. I just worry that the level of rhetoric overshadows the good that’s out there too.

    the most important of which being that many women in my generation can’t respect a guy they couldn’t in some world be attracted to.

    That will have huge consequences for the women as well. We live in a society where the basic respect that people should have for one another has eroded and that affects us all in ways we aren’t even conscious of most of the time.

  • Just1Z

    @Intj
    “Wow, just watched that girlwriteswhat link. I’ve always considered her to be a rational voice in the men’s rights movement. But until today, I hadn’t realized just how brilliant she is. First rate mind right there.”

    Yes!

    I keep mentioning her as she is most impressive.

    I hope that she does write her book. (she has previously written *cough* adult *cough* fiction).

  • Joe

    @Lokland

    Your gonna have to point out where I said otherwise.

    Okay. It’s implicit in your statement:

    …there is no need for moral absolution when there is no consequence.

    I’m point out that there is no such thing as “no consequence” when you’re talking about human beings.

    As for this:

    I did say that if the consequences for someone else are bad whilst being good for myself, I see no reason to exploit another persons voluntary idiocy.

    Lokland, my man, I have two masters degrees in the “hard sciences”, and I have no idea what you mean.

    I suspect the problem we’re going to have communicating isn’t because there is no god is your world. Please don’t take me as trying to psychoanalyze you now, because I don’t know you. But my observations say that, in general, atheists replace god in their worlds with their own egos (ego in the Freudian sense). The term moral absolution can never have the same meaning for me as it does for them.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Sometimes reading these threads really reminds me to go home and tell my husband how much I appreciate him and what a great man he is.

    J, that is why family and true friends are so valuable. They’re about the only people left in this individualistic, mercenary, man-eat-man world who will care for us.

    I hope your sons realize what a great mother they have!

  • http://www.femaleframechanges.blogspot.com Olive

    Ion,

    Or girls who live in a population where men refuse to commit because of a shortage…say…college campuses.

    Right. A guy in that environment will have an inflated SMV. You know, scarcity leads to increased demand/inflated price and all that…

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    So I am having sex with a girl, but I also go out to dinner with her, and I bake cupcakes with her, and read a book with her, and maybe I might go see her family a few times.

    Sounds like a friend.

    With “benefits.”

    I do understand the confusion, but it doesn’t mean “boyfriend.” Much like you can have a girlfriend you don’t want to marry, you can be friends with a girl you don’t want to make a girlfriend.

  • J

    I hope your sons realize what a great mother they have!

    Oh, sweetie, thank you. That made my day.

  • Cooper

    @Iggles, re: doing “couple stuff” outside of being in a relationship

    “But for most women, and on HUS, many of men agree this all behavior that fosters intimacy and bonding of couples.”

    Without discussing whether these things *should* be, the fact is there *are* taking place outside of relationship.

    That’s why I continue to highlight the vocalization. (DTR)

    Whether we all agree or not, the reality is guys consider certain things “fun” and that they shouldn’t indicate a exclusive relationship – not all, but some do.
    I think girls are overlooking this, whether they disagree or not.

    Namely because what as initially agreed upon! If the guy says “I don’t want a relationship” then acts all “coupley” and seems like he must want a relationship – he probably hasn’t changed his mind on what he said.

    Look at like this,
    I think some girls are counting “couple stuff” as if they count!

    1. He says “I don’t want a relationship” – Score: -2
    2. We see each other more days a week than not – Score: +1
    3. We do “coupley” things, like cookcookies together – Score: +1
    4. He introduced me to his parents – Score: +1
    5. He gets upset when we can’t spend more time together – Score: +1
    6. So on and so on. +,+,+

    When in reality the guy explicitly said 1. and in his mind the rest is harmless fun. And the real score goes as follows:
    1. -1
    2. 0
    3. 0
    4. nil
    5. 0, 0, 0, 0, so on and so on.

    Im not saying it its necessarily right or wrong, but certianly it is how some guys view it.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I think some girls are counting “couple stuff” as if they count!

      1. He says “I don’t want a relationship” – Score: -2
      2. We see each other more days a week than not – Score: +1
      3. We do “coupley” things, like cookcookies together – Score: +1
      4. He introduced me to his parents – Score: +1
      5. He gets upset when we can’t spend more time together – Score: +1
      6. So on and so on. +,+,+

      When in reality the guy explicitly said 1. and in his mind the rest is harmless fun. And the real score goes as follows:
      1. -1
      2. 0
      3. 0
      4. nil
      5. 0, 0, 0, 0, so on and so on.

      This is effing brilliant. I’m thinking a post with this in some sort of graphic form! Any ideas?

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    There is no need for moral absolution as I don’t feel bad and theres no god in my world.

    Newton’s third law: every action has equal reaction in the opposite direction.
    First Law of Thermodynamics: Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only altered in form.

    Sometimes reading these threads really reminds me to go home and tell my husband how much I appreciate him and what a great man he is.
    This threads showed me that my husband is not only the best man I have ever meet but he is the best man I will ever meet. My hope is that my son is the second best man I will ever meet after hubby.

  • JP

    @Anacanoa:

    “Newton’s third law: every action has equal reaction in the opposite direction.

    First Law of Thermodynamics: Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only altered in form.””

    Except that I’m pretty sure that ultimately the system is open and not closed.

    This works for chemical engineering, though.

  • BroHamlet

    @J:

    “That will have huge consequences for the women as well. We live in a society where the basic respect that people should have for one another has eroded and that affects us all in ways we aren’t even conscious of most of the time.”

    It might, but those consequences won’t be evenly distributed, nor will all the bullies in this case be punished, in large part because a lot of people (even myself to a degree) will find their own way around the maze because it’s easier to do that than sit around complaining, and even more people (men, also including myself lol) don’t have the time or the inclination to try to deal with every isolated case.

    People here have been making a moral case regarding the responsibilities of two parties in a FWB arrangement, but what I see is that they are injecting their own morality into interpreting a situation in which two separate moral perspectives are at play, and there is enough of a gray area that both have merit. There is so much subjectiveness as to make it almost moot. It could similarly be argued that female hypergamy and solipsism are both not explicitly “right” in a moral sense. Think about it- wanting only those that stand above your standing in life? Not really fair to those who are your actual peers. Instinctively viewing most everything through your own lens? I don’t even need to explain how that can go awry. Shit testing? We’ve been over that. All of the above have been the root of a lot of shitty behavior, but we accept them as right (and remember that our host does too after much heated debate), because in the end, in a situation with unclear moral boundaries, a lot depends on whose lens you are viewing it through.

  • Passer_By

    @cooper

    But his situation has changed since he said that, and his behavior changed right along with his situation changing. Also, you left out cuddling for hours, talking about marriage and taking long afternoon naps in eachother embrace.

    If he isn’t interested in a relationship, he is compulsively engaging in behavior that will trigger those feelings in her, because it feels very good to share those feelings and bask in them. If he doesn’t want an exclusive relationship, what he really seems to mean by FWB is “we will develop deep and profound feelings for each other bordering on love, and I will bask in them and enjoy the warmth of your undying affection, but I will not be exclusive to you in my affections.” He’s obviously getting off on the fact that the emotional connection between them is way beyond what we would think of as FWB.

    Again, I postulate that this compulsion for guys to behave in ways with women that cultivate this outcome is probably because nature gave us men instinctual bonding behaviors that help build harems (for guys who have the SMV to do it). Having her emotionally bonded to you is much more likely to keep her loyal to your dick.

    I remember, back when I was single and mild hockey hair was still ok, cudling and all that all evening with a woman after having sex with her for the 3rd or fourth time in our relationship, enjoying how much she enjoyed it and feeling good about myself, then the next day I thought “What am I doing? I don’t want this to get too serious.” So I broke it off so as not to lead her on . She just couldn’t understand how I could be deeply affectionate like that but not want the relationship. I’m thinking “Well, we both seemed to like it.” In another society, I would have just kept her and sought others.

  • Cooper

    “This is effing brilliant. I’m thinking a post with this in some sort of graphic form! Any ideas?”

    Take it a step further – splice “I don’t want a relationship” often with a bunch of intimate couple-type activities, and a girl might overlook the #1 repetitively. (If she can come up with enough +’s to outweighs that single – that matters.)

    As for the visual graph, I give it some thought. (Perhaps a stock-market analogy, where “the stock” appears to be rising and rising (with each coupley act) but the true value is still where it sat when they started.)

    Also, it’s important to mention the different ladders guys have. Guys generally are willing to do more with girls that are on a “not good enough” ladder than say vice versa. (Signs of being on (the bottom of) one ladder, is much likely to be indicative of being on another one all together)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      As for the visual graph, I give it some thought. (Perhaps a stock-market analogy, where “the stock” appears to be rising and rising (with each coupley act) but the true value is still where it sat when they started.)

      Ouch! I’m squirming just thinking about it, that’s a great idea.

      Also, it’s important to mention the different ladders guys have. Guys generally are willing to do more with girls that are on a “not good enough” ladder than say vice versa. (Signs of being on (the bottom of) one ladder, is much likely to be indicative of being on another one all together)

      Uh oh I think you just took this to 3D :) I have NO idea how I might represent that. I’ll sleep on it and look at it with fresh eyes tomorrow.

  • Cooper

    @passer_by

    “But his situation has changed since he said that”