Make It Stop: Help, I Think I Like Like My Friend With Benefits

I met “Roger” last year. We both didn’t want a relationship at the time, so we agreed to a friends-with-benefits arrangement. I’ve had a couple FWB scenarios in the past, but none of them made me feel the way he does. His behavior is far more consistent with a boyfriend. And against my best efforts, I’ve fallen for him. We’ve talked about it, and he while he says he digs me, he’s not mentally in a place where he can date me right now. I’m crushed, but I don’t want to stop seeing him. I’m trying to date other people, but I don’t have the same chemistry with anyone else. Should I keep seeing Roger until I meet someone else, or cut my losses now?

Move on. I want to shout it at you. “MOVE ON!” No, do not keep seeing him. You’re the one in charge of protecting your heart so start protecting it.

It sounds like you’re ready for a real relationship and, unfortunately, it won’t be with your fuckbuddy. Yes, he’s familiar. And yes, he’s convenient. But he’s not the one; he’s the guy to make you realize you gotta find the right guy.

So cut the cord. Turn him loose. Your arrangement got you through a lonely winter, but since you’re the one who caught feelings, you’re the one who has to remove yourself from this painful situation. It sucks, I know.

But until you untangle yourself from Roger, you won’t be able to truly connect with another person. How could you? Roger is still haunting your brain, hanging out in the back with a warm smile and a warmer bed. Until he’s out of the picture, you won’t be able to fully give your heart to another fella. Not while Roger’s a text message away. Not when you can take a cab to his place when your shitty dates go south. Your FWB situation has to end.

You might want to lay low for a few weeks until you’re truly over Roger to start dating again. Let those feelings for him wither on the vine until they’re dusty and inert. When you start going out with other people, you want to put your best self out there, and until the idea of Roger is gone, you might compare your dates to him, which is a losing game for you. It’s almost like you were blinded by your white-hot chemistry. Let those chemicals settle so you can give your new dates a fair chance to sweep you off your feet.

When the flowers start blooming in a month or two or three, start looking for a person you can share your body, mind, and soul with. You’ll be much happier once you do. Then acknowledge (in your head) how Roger showed you you’re ready to find a more fulfilling situation. I promise you in a year, you’ll be in a better place and you’ll have Roger to thank for it.