So recently I've decided it's time to redraw the line in a current friends with benefits situation.
It's been fun, but it's getting harder and harder to enjoy myself when I know he is very much enjoying other people. Thing is, every time I mean to redraw the line... we get close and it feels like my body has a mind of it's own and I start feeling warm and then I remember how nice it is to be close to him and all of a sudden we're doing the HND and I don't know what the heck happened.
I can't just stop seeing him entirely, because, whoops, did I forget to mention my FWB mate is also my very best guy friend in the entire world? Oh, haha, and double whoops, did I also forget to mention he is the only person I've ever done anything with? Ever? In my 18 years of living? We've tried ending the physical aspect of things mutually before, and that works sometimes—but then we end up having an intended platonic sleepover to play our most favorite card game that ever existed everrr that we can stay up till like 3 AM playing (MTG anyone?), and then by the time we decide to hit the sack... well, you get it.
I've also toyed with the idea of just "restarting" the physical thing and go back to the occasional intoxicated make out sesh, but this line seems even harder to draw. I'm going to miss being close to him, but doing the entire deed is starting to hurt my wee little heart, but it seems unfair for me to be like, "Heyyy, we've been there and done that, but how about we just cuddle from now on?" Oh wise and noble advice-giver of the interlands, how do I master the art of line drawing?
Unfair? Er, no. And before we do anything else, I'm duty-bound to point out that just because your relationship has previously included the proverbial buffet of friendly sexual activity, that doesn't mean you can't remove some items from the menu. Or to put it another way, a person does not get a free and infinite pass to go spelunking any time he likes just because he's been in your lady-cave before. Or to put it another way...
Well, no, let's just stop there, because the metaphors are getting scary.
The point is, you're free to close the door on any physical act, with anyone, at anytime, and say, "Let's just cuddle." Always. You do not owe anyone sex forever just because you had it once. The end.
But presumably, you know that. And presumably, you're not actually HND-ing with your manfriend because you feel you owe it to him; you're doing it because, when push comes to shove and it comes down to love, all those reasons you had for not doing it just don't seem all that compelling anymore.
The bad news is, if you try to wait it out until your heart's cries of agony are louder than the shrieks of delight coming from your pants, this pain-pleasure conflict will eventually get so intense that it goes nuclear, explodes, and leaves nothing but a smoking crater of acrid sadness where your friendship used to be.
And nobody wants that! So, here's your plan.
1. Knock off the "platonic" sleepovers. I'm sure that there are, in fact, people out there who could go from being all-out lovers to sharing a bed with zero naughty touching... but you guys are not those people. So if you want to stop sleeping with this guy, then for starters, stop sleeping with him. And while you're at it...
2. Knock off any and all line-blurring activities until such time as you can safely hang out without wanting to make out. Buzzkill, I know. But the fact is, when you're ending a FWB relationship 'cause feelings got in the way, it's not enough to just close the door on the HND but leave everything else on the menu. You have to step way back, into the land where friends are just friends, and stay there until Just Friends is the New Normal. So no cuddling, no makeouts, and no fond reminiscing about all the time you've spent pantsless together. And in fact, you may need to spend significantly less time together anyway, because...
3. Hello, you've got feelings for this guy. You love being close to him, you get jealous when you think of him with other girls—and that's not going to stop just because you're not hooking up anymore. You know that, right? So if you want to heal your pining heart, you'll need time, distance, and plenty of distractions in the form of good friends, good food, and good fun that doesn't involve him. (Note: That is, IF you want that—but you haven't said anything about the obvious alternative of for-real dating him and I assume there's a reason why.)
Is this going to be fun? Yeah, no. Not at all. But a little loneliness now is what will save your friendship (and possibly your dignity) later. And it's a good thing for you, too—because when your heart, head, and bed aren't occupied at all times by your tomcatting best friend with benefits, I'm guessing his status as "the only person I've ever done anything with" won't last long. WINK!
And what do YOU think, Sparklefriends? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Related post: Ask Jono: Friends with... Not Benefits