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A Nice Guy And A F*ckboy Reveal What To Do When Friends With Benefits Gets Messy

Hi Nice Guy and Fuckboy,

I started a friendship with someone (let’s call him Paul*) almost a year ago, after we both recently exited unsatisfying relationships.

We would confide in each other about everything. Our text message conversations lasted all day. He is the most intelligent person I’ve met so far in my life, and I learned a great deal about myself and friendships/relationships within a few months.

When we first started interacting, I strictly only had feelings of friendship toward him. I was newly single, and he helped me feel comfortable on my own. But every moment we spent together was filled with intellectual conversations, laughs and the greatest sex I’ve EVER had.

Yeah, we broke the “friendship rule” by having sleepovers, cuddling and talking about some really deep, serious shit. It was something I’ve never experienced before. I shared everything with him, even my darkest secrets. I trusted him, completely, with anything and everything.

I shared everything with him, even my darkest secrets. I trusted him, completely, with anything and everything.

Although we agreed upon only being FWB, we spent so much time together that it was almost like we were more than that, but we would never let those words leave our mouths. We weren’t sleeping with other people. We were happy with only being intimate with each other, but neither of us were ready for a relationship.

After getting out of my last relationship, he helped me gain the strength to actually go out and meet new people. He made me feel really good about myself.

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Eventually, I looked past our really strong friendship and started spending less time with him and more time with new friends. I’m not sure if it was because I was afraid of catching feelings, confused about mixed emotions or I was focusing too much on finding “Mr. Right.”

Then I revisited the idea of reaching out to my ex. After not missing him for about nine months, I started wondering what it would be like to have him back — not necessarily as a boyfriend again, but just to have him back in my life in general. Things escalated quickly with the ex, and I started spending most of my time with him.

I really wish I knew what drove me to want to revisit that part of my life, because it almost ruined my friendship with Paul. I started pushing him to the side and spending more time with my ex.

I started pushing him to the side and spending more time with my ex.

Paul and I stopped communicating, almost completely, but I remember him saying “put me on the back burner, it’s okay… and when things don’t work out with your ex, because I know they won’t, I’ll be here waiting as your best friend.”

He ended up being right. Trying to make things work with my ex was so stupid. All the same issues we had before kept arising. It was seriously unhealthy.

I started REALLY missing the friendship, interaction and intimacy I shared with Paul, so I broke things off for good this time with my ex. But while I was away from Paul and wasting time with my ex, he started making new friends. He was spending time with new people and new women.

I came back around after destroying things with my ex and told him that I would never betray our friendship again.

I guess I got jealous of the time he was spending with new women. But how could I be jealous? I pushed him aside, so far away that we stopped contacting each other. I was the one at fault for pushing my best friend away: The most sincere relationship ever.

So now, I’m back, talking to Paul almost all day through text messages and over-the-phone conversations. He is more distant than he was before but — only slightly — still wants to spend almost every day with me. I’m mostly really upset with myself for leaving him behind and not caring about how he might’ve felt. I wish I could go back to how things were with Paul, but I can’t.

I wish I could go back to how things were with Paul, but I can’t.

I’m trying to figure out if I should try to get back to that friends with benefits place with him or if I should back off a little. Let him come to me when he wants to? Or will that push him away even more?? I don’t know if I scared him away from wanting to be close with me?

Since we’ve been back and spending more time together again, he seems to have this “savage” attitude and mindset, sort of playing hard-to-get, but at the same time, he really wants to spend time with me.

What did I get myself into? Who is he to me? Just my best friend, or something more? If I keep spending time with him, I know I’m going to want more. Am I just going to hurt myself?

Thanks,
L

nice guy written in pink with emoticons in background

Kylah Benes-Trapp

Hey L,

I don’t usually do this, as I do find many of the emails we receive depict the man as the villain, but in this case, the blame falls on you.

This Paul you mention sounds like a fantastic dude. He’s your typical nice guy, and as an archetypal nice guy myself, we’re used to being looked over in favor of the charming asshole.

You and Paul had a clearly-defined FWB scenario. But everybody who is anybody knows that these inadvisable relationships rarely end well. We just choose to be oblivious and ignore the future fate of the relationship because we’re horny, lonely and really want a regular piece of ass.

We just choose to be oblivious and ignore the future fate of the relationship because we’re horny, lonely and really want a regular piece of ass.

Paul stayed true to the unwritten contract you two shared. You did not. Not only did you low-key ghost the guy, but you went back to the ex that he’d spent months repairing you from.

I totally understand why communication with you two ceased. The guy spent his days slowly rebuilding the confidence and self-respect that your ex had destroyed, and suddenly, you’re back with him. It’s a slap in the face — actually, no. It’s worse than that.

You told him your deepest secrets, so I’m sure you painted quite the nefarious image of this ex. The fact that his reaction — “put me on the back burner” — was very much the truth and it was followed by “I’ll be here waiting, as your best friend” is a sign of his character and good intentions, which he’s always seemed to have toward you.

Based on what you’ve done to this guy, I’m not sure you deserve him. I mean, you break up with the ex, just as he predicted, and then you came crawling back expecting things to be the same as they were before you left him.

That’s easy for you, the guilty party, to expect, but it’s not that way for the innocent.

He’s hanging out with new friends and didn’t wait around for the inevitable breakup between you and your ex? What a monster! How dare he not put his life on hold for you.

Feelings are always associated with FWB scenarios. These may not be strong feelings at first, but the fact that you want to have sex with this person on a semi-regular basis is evident that there is some connection on a sexual level.

Feelings are always associated with FWB scenarios. These may not be strong feelings at first, but the fact that you want to have sex with this person on a semi-regular basis is evident that there is some connection on a sexual level.

The very science of sex has historically proven to build a chemically-sourced emotional connection between people. So the more regular the sex becomes, the more these feelings will mature and develop.

I’m positive Paul had feelings for you. No man on earth would give so much of himself to somebody he just saw as a regular lay. I’m not saying a relationship would have developed necessarily, but I’m telling you that — beyond the foolishness of your decision to go back to your ex (which you now realize) — you probably did break his heart a little.

So yeah, he may appear “savage” now, but what he’s really doing is protecting himself from getting hurt again.

He may appear “savage” now, but what he’s really doing is protecting himself from getting hurt again.

Because you’re clearly in the wrong here, you need to make it up to him. An apology would be a good start. Following the apology, I think you should propose a date with Paul and see how it goes.

Don’t approach it as a “date” date, but an innocent coffee or beer one evening. You guys need to talk about what happened, and he needs to hear that you know you screwed up. With these things out on the table, you can start on even ground.

If he does eventually come around and your relationship returns back to its former glory, do whatever you can to achieve what you had and perhaps even build on it. This Paul is a catch. Go for gold, and don’t screw things up again.

Best of luck!

Bobby

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fuckboy written in pink

Kylah Benes-Trapp

Dear L,

The reason Paul is acting like a “savage” is because he doesn’t give any more fucks. At least that’s what he’s telling himself.

That’s what people tend to tell themselves after they’ve given everything they can to another person and it still isn’t enough. That person ends up going back to their ex anyway, not because of anything they did, but because they’re too afraid to leave the past where it belongs.

People act like a “savage” when they are betrayed and then the betrayer returns, asking for trust. When they are used, they act like a “savage” because their heart wants something their head knows will hurt it again.

And in this case, that’s you.

People act like a “savage” when they are betrayed and then the betrayer returns, asking for trust. When they are used, they act like a “savage” because their heart wants something their head knows will hurt it again.

You need to know that you treating him frivolously sparked his change in attitude and has made him more skittish. It’s the obvious and inciting cause.

So I rebut your questions with a few of my own: You’re conflicted? How do you think he feels? Why would he trust you again? And why are you hesitant to back out and grab this great thing you know you want and gave away?

Some believe that loves are timeless. That they can be started and stopped, picked up again at later dates and refueled with the same fire, no matter the year, the weather or the time zone.

I don’t subscribe to this thinking. Most loves aren’t like that. Most loves are the opposite. Most loves can only exist within narrow and specific windows. Most allowed both parties a single chance — if they’re that lucky— to get it right.

Half the reason things work half the time is because they’re happening at that moment, when it’s right for both parties — not yesterday, not nine months from now, not when you decide to get on around to it.

Serendipity is a very real thing, and it’s rarely advantageous to fuck with the mysterious forces that drive it.

Serendipity is a real thing. It’s rarely advantageous to fuck with the mysterious forces that drive it.

Even the best loves don’t work again after the fact. When the magic is sucked out, you can’t store that shit in a bottle for later. It doesn’t work that way. People grow, their lives veer in different directions, and the one thing nobody wants is to make the same mistakes again.

So the way I see it, you knew you were losing the “old” Paul the minute you ditched him for “Mr. Ex Dull Headache.” You knew you were leaving that version of you and him behind, and you decided that what you were choosing instead was worth it.

You knew you were leaving that version of you and him behind, and you decided that what you were choosing instead was worth it.

You’re arrogant to assume you’d two fit together so perfectly again, if you even did at all. The choices you made changed him, changed you and changed the circumstances of your romance irrevocably. It’s different now. But don’t blame him for that.

Think about it this way. You chose someone over him. You had two options, and you chose wrong. He knew it was wrong. You knew it was wrong. You did it anyway.

And worse, you chose someone who hurt you over someone who hadn’t.

He knew it was wrong. You knew it was wrong. You did it anyway.

That may be the only problem with Paul – he’s never hurt you. Some women trick themselves into thinking that’s such a turnoff. Imagine that. Signing up to be with someone you love and who has never hurt you. Booooorrriinnng. How dare he?

Especially after all you’ve given him in return.

*Eye roll*

Unfaithfully yours,

Treez

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Treez Alexander

Freelance Contributor

Treez lives in New York City. He thinks. He writes. He drinks. Not necessarily in that order. Email him at climbmytreez@gmail.com.
Treez lives in New York City. He thinks. He writes. He drinks. Not necessarily in that order. Email him at climbmytreez@gmail.com.
Bobby Box

Freelance Contributor

Bobby Box is a freelance writer and editor. He writes about sex and relationships and men’s lifestyle topics for publications and websites such as Bustle.com, AskMen, Playboy, Elle, MANdatory, Elite Daily, etc.
Bobby Box is a freelance writer and editor. He writes about sex and relationships and men’s lifestyle topics for publications and websites such as Bustle.com, AskMen, Playboy, Elle, MANdatory, Elite Daily, etc.

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