You want a boyfriend, but when it comes to modern dating, it’s never exactly easy figuring out if the guy you’re seeing is on the same page. So how can you tell if you’re headed toward a relationship or will be relegated to the “friend with benefits” zone forevermore? Watch out for these 12 signs that he only sees you as a FWB and nothing more:
- He refuses to put a label on anything. If he doesn’t want to define the relationship, there’s a reason. Guys who actually want to be with you will say something. They won’t hide their feelings, not if they want an actual relationship with you. Men who avoid labels aren’t leaving you clueless. In fact, they are giving you a label—you’re hookup buddies.
- You don’t talk about anything real. When you do have conversations, they’re pretty meaningless. You don’t dive into the big things because he’s not that interested in really knowing you. You’re the girl he sleeps with, not the girl he’s planning to spend the rest of his life with. He keeps your talk simple so that the “relationship” can stay simple too.
- He never tries to impress you. Other than wanting you to think he’s good in bed, he doesn’t go out of his way in any way. Honestly, he doesn’t really care what you think of him because this “relationship” isn’t long-term. You’re his hookup buddy, not his girlfriend, so if it’s not about how you feel about the sex, he doesn’t care about your opinion.
- He’s never there when you need him. Any basic boyfriend duty is not his job. Why? Because he wants to make it clear that he’s not your boyfriend. He’s not the person you turn to when times are hard. He’s not a shoulder to cry on. You can want him in your bed, but you can never need him, at least not emotionally. It’s not that he can’t be there for you, it’s that he doesn’t want to be.
- You’ve never really had “The Talk.” You’ve tried to bring it up but he always seems to change the subject without you even noticing. It’s not until later after you’re not together anymore that you remember how you were going to talk to him about commitment. It’s not exactly a conversation you can have through text and you also don’t want to flat out ask him, “What are we?” At some point, though, if you haven’t had the talk then you need to realize that you never will.
- He’s never referred to you as his girlfriend. He’s never accidentally called you his girlfriend. If that’s where you’re headed, a slip like that can be natural, but he’s always conscious of how he refers to you. He doesn’t want you to get any sort of ideas in your head. You’re not his girlfriend and that’s why he won’t lead you into thinking that’s how he thinks of you. He might call you by a pet name, but that’s just because you’re sleeping together, not because he actually cares.
- You leave after sex. You don’t hang out and you certainly don’t spend the night. Once he gets what he wants, you’re free to go. That’s what makes you his FWB. Suddenly after sex, he’s just too busy and too tired to spend another second together. You’ve done your deed and now he’s done with you. That’s just how hookup buddy relationships work.
- He doesn’t really care about your life. Want to talk about your day? Tell it to someone else, because he honestly just doesn’t care. He’s not your boyfriend so he doesn’t have to listen to your problems. You’re not friends, you’re not together, and that’s why you feel like you can’t really talk to him. He cares about one thing and one thing only—the sex.
- You’ve never met his friends or family. You’re not invited into the rest of his life for a reason. He’s not going to take a girl he’s only sleeping with to meet his family. He’s not going to bring a girl he doesn’t really care about around his friends. Your relationship is between the two of you and the only part of his life he’s going to share with you is his sex life.
- You don’t go out on real dates. If you spend any time together where you’re not having sex, it’s still not a date. You might Netflix & chill, but watching TV and having sex does not a date make. He doesn’t take you out in public because your relationship is strictly private.
- If you’re not going to have sex he doesn’t want to see you. If you’re on your period, you can surely expect a week without him. If you’re not in the mood for sex then he’s not in the mood for company. Your purpose in his life is to stimulate his body, so if you can’t do that then he has no use for you.
- You never make actual plans. With him, everything is last minute. Anytime you want to plan something, he just wants to play it by ear. He can’t commit to a night with you, let alone a relationship. He doesn’t want to make plans because what if something better comes along? He hangs out with you only when he’s bored and horny because you’re his hookup buddy, not his girlfriend.
How to break off a FWB arrangement once it’s run its course
If you were hoping to turn your situation into a long-term relationship and he’s just not on the same page, you’ll have to cut things off. You don’t want to leave on bad terms but you also don’t want to get hurt. Here’s how to put a stop to things.
- Whatever you do, don’t ghost him. It can be awkward to tell the guy you’ve been sleeping with that you don’t want to do that anymore, but you owe it to him (and to yourself for your own peace of mind) to be honest about the fact that your FWB arrangement is coming to an end. Don’t just go AWOL from his life and never speak to him again. You need to have the courage and maturity to break it off properly no matter how much you want to just cut and run.
- Start to pull away slowly. If you struggle with going cold turkey, you can start to pull away from your FWB slowly by sleeping with him less and less when you’re together. The whole idea of a friend with benefits is that you’re friends too, which means you should be able to hang out without doing it 24/7. Taper off on the intimacy and he might start to see more of the platonic side of your relationship as well.
- Be direct about how you’re feeling. There will come a time when you have to have a frank conversation with him about the fact that you’re done with the physical intimacy with him. When that time comes, you’ll need to communicate clearly and directly why you’re feeling that way. Tell him that you’re no longer looking to be anyone’s FWB and would much rather focus on finding someone you can date properly and perhaps have an actual relationship with. If he’s your friend as well as your lover, he should accept and respect your reasoning.
- Determine whether you can or want to stay friends. Because you have a basis of friendship beneath the sexual side of things, it’s possible that a friendship can be salvaged after all is said and done. However, whether or not that’s true for you depends on your situation. Think long and hard about whether you can or if you even want to continue seeing each other on a strictly platonic basis. It may be that cutting ties with him means doing so 100%.
- Stick to your decision even if it’s tempting to stay. Because you now have a history of sleeping together, you may find it very hard to be around him without things ending up in the bedroom. You know how good it feels and how much you enjoyed that connection with him in the past so you might think one more time won’t hurt. It will. If you know what you want is something he can’t or won’t offer you, it’s better to strip that part of your relationship away completely for the sake of your own self-preservation.
- Take a bit of time away. A FWB situation coming to an end can be a big adjustment. You need to take some time to process your emotions and work through them before you move on in any way, even if it’s to date someone else. Give yourself the space you need to work through whatever’s going on in your head and heart before you make your next move. There’s no hurry and don’t let anyone make you feel like there is. Take time for you.