I was fresh out of a relationship and didn’t want to jump into anything again—not to mention I wasn’t really all that attracted to him. Still, he was a great friend and one night it led to something else. Unfortunately, he fell hard and I didn’t feel the same.
He was a solid friend… but that’s all he ever should have been. There’s no reason men and women can’t be friends, and in most cases, it’s better that things stay platonic. I wasn’t physically attracted to him and we never had any sexual chemistry. He didn’t give me goosebumps or butterflies or much of anything at all in that sense. To be honest, I’m not sure why I let it escalate.
He was emotionally available and reliable. He was easy to talk to and laugh with and we loved just hanging out and doing stupid stuff. We’d stay up all night eating junk food and debating everything under the sun, from reality TV to politics. Our relationship never crossed the line with an “accidentally” lingering touch or hug. It was just an easy friendship and I thought we were both cool with that.
As with most bad decisions, there was alcohol involved. I never considered hooking up with him before that drunken night, but things happen and we ended up fooling around. In all honesty, it wasn’t very memorable; it was just something that happened to get us both off. I feel like there needs to be a reminder in all women’s bathrooms at the bar that says, “Don’t hook up with your friends—you’ll make things weird.”
Yes, it was definitely weird. There is no escaping the awkwardness of the morning after. What do you say? How do you navigate through the mess you created? We ended up having a serious heart-to-heart about what we were thinking and feeling. I laid out clearly defined rules to make future interactions less awkward and it seemed we were both on board.
I made it clear that this would never turn into a romantic relationship. This wasn’t about dating, we weren’t going to develop deep feelings for one another. He wasn’t going to take me out and treat me like a princess or pay for my meals and drinks. We were friends, yes, but this new physical side of things wasn’t going to turn into a romance. The physical was going to stay physical and feelings weren’t going to come into play at all.
He clearly didn’t get the memo. His famous line was, “I would do this even if we weren’t sleeping together.” I knew from the get-go that I didn’t want to hurt him and I thought by being upfront about not wanting feelings involved, I’d save us both from anything painful and uncomfortable. He’d do sweet things for me but I didn’t want them. Since things had changed for us, all I wanted was the physical stuff. I wasn’t prepared to become invested emotionally.
I rode it out (no pun intended) for longer than I should have. I thought maybe if I gave it a chance, I’d start to develop feelings for him too and I could be on his level. That was naive. I now realize it never would’ve worked. If it’s not there, it’s not there, and the more you try to force it, the worse you’ll feel in the end.
Having to let him down (again) was awful. Who wants to be the jerk that has to initiate the “it’s not you, it’s me” convo or the “maybe if I was in a different place in my life” convo? They’re awful! There is no way to tell someone you’re really not feeling it without it being awkward and uncomfortable for both of you. His ego gets hurt, you feel like a bad guy for hurting his feelings, and it’s a mess all around.
I learned a valuable lesson. I’d like to tell you we stayed friends and can laugh about how weird it was that we had seen each other naked, but that’s not the case. He fell super hard and because I didn’t feel the same, we ended up drifting apart and we stopped talking completely a few months later. I’ll never turn a friend into a FWB again.
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