A friends with benefits relationship can be great… until you catch feelings. Despite your best effort, it can happen to anyone. It may be reciprocal or it may not be, but any time you enter a casual relationship with someone, you need to be prepared for the possibility that things between you might grow beyond the bedroom and that may not always work out. So, what do you do when you catch feelings for your FWB? Here’s some advice from someone who has been there.
Talk to him.
Once you know you have feelings for your friends with benefits and you’ve given it time to see if those feelings are real/will last, you need to come out about it. You can try to hide it and keep them to yourself, but you’re only hurting yourself and this will backfire in the end. It’s best to find out as soon as possible if they reciprocate the feelings. Be honest about what you want and how you feel.
Prepare yourself to walk away.
If your FWB doesn’t feel the same way, you need to prepare yourself to end the relationship. You can’t be friends with or without the benefits, anymore. As time passes, you might go back to being just friends but no more benefits.
Give him some time.
He might not be sure of how he feels about you, and he may not be aware of how important you are to him until you’re gone. Give him a pre-defined time (a couple weeks is usually enough) to figure things out. During that time, don’t see him and don’t text him. After the time you’ve set is over, check in with him. If he says he’s not interested in more than what you had, you need to end it for your own sanity.
Believe him if he says he’s doesn’t feel the same.
Sometimes it is tempting to think, “But he did this that one time and then he said that and…” You’re trying to procrastinate on ending the relationship. If he tells you he doesn’t want more than a FWB relationship, take him at his word. Making excuses will just prolong the pain of ending a relationship that only exists in your head.
Pour yourself into your work.
You need to find ways to stop thinking about him. Another man is not it. Instead, focus on your career. This is an excellent time to go after that promotion or show your boss some of your skills that may not have been as obvious in the past. Join a team working on a new project or take the initiative and suggest a project that you could be in charge of – anything to occupy your mind and help your personal growth.
Pick up new hobbies.
If there’s a project or hobby that you want to spend more time on but haven’t been able to because of all those nights you were spending at your FWB’s house, this is the time to get started. It could be learning a new sport or a home renovation project. Get busy.
Busy yourself with other friends.
If you had mutual friends with your friends with benefits, consider spending time with other friends that didn’t know him. Reconnect. Go places you know he would never go. Spend your time where he won’t be, at least for a couple of months.
Take time to be sad.
Don’t deny your feelings. Immediately after any relationship ends, you’re going to need some time to heal. Give yourself a few days to mourn the end of your relationship and after a pre-decided time, pick yourself up and start living your own life again even if you don’t feel like it.
Find reasons to be happy.
He wasn’t the center of the universe, so find other things that make you happy. Friends, work, hobbies, and other parts of your life can make you feel good. It can be as simple as getting up in the morning and drinking that new coffee you discovered or going to bed at night at having the entire bed to spread out in while you read a good book and listen to your favorite music.
Don’t give up on yourself.
He wasn’t the right person for you. That’s okay. When the time is right, when you’re at a good place in your life, someone else will be there. Someone that deserves you and will appreciate you. Remember that you have value, so don’t give up on yourself.
Catching feelings for a friend with benefits isn’t the end of the world. It’s a risk you take when you start a relationship with that. Feelings can’t be controlled. If it happens to you, don’t worry – you will get through it and you’ll learn from the experience.
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