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FWB...Possibly a reality check?

(61 Posts)
SundaysGirl Thu 09-May-13 14:28:44

I'm single and went through a nasty breakup last year, whihc I'm still finishing 'getting over'. I've known a certain friend for over 12 years. We have had one or two drunken kisses over the years but we were never in a position to take anything further.

Lately we've got in touch over FB. He's away for another month in Thailand (lucky so and so) but we've been talking about meeting up and possibly starting a FWB type situation when he gets back.

I'm certanly interested as I think we have always had potential chemistry wise. I've always fancied him like mad (but from a distance) and he says similar. Plus my last relationship 'thing' was so stressful and horrible that it seems like it might be nice to have a no strings attatched bit of fun for a change.

But...my gut is nagging at me a bit. I know a lot of people warn about FWB type things. I've only ever had one other situation with an ex of mine but it was never a regular thing. I am wondering if stronger feelings could develop if we saw each other regularly.

Guess wondered what people think of them in general. His situation is he is single and totally off relationships after his marriage breaking up a year ago.

Thanks!

ClippedPhoenix Fri 10-May-13 01:06:33

For many, like myself, I would rather cut my chuff off than offer it up for a fwb relationship that was empty of feeling.. but thats just me. Like i said you are unique and I dont doubt that for a moment. It just sounds an empty way to go...

ClippedPhoenix Fri 10-May-13 01:12:40

Solid, you actually sound like a spider that sucks the life out of their prey once shagged... Why is that? I know you have a child that you love dearly....

TallyGrenshall Fri 10-May-13 01:29:51

I agree that it is probably not a good idea if you are already questioning it and worrying abour feelings.

FWB can sometimes be just that. I had one years ago, it was all good, just kinda drifted off and we are still friends now.

Anna1976 Fri 10-May-13 01:49:45

Actually, one big reason a woman might feel a bit 'confused' about getting into a FWB set up is because of the endless fucking propaganda that women want and need 'love' more than sex. It is not compulsory to have a longterm, sexually exclusive relationship. Not everyone wants one.

I agree with SGB here. However, I think that you have to be very very sure that deep down that is what you want. Because if you aren't sure, or you're feeling vulnerable for any particular reason, FWB relationships are a very good way to end up feeling really appallingly bad.

The OP has already identified that she is still working through issues from the previous relationship, and that she is interested in the optential-FWB as a human being, rather than as a shag (i.e. she is in a position where deeper feelings are fairly easy to develop, whether or not this is part of the plan).

I wrote about FWB on a different thread a couple of days ago, where someone was asking what's wrong with someone having lots of sexual partners. Basically I was trying to use a FWB situation to prove my own inner strength (predicated on my appearance and my sexual prowess - hardly good things on which to be basing inner strength). Unsurprisingly it didn't work. It took me a while to work out what was wrong, and I should have stepped back and understood my own motivations better before ever getting into that situation.

"But with respect to the "what's the problem" bit, is it possible to voluntarily have no-strings-attached sex with lots of different people, without doing a pathological level of dissociation? Sex is - at least in theory - fun and pleasurable, but it is also a rather intense level of intimacy with someone, and -when done correctly - it releases all sorts of bonding hormones (oxytocin). Repeatedly lying next to a new partner bathed in an afterglow of oxytocin, and then getting up and never seeing the person again - and then doing the same thing a week later with a new partner - either requires you to blunt the reponse to all that intimacy and oxytocin - or it leaves you in a bit of a mess if you're responding to it and then sublimating the response in order to get it on with the next person.

Aged 27-29 I tried to be terribly sexy and grown-up and have a "fling" with a philandering twit who praised my beauty and sexual prowess to the skies, while making it very clear that the relationship wasn't ever going to go further than dinner, banter and sex. I felt very grown-up that I could so totally handle it, that I wasn't needy, that I was utterly autonomous. After the initial self-importance had worn off, I ended up a total blubbering mess after every session. Not in front of him - crying by myself for hours, unable to understand the intensity of the unhappiness. I couldn't handle blunting the response to the intimacy - and frankly it was idiotic of me to try. I look back and think he was abusive and strangely blunted in his own emotional responses.

That's why no-strings-attached sex is extremely hard to achieve - and why it hardly seems worth achieving. It hurts so many people, so badly. Why bother?"

Anna: I'm sorry that you had an upsetting experience, but I think you are drawing the wrong conclusion from it ie you think that because you found it difficult then everyone else will unless there is something wrong with them. People are not all the same when it comes to intimacy, sex, etc. Some people want a longterm commitment, some find their perfect partners and live happily ever after, some have interests or commitments which mean they really, really don't want to devote time or energy to a couple-relationship but enjoy having sex from time to time, and some people have no interest in sex or romance at all.

And if you look around you, not just on MN but in the papers and among your family, workmates and friends, you will see any number of horrible things people do to each other in the name of 'love and romance'. People who beat up or kill partners who want to end a relationship. People trapped for economic reasons or fear of social sanctions with partners who bore or annoy them, in an atmosphere of poisonous resentment. People who think that a mismatch of libidos is 100% the other partner's 'fault' and that the other partner should either submit to unwanted sex all the time or accept, without whining, that s/he is never going to have sex again.

Anna1976 Sat 11-May-13 00:08:17

SGB - I think we actually agree here, but I must've come across as a bit of a love-and-romance-is-all nutter. Sorry grin

I don't think everyone will have the same outcome as me. I definitely don't think long-term love and romance couple relationship is the only way to go or that it's the only context in which sex should happen.

However, FWB does mess around with hormones and psychology in a way that is at best mildly confusing, and at worst, damaging. Thus you really do need to be clear-eyed going into it. If there are unaddressed vulnerabilities relating to relationships or intimacy, the pull-push intimacy/non-intimacy of FWB is a pretty good way of bringing them to the surface and making you feel miserable. So by all means do it, but be careful. THat was what i was trying to say. But it got mixed up in my own projection... I need to learn not to project!

ClippedPhoenix Sat 11-May-13 00:33:41

We all "project".

ClippedPhoenix Sat 11-May-13 00:34:50

A projection is another way of saying our opinion due to our life experiences. Its not bad.

Anna1976 Sat 11-May-13 00:52:16

Well - if trying to rationalise logically, it doesn't do to have tunnel vision. I do tend to get hung up in my own experience and fail to consider the wider context.

I do think the caution is warranted though. I so thought i knew what i was doing. To start with the FWB thing achieved its purpose of making me feel like I was running my own life. But it really cut very deeply in a way I wasn't expecting, and took a lot of getting over.

Anna: To be fair, in my younger days, I had a few FWB situations go a bit wrong, but I learned to be aware that, basically, shit happens sometimes. You get over it and move on to something else. It helped that I had a fair few other NSA flings that were fun and amicable on both sides. I think everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and there is no real guarantee against getting mixed up with someone who is not, actually, a very good person. Holding out for commitment won't save you from a liar or an abuser...

SundaysGirl Sat 11-May-13 18:31:18

Hi all. sorry I've not been back to the thread sooner, I've been working long hours the last couple of days.

Its really interesting to hear everyones points of view. I think for this particular situation I've decided to just leave things for now, I will re-assess in a few weeks and see how I'm feeling.

I have really appreciated hearing everyones thoughts so thank you. smile

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