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Trying not to analyse fwb situ but can't help it... long!

(50 Posts)
hyperjoules Mon 04-Apr-16 21:08:49

Been seeing a man since late last year. Tinder match. We are both early 30s. From my side it is a booty call situation - we are very very compatible in bed and get on well in general too. We have agreed that the relationship is not "serious", it's all above board. I'm fairly recently out of a marriage and need space/time to be me. He is never married and is definitely a bachelor type. I have a young DS who is with me 70% of the time. DS has not met this man, no plans to.

Anyway. At first this man was definitely, obviously only after sex, which is fine since so was I. During this time, I told this man that I had kicked another man to the curb for attempting to pressure me into an exclusive relationship. We laughed about this at the time. (this is important later.)

As it happened, after the first ~6 weeks, he cancelled plans twice in a week, with little notice, and I felt that he was taking the piss. So I broke it off with him completely. He seemed properly shocked. I think he thought he could be half arsed and that I would just take it.

Within a month, however, we ended up in bed together again, at my instigation and with me ripping the piss out of him good naturedly for almost managing to fuck up what was a near ideal fwb situation.

That was 2-3 months ago and it's been very enjoyable since. We see each other twice a week usually. I keep appropriate emotional distance and expect very little from him besides happy, sexy company. I have other men on the go. I am very fond of him though, he is certainly my favourite.

But ever since I reset things, from then on, I've noticed that his behaviour has changed:
He never, EVER backs out of plans (he knows better now I suppose!), will drag himself to see me even when he is visibly ill or exhausted
Will rarely allow me to just come over for a shag but will instead plan a dinner out first
Won't shut up - wants to talk a lot, when I would prefer to jump into bed after said dinner
Doesn't like me to leave his house after said shag, wants me to stay over whenever possible
Buys me small gifts constantly
Never lets a day go by without contact (phone/text/email)
Brings food/sweets round on nights that I have DS and can't leave house
Fixes things in my house without being asked
Keeps a stash of things at his house for me (toothbrush, food that I like and he doesn't) without being asked
Never shows up empty handed in general
Has started to ask if I will travel with him. On conferences, on trips that he has planned for 6 months from now, etc.
Tried to engineer a meeting between me and one of his close friends (I weaseled out because it felt wrong somehow)
Constantly mentions that he has talked to his friends about me ("I told so and so you said...") etc.
Seems to make a point of texting me pics of himself holding his friends' babies/children??
Asks after my son and family and friends, by name, recalling all the details I mention about them

The way he talks has also changed... we took our first overnight trip together recently and on said trip, he asked me when I plan to legally divorce my ex, whether I plan to marry again, what kind of man I think I might marry. I didn't realise the possible subtext at the time, replied that I thought I might one day marry someone older than me -- he replied that he didn't think so, that I'd marry someone my age (e.g. him!). It was this most recent conversation that made me think wait, what is going on here?

He says more and more lovely things to me as well, staring into my eyes etc., but I ignore that since it's easy to say nice things, it's more the actions that have me wondering. (e.g. when he tells me he likes me etc., I just say thank you.)

Is it possible that this is him following a script of what he assumes a woman likes to see/hear from a man? I just seems vanishingly unlikely to me that he has really developed feelings for me, since this started out as a pure hookup situation, he took the piss at the beginning, I have a small child, etc. etc. However, I find myself worrying a little about what might be going on in his head, since a) I don't want to hurt him, he's genuinely lovely and b) I don't want to be hurt myself!

I would just talk to him about it... but I have tried before and he just sort of avoids answering properly. Which makes me think that he is just playing out a script of "what the laydeez like to hear", that it's sort of part of a game. However, my best friend disagrees with me and thinks he is love struck but too scared to attempt an exclusivity/defining things talk... because he thinks I will drop him like I did the man mentioned earlier.

Opinions? Surely fwbs generally stay fwbs. And if they do develop it's more the woman who gets attached. Or is that just a stereotype?

hyperjoules Mon 04-Apr-16 21:11:42

Will also say that while the behaviour change seemed to start at the time of the "reset", it has ramped up considerably in the last month. It wasn't a sudden change, rather was gradual and now I suddenly find myself faced with a man who is behaving like a boyfriend...

DorindaJ Mon 04-Apr-16 21:24:20

You do have a choice here? If the situation isn't how you want it to be, tell him.

goddessofsmallthings Mon 04-Apr-16 22:11:12

Do you want him as a boyfriend? Are you prepared to give up the other men you have "on the go"?

That said, I get the feeling that he may indeed be following 'a 'script' because you present a challenge to him and that if you were to return his doe-eyed looks he'd run a mile. What do you know about his relationship history?

hyperjoules Mon 04-Apr-16 22:33:58

I don't want something exclusive with anyone, I'm not ready for it. But I confess I don't want to give him up because the time we have together is such fun!! My dilemma is whether I should just leave it, and it will probably carry on being fun which I selfishly would prefer, or if I should assume he is developing feelings and bow out to prevent him getting hurt.

His relationship history... he's had multi-year relationships and has lived with a couple of women, and he speaks well of them/is still friends with some of them, no red flags there. He's told me he once had a fwb who lasted a few years, I did ask what became of her and he said "I stopped seeing her when I met a girl who I really cared about". That might be my ultimate fate, which is what I'd assumed until recently, and that would be fine really. I only wish him well in general, he's a nice man.

I do feel like he's script-following like you say goddess. In which case, I'll just leave it and let him do what he thinks he's meant to, and not comment on it.

MistressDeeCee Tue 05-Apr-16 03:06:35

I don't see why you wouldn't just tell him. If you've taken the time to analyse and dissect so very thoroughly and then post, you do want him as a boyfriend. & you're hoping his actions mean he sees you seriously too. Its blatantly obvious. Just have a word, you sound comfortable enough with him so why not. Its Yes or No, isn't it. Hopefully all turns out well

niceupthedance Tue 05-Apr-16 06:14:07

I agree with mistress, if his behaviour was a turn off you would have binned him. You should be examining your own feelings here and then acting accordingly.

penguinplease Tue 05-Apr-16 06:20:59

Does he know you are seeing other men as well and is he seeing other women?

Thefitfatty Tue 05-Apr-16 07:03:26

I'd let it go to be honest. If you're happy with the situation and he's happy, why ruin it? Is it possible that he has developed more feelings for you then just fwb? Sure. Like you say, he's your 'preferred' man of the moment, perhaps he feels the same way about you. That doesn't mean he wants to change things, just that he's treating you nicely and with respect.

Unless you actually want to ramp things up with him, then I'd leave be till he says something about his feelings or the relationship fizzles out of its own accord.

arsenaltilidie Tue 05-Apr-16 07:23:29

Given his behaviour it's likely he may have developed feelings for you.

WipsGlitter Tue 05-Apr-16 07:25:11

I don't really understand how this works.

To me it sounds like you are in a relationship.

But if you're not happy then end it.

VinceNoirLovesHowardMoon Tue 05-Apr-16 07:30:12

There is nothing wrong with this being a relationship, but one which is not exclusive. It's not your responsibility to make sure he doesn't get hurt, it's his - and if you try to talk to him and he swerved it what can you do?
I think he probably enjoys being the boyfriend type person for you. He's not doing it to follow a script, or because he necessarily wants to be your boyfriend, but it's working for him. While it's working for both of you then don't rock the boat!

Slowdecrease Tue 05-Apr-16 09:17:41

I wouldn't worry. This board is full of stories of fabulously gallant men who just as equally fuck off into the sunset as arseholes so you'll probably not have to worry about getting stuck in a relationship with him. Lots of men like to "model" a relationship without having the responsibility of one - sounds textbook to be. Doesn't sound like he'll get hurt, he's just enjoying playing at it as you are. If he really wanted you to himself he'd not put up with being an option. I think this is most mens ideal 'loveless' situation tbh. Hallmarks of a relationship with no comittmemt at all I wouldn't worry about him, he's cool, just enjoy it.

eddielizzard Tue 05-Apr-16 09:27:01

i dunno. he's putting in quite a bit of effort, it's not just pretty talk. buying things you like, engineering for you to meet his friends, wanting to spend lots of time talking. i don't think he's just following a script. he might be game playing but he's taking it awfully seriously if he is.

i think there's always a case for protecting yourself. what is your gut feel? and if he is genuine how would you feel about ending things? would you miss him?

DrMorbius Tue 05-Apr-16 09:34:07

eddie it is not worth trying to "reason" with Slowdecrease, in MN terms she appears to be an Alpha model (all men are b'stards).

Thought of the day - I often wonder how often people analyse how much they are the creator of their destiny.

Slowdecrease Tue 05-Apr-16 09:38:58

Me?? Are you quite sure about that? About 50% of the time I'm with the men's view of things so I'd check your facts if I was you so ner!!!! You've got me mixed up I think!

hyperjoules Tue 05-Apr-16 11:18:27

I'd let it go to be honest. If you're happy with the situation and he's happy, why ruin it? Is it possible that he has developed more feelings for you then just fwb? Sure. Like you say, he's your 'preferred' man of the moment, perhaps he feels the same way about you. That doesn't mean he wants to change things, just that he's treating you nicely and with respect.

Thanks, this really clarified things for me. He is so respectful and kind, when I think about it, he is like that with other people in his life too, I think that perhaps what's happening is that he is simply learning to "love" me as a friend, and is acting accordingly.

He really is lovely, but it really, REALLY is not the right time for me. (And he does have certain traits - like not being open about how he feels!!! - that I wouldn't be able to put up with 24/7/365, tbh...)

Does he know you are seeing other men as well and is he seeing other women?

Yes. And sometimes (I don't know if I imagine it) I feel he pulls back / is slightly offended when I am open. But... I have tried to talk about it and he just won't. So, nothing I can do but continue with the status quo.

If I have a bad date, I will tell him, he'll often come and collect me if I am out etc. Even if I have had a neutral/good date he will ask me to come to his after, will offer to pick me up etc. He has actually told me that he is jealous when I sleep over with anyone but him. That's the most he's ever said in that vein though!

He has seen other women, but hasn't had much luck since we met. (Well besides with me!) He tells me they tend to fuck him off after 1-2 dates citing lack of chemistry. I suspect he's not had any better offers so is enjoying what he can while he can. That's for the best really smile

I don't know, it's just confusing if I think about it too much. I suppose he wants it to be confusing, it's not hard for him to clarify.

hyperjoules Tue 05-Apr-16 11:24:41

what is your gut feel? and if he is genuine how would you feel about ending things? would you miss him?

This is the thing, my gut feel can't seem to decide how it feels! I think this is because he is trying not to clarify though. But who fucking knows the reason he won't clarify. Could be he is scared of my reaction; could be he is just being a polite player, which is completely fine.

If he were to ask me to be exclusive with him, I wouldn't jump at it. Because of how our rs has been so far, we would have to hash a lot of things out first, and frankly him not being very good at talking about stuff = me thinking that wouldn't go well. I wouldn't completely rule it out but, tbh, I don't think it would be easy or a good idea necessarily.

I would miss him dreadfully if we ended things. But, I missed my ex dreadfully when we split up. I don't think that's an indicator that the rs is a good idea, if that makes sense?

Thefitfatty Tue 05-Apr-16 11:26:25

It's not confusing. You aren't ready. He knows that, but he also probably does genuinely care about you (which isn't a bad thing), which is why you're getting the impression he wants more.

The thing is, if he isn't saying he wants more, then leave be.

I think you've got a bit of a fright of commitment at the moment (perfectly natural) so you're making an issue where there probably isn't one. If he wanted you to be his 'one and only' he'd tell you. Men are usually pretty forthright about those things.

Sounds like you've got a decent friend with benefits, with the emphasis on the friend part. smile

DrMorbius Tue 05-Apr-16 11:38:18

he does have certain traits - like not being open about how he feels!!! - that I wouldn't be able to put up with
Why would he open up, isn't that "against the rules" of a FWB relationship?

If I have a bad date, I will tell him, he'll often come and collect me if I am out etc. Even if I have had a neutral/good date he will ask me to come to his after, will offer to pick me up etc that's fucked up weird!!!!!!

I once read on here a poster giving advice to another about "open relationships" and she said your partner will want sex when you get back to "reclaim you" sounds like something similar is going on here!!!!

Me thinks your relationship needs redefining.

WhoaCadburys Tue 05-Apr-16 11:45:41

^^ exactly wss

Slowdecrease Tue 05-Apr-16 11:45:51

Where's my retraction then morbius grin

Lalaloopy2016 Tue 05-Apr-16 12:01:42

I think it's very unfair of you to get him to pick you up after a date when you know he has strong feelings for you. That sounds like you are just playing him or using him.

SolidGoldBrass Tue 05-Apr-16 12:26:37

The main thing to remember is that no relationship has guarantees.
Also, FWB set ups don't mean you can't like the other person and enjoy his/her company as well as the sex. The 'friend' part matters as well as the 'benefits'.

If it stops working for either of you then you can politely call it off, but if you're both enjoying yourself at the moment then carry on doing so.

WhoaCadburys Tue 05-Apr-16 12:37:48

It sounds as though you are being a little unfair on him and blurring the boundaries.

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