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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. 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.


lottieandmia Thu 09-May-13 14:32:22

I'd say that generally, one of you will end up wanting more usually.

It's really hard to see someone regularly and not develop feelings tbh.

CashmereHoodlum Thu 09-May-13 14:38:04

Are you prepared to lose the friendship if it all goes tits up?

SundaysGirl Thu 09-May-13 14:51:05

lottieandmia - Yea thats what they say isn't it? I'm not sure about how I feel about him as anything other than a friend, its too hard to know being that we've never really had that type of interaction.

CashmereHoodlum - Well we've always been more of the 'move in similar circles and nod at each other and exchange the odd message' over the last 7 years or so as we were both always in other relationships. But then if we spent more time together our friendship might well deepen at least. what I'm worried about is getting emotionally involved and getting hurt.

Guess can't tell if we will 'click' anyway..but given the sparks that have flown on occasions over the years I am pretty sure we will. Maybe its best not to find out. Gawd i'm indecisive right now!

Thank you both smile

Numberlock Thu 09-May-13 14:53:44

Could you not make it an exclusive arrangement and see where you go?

Could he want more than FWB?

SundaysGirl Thu 09-May-13 15:41:31

I'm not sure! And I guess by the time I figure it out it might be too late to stop any feelings if they happen. confused

Numberlock Thu 09-May-13 15:56:55

You could ask him now if he'd be willing to try that arrangement. Have an upfront chat about exactly what you'd both be getting into.

I've never seen the point of FWB personally. Sounds like a lot of hard work, just for a shag. And I'm not short of (male) company to go out for dinner, theatre, cinema etc.

SundaysGirl Thu 09-May-13 16:17:08

I think I will go out for drinks when he gets back and see how it is in person between us then have an upfront chat about stuff.

and lol on the hard work..kind of what I was hoping to avoid in this sort of situation!!! Maybe the very fact I am concerned already means I am not the right sort of person to do it!

Numberlock Thu 09-May-13 16:32:55

Good idea, be upfront and honest, hopefully he will do the same and then you can take it from there.

SundaysGirl Thu 09-May-13 18:19:35

Thank you numberlock smile I think I will cool it on the messaging and so on and wait until he returns to the Uk. Have a drink and just see if that old cheistry really is still there in person.

Then take it from there.

SundaysGirl Thu 09-May-13 18:19:55

ooops *chemistry

ClippedPhoenix Thu 09-May-13 18:25:53

I'd give him a wide berth. FWB ends in tears for either one or the other. Whats he doing in Thailand again?

ClippedPhoenix Thu 09-May-13 18:28:57

He's totally "off" women you say, just wants a shag? In Thailand again? Is the there for the wonderful beaches?

ClippedPhoenix Thu 09-May-13 18:29:56

"he" of course.

SundaysGirl Thu 09-May-13 18:30:37

He's on a three-month sabbatical and staying with family. Think it might be one of those 'find yourself' type things!

To be fair I highly doubt he is a serious relationship prospect for me, but I'm not 100% sure about that. I just want to be careful, I am healing well from my previous relationship and don't want to jepordise that by getting too involved.

At the same time I sort of think 'well we are both single now for the first time in years and years, it might be fantastic to finally have some time together in that way'.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 09-May-13 18:32:08

OP it may just be me but the last thing i feel you need is a heartless shagathon!

scaevola Thu 09-May-13 18:35:02

Wait until he's back in UK.

Make sure he's had an STI check.

And remember - FWB means that he isn't likely ever to be a prospect for a proper relationship. If you really want NSA sex, then you might be better off with someone who isn't a pre-existing friend.

If you're not sure you're over you break up, I'd be cautious about mixing friends and sex. There are too many complicating factors.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 09-May-13 18:35:21

Why can't you leave the sex bit out of the equasion and maybe spend a bit of time with him? How did you come to the conclusion that you were going to be FWB's?

Moanranger Thu 09-May-13 18:36:06

I think the FWB concept is of pretty limited use - you are saying in effect, yeah,we'll shag, but it's meaningless & we have one eye out for the real deal at all times.
Not good for the self-esteem.
In your situation, I would talk to friend re starting an exclusive sexual relationship & see where it goes. It could evolve into the real deal,or only end up a shorter term fling, but to me even if the second,there is an Important distinction between that and calling it FWB from the get-go.
I would never start a sexual relationship with someone where the possibilities of it deepening are shut down from the start. Deeply sad. Yes, many relationships do fade out, but call me a romantic, I think you should always try for more.

AThingInYourLife Thu 09-May-13 18:37:32

I'd be pretty insulted if someone I had a mutual attraction with for years only wanted a no strings shag when we were finally both single.

A normal response to this situation would be to go on a date.

SundaysGirl Thu 09-May-13 18:50:36

Thanks all. Well If I am 100% honest it was me who brought it up first because, erm I felt into the idea of it. I've never felt like he was a relationship prospect and I don't think he has for me either.

After a while of talking though I've realised that actually we have both changed an awful lot. Now I'm not entirely sure who he is, but I would like to find out..I've been interested in a lot of changes he seems to have made and things he is now interested in, which I share an interest in (like meditation..never would have thought that of him in a hundred years)

So again being honest the FWB idea was mine in the first place and I really wasn't looking for much other than the physical. Mostly because well..I wanted sex with someone I fancy! Now i'm not so sure..but would have to spend proper time in person to see if that makes sense?

SundaysGirl Thu 09-May-13 18:52:34

I think I took it as a good sign that I was becoming sexually interested in other people again after my breakup. And for me it is a rare thing for me to be sexually attracted to anyone (can count the men I've ever felt like that for on fingers of one hand).

But perhaps its not such a good idea until I am 100% over it all. hmm

SundaysGirl Thu 09-May-13 18:52:59

That was supposed to be confused!

ClippedPhoenix Thu 09-May-13 18:55:29

I personally don't understand why sex is such a throw away commodity these days? I was brought up to think that sex/intimacy goes hand in had with having feelings for someone and surely that's what we are trying to teach our children? I don't say to my son... look mate, don't worry about the girl, if you fancy sex then that's fine?????

I don't think it's a bad idea. You sound pretty certain that he's not for you relationship wise, but there's chemistry there. I would go for it. In FWB situations I've been in, I've been clear that it's an exclusive FWB- no other sexual partners, and if either of us meet someone we like, it gets stopped before they become sexual. I don't want to be the cause of arguments in a new relationship.

You fancy him, he fancies you, you're both consenting adults, whats the problem?

SundaysGirl Thu 09-May-13 19:01:10

clippedphoneix - Well I do see where you are coming from. Hope this is not TMI..I have a really high sex drive and sometimes just want sex for..well sex. There is something different (obv) about two people than there is about flying solo.

Generally I think if people both want to do it and there is no lying or cheating involved and they know where they stand and so on then thats fine. The key here is mutuality. I would not encourage anyone to just have sex and not bother about the feelings of the other person. Sorry if it made it seem that way about me and how I feel about my friend. (as in not caring about his feelings) The way I wrote it might have come across flippant..I'm just feeling a bit shy about talking about my sex drive, but trying to be honest or theres no point posting.

However I also know in this situation I've posted about that it might be more complex than I initially thought..I guess I just don't want to make a mistake. I'm a bit conflicted truth be told..hence the post!

Sex isn't a throw away commodity, but it's not a sign of happy ever after in love either. I'm not going to teach my daughter to sleep around, at all, but if she is over the emotional rollercoaster that happens in teenage years, who am I to tell her she can't have responsible sex with another consenting adult? If both people are on the same page, what's wrong with it? I'm not in a relationship, haven't been for a few years, as I haven't found anybody that I like, respect and have enough in common with that I will change my life how it is now. Should I have given up sex in that time too?

ClippedPhoenix Thu 09-May-13 19:08:08

I personally think that all this FWB stuff is for the very few and not my bag at all. I think being intimate with someone is very personal and I wouldn't want that unless we both felt something for each other. I find it sad, but that's just me.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 09-May-13 19:12:42

Sex and feeling go hand in hand for me..... It's how I'm bringing up my son. He wouldn't dream of having sex with someone unless he felt something for them (nothing to do with happy ever after). I believe it's the right way, but everyone else is entitled to their own opinion.

SundaysGirl Thu 09-May-13 19:13:44

See I totally get both points of view! I guess both kinds have their place to me. But I just don't want to get mixed up with the kind that is not right for me at this time in my life. smile

ClippedPhoenix Thu 09-May-13 19:16:29

You've been hurt OP. I feel someone kind and considerate that wants to spend time with you, just because the want to be with you is the way to go now.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 09-May-13 19:16:49


KittensandKids Thu 09-May-13 19:26:44

I tried it but for me I cannot have sex with someone with feeling emotionally involved, the guy who I was 'friends' with was seeing other people (I think) and I ended up not wanting to be with him. We were good friends too and it ruined the friendship completely.

We only met twice and he would text and call a lot for maybe 10 days after seeing him but then the texts/calls would fade, so I just left him once and he didn't call or text me for 2 months and I didn't either, then I got a text as usual later at night. I couldn't be arsed so just ignored him, he still texts (randomly). I wont sleep with him again though.

Tbh it felt strange for me meeting up knowing we were meeting for sex but I was married for many years and have lead a sheltered life grin

KittensandKids Thu 09-May-13 19:27:39

*met twice with intention of sex blush

ClippedPhoenix Thu 09-May-13 19:36:19

There are of course exceptions to anything but from experience a FWB relationship usually benefits the man far more than the woman.

AnyFucker Thu 09-May-13 19:41:39

You are already wondering if a fwb situation with this man will develop into something more

So I pronounce it a bad idea

What is he doing in Thailand again ?

A "sabbatical"
That's a corker, that one

I fear you have mislaid your common sense as your hormones have gained ascendancy

ClippedPhoenix Thu 09-May-13 19:54:29

Perfect summary there AF grin

OP, wait it out until you find someone that wants to be with you just purely because they do and nothing whatsover to do with your muff grin

It's a sign of getting better when we tingle again....

AnyFucker Thu 09-May-13 21:07:30


cjel Thu 09-May-13 21:29:10

I wouldn't do it. It is insulting for a man to think of you as a fwb, I want him to want me i'd feel like i'd prostituted myself and would worry that you would be more vulnerable than you think and would get hurt again.

SundaysGirl Thu 09-May-13 22:24:15

Thanks again everyone! Just had a long chat with my sister who (obv) knows me and knows my situation in detail. She felt why not but again it is the potential vulnerability issue here.

I certainly wouldn't feel bad or like a prostitue for having sex with someone purely for the sake of having sex because we both felt like it. Personally I see nothing wrong in that at all, and have done it before with no issues.

However I think that the very fact I'm wary and posted about it means that it might not be such a good idea. If I wasn't having that nagging sensation going on then I would just be 'rock on next month' and think no more of it.

So for now I am going to just keep what I've been doing going on which is enjoying being on my own and just making sure i work through the breakup stuff. I think I'm getting close to being pretty ok about it all, but best not to mess with that right now.

I'll see how things are in a few weeks time and how I am feeling, just about everything in general. I know for a fact i'm not ready for a relationship at all.

Thanks, it is really appreciated. smile

SundaysGirl Thu 09-May-13 22:24:46

also...arf at 'muff' grin

AnyFucker Thu 09-May-13 22:29:47

great word, muff smile

I think FWB is a great way to have a bit of fun and plenty of sex. It's the insistence that sex has to mean more for women that keeps so many women lumbered with useless or harmful men.
It's also fine to have a FWB set-up that's not monogamous, or exclusive, as long as you have agreed this between you.

If you are having NSA sex with a man, you don't have to do housework for him or be bored by his row with his boss/mum, and you can just bin him if he starts to annoy or disappoint you. What's not to like?

ClippedPhoenix Thu 09-May-13 23:14:35

Good for you solid... if testosterone filled fluid was keeping you cozy in your mums womb then all hail to you. It's not the case for many, very unique and a huge thumbs up.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 09-May-13 23:20:22

AThingInYourLife has it.

You already have feelings in a way for him OP or you'd not give this a second'd be shagging him or not...ifd it were a REAL FWB situation you'd be too busy living your life to worry about it.

Don't go there. I agree that it's a bit offensive of him really. Either go on dates with a view to a relationship or tell him to shag someone else with no feelings.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 09-May-13 23:34:47

OP, did you suggest it as a way of maybe sort of saying you're ok? Wrong! you fancied someone after a long time... once again, don't offer the muff! grin I can say this coz im 50 and my muff was offered a few times and it didnt turn out to be good for me.

Sweetheart, go for gold... (not what solid suggests by the way), shes a unique one...

SundaysGirl Fri 10-May-13 00:01:06

But then..I don't like the idea of 'going for gold' makes it seem like my ultimate 'goal' ought to be a long term relationship and marriage and stuff like that. Which i'm not sure I want.

I took no offense at him wanting sex with me whatsoever, I made it clear I wanted to have sex with him. It was a mutual 'want sex' thing.

See this is the thing..I get kind of antsy at the idea that if a man just wants sex and nothing else its some sort of insult, like the woman will always want more or want to be more to him and so on.

However I am still going to wait with this sort of thing. Too confusing right now and I can see almost everyones points of view, even when they conflict!

Hmmm. Time, space and not jumping into this is the way to go for now!! Damn good job man in question is so far away atm grin

ClippedPhoenix Fri 10-May-13 00:48:57

if its confusing its not right... if you have to "think" about it, its because you shouldnt do it. if you have to post about it its a definite no no...

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. It gets very tedious to be told that you do want, deep down, something that has no appeal for you - or that if you don't then there is something 'wrong' with you.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 10-May-13 01:01:25

it gets very piss boring though solid when you are told that you have to "man" up and have one?

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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