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To not give my Friends With Benefits relationship a chance?

(35 Posts)
Itsgettingbetter Tue 27-Sep-16 11:15:59

Long time lurker, first post.

It's been going on, on and off, for five years. And he hates when I say we "are just friends who have sex" - he says he loves me but I keep saying I don't think we would work as a proper couple. But I'm not the best judge of such things. Am socially awkward and tend to make misjudgements. Am wondering if I may be overlooking something potentially very good and solid?

I'm a single parent in my mid-thirties, 1 DS, age 10, currently doing a PhD with a scholarship. He is a divorced creative, nearly 50. 2 grown up DCs, doesn't make much money. However, he is gentle, kind, wise, supportive and patient. He is tall with unusual looks but has attractive features and looks after himself. He keeps his home beautifully, gives me tips on how to decorate mine and cooks for me when I visit. He is opinionated, political and clever. We both share a sweet tooth, the same sex drive and sex with him is the best I've had. We are both introverts and awkward as hell, but somewhat comfy together.

But there are issues: he is quite anal as well as a bit old fashioned in regards to parenting so realistically I don't think we could live together until DS is at least 18 and has his own life. I'm not sure if I would have another child but definitely would not have one with him as our approaches would be completely different. Also we are both currently renting and I am planning to work towards owning my own home - he is not interested in such things. He would support it but not actively help. He sometimes struggles financially so I would have to fund things like trips, whether to the theatre or a holiday. We are both quite solitary people and are not an integral part of each others lives.

Often I get fed up and start considering online dating or see an attractive man and wonder could be in store for me, if I was brave enough to step away. Could the grass really be greener elsewhere?

squoosh Tue 27-Sep-16 11:19:28

He thinks he's in a relationship with you.

5 years is a very long time for a FWB scenario, I'm not surprised one of you has developed feelings.

You don't sound as though you see him as a long term option so do the kind thing and end it sooner rather than later.

squoosh Tue 27-Sep-16 11:20:05

And yes the grass may well be greener. Don't feel like you should settle if you're not truly happy.

Itsgettingbetter Tue 27-Sep-16 11:31:33

Yes Squoosh, those five years have passed scarily quickly!

artlessflirt Tue 27-Sep-16 11:34:29

I think FWB only works if you are both reading from the same hymn sheet, and you clearly aren't. 5 years is a long time for this kind of thing to string along.

IMO, it seems to me you are looking for reasons why it couldn't work and perhaps sabotaging what could be a good thing. But really, only you know if that's the truth. If those things you have listed that are holding you back are truly dealbreakers, maybe now is the time to do the kindest thing for both of you and end it.

Cocklodger Tue 27-Sep-16 11:39:37

If you don't feel the same way you should break it off.
Don't string him along- he clearly loves you and wants a lot more.

sonjadog Tue 27-Sep-16 11:46:02

How would you feel if he met someone else and your contact with him stopped?

Queenbean Tue 27-Sep-16 11:48:26

The responses would be quite harsh if the roles were reversed and you were posting from the perspective of the woman who thinks she's in a relationship with a man who only sees a FWB scenario

The kindest thing to do is to let him go so you can both find what you actually want

squoosh Tue 27-Sep-16 11:50:32

'The responses would be quite harsh if the roles were reversed and you were posting from the perspective of the woman who thinks she's in a relationship with a man who only sees a FWB scenario'


If the OP was the one who was in love I'd tell her 'this man has been pretty clear that he doesn't see this as a relationship. So get yourself out and find someone who does want a proper relationship'.

Queenbean Tue 27-Sep-16 11:51:48

Because they would all be "he clearly doesn't love you / is taking you for a ride / you're letting him walk all over you" etc etc etc

Whereas the responses so far have been honest and fair but not unkind

Itsgettingbetter Tue 27-Sep-16 11:52:03

Thanks for the responses. I was just wondering if I should lower my expectations and be happy with it as it is? He is trustworthy and dependable - a safe sensible choice. In my gut, I think "not for me." But in my head I know that he would never betray me - the basis of what we have is a very good friendship.

squoosh Tue 27-Sep-16 11:53:53

In my gut, I think "not for me."

You're a young woman and I'd bet your gut feeling will just get stronger and stronger. No point settling, it will just cause heartache in the long-run for one if not both of you.

Yorkieheaven Tue 27-Sep-16 11:57:37

Well you see him as a fwb and he sees you as his girlfriend.

I don't see the responses would be any different to your boyfriend either.

I do think op you enjoy being the younger part of the combination and know that you may not have to try as hard as you would with a man your own age. No criticism but it's comfortable if a bit dull?

LetsJunglyJumpToIt Tue 27-Sep-16 11:58:40

Safe and sensible isn't always the right choice. You're not buying a car!

Do you want companionship, or could you love him?

Itsgettingbetter Tue 27-Sep-16 12:00:20

I think I would be jealous but wish him well, Sonjadog. I want him to be happy. I'm completely honest with him about how I feel but I don't think he takes it seriously as I've stopped then started up again countless times.

Bountybarsyuk Tue 27-Sep-16 12:03:31

At the moment, you know he's there for you, will take you back even if you dump him, and know he loves you, whereas you don't love him. I think you just have to ask yourself- how would I feel if we really split up, and I never saw him again. If sadness, regret but you could live with it, then it's better that you move on with your own life. If you feel quite distressed and can't imagine it, perhaps you are more involved than you think.

I think making lists isn't a good sign, to be honest. These type of life decisions aren't about lists, they are about your gut response. You don't want to be with him really, but he's comfortable and comforting. Be fair to him, and be fair to yourself and move on.

MargaretCavendish Tue 27-Sep-16 12:07:05

I'm quite confused by this statement:

Often I get fed up and start considering online dating or see an attractive man and wonder could be in store for me, if I was brave enough to step away

Surely if you feel that you can't date elsewhere then you're not just FWB? Isn't the whole point of such a casual/uncommitted relationship that you're both single people who choose to sleep together?

I have to say I feel very sorry for this man. I absolutely see why he thinks that you're in a relationship, albeit it an idiosyncratic one.

Itsgettingbetter Tue 27-Sep-16 12:09:56

That's interesting, Yorkie. In what way do you think I would have to try harder with someone younger? I do wonder if I'm missing out as the men I've been with involved with have always been much older than me.

* LetsJungly* - I do think I want more than companionship. I'm quite a passionate person and would like to look across the room at my dp and feel excited by the mere sight of him. That's not the case here and I do worry about the age gap. But then again, I am a bit immature and don't think I understand love. My parents didn't really love each other and don't have any couples as friends so am not sure what to look out for.

sonjadog Tue 27-Sep-16 12:12:16

I think if you wouldn`t mind if he met someone else, it is probably a good indication that you just don`t feel about him the way you should feel about a boyfriend. But if he does have feelings for you, it might be kind to end the fwb arrangement?

OliviaStabler Tue 27-Sep-16 12:17:58

When you say 'old fashioned', what type of differences do you mean OP?

Itsgettingbetter Tue 27-Sep-16 12:19:51

Maybe I am being a bit selfish and immature but as mentioned he does know where he stands. Last night he sent me an image from Tumblr which says:

^ It's okay if I'm not your favourite chapter you have written, but I hope you sometimes smile when you flip back to the pages I was still part of ^

I felt bad after reading this. He knows my heart isn't fully in it, but goes along with it anyway.

artlessflirt Tue 27-Sep-16 12:22:15

You're overthinking it. If your gut feeling is 'not for me' then it's kinder to him to cut it off completely.

It's patently obvious that he is the 'safe' choice for now and you enjoy the FWB side of things - which isn't a huge problem if you're all reading from the same hymn sheet. But you're not, and frankly it's cruel for you to string him along until you concretely decide this isn't working for you.

How awful for him to realise X amount of time into a 'proper' relationship that you lowered your expectations to accommodate him.

MammouthTask Tue 27-Sep-16 12:38:11

From your OP only, the first thing that came to my mimd is that being together but living in separate houses would be something that could work very well for you two.

I agree that 5 years is a long time and clearly he has developped feelings for you. I suspect you have too tbh.
But the reservation about being solitary people and not on the same page parenting wise are very good points that you need to take into consideration, esp for your ds.

From your last post, I think you need to ake a decision. Either finish that relationship *(because it is a relationship by now) or really get involved in it. It's not fair either on you or him.
I'm wondering what you mean about 'not being sure what love means' and the fact you expect to 'feel excited by the sight iof him'. Aftyer 5 years, some people are still in that phase but a hell of a lot of other people have moved on from that. Still fancying each other but not in that way iyswim?

TheNaze73 Tue 27-Sep-16 12:43:24

I think you should under no circumstances settle OP. After 5 years, I think you really can start to see what someone is like warts & all & I think anything else would be a huge mistake. You her need to be cruel to be kind here

Itsgettingbetter Tue 27-Sep-16 12:45:15

Hi OliviaS, by old fashioned I mean an attitude of expecting children almost to be seen and not heard, and wanting unquestioning obedience confused

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