How Do I Tell A Friend With Benefits He Is Getting Too Attached?

Justtoaskaquestion55 asks:

I’m a recently divorced 35-year-old female. My life is busy right now with my two children, school, and trying to make it all balance. However, I missed sex so I decided to find myself a couple of Friends with Benefits.

The first one I found is amazing. He and I talk openly about sex, other FWBs, and just about everything under the sun. The sex is great and the friendship is great.

Then I picked up a second one. The sex is okay (he can’t finish) and his political and ideological beliefs don’t align with mine. There isn’t much we can talk about since he leans conservative and I’m liberal. It wouldn’t be much of an issue if the sex was mind-blowing but it’s just okay. He is always telling me how wonderful and amazing I am, which I totally appreciate since compliments aren’t something I got from my ex husband. This guy is always texting me. I feel like he is getting a little too attached.

I’ve never been in this situation before. Especially since I married my very first boyfriend. I have no experience ending relationships. How do I go about telling this guy it needs to cool down a bit and become less like a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship?

First, I want to congratulate you on moving forward after your divorce and not letting it define you. That alone is commendable and it sounds like you’re well on your way to getting what you want post-divorce.

The way you describe all the bad characteristics of FWB #2, it made me seriously question why you’re with him. You don’t really connect with him sexually, you don’t connect politically or ideologically, and it seems like he’s a bit too smothering for your tastes. What you don’t outright say but allude to is the reason why you’re keeping him around. He makes you feel good by complimenting you. His words make you feel something you will sorely lacking from your ex-husband.

The way I see it, there are two solutions to your problem:

1. Assume that FWB #2 will only become progressively more clingy and preemptively cut ties with him

or

2. Address the issue with FWB #2 in the hopes that he fixes the problem

Let’s tackle how to do option #2.

I’m assuming that when you first started hooking up, you told him that you weren’t looking for something serious. If you didn’t, do so ASAP. If you’ve already had that conversation, bring it up again to get the conversation going. Start by telling him exactly what you want and BE SPECIFIC. Be specific about your expectations, what you expect from him,  how you communicate (i.e. texting, chatting online, email, phone calls),  how often you communicate, what kind of communications you want to receive (i.e Should he text you when he wants to just say hello, or only when arranging a sexual encounter?). Your instinct might be to be as polite as possible, but fight that instinct! Be absolutely clear about exactly what you want out of your casual dating and sex arrangement.

You didn’t specify the particular behaviors that he is exhibiting that are too much like a bf/gf situation, but whatever the behaviors are, you need to set a very specific boundary on what is and is not acceptable for you. Since you’re not in a committed relationship remember that this isn’t something that you need to compromise about. Set clear boundaries and stick to them.

Since you don’t have a lot of experience ending things I’ll warn you now that there is a very high possibility that after this conversation he will try to end things. That’s a risk that you’ll have to take in order to get what you want. There’s nothing wrong with cutting your loses if you guys aren’t on the same page.

Good Luck Out There.

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