"What about when a guy is not ignoring you, but is making NO effort to initiate?
I hooked up with a guy from work. He messaged me suggesting a FWB, and we got together. During the night, he told me that actually he really likes me, and he’s ok with FWB but would like to take it further. I told him I wasn’t sure, would need to think about it, but am happy to keep going with what we have in the meantime.
Since then (10 days), he’s barely spoken to me.
When I see him at work he’s still very flirtatious.
When I text him, he texts straight back, but he’s not made any effort.
I know he’s not shy, because he messaged me the first time!
I did drunk text him one night to ask why he hasn’t contacted me. He apologized, and the next morning sent me a good morning text, which I replied to.
But since then, nothing. No contact at all for 3 days now.
If he doesn’t like me, why is he flirting and responding to my texts? If he does like me, why isn’t he making an effort?!"
Hello Amy, he certainly did try to initiate something more when he told he really likes you and wants something more. That was him putting himself out there which you must admit takes a lot for a guy to do.
You told him that you needed to think about it but you're not against continuing with your current arrangement of the FWB.
So he did what would be expected from a guy who is not all needy and desperate to push things unnaturally forward... (which is a good thing, right?)
He gave you space and acted like a "scarce" friend.
Since he's looking for more and you're not - he's refraining from acting as more than just a friend to avoid coming off as trying to be your boyfriend - because you told him you're not sure if that's what you want.
I don't see where him not liking you comes into play here. He obviously does. Just because he's not making a huge EFFORT when you in a way told him to back off - at least that's how a guy would see it. A guy might even feel rejected after hearing that.
Let me get this out because I feel very passionately about what I'm about to say. I believe it's something you should take to heart because it sounds like you're going to want something more with this guy and there's going to be a big problem.
A FWB doesn't work or even exist in the world of dating and relationships.
It's a made up thing used in two circumstances:
One - by a guy who wants to get laid but does not like the women enough to commit or want something more - he wants to keep her "on the hook" and get some sex on the side.
Two - by a woman who wants a guy and is using the sex angle to lure him into something more when he's again - just not into her all that much and she knows it or assumes it.
Here's the deal:
You're either casually dating, sleeping with each other or just having sex OR you're platonic friends.
There's no middle ground here.
You're just beginning to see why this lack of real definition of what is going on with you is going to be a bigger problem in the future and why it's setting up miscommunication:
If or when he starts to act like more than a friend - you'll begin to feel he's pushing the boyfriend thing on you when you're clearly not ready or convinced you want to be his girlfriend.
If he pulls back - suddenly it's like he's ignoring you or acting as less than a friend would or is supposed to do BUT you're not really friends, are you?
You're two co-workers sleeping with each other.
There's no real definition of your relationship beyond that.
Friends With Benefits is a state of limbo.
Dating implies an exploration, a possibility, a defined "relationship" where both are free to date and see other people.
Dating is NOT a commitment.
Sure it may be semantics - just a choice of words - but again, dating is a clear understanding between two people which allows them to act more freely.
"Friends With Benefits" becomes a problem because there's no real clear line drawn and it often causes confusion on how to act, when to act, how to proceed, how not to proceed, etc...
There's no real pressure on friends or a timetable to see each other or respond to an absence.
If a friend doesn't contact you for a while it's much easier to say, "Hey - jerkoff!!! Where have you been?"
In your case.
He wants to date - you don't - but you want to act like you're dating by just being friends with the added benefit of intimacy.
But as far as I'm concerned or firmly believe...
Intimacy is not a benefit of a relationship - it's an integral and very important part of it.
When friends start seeing each other intimately - they're dating - committed or not, it doesn't matter.
Your guy is confused and does not know how to act because of the vague often confused definition of what a "friends with benefits".
He's afraid of crossing the line and losing the connection entirely.
He's giving you the space he thinks YOU want.
He's not taking the effort you want him to take because you're just co-workers who sleep together and not casually dating.
I COMPLETELY understand and hear you - He's the one who suggested the FWB.
This is typical for a guy who is not sure how a certain woman would react to an open dating arrangement.
Some people are not into that - or assume women are not okay with it - and so suggesting the FWB might have been his way of feeling you out.
You'll find some guys, unless there's intimacy or a real physical connection are not really sure what they want until it happens. They can then get all mushy and realize after the fact that, "Wow! I want more! I don't want to lose this one!"
Or something along those lines.
We (once more) might be talking semantics but clearer definitions where both of the sexes agree or are at least understand has much less of a potential to create problems than just having to guess how the other person defines something where an emotional connection is involved.
This includes all areas up to the definition of cheating and the different definition of love men and women have.
Guessing doesn't work in going from meeting to dating to intimacy to a committed relationship.
Guessing creates communication breakdowns and loosely defined "relationships" are hard or entirely impossible to know where they are, where they're going, and HOW they're supposed to move forward or stop altogether.
Here's how I define things:
Friends - A Platonic relationship which may or may not develop into something more. You're not sleeping with each other and you treat each other according to how you treat your friends.
When more happens, it becomes...
Dating - A Non-committal exploration to figure out compatibility on a deeper level.
In the dating mode you're not pressured or required to see each other that often. You're exploring other options. You're feeling each other out.
In dating you;re also not opt to rely on the other person for full support on issues or problems.
Intimacy is certainly a part of dating which can shared or explored deeper which includes everything and anything up to having sex and sleeping with each other.
Girlfriend and Boyfriend - A committed relationship unless otherwise specified with a vocally agreed on open relationship, is meant to explore an even deeper level of compatibility.
You see each other more often. You might commit to living together. You;re relying on your partner for more support. You're there for each other and are in a relatively constant but healthy contact.
Casual Sex - You're sleeping with each other for sexual gratification with no strings attached. You're NOT friends because you're not really doing things that friends do. It's just SEX.
Once you start hanging out and doing things together you're now casually dating each other and those rules apply.
If you remove the sex or intimacy and you still do things together - you're now just FRIENDS.
If you sleep with each other occasionally for whatever reason you each give - you're actually very loosely DATING without a commitment and that's unfortunately where and when the miscommunication or lack of definition becomes a severe problem.
It's quite clear an FWB doesn't exist anywhere in that list in a manageable relationship.
You're either dating or your just friends, or you're screwing each other, or you're committed to each other.
By following those definitions precisely you'll have less problems - less miscommunication - less questions - more confidence with the added BENEFIT that each relationship comes with which includes a MEANING to it all.
Lastly - notice the order and how casual sex is last.
This was done purposely because moving from friends to dating to relationship is natural and is a quite normal and easy progression to follow. You probably should start at dating and develop an intimate relationship (which is not the same as being just friends) but beginning as friends is normally okay.
However - going from casual sex or just sleeping with each other into a relationship typically causes a lot of problems and makes the progression much more difficult.
Since most call or confuse FWB's with casual sex I'd say it's even MORE difficult and NOT recommended for lots of reasons which you'll find listed here:
I'm a big advocate of clearly defined relationships.
It's not something I just suggest to women to stop them from sleeping with guys too early - I also advise men to follow the same as you can read about on my "man" site: There Are No Friends With Benefits, Real Men Don’t Sleep With Their Friends.
Thank you Amy for allowing me to take your question as far as I did. I feel VERY strongly about this subject and have yet to find anyone who could change my mind - I'm open to hearing your opinion or argument - just haven't been convinced otherwise at the time of writing this.
I do hope however, among all the definitions, you found the answer you were looking for and a clearer understanding about why your "friend with benefits" is doing or acting like he doesn't care when I firmly believe he does like and him saying he wants something is proves.
Just because he's not getting back to you or initiating the messages or chats is sort of relevant here but not a real proof of him not being interested in you.
What happened in your situation is quite common:
Men get confused especially after they put themselves out there and either not get the answer they want, need, or expect, and will go SILENT as they think things through OR as they try to give you what they think you want.
(You do know you can learn anything and everything about a man's silence which will certainly expose situations like this and more when you buy my Silent Man Book and start reading it immediately.)
It's easy to become confused by his actions for many reasons but also because in cases like this and more - as my concept of understanding men made simple breaks down guys into two types - you'll find a man of high character AND a type one will rarely if EVER become a friends with benefits whereas a type two will more often than not... take whatever they can get when it comes to women and sex.
So LEARN the difference. Make your "dating" life simpler: