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Show ALL Forums  > Relationships  > How to tell if you've moved past friends with benefits      Home login  
 AUTHOR
 newonthescene76
Joined: 2/24/2007
Msg: 3
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How to tell if you've moved past friends with benefitsPage 1 of 2    (1, 2)
Why not just ask? That way, there is no guess work. Geez, it's not rocket science.
 Confident-Realist
Joined: 2/8/2004
Msg: 5
How to tell if you've moved past friends with benefits
Posted: 5/10/2013 10:02:50 AM
You are what you do. Labels are descriptions of what you do, which can be accurate .... or inaccurate even if you both agree on them. An old thread about FWB had a guy posting about how he fixed his "friend's" car, helped modify her cabinets, would go out trips together with each others' kids, met her family, would sleep over at her place regularly etc -- and he said they were still FWB because that was what they called it in the past. No. You are what you do. He was dating her, and quite seriously, too.

Sometimes it's not a FWB when you're just a booty call. Big difference. Sometimes it's not a FWB when you're dating but not committed. Difference again.

People like the word "friends" because left alone, it means platonic. With benefits means it's not platonic... but the non-platonic part is just physical, and just a side-dish. So is what you do truly fit that mold and not Dating? Know the difference between Dating w/ liberal rules and FWB. Many times it's very hard to tell.

When you have a relatively close 1-on-1 friendship, with benefits, and you're hanging out frequently, you're Dating. Ever see a headline on personals that says "I want a best friend and a lover"? No, they're not looking for FWB even though you may want to take it that way. :) Many times people are dating and they're not the romantic types, so just because there's little or no romance doesn't mean you're FWB.

The main difference between FWB and actually Dating (w/ liberal rules) is about Routine. If you're not seeing that "friend" so much but you keep in touch and are a real friend, and you'll occasionally hook up, yes, you're not Dating, you're FWB. If you're seeing the person frequently, going out or hanging out 1-on-1 watching movies at each others' place, sleeping over, etc -- you're Dating.
 Theme_Pack
Joined: 5/3/2013
Msg: 6
How to tell if you've moved past friends with benefits
Posted: 5/10/2013 10:09:34 AM
Pregnancy.......that just might move things along....then again maybe not....
 ImNotForYou
Joined: 4/28/2013
Msg: 7
How to tell if you've moved past friends with benefits
Posted: 5/10/2013 10:09:38 AM
I have never met anyone who was in a relationship with someone who used to be their FWB/BC. I also have never met anyone who had a successful FWB/BC because one person almost ALWAYS develops feelings much to the discomfort of the other person.

If you can not separate the physical from the emotional when it comes to sex (and very few people can), you should not be in a FWB arrangement.

Quite honestly, if they wanted a relationship they would have started it that way instead of a FWB. The people I've known who have had that type of set-up did so because they found the other person attractive and wanted to sleep with them but couldn't stand the thought of having to deal with them in a full time relationship.
 daynadaze
Joined: 2/11/2008
Msg: 8
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How to tell if you've moved past friends with benefits
Posted: 5/10/2013 10:23:18 AM
When you can talk to him about these things, honestly & openly, and not talking about him to your friends, keeping your private life with him, private. When he says he wants more and respects you enough to know when you want more, and he doesn't run the other way when all the sudden after being a booty call you want to change things up. He's comfortable, he does what he wants and this sad person just sits and waits, and spies, and discusses her sex life with her friends like a teenager giggling and crying about boys who don't want to be more than friends with them. You get what you allow. If she only wanted a FWB and it has grown for her, then she needs to step up and tell him so. If she's just being a booty call and wishes & hopes for more but can't talk to him about it, she's only going to get the booty calls and the FWB part.
 abmccray
Joined: 8/3/2008
Msg: 12
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How to tell if you've moved past friends with benefits
Posted: 5/10/2013 11:39:07 AM

When you have a relatively close 1-on-1 friendship, with benefits, and you're hanging out frequently, you're Dating.


This isn't really true.

"Dating" is generally seeing each other with a possible romantic future involved.

"Friends With Benefits" is (when properly labeled) when both parties know they won't work out long term, and hook up anyway, while being actual friends.

That's why a lot of TRUE friends with benefits situations come from exes who still get along perfectly, or friends for years that decide to hook up eventually. They know the person inside and out, and have already moved past the "dating" stage, and have determined that they won't work out in a long term one-on-one relationship (ie. marriage or cohabitation) for whatever reasons. They aren't getting to know the person, or seeing how things go - they already know all of this stuff because that time has long passed.

Of course with all the f---buddies and other fake situations using that label muddying the waters, some people do just use the wrong label for their situation, when they're either not friends at all, or are actually dating.
 RB_64
Joined: 7/22/2009
Msg: 13
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How to tell if you've moved past friends with benefits
Posted: 5/10/2013 12:17:48 PM
In my mind, trying to decipher the actions of another and categorize them is fruitless without actually asking the person what is what...in this case the male party in the FWB situation. He is the only one who can say for certain what he wants or doesn't want and even then he may choose to be in denial or just outright lie about his intentions. (Both genders can avoid the truth if they choose in FWB situations).

My advice. Enjoy an FWB without analysis. End it if you have strong feelings that are not reciprocated or develop hopes for long-term. If you want to date a man and develop a legitimate relationship, then start out dating him. Rarely do FWBs turn into real relationships, they usually just become real long FWB situations and you may pass up other opportunities.

Absolute rule: never keep an FWB on the side if you are serious about dating other people....
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 14
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How to tell if you've moved past friends with benefits
Posted: 5/10/2013 2:31:01 PM
Aw heck. The label doesn't mean a damn thing. None of them do. Not in the sense that this thread is about, and not in the sense that so many people get caught up with thinking about them.

If some one marries you, and declares that they are dedicated to "love cherish and etc," but they don't, the fact that it was called a marriage is meaningless. If someone says they are FWB's, and they act exactly like a dedicated, committed, true blue mate, it also doesn't mean anything.

Either someone is dedicated to you or they are not. The label and the moment to moment behaviors don't matter.

This is because no matter what words we use about it all, there is no intrinsic connection between one set of behaviors and another. Just as having sex with someone does not cause them to care more about you than they do about someone they have not had sex with, so too, no matter how many things you can list that someone does that pleases you, or reminds you of how your married parents used to behave, it does not mean that any ADDITIONAL elements WILL be added to the list, ever.

I suggest everyone not bother with formulating a list of what would indicate that one kind of relationship was becoming another. Because we just plain don't work that way.
 MS.ICENI
Joined: 2/3/2007
Msg: 15
How to tell if you've moved past friends with benefits
Posted: 5/10/2013 2:40:52 PM
How do you figure a bunch on strangers can know more than you, one of the participants.
ASK! But personal opinion...these rarely progress to something more...most relationships based on sex fail.
 63T
Joined: 5/28/2006
Msg: 16
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How to tell if you've moved past friends with benefits
Posted: 5/10/2013 3:40:48 PM
I agree with Igor.
This ridiculous "labeling" and related prolonged acting out on that basis is demeaning, degrading, distracting and psychologically (emotionally) harmful. It's a vain attempt to fill an endless void that will only deepen.
If you feel the need to define your time together by that list and label Op, then I would strongly recommend that you do some serious soul searching (introspection).
If anyone thinks that they can just have sex without some involved emotional energy, they are either in denial and/or manipulating.
 arwen52
Joined: 3/13/2008
Msg: 17
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How to tell if you've moved past friends with benefits
Posted: 5/10/2013 8:23:38 PM
How about having a conversation about it? That would be a novel idea.

Playing guessing games and mind reading in relationships just creates a lot of confusion and unnecessary upset. Don't assume anything. Even casual relationships deserve good, clear communication.

Like Igor said, it doesn't matter what you call it. The relationship is what it is. But you want to be clear what it is so you're on the same page, you know what the expectations are in both directions.
 Confident-Realist
Joined: 2/8/2004
Msg: 18
How to tell if you've moved past friends with benefits
Posted: 5/11/2013 12:05:13 AM
"Dating" is generally seeing each other with a possible romantic future involved.

I disagree. Many people will meet up from a bar, online, etc -- not looking to jump into a relationship, etc -- where there is no "future" set. You can be actually Dating without a future agenda set forth (ie established relationship aimed at).

"Friends With Benefits" is (when properly labeled) when both parties know they won't work out long term, and hook up anyway, while being actual friends.

I agree more with this, but here's the kicker... if you're close, 1-on-1 in your friendship (you hang out/go out one on one, not within a group), and you're doing that frequently -- and of course banging -- you're Dating. Again, just because there's not a future agenda doesn't mean you aren't dating.

If there is no future agenda and you know you won't work out in the long term, and want to keep it properly in the realm of FWB, you won't Also be so close friends and hanging out 1-on-1 -- otherwise you're Defining Dating.

Dating isn't defined by the level of emotions or alleged emotions both claim to one another, nor expectations. It's defined by what you Do together.

That's why a lot of TRUE friends with benefits situations come from exes who still get along perfectly, or friends for years that decide to hook up eventually.

Great example. Ex's. They do hook up a lot -- usually not too far after the breakup or temporarily after they had a breakup where they haven't seen each other for a while and temporarily "reconnect".

But AGAIN, if they begin to be Close 1-on-1 Friends, and hang out regularly at the same time while hooking up -- they're seeing each other again. They can call it something else -- which may or may not be entirely true -- but they are dating in that case.

Now, if the ex's are friends again.... keep in touch, etc -- run into each other sometimes when both are out, and occasionally hook up -- yes, that's FWB. Again, close friends who frequently hang out 1-on-1 is very different. That's why people normally keep a certain level of Distance, and prevent too much frequency of being together 1-on-1 to keep it from being Dating.
 WomanInProgress
Joined: 10/16/2005
Msg: 20
How to tell if you've moved past friends with benefits
Posted: 5/11/2013 12:07:19 PM
For me, the point of friends with benefits was to avoid the relationship because it wasn't a good time to be in one - and was arranged with someone I wouldn't be compatible with in a relationship - so the concept of going beyond it is foreign to me.

I get that one may become attached despite not planning to, and in that case you discuss and redefine the terms or end the arrangement, but why exactly would you want to "move past" it?
 Confident-Realist
Joined: 2/8/2004
Msg: 21
How to tell if you've moved past friends with benefits
Posted: 5/11/2013 12:26:34 PM

I get that one may become attached despite not planning to, and in that case you discuss and redefine the terms or end the arrangement, but why exactly would you want to "move past" it?

What the OP was asking is how do you tell, in retrospect, if you have already moved past the FWB arena into something more substantial -- like dating. Usually this isn't done by sitting down & discussing things and redefining the terms to move past it, as you suggested be done... but usually things flow that way.

Just like two people meet and they both aren't looking for anything serious and to not jump into a relationship... but they meet, they click really well, and a month later they're like peas & carrots in what they do, without any discussion. Sometimes things just flow... in the same sense, one would ask "How do you know you've gone from being in a real casual dating situation to a more serious one?" My answer: You are what you do -- not the label-stamp you even both agree on.
 WomanInProgress
Joined: 10/16/2005
Msg: 22
How to tell if you've moved past friends with benefits
Posted: 5/11/2013 12:50:32 PM

What the OP was asking is how do you tell, in retrospect, if you have already moved past the FWB arena into something more substantial -- like dating. Usually this isn't done by sitting down & discussing things and redefining the terms to move past it, as you suggested be done... but usually things flow that way.

Friends with benefits isn't meant to be an emotional situation, the point of it is to set something up for a reason. It's because people don't use their heads in situations like this and agree to things they don't really want hoping for something different that these situations end up confusing and hurtful. If it's not clear, it should be discussed - at least, if adults are involved.

If you have moved past what's set up in a situation like this, you'll know because things are different than what you agreed to - whether it's the behavior of one or both of you, or the interest in continuing said situation. Bottom line is it's not going the way it started. Common sense would be to sit down and hash it out.

Just like two people meet and they both aren't looking for anything serious and to not jump into a relationship... but they meet, they click really well, and a month later they're like peas & carrots in what they do, without any discussion.

Those people may be open to a relationship, but not looking for it - in an FWB (or a situation with a stranger like FB, NSA) it's a specific arrangement designed to accomplish something you don't want to leave open to interpretation. Or at least it should be...

Sometimes things just flow... in the same sense, one would ask "How do you know you've gone from being in a real casual dating situation to a more serious one?" My answer: You are what you do -- not the label-stamp you even both agree on.

What you do should be something you both want to do and agree on - you don't have to label it - but it's crazy not to talk about it and figure out if it's a common goal and definition. In fact, in all relationships communication is one of the main things that should be part of the picture.

I don't think anyone should have friends with benefits, its a dangerous thing , leaving one person to get hurt in the end, and opens women or a man up to being used just for sex, women should have more respect for themselves than to just put yourself out there, its just not right.

No one is used for sex, unless they have sex in hopes of exchanging it for something else. Since both people have sex - it washes. It's never usually done (unless it's rape, or someone's drugged) without the consent of both. People who get hurt in an FWB situation (or anything similar) do so because they choose to see the situation for something other than it is.
 TattooWebgirly
Joined: 5/7/2013
Msg: 23
How to tell if you've moved past friends with benefits
Posted: 5/11/2013 12:53:43 PM
I don't think anyone should have friends with benefits, its a dangerous thing , leaving one person to get hurt in the end, and opens women or a man up to being used just for sex, women should have more respect for themselves than to just put yourself out there, its just not right.
 ladyc4
Joined: 2/14/2006
Msg: 24
How to tell if you've moved past friends with benefits
Posted: 5/11/2013 1:12:36 PM

We are still friends and she is still alone.

Really? She stopped having sex with you and now she has no friends, no family, no social life, no one that cares about her??
AFAIC, FwB is "semi-alone"(in the pair-bond sense of aloneness) at best. This does not make a FwB situation bad, wrong, exploitive, whatever, but it is NOT a genuine committed pair-bond.

We are still friends
With all due respect, I don't think so, I think
and she is still alone.

is you gloating, in a sense.

I have never met anyone who was in a relationship with someone who used to be their FWB/BC. I also have never met anyone who had a successful FWB/BC

Well, I've seen both...but I have to admit, the 2nd part of your statement begs the question " what is the definition of "success" in a FwB/Bc scenario? IME/IMO, many FwB/BC situations are self-limiting, and either one or both parties move on, one way or another.
Occasionally, they do develop into a genuine committed LTR, and there are cases where a FwB is very long term, perhaps with a reduction of interaction and suspension of benefits when either party to the FwB is in a commited relationship.
I also think there are a lot of LTRs that people mis-label as "FwB" because it doesn't fit the conventional picture of cohabitation and/or intent to marry.

did so because they found the other person attractive and wanted to sleep with them but couldn't stand the thought of having to deal with them in a full time relationship.

That can be a valid model of FwB. Another scenario might be people in a transition of one kind or another, whether emotional or practical/logistical.

Only way to tell anything is to be adult enough to sit down and talk about it with the person you are having a fwb relationship with.

That's pretty much the size of it.
There is no "official, cast-in-stone" list of characteristics that differentiate between BC,FwB,dating, and "official" relationship,hell, I've seen marriages that seemed more like a socioeconomic/practical FwB situation than the true bond of marriage.
I'd say that if someone TRULY believes that a FwB has moved into relationship territory, it probably has. But I'm talking about true BELIEF, not wishful thinking. But, it's STILL better to sit down and figure out if both people are indeed on the same page about that.
There are lots of things on that first list that even platonic friends and neighbors might do for one another.

I have always said that there DOES have to be a solid element of friendship and a certain degree of non-sexual interaction to distinguish FwB from BC. I use the example-"would your FwB come pick you up on a rainy night if your car broke down"? I'd like to think that a solid FwB would also include bailing you out of jail if need be, but that might be pushing it a little...
Cindy O
 ladyc4
Joined: 2/14/2006
Msg: 26
How to tell if you've moved past friends with benefits
Posted: 5/11/2013 3:28:33 PM
hounddoug-
I appreciate the point you are trying to make but my opinion-and my experiences-indicate that one CAN have a FwB who will do the same things that one might ask of a platonic friend and that does NOT mean that the FwB is therefore converted to a relationship.
Now, if 2 people in a FwB involvement start relying heavily on one another for emotional and/or practical support, then I could agree that it has perhaps become an under-the-radar relationship.

But I've had involvements that to me(and him)CLEARLY fit the FwB classification, and we did stuff together besides sex, we helped one another with stuff, were occasionally overnight or over weekend visitors in each others' homes, met other friends or even family. These FwBs all faded out quietly without big discussions or recriminations, if we happen to cross paths we converse, but insofar as I know there was no disappointment, confusion or anybody left feeling "used", in retrospect.
Cindy O
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