General Question

beautifuldisaster's avatar

What kind of situation am I in with this guy?

Asked by beautifuldisaster (180points) October 8th, 2010

Recently I have become a FWB with someone I have known for some time. When we first made this arrangement he had stated that he didn’t want or believe in relationships anyone because his ex pretty much fucked him up. Though together they have a beautiful baby. Anyways, this was my first FWB situation. It’s been a few months now and from my understand of what FWB situation is, I believe that it has turned into something more, tho we have never discussed it. I spend more than half of my time at his place with him. And every weekend we get his baby. Who i apsolutely adore. He cuddles me, holds my hand, kisses me, play fights with me and makes sure i’m ok. He will text me first after i have left his place. And just text me for hours. When I return to his house he right away has to tell me everything that has gone on since I have left. He gets offended when I say that he only wants me around for sex and to be a babysitter. He has said he doesn’t mind the idea of me moving in. He says he likes spending time with me and having me around. He has now gone from never wanting a relationship to telling his roommate that hes not ready just yet. I think he is scared. He has said that he isn’t a guy to talk about feelings because they freak him out. He knows that I like him, care about him and I think I have feelings for him. Basically, is this normal in a FWB situation or does it sound like more? I am young and never been in love.

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48 Answers

BoBo1946's avatar

How old are you guys? Is this guy divorced?

mollydrew's avatar

I think you’re right to be concerned if he has you around for sex and a babysitter. Be careful not to get too attached to the baby. If he wants the relationship to just be FWB and if that is ok with you, just enjoy it on that level, no matter what he says or how he acts he has made it clear all he wants is FWB. He will always have a relationship with his ex because of the baby and depending on that relationship he could alter his feelings for you. If you are fine with FWB then have fun and remember one day it maybe over. You need to figure out you want for you, you don’t have to hang around and be what he needs.

beautifuldisaster's avatar

im 20 and hes 22. He was never married.

beautifuldisaster's avatar

Before we became FBW and were just talking one day, i asked him about it and asked about what would he do if he became attached or got feelings for a girl he was FWB with and he said that “i would talk to her and see what she felt and go from there”

Do these ever turn into relationships?

BoBo1946's avatar

Regardless of the agreement there can be a relationship. Actually, for you, there already is a relationship. Only time will tell about him.

Another question. Did you have feelings for him before you agreed to this arrangement?

beautifuldisaster's avatar

@BoBo1946 What do you mean for me there is already a relationship?

I had always thought he was cute and funny. And I guess you could say I had a crush on him. Why? Does that make a difference?

BoBo1946's avatar

You said that we were friends for a longtime. And, my statement was there can be a relationship or should have said, a more serious relationship, in time, he could change his mind if you guys get alone etc.. People do change their mind. It’s hard to say if this relationship will be a two way thing. Only time will tell. Wish you luck.

Pandora's avatar

Sounds like he likes having you around and feeling like you guys are a family when together. He probably loves that his baby adores you as well. With parents this is a big deal. However, loving the idea of being a family and loving you enough for a real commitment are two different things. I think he won’t really know how he feels till he can fully trust your relationship.
I would suggest that he wait before pushing anything till he is sure its you he wants you and not just looking for a quick family situation.

beautifuldisaster's avatar

@Pandora His daughter is 2. Shes amazing. She calls me mom and he doesnt correct her. I know shes not really a baby still so i should have said his kid. But she cries for me, calls me mom (i correct her, he does not however) and is my cuddle buddy. I honestly don’t want to get too attached to her and than me and him not work out. Because honestly, SHE has stolen my heart.

BoBo1946's avatar

@beautifuldisaster I wasn’t much help. Maybe someone here can shead a different light on the subject. I would not have been a good Ann Landers! Well, I’m guy…without saying! loll

beautifuldisaster's avatar

@BoBo1946 You were very nice to me, and gave me hope. and you wished me luck. So you did do some help. You made me smile.

BoBo1946's avatar

@beautifuldisaster ahhh….that made my day! Thank you!

beautifuldisaster's avatar

@BoBo1946 I’m glad that I could return the favor of putting a smile on your face. :)

Pandora's avatar

At 2 she is still a baby to me. However, its too late. Sounds like you are already attached. He probably has the same concerns. Why don’t you sit with him and ask him what is he really looking for and expect from your relationships and what concerns or reservations he has. This would be a good time to mention your own.
You won’t know till you both sit and have an honest conversation with each other and lay it all out on the table.
Good luck.

lucifer's avatar

Well, if you ask me, you need to figure out where exactly it is you stand with this guy, and you need to do it subtly. I’m guessing that neither of you are seeing other people (are you?) and that you’re pretty much sure you wanna take this to the next level… Am I following you so far ?

Anyway, the advice part :P

Go on a trip, just you, for maybe a week and figure out how much you miss each other… Try not to contact each other at all but don’t make it look like you’re doing it on purpose. If, when you get back, you both feel the same way about each other, it’ll automatically move on to the next level.

beautifuldisaster's avatar

@Pandora Yes i love her already. Thank you. I will do that this weekend.
@lucifer I am not seeing anyone else and he has said he is not seeing anyone else. Yes i would like to take it to the next level. I actually didn’t go over to his place or text message him for a week and he literally freaked out. he texted me like 3 days into it asking me how i am and i never texted back and than a few days later i texted him and acted casual and hes like “when are you coming over” and said he “missed hearing from me”

Oh and a general statement…Alot of the time we don’t have sex. We prolly have only had sex maybe ¼ of the time that im there. and im there for about 3–4 days a wk.

lucifer's avatar

@beautifuldisaster That’s great news. It means he’s as into you as you are ! :D
Step two of “Taking in to the next step”. You need to talk to his best friend or Colleague who he hangs out with at a bar or something. Men open up to only the closest of closest and you’ll get clue as to how important you are and how often he thinks about you by talking to his friends. Typically (best case scenario), they’ll say he talks about you ALL the time (We can be pretty annoying that way, when we’re in love _”).

beautifuldisaster's avatar

@lucifer hahaha!!!! I will talk to his roommate, who is my buddy now anyways. I don’t want to rush into anything or get hurt. I’ve been hurt alot in the past. and so has he. and maybe we could be the cute lil family. but i am willing to wait for THAT part to happen.

lucifer's avatar

A wise choice :)

I totally understand about getting hurt. One bitten, twice shy right ? :(

But a guy who’s hurt will take a long time to make the first move, so you’ll need to cheer him along… Just to show that you’re as comfortable with him as he is with you. Surprise him often with unexpected treats and make sure you’re the ONLY person who he can think about :)

Best of Luck :)

beautifuldisaster's avatar

No pressure right? lol

lucifer's avatar

None at all :)

Kayak8's avatar

I may be weighing in as an senior citizen here, but this thread has included some comments that have really made me think about how other people process information and put things together. My observations include the thought of “my how things have changed” (but some little part of my brain thinks “they haven’t changed THAT much”).

1. He has created the perfect situation for himself (regardless of his feelings for you). He has an escape clause, the “benefits” to which you alluded, a companion to hang out with, a babysitter, all rolled into one. He has no need to make a move to change a single circumstance of the situation.

2. Can it change to become a relationship? It is a relationship! It may not have all the elements in exactly the right order, but there is no question that it is a relationship. He just doesn’t seem to want to put any of the traditional labels on the relationship.

3. He is clearly not honoring the relationship that resulted in a child. The little girl’s mom is her mom and his willingness to allow his child to be confused by his relationship with her mom and his relationship with you is not doing anyone any favors in the long run. This could be the result of a 22 year old father of a first child with no ill intent, but just lack of child-rearing knowledge.

4. I don’t think it is helpful to talk to his friends about what he thinks. That can appear manipulative, needy, etc. and is not a good foundation for building the type of communication most people desire in a long-term healthy relationship.

5. I don’t think a month is long enough to worry about having become attached to the little girl.

Like I said, it is a relationship. His behavior (for now) is what you want it to be and it seems to be productive and beneficial to each of you (perhaps for different reasons). There is no rush to force him to put a label on it if you are both happy with the current arrangement. I can only think you asked the question because some little part of you is not thrilled with the label (FWB) and would like the label to be something different. But it is a relationship and could be a good one if you start with open, clear communication with HIM now. That is such an essential key element to long-term relationships that bring joy to those who are in it.

And I will acknowledge that maybe things are different these days and that I am old. But there is a part of me that thinks human nature has not changed all that much in the last generation or two.

lucifer's avatar

@Kayak8 Hmmm… Interesting observations… Although it is true that this seems to be a “too-good-to-be-true” situation for him, I don’t think it was initially intended to be that way. Although I may be wrong (hence the Talk to the friends advise). It may have been different back then, but now, friends are the new family and just like parents wouldn’t want ANY child to get hurt, I personally feel that a good set of friends would be discrete enough while telling @beautifuldisaster (love your name btw :) ) where she stands… True, the guy may be compromising on accepted social boundaries but unless it results in a direct negative influence, I see no reason why the kid shouldn’t get attached to her dad’s gf (better like than hate right?)

Kayak8's avatar

@Lucifer I agree with you that the “too-good-to-be-true” arrangement may not have been his original intent. I also get that friends are the new family, but his roommate (likely another 22 year old ish male) is HIS roommate, not necessarily HER friend so his ability or motivation to be discrete is unknown. He may not like all the commotion at his place and that alone could be motivation to act in a way that clouds/confuses the relationship between the two primary characters in the story. I, personally, would not want to rely on such a person to tell me how my relationship is going. I would rather know the information directly from the person I am in the relationship with.

I also don’t disagree about allowing his child to bond with his girlfriend—I think it is terrific. I am concerned that HE is not helping his child sort out the relationships (labels again) SHE has with these two women.

lucifer's avatar

Hmmm… I see your point… Seems like this can come out with a lot of people getting hurt. Best bet is to see how things go and talk it out, and eventually cementing the labels in the kid’s life. But ts kinda scary… I’m 20 and I could never IMAGINE bringing up a kid all by myself O_O

Kayak8's avatar

@lucifer I am 50 and could never IMAGINE bringing up a kid all by myself!

lucifer's avatar

@Kayak8 lol… good one :))

Loried2008's avatar

@Kayak8 I agree with everything you said especially the part about him not really having any motivation to change the situation. I was actually in a very similar situation (in the beginning) with my now husband. It took a lot of growing up on both our parts to get where we are now. The most important part of any relationship (and yes this is a relationship) is communication. You will never know anything talking to friends because everyone has their motives to help or hurt the situation. Talk it out, otherwise you’ll never truly know where you stand. Also even if things start moving towards a committed relationship I would definitely set defined lines between you and her mommy so she will not be confused, make sure he’s backing you up.

BoBo1946's avatar

I thought about that, but did not want to come across as judgemental. People’s motives are sometimes blurred and misunderstood without first hand knowledge of the person. And, even then, you are not sure!

Loried2008's avatar

@BoBo1946 That’s very true, I hope I didn’t come across that way. It’s not to say he wouldn’t change the situation especially if he really cares for her (my husband did obviously lol) Since I went through it I guess I’m a little bit more forward about it. I cannot stress enough how important it is to talk to the other person. I was afraid to for a long time because of all he’d gone through, turns out he was too afraid to ask me to change the situation as well.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Loried2008 oh, understood…. you never know. This couple could be together for 50 years. We don’t know the guy, she does.

Good for you…glad it worked out.

Loried2008's avatar

@BoBo1946 Very true, only she knows in the end what she can do and thank you :)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

You’re in a relationship with him, he just doesn’t want to call it that.

wundayatta's avatar

Ok. I feel pretty strongly about this—I apologize if I step on anyone’s feet in advance.


These little tests of how he thinks of you are more likely to drive him away. They’ll make him remember how he couldn’t trust his ex, and it’ll remind him not to get close to you. Is that what you want?

Words Vs. Actions

I think this is the primary issue going on here. Women, it seems to me, are comforted by words. They want to define things. Men resist defining things as assiduously as they can. If forced to define, they are more likely to run away than to define. Especially if they don’t trust.

Men will be happy to be involved in a relationship, so long as you don’t call it a relationship. As soon as you define it—call it a relationship, or take it to the next level—we freak out. We do not want to define anything. We do not want to promise anything. At least, not in words.

This is not because we aren’t loyal and honest and all that. It’s because we don’t want to lie. And we don’t know what our feelings are. So if we call it a relationship, what happens if it turns out that it’s not what we wanted? We’ve lied. Which is not something a man does. And since no one can see the future, to promise anything is to lie. We can do our damnedest to fulfill that promise, but if it breaks down, we’ve lied. We resist doing that. Our word is our bond, except when some woman badgers us into it, by insisting we “define” things.

A guy holds out from making promises (lies) as long as he can. But if she gets too insecure or too impatient and starts playing games, then that’s coercion. If you are being coerced, it’s ok to lie, because that’s what she wants to hear. That’s what she’s forcing you to do.

Use your eyes, dammit!
If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and smells like a duck, it’s a god damn duck! In other words, you are in a relationship. You have already taken it to the next level. Hell! He’s invited you to move in. What the hell is that? Chopped liver?

He doesn’t have to say it for it to be true. Yes, you can say he’s got a great deal. He hasn’t promised anything, so he can take advantage of you and then walk away if it gets tough. Well, maybe he will and maybe he won’t. You’re the one on the scene. You’re the one who knows his personality. Presumably you think he has integrity or you wouldn’t like him. Right?

You got it!

Honey, you got what you want. Believe it. Or don’t. But stop worrying about the words. I know that women believe words and they’ll believe words even when actions bely the words. But really, it is true that actions speak louder than words.

Either you trust your judgment or you don’t. If you do, then move forward as if you’ve heard all the words you need. You’re dealing with an untrained colt here. If you move too suddenly, he’ll leap and disappear. You got to wait it out. You got to be there and let him learn he can trust you. You aren’t his ex. You got to stop playing games. In other words, you got to be a man. Lose the deviousness.

What you see is what you get. But you gotta see if you gonna get.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I don’t see why you two don’t just sit down together and have “The Talk”. Sounds like you are both attached to each more than FWB as @wundayatta writes, sounds like the attachment is mutually positive, especially if you get on so well with his daughter and he is comfortable and happy with that relationship. What’s the harm in asking:

So, I am feeling happily involved and like the idea of moving in with you and daughter but in my mind it’s no longer FWB. What do you think this is and how do you want to call it?

wundayatta's avatar

@Neizvestnaya I think that is not wise at all. As I said above, men don’t want to call it anything. When asked to call it something, men get scared.

It already is something. Why bother to label it?

perspicacious's avatar

It sounds as though you still are not in love now. Until you know what the relationship is (which it sounds like just people getting together for sex) I hope you will not move in with him and you would be wise to cut off the babysitting service (for both him and his baby). It is a sad thing, in my opinion, for people to be in a situation of having sex and spending time with someone and have no idea what the relationship is. Seriously, to come here and ask strangers this question is just junior high school. This is the next generation of parents. How scary is that!?!?!

Marva's avatar

It sounds like you and him already have a serious and commited relationship. You are both invested in the relationship and the three of you are already very connected. The only thing is that your guy is just afraid to call it a relationship because he had built it in his head that relationship is dangerous for him.
I would say just continue what you are doing. It sound like he loves you, just afraid to admit to himself. You don;t need him to name it a relationship, you just want it to be one. When he is ready and feels safe enough, he will change his mind about relatioships – realising they can be more than he thought. Then he will tell you what you already know: He loves you, and he wants you to know it is only you, and he considers you relations as a serious relationship….

BarnacleBill's avatar

It could work out to be more, but given your age I would not move in with this guy. If the relationship were to end for some reason, it’s much easier if you have your own space to retreat into. The relationship will totally become lopsided in his favor if you move in. He needs to figure out that he’s ready to commit. And it’s probably too soon for that.

lucifer's avatar

@wundayatta That is the most absurd thing I have ever read. No offense.

Do you expect her to just sit around, wondering where things are headed while the guy happily lives on without putting a label on things ? Just because something looks, feels and smells like one thing to you, doesn’t mean the other person feels the same way as well.

Better to talk things out rather than discover by some other means that you were nothing more than a casual fling.

Like @Kayak8 said earlier, there’s a kid involved in all of this, and one day, she’s going to grow up and ask her dad, “Who’s my real mommy?”. And I wouldn’t wanna be @beautifuldisaster when he’s answering this. I mean, until someone else asks, she’s going to have NO CLUE what they really have together.

The picture you painted has a name, its called Being stung along.

I’m a guy and I know this much, for it to be true, He does have to say it.

wundayatta's avatar

Guys don’t have to say it. Women want them to say it because they don’t believe it unless they hear the words. Do guys sit around talking about what kind of relationship they have with each other? I can’t recall ever having had such a discussion. That kind of stuff makes a lot of guys uncomfortable. It’s far easier to say, “it is what it is,” than to try and figure out what the woman wants you to say.

If a guy does try to define the relationship, he’ll inevitably get it wrong, and the woman’s feelings will be hurt. It’s often worse than saying nothing.

I don’t know. I never had a problem trying to say what I wanted at the beginning of a relationship. But I can imagine what guys might feel when so many of them run when the woman wants to have this conversation.

My brother had this relationship with a woman for a decade. They’d see each other once or twice a week. But technically, he was not exclusive. But he never tried to see anyone else. And still, in his mind it wasn’t a relationship.

Recently they moved in together. Now he brings her around to family gatherings. He still has not said a word about what their relationship is. She just comes to family gatherings and no one asks him. If we use our eyes, we can see what the relationship is. Yet we want the words to confirm it, as if someone the words are more real than reality.

I understand why a woman wants the words. I also understand why many men resist defining things, and why sometimes they run when forced to define things. This guy seems like he really doesn’t want to define it. It scares him silly, because he’s been burned.

What do the words mean, anyway? People make promises all the time and break them. I’m kind of of the opinion that if a promise is extracted from you, then it’s not worth the words that uttered it. The words that really matter are those that are volunteered.

If I ask you, “do you like me?” Are you going to say, “no?” Well, you might, but I doubt if most people would. They’s say yes not to hurt your feelings. Then they’d gradually disappear from your life.

However if someone says, apropos of nothing or as part of a conversation, “You are so cool. I love spending time with you!” And if it’s said in a way where the other person feels like it is a gift and not something for which politeness requires reciprocation, then it’s real, it seems to me. You can count on it.

I think that the feelings that another person has for you has to be felt. It cannot be said. If you don’t feel it, forcing someone to say it is worthless.

Perhaps this is only my own peculiarly twisted way of seeing things. Perhaps it’s a theory that really doesn’t explain the data. Right now though, I really don’t think it’s nonsense. It isn’t true of all men, but I think it is true of men who have been burned, or men who otherwise have trust issues.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I know I’m older (40’s) but I’ve only ever had serious longterm relationships and in each one the man stated his feelings, his idea of the relationship as it changed from infatuation/dating into the real deal and I don’t see why it’s so uncool for a man not to do it now. Seriously, I’ve be annoyed as hell with a man who beat around the bush for more than a few months of consistent dating.

It’s not a social taboo to ask where you stand with another human being you’ve become intimate with. You’ve shared time with them that can never be gotten back, you deserve to be able to ask questions of someone who seems to want to make a future with you.

Loried2008's avatar

@wundayatta… When my husband and I were FWB I took the approach you’re describing. HE was the one that wanted to define us as a couple. It was later on in our relationship that we learned how to talk to each other, but had we done that in the beginning we would have saved ourselves a lot of heartache. He wanted to have the title, he wanted commitment from me, but was afraid to just ask me. I figured we’d just part ways.

You can’t say that every man that’s been through that will run. He has been burned in more ways than I can count. His family, friends, and exs all used him in so many personal ways I cannot repeat it on here. When we met each other we were both so broken we were FWB because we were both afraid the other would leave when they were done.

Granted this guy has some issues with an ex, but as you stated he has offered for her to stay in his home. Sounds to me like he’s stuck or perhaps just a little wary of what might happen. If he cares as much as he seems to care about her when she comes to him open and honest about how she’s viewing this situation he’ll be okay with the title change. If not then she still needs to talk to him. He can’t ask her to move in and be everything a girlfriend or SO is yet still deny her that title. That’s wrong. That’s selfish and no relationship should center around you.

She should never be afraid to tell him how she feels regardless of what they are to each other. He should get the hell over it if he’s scared of the title. I agree they are in a relationship, but facing your fears is a part of life. Words ARE more than reality because it’s taking the first step in truly committing to one another. When people get married they don’t just sign a paper, they make a verbal commitment to one another.

People can make promises and break them. Yes, people also break the vows of marriage, but those words do mean something, otherwise they wouldn’t be so afraid to speak them. She isn’t forcing him to do anything except face himself (if he even is scared). When my husband asked me I was scared, but I cared enough about him to push past my fears and give him a chance at being my boyfriend. Before that, in my mind, we had a relationship that I saw an end to and so did he. After that, we saw a future.

Marva's avatar

@wundayatta Wow, that was a great answer! I’m glad I took the time to read it. Fully agreed: We seek for words because they make us feel safe, and yes, a lot of men are afraid of the words.
I just recently parted ways with a close male friend, who’s girlfriend insisted he broke his friendship with me. That’s also the consequence of words: In the begining she was all nice and accepting, he’d call her a human angel and such, then once he said “the words”, he belongs to her, and she put him through missery until he broke our strong and beautiful really-just-frienship. I think that happens a lot, the change a women might undergo once the man is “hers”, like not wax her legs so often, dress sloppy around the house, become more demanding and other variations. I think that’s one of the causes men are sometimes afraid to define relationships.

& @Loried2008 Chill, man, he only said that could be the case, he didnt specifically talk about you and your husband…why you so angry? your case is also only one possible turnout of things…

Loried2008's avatar

@Marva I’m not angry at all :) Maybe I came off as angry because I’ve been through it and I feel very strongly about it. I know he wasn’t talking about me and my husband, I was giving him my story so that he could see that the statement I think it is true of men who have been burned, or men who otherwise have trust issues Is not always the case.

beautifuldisaster's avatar

Thank you ALL for your opinions and thoughts about this matter. I have realized what we have is a relationship and im ok with him not verbally saying it. I know deep in my heart that he does care about me and what we have is amazing and special. And actions speak louder than words. I guess that maybe I asked for help because i was scared. Thank you once again.
(btw him and i had an amazing weekend and he cooked me a steak dinner (he went and bought the stuff) and we watched movies all night. To me it was a perfect date)

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