The six-month timeline of my first FWB and how it ended.

Message from Friends with Benefits: “Hey, I’m sorry I haven’t responded sooner, but I started seeing someone more seriously, so I don’t think we’ll be able to hang out like we used to. But I would still like to catch up sometime if that’s ok with you?”

Me: “Sure, I’m happy for you; thanks for letting me know.”

I immediately screenshot my friends with benefits exchange and sent it to my closest friends. Of course, they’re on my side of the situation. They respond with the typical, “I knew he was bad news, it wasn’t going to work…”

Part of me wonders if I should go ahead and confess to him that I was catching feelings. Lay it all out there. I’m not going to, obviously because if he felt the same way, I would not be in this situation.

Let’s back up.

A Friends with Benefits Situation is Born

It all started with a tinder match. And a hinge match too, which I thought was the universe telling me something. Because what are the odds of us matching on both apps at the same time in NYC?

My friends with benefit’s first message was a proposition. And I thought it would be a one-night stand. it wasn’t.

On our second hookup, we actually ended up getting into an argument, which is where we decided…He decided actually, that we had more sexual chemistry than actual chemistry. And I was ok with that. He was the 3rd guy I had ever had sex with.

I felt safe enough to be myself around him, but still not enough to feel like I had to care about him in a relationship type of way and vice versa.

Why I Wanted a Friends With Benefits Situation

I wasn’t sure what I was looking for when I was looking for a friends-with-benefits situation or fuckbuddy or whatever we were.

Friends with benefits gave me a type of authenticity I hadn’t found yet in any of my “relationships,” if you could call them that. He was honest with me about what he wanted from me and did not hold back on the bullshit. I was honest with him, too. I called him on his bullshit and called him a dick a few times, which led to angry sex. Which was hot.

He gave me room to explore my sexuality and for me to have an honest and open conversation about where I was coming from.

Now it seems I’m staring at the last six months with rose-tinted glasses. And maybe I am. But this was the most stable relationship I’d ever had with a man. Considering every other “boyfriend,” I had before him was drenched in the misogyny of the church.

He communicated as consistently as I thought a Friends with Benefits would; never expected me to perform for him. Told me that I could be myself in bed, which was something no one had ever told me. He didn’t give me permission but created a safe space.

Then came the last night together. I didn’t know it was the last one at the time. I thought I would see him after his vacation. I had been having a very stressful week, one that I won’t disclose here, but after we had sex, I found myself sitting on his bed staring at my phone and the problems that came with the text message on the screen. I broke down in tears.

Rather than letting me cry it out alone, he pulled me to him and held me until I no longer was crying. I confessed to him one of my greatest doubts and fears, and he reassured me that it would be ok. Finally, he gave me a snack, he took care of me. I had mentioned earlier in the day I hadn’t eaten much and he heard and listened to my needs.

That was the night I felt something more.

I planned to tell him when he got back from his trip.

Instead, I came back to the text message I had subconsciously been dreading that he found someone else and wanted to see them more seriously.

And that was that. There was nothing more that could be done about it. The angering aspect of what I was experiencing was that I felt that I had wasted valuable energy. Not just time, but caring energy and empathy for another person. I found that the longer we stayed in that situation, I found myself wanting to make him happy. Wanted his approval, wanting to make him laugh.

Maybe I was falling for him before the night he comforted me. That night was the night that I thought my feelings would be reciprocated. Turns out I was wrong.

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