Ask a Guy: Turning a Longtime Friend With Benefits Into Something More? post image

Ask a Guy: Turning a Longtime Friend With Benefits Into Something More?

This guy and I have  had a huge history over the last 5 years. Although we’ve never dated, we’ve been friends with benefits.  We’ve both admitted to liking each other, but it hasn’t lead to an actual relationship.

When we’re together, it’s like we’re “dating” (he acts all boyfriendy), but other than that, we’re just friends.  We don’t live in the same city and can go months without seeing or even talking each other.

He’s generally terrible at returning phone calls and texts (even to his closest friends and family), but lately he’s been answering my texts every time, he carries on a conversation and he seems to be a more open than he used to.  Do I even make an effort to care about this guy anymore? What’s his deal?

I think you should take it for what it is:  a friends-with-benefits relationship where you act like boyfriend/girlfriend when you see each other.

Guys are completely content with a relationship being what it is.  We don’t need it to turn into a “full-blown” relationship or have it “go somewhere.”  We can be happy with things being good in the moment and don’t need to have it “mean something” beyond that.

If you guys have known each other for 5 years and you’ve had this type of arrangement, it doesn’t sound like a bad thing.  It sounds nice – so I mean, continuing to have him in your life doesn’t sound like a bad idea.

But entertaining the thought of starting a long-distance relationship does sound like a bad idea.  I have had great relationships fall completely apart after they went “long distance.” And these were relationships with love and history… but they just didn’t make it.

I’m not saying that all long distance relationships fail (someone always has to jump down my throat about how their long distance relationship worked out), but in general, the odds are stacked considerably against things working out.

In terms of people and their relationships, it can happen that when a person’s life conditions change, their relationships change as well. Most cases where a new relationship starts up, a friendship changes (for better or worse), or a friendship turns into a relationship, are often preceded by some sort of life change.

My guess is that one or both of you are at some kind of crossroad in your lives.  There is nothing wrong with you two having a great friendship and having it just be that (with or without benefits).

On the other hand, if his recent change in behavior is because he wants to date you, or wants the relationship to become something more than it is, I promise you, he will let you know.  In the meantime, I would suggest that you don’t get hung up on wanting it to turn into some kind of relationship.

I guess all I’m saying is that if you are going to read into the situation, my read is that he’d love to have you there to talk with… and leave it at that. I’ll leave off by saying what I’ve said before- it’s best to just let things happen rather than forcing them in one way or another, which could ultimately ruin the good thing you have going right now.

Hope it helps,

– eric charles

Written by Eric Charles

I'm Eric Charles, the co-founder and co-editor of A New Mode. I love writing articles to help people free themselves from suffering and have clarity in their love life. I have a degree in Psychology and I've dedicated the last 20 years of my life to learning everything I can about human psychology and sharing what gets people out of struggling with life and into having the life they really want. If you want to contact me, feel free to reach out on Facebook or Twitter.

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Steph ridley

Hi everybody,
Me and my FB have been on and off for over 12 year. Hes the most amazing person ever. He will comfort me when I’m upset etc we have been through some ups and downs within these 12 year. But I feel like now’s the time to take a step back so I can focus on my life a bit! I feel that if I don’t speak to him properly about it, then things will just either carry on or end badly! I can’t be the one who breaks him.

It started 12 year ago at my cousin’s house, he had bene there for a party the night before and he left his number on the calendar. I didn’t particularly pay much attention until he came back when I was there. We had a bit flirty banter and he asked if I wanted to go out for a drink some time, to which I agreed! The rest is history! We would hook up either after 1 of us had a night out or both. Then it would be sleepovers. We mutually agreed to stop that after the first couple of month. After we kept it just that (FB’s), only hooking up once or twice in a month. A few month ago he wanted to come over more and more, one week he came over 3 times in 4 days. If Im stuck on an outfit etc he will help me choose what to wear ( he says to give me the wow factor). Recently I told him about someone who asked me out on a date. I know I shouldn’t of, I speak before I think sometimes, and he said I should go for it. Then he didn’t speak to me for two weeks lol and messaged rather huffily asking how it went! I told him something came up and I couldn’t get to it and he was still off with me for days. We agreed from the start that it would just be benefits only, but I feel like I’m starting to see more of his behaviour changing. Like he’s wanting to cuddle when he’s here, spending longer at mine when he does come over, tickling my back and just pillow talk etc. Taking more of an interest in my life, that’s not like it was before. Sometimes we can just watch a film together (rarely as 1 thing always leads to another) we just can’t help it. Even if we just stop things for now and take a breather, how do I do it without upsetting him???

Sorry for the long post
Thank you

Reply June 17, 2019, 5:04 pm


I’m in a similar yet different situation. I met this guy 5yrs ago, we were each other’s booty call back then. Now 5yrs later we’re friends with benefits, but we’re living together! Everyone around us calls me his gf & vise versa. He gets upset & tells them NO we’re just friends! On top of all that, in about a month he’s leaving to move in with another girl, he wants to try a relationship with her! I don’t get it! We’re practically in a relationship now, but he won’t put it into that category. I want to talk to him about this & how I feel but, I feel like he’s going to try to let me down gentley. He’s been very upfront and honest with me from the beginning, & so have I. I really don’t want him to leave…… I don’t know what to do. I feel like I don’t even have a say in the matter. How can you stop someone from wanting to leave & go be with someone else?! I’m such an idiot! Aren’t I….?

Reply July 15, 2018, 6:06 am


Hi Eric,
I have a similiar situation at the moment, however the guy has told me that he’s in love with me. I’m pretty sure that would imply he wants more than what we have to make such a bold statement.
If you could respond that would be great to hear your opinion!

Reply June 5, 2016, 5:59 pm


I have had something similar to this going on. So similar that it’s eerie. I have been FWB with this guy for about four years now. We don’t live in the same city so we see each other when we can, which is usually when he messages me (for as long as i’ve known him he’s barely ever had a phone). I love him, he loves me, but he lives with his roommate who is also his ex girlfriend. He says he has not slept with her in over seven years and has only been with two people in that time, one of which is me. We get along very well and I really enjoy his company but I know this is just a good dream for both of us. He’s never going to commit and I’m always going to want more than what he can (or is willing to) provide. I care deeply for this man but the urgency thing struck a chord. He is 30 and I am 28, so we should be done wasting our time but we can’t seem to move past the stage we are currently at. It’s just so painful to end it that I don’t think either of us has even considered it. He already has a track record that shows he has a problem with ending things (he may be afraid of it, having lost most of his family) and he probably would just continue on in this limbo and be happy with it….but I can’t do that. I want someone fully committed to me, not someone who dreams and half-ways their path through life.

Reply November 3, 2015, 1:49 am


I’ve been friends with this guy for a few years now and we met through work. I’ve had on and off feelings for him for awhile and we become a sort of friends with benefits. He hardly ever starts a conversation but will always reply. I can never tell what he wants or what he’s thinking and I just want to see where I stand!

Reply June 14, 2015, 8:18 am


How did it continue?
I also have/had sg very similar…

Reply March 27, 2017, 4:33 pm


Hi All. I am married with a Fwb for five years. any advice.

Reply April 23, 2015, 2:56 am


Ive been best friends with this guy for 6 years now. We started out really liking each other in the first two years but slowly started to fade into just being friends. However we have done alot together, talk almost everyday and are sorta “friends with benifits”. The crazy thing is is we still talk about relationships and he is always teasing me saying “you like me”. when really i do but im not sure on his feelings about me. Every now and then he gives me hints/signs that he likes me but im not too sure. Please help me and give me some advice on how i can work our friendship up to a relationship.

Reply December 4, 2014, 2:45 am


Easy peasy: ask him! You mean you can have his dick inside you, but you can’t ask the dude a question??? What are you really afraid of?

Reply January 14, 2015, 3:47 pm


She is afraid for him to tell her that he doesn’t want want her as a gf and just not to have him at all

Reply November 28, 2015, 6:17 pm


Finding the site enlightening & would appreciate advice. I have a FWB. We met almost 20 yrs ago & were in relationships but I felt chemistry. We intermittently met at events as have mutual friends then 7 yrs ago found ourselves single and meeting up at the end of nights out. No more than kissing occurred. It fizzled out probably as I had to do most of the contacting & gave up. We both occasionally text asking how the other is & had other relationships. He more than me usually with girls way younger! Then a few months ago he text saying he was meeting another friend did I want to join them for a drink. I looked at him & felt butterflies. We chatted & he explained he had no girlfriend nor did he want one as he works unsocial shifts & cares for his kids on his days off. I agreed I was in a similar boat. We jokingly said we could have a mutually agreeable relationship & so it began. Unfortunately it seems to be when he wants. He rarely starts text conversation but always answers if I do. I think I like him too much & was all set for calling it off as he seemed self centred when he asked if I wanted a day out! We went out for a day couple days back but his body language was closed he folded his arms a lot & never held my hand etc. saying that we talked lots about work, family etc he opened up the day flew & we both commented. however as soon as we got home he squeezed me tight all night & stroked my hair there was no sex. He is always sweet & affectionate alone. Yet I won’t hear from him for a couple wks if I don’t instigate. I wish I could accept it as a FWB but I think I want more. Or do I run for the hills before I get hurt? Help! X

Reply August 6, 2014, 5:46 pm

Eric Charles

Hopefully you don’t think I’m advocating that in anything I’ve ever written… I’ve written on multiple occasions about how women need to ignore that crap advice about the “thrill of the chase” and “men love the chase”…

In fact, Marie Claire recently published an article by me about that exact thing here:

Marie Claire: What Guys Really Think About The Chase?

Reply June 21, 2014, 6:21 pm


The bit about him seeing you with other men making him want you, but when you are available he doesn’t – so he only wants what he can’t have, then when he’s got it he doesn’t want it again, men like that do exist believe me, and it is so unfair of them to play with people’s emotions like that. Hopefully these type of men (and women) are not so common though, and there are many genuine people out there, but if you have to play games and put yourself through such heartache, and possibly try to make yourself into something you are not, you are most likely trying to win back someone who has just been using you and who has issues regarding proper relationships.

Reply June 21, 2014, 6:33 pm


What would you say are signs to accept that he will never want more? You said in another post that fwb is a result of a lack of love/ urgency; what are some ways to make him feel urgency? (it’s been 2 yrs so i don’t even know if that’s possible at this point haha) Lastly what is a tactful way to get out of a fwb relationship while staying friends?

Reply July 10, 2012, 2:04 am


Eric, I’d like to hear more about this as well regarding the lack of urgency too! Though I think the lack of urgency is based on being too available and not connecting to him enough i.e. showing that you get him as a man. And not channeling enough of your feminine energy. I’d love to know your thoughts on this!


Reply May 21, 2013, 12:53 pm

brittany sasser

I actually had a question to do with friends with benefits. Theres this guy i liked for 2 years but he never felt the same so i’ve dated other guys and all…so its not like im in love with him but still everytime he texts me out of the blue or whatever im so happy that he did. Sometimes i think i would prefer him over the boyfriend i had at the time. Now he wants me but doesnt want a relationship. He says he just doesnt get emotionally attached to things ( which im sure has to do with a couple of things) . But Im really attracted to him so i do want to but I want the relationship too…but im thinking maybe being friends with benefits wouldnt be bad. I cant decide if im just setting myself up to get hurt or if i could actually accept it and enjoy it…?

Reply November 6, 2011, 5:34 pm


Stay single and keep looking. You want different things.

Reply January 14, 2015, 3:51 pm


I’m married but my husband and I hardley ever have sex and when we do there really no passion. I have been in contact with and old high school guy friend and that said he has been liking me for year and wanted to be good friends with me but also add at a later date with benefits if it happen’s no presser. I really did not think much of it because I was not attracted to him at the time but we started hanging out got closer we enjoy each other company. After about 4 months he ask me to have sex with him I wanted to so I did. Now I think about him all the time he textes me or calls me everyday and he has told me he cares about me more then I think but enjoys his freedom. I thought I could handle it but I don’t want to anymore if it’s going to be a one sided love relationship, so I told him that I could not do it anymore and started tearing up and walked away before he could see me crying. How do I deal with this pain?

Reply March 8, 2011, 7:56 pm


You messed up, you cheated on your husband. How about you focus on your marriage not obsess about a side dude. Best to cut all contact with the side dude, and figure out what is going on with the marriage. Ask your husband for a dinner and talk.

Reply January 14, 2015, 3:54 pm


This was amazingly helpful Mr. Charles! Wow you sound like you know EVERYTHING about this kind of stuff and are pretty handsome too! ;)

Reply April 29, 2010, 4:11 pm

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