A question from someone in our community is…
“I’m in a “friend with benefits” type of relationship with a guy… but he acts like he wants something more. How do I know what he wants?”
This is a great question…
Back in 2006, I was a men’s dating coach. I ran a forum that was pretty similar to some of the forums I now have for women.
I had this guy come onto the forum and tell me that he was seeing this woman who he broke up with… He told her that he only wanted a “friends with benefits” type of a relationship.
He said that she agreed. And that he takes her out, sees her almost every day, and they sleep together often.
He said he was having a problem because he started hitting on her friend and she was getting very upset about it.
He didn’t understand because “she knows I just want to be casual with her”. And he asked me, “What is her problem?”
He literally had no idea what her problem was!
After I explained to him how much of an idiot he is, I told him that he can’t treat her like a girlfriend if he’s only going to have the label “friend with benefits”… and all of her friends are totally off limits unless she says differently.
Men and women look at relationships much differently. To most men, being in a relationship may mean something completely different than to a woman.
To a man, being in a relationship may mean that he has to be able to provide a certain way for the woman he’s with woman.
To him, it may mean that he has responsibilities and obligations that he doesn’t feel he is ready for or in a good place in his life to have.
What if these things that you may think are excuses are actually legitimate concerns for him?
Men want to be loved too. They want connection and to be seen and cared for, just as much as women do.
And many times, if a guy treats you like you’re in a relationship yet only wants a “friends with benefits” type of connection…
He may just not understand how this makes YOU feel. He may be totally clueless!
Most guys understand women less than you understand them.
I rarely meet a woman who can be in a “friend with benefits” type of a relationship with a man without developing feelings for him.
Yet I know guys who have spent decades only having these types of relationships… never really feeling like they’re ready for something more.
Men aren’t doing this to hurt you or get one over on you. They simply don’t understand why you feel so much differently than they do.
Your strong desire to get into a committed relationship doesn’t make any sense to him if he’s in this space.
So, let me answer the original question real quickly…
The first thing you need to do is ask yourself if this is really the type of guy that you want in a relationship… or if you’re being blinded by how you feel for him.
Many women blindly get into relationships because of how they feel and not because they think the guy they’re in love with would make a good partner.
This is how a lot of women get into bad situations…
And if you want to know what his intentions are, do this:
WARNING: Do not ask him where he thinks the relationship you have is going. This will quite possibly freak him out.
First, tell him what you’re looking for ultimately in a relationship. Don’t include him in this vision of yours… just tell him what you want to ultimately have.
Second, let him know that he can tell you anything and you won’t get mad or weird or anything on him. His biggest fear is that he’ll tell you the truth and you’ll freak out.
Note: If you do this and then freak out about what he tells you, he will NEVER trust you again. And he’ll just hide what he thinks from you instead of being honest.
Third, say this, “So… I’m just curious. What are you looking for in a relationship?”
Then just keep your mouth shut and let him talk… if there’s a lull in the conversation, just let him think and talk. Don’t interrupt.
And if he says that he’s just looking for a “casual relationship” or doesn’t want anything serious, say this:
“Really? I know you say you want something casual but you really act like you want something more. What’s up with that?”
Act like you’re an explorer on a fact finding mission. Don’t judge what he tells you, just ask open ended questions and listen. Just allow him to express himself and what he feels.
If he says he doesn’t think he’s ready or in a good place for a relationship, ask him, “What do you need to do in order to be ready for one?”
Just remember… if he tells you he doesn’t want a relationship or that he just wants something casual, take him at his word.
Being in a relationship might mean something entirely different to him than it means to you.
And if he is ready yet he still doesn’t want a relationship with you, it’s simply because he doesn’t feel THAT attracted to you yet.
You’ll never convince him of your reasons why he should commit to you. He needs to have his own reasons to do so.
If he doesn’t, things will never work out.
And if you want to develop something more with him, you need to amp up the attraction that he feels for you.
Please leave comments and questions below…