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Why is he so sorry? Why not just move on?


Lady42

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Hi All,

 

So there's this guy at work I had been friends with for over a year...we decided a few months ago that we should be friends with benefits. I made it clear that I wasn't looking to date/relationship, but I didn't want it to be solely about SEX, I wanted to still have fun and hang out together (like most friends do).

 

So although we were hooking up (mostly at work on lunches etc.), we weren't hanging out. I called him on this several times and he was totally apologetic INSISTED he did want to hang out and that he really cared about me. Things never changed though. I told him several times I was totally ok with stopping the hooking up and moving on... as this was supposed to be about fun, and it wasn't, and I didn't feel the closeness I needed to remain sexual with him.

 

For the past month and a half I have put my foot down and stopped sleeping with him. I have told him over and over that I need to feel close and intimate to be turned on. He INSISTS he wants the same, claims he cant even get turned on without an emotional connection!!!

 

This is what I don't get-- if he's thinking I'm wanting something different than him, he'd be relieved I cut things off... but no! last week I had about had it so I totally stopped talking to him. Wouldn't answer his texts etc. he texted me every single day, finally at the end of the week he wrote this big thing about how sorry he was, he shouldn't take me for granted because he really cares about me but he's scared he is going to get attached and get hurt--(this IS a characteristic about him that's true). So I felt like he was being vulnerable and I let my guard down. The next day we hooked up at work. Later I found out he was going away for the rest of the month--- he hadn't even told me this and he made NO TIME to see me before he left.

 

We ended up having a fight on Friday night and I told him I was DONE and I stopped answering his texts/calls etc. he called me 10 times and texted me "I'm sorry" numerous times. Finally on Saturday afternoon I decided to respond. Well he turned things around on me-- that I was overreacting, making a big deal over nothing etc. I just pretty much told him that he's hurting me and I feel like he's using me for attention and an ego boost (which he denied). I told him to enjoy his trip and don't contact me again. To which he got scared and all apologetic again.

 

Basically my question is what is going on? Is he putting up a wall because he's scared? using me? what? I'm so confused!!

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You said that you just wanted an FWB, but you are acting like a girlfriend. When it's just about sex, it really is just about sex and that doesn't include emotional intimacy. If you need emotional intimacy and want to be treated like a girlfriend, then be honest with what you want and don't hook up with a guy at lunch and then get mad that he doesn't want to act like a bf after work and hang out with you. That's not part of the deal you offered and were taken up on. You are just a hook up being treated like a hook up and that is all there is to it.

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You said that you just wanted an FWB, but you are acting like a girlfriend. When it's just about sex, it really is just about sex and that doesn't include emotional intimacy. If you need emotional intimacy and want to be treated like a girlfriend, then be honest with what you want and don't hook up with a guy at lunch and then get mad that he doesn't want to act like a bf after work and hang out with you. That's not part of the deal you offered and were taken up on. You are just a hook up being treated like a hook up and that is all there is to it.

 

but I told him literally from day ONE I didn't want it to be about sex. I said I wanted to remain friends.... I just did not want a commitment. If he feels that I am just a hook up, and that now I'm wanting more than he bargained for, why would he be acting so apologetic every time I try to cut things off? I have told him numerous times this is not what I want... but he INSISTS he wants what I want and is going to show me that.

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I don't think I've ever heard of someone asking for what you are asking for. Not dating but more than just sex. That's way too complicated. He did agree to it (stupidly) but this shouldn't be any surprise that it isn't working out as you thought it would. It's hard enough when people want all or nothing. But you want something in the middle. How much? 30%? 70%? And how is he even supposed to know exactly what IS 30% or 70%? You want to kind of, sort of ACT like a couple but not actually BE a couple. But how much togetherness do you want? At some point, isn't it for all intents and purposes a relationship?

 

Yes, you did tell him up front that you wanted to be more than FWB and that would imply that you want to spend more time with him than what you currently are outside of sex (since right now it's no time). I think most people would have a hard time fulfilling your expectations. Too little is just sex. Too much is a relationship. How will anyone know how much you want? And what if what you perceive as not quite a relationship do THEY see as what they would do in a relationship anyway?

 

It's frustrating that it's not working out as you had expected but you have to know you are asking for this precarious balance between "just sex" and "relationship" and there probably aren't a lot of people who would actually be able to do that. I'm not sure how anyone could be involved with someone enough to have sex with them and go on dates and whatnot like a couple but not actually be a couple.

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Well, you have been friends with him for a year and you do still have to work with him. I would make some sort of effort at amends. Like that perhaps it was a bad idea to try to have this half-relationship, half-not thing going on. That you can see why it just wasn't working so well and to just call it off. You probably won't be able to go back to being friends but you still wish him well and hope you can still be civil at work to each other. Something like that. Hopefully he will respond in kind. If not, what can you do.

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I guess I want a relationship disguised as not a relationship (without opening up myself to be hurt) but now I am hurt.

 

What do you think is going through his mind though? What is up with the incessant apologies? And the not letting it go? And why is he REFUSING to hang out? How hard is it to grab a coffee after work?

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What do you think is going through his mind though? What is up with the incessant apologies? And the not letting it go? And why is he REFUSING to hang out? How hard is it to grab a coffee after work?

 

That is true. While it might be difficult to determine exactly how much he is supposed to put into this grabbing a coffee every now and then sounds pretty minimal.

 

Perhaps because the moment he heard "FWB" he tuned out everything else you said.

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Wow, it's obvious neither one of you can handle a FWB and you can't agree on what you want. Even worse he's got some weird thing going where he chases every time you pull back and no, sometimes there's nothing rational about that beyond the fact that some people feel the need to chase those who reject them. I have no idea what that is and neither will you, his therapist if he ever sees one, might. But at this stage of the game who cares? You're doing the right thing by just ending things and walking away. A fast "things didn't work out, I'm done" is all that's needed. You both tried and there just is too great a disconnect and it's up to you, not him, to keep it ended since you already know he's the type who apparently only wants you when you don't want him.

 

Just because someone chases you it doesn't mean things can work out or that they are right for you or you are right for them, so stop ascribing greater meaning to his actions on that front. Look at the fact that you now have a complicated mess of hurt feelings and miscommunications--the very thing you'd hoped to avoid in the first place. That alone is more than reason enough to end things.

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I think he likes you as a friend to have sex with at lunch time and text and he wants to keep that up so he apologizes and you slept with him again (worked once so he'll try again...apologizing equals more lunch time sex and buys more time before the same pattern is recognized). If he wanted to hang out, have coffee or spend any time outside of the sex, he would.

I also think this is a bizarre thing to agree to and probably extraordinarily confusing for him. FWB implies casual, no strings attached sex with someone you call a friend. I have lots of guy friends that I don't sleep with and I wouldn't say I feel "emotionally close" to them nor am requiring that of them. I think you have feelings and he can sense that and doesn't want to go there (which to be fair to him you agreed to or even suggested yourself).

There's no way to guarantee that you won't get hurt in a relationship but one measure to protect yourself better is to be honest about what you're looking for...both with yourself and the other person. Otherwise you're setting yourself up for heartache and setting them up to be the bad guy.

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Thanks for the replies.

 

To be clear, I explained what I wanted to him from day ONE. Also throughout this saga he has been the one to bring up dating and falling in love with me. I've NEVER said anything of the sort to him.

 

Maybe what i wanted wasn't fair but he knew what he was in for and I offered him many opportunities to back out.

 

We HAVE NOT had sex for about 6 weeks so it's been confusing me as to why he's still chasing me and apologizing. I wasn't sure if maybe HE was the one wanting more or if he was just playing games...

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Thanks for the replies.

 

To be clear, I explained what I wanted to him from day ONE. Also throughout this saga he has been the one to bring up dating and falling in love with me. I've NEVER said anything of the sort to him.

 

Maybe what i wanted wasn't fair but he knew what he was in for and I offered him many opportunities to back out.

 

We HAVE NOT had sex for about 6 weeks so it's been confusing me as to why he's still chasing me and apologizing. I wasn't sure if maybe HE was the one wanting more or if he was just playing games...

 

I don't think he "knew what he was in for". FWB is different from spending quality time together and nurturing an emotional bond. I think he was confused as it's a little bit of a confusing proposition. He apologized before and you hooked up with him again so it stands to reason he'd keep apologizing. What he didn't do was spend any quality time with you outside of sex which I think means he's not interested romantically but enjoys the setup the way it is.

Were you good friends who hung out prior to making this arrangement?

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We were decent friends. We always talked about relationship issues etc. I felt comfortable with him. When this started I literally said "I don't want this to be just about sex I want to be friends and hang out too"

 

Could it be that since I keep telling him I won't date him, he doesn't want to hang out to risk getting more attached to someone who isn't interested in more?

 

He's the one who keeps bringing up our "connection" etc

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We were decent friends. We always talked about relationship issues etc. I felt comfortable with him. When this started I literally said "I don't want this to be just about sex I want to be friends and hang out too"

 

Could it be that since I keep telling him I won't date him, he doesn't want to hang out to risk getting more attached to someone who isn't interested in more?

 

He's the one who keeps bringing up our "connection" etc

 

I think if you can take some ownership of being a little confusing, you could suggest just hanging out as friends or going on a proper date if you want to salvage things. Hooking up in the future would confuse things again unless you define the relationship a bit better.

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The mess of this is that it's at work, and this is why it's not a good idea to fish off the company pier. The aftermath is too uncomfortable.

 

So he's uncomfortable. He doesn't want an enemy at work, but he'll risk that to take the sex if he can get it.

 

You picked the wrong guy for your weirdly limited definition of 'emotional intimacy.' Your line is so fuzzy, it's not even clear to some of us on this board.

 

If you don't want a relationship, pick someone outside of work and do your thing--whatever that is (I still don't understand it).

 

The guy wants to keep your work relationship in tact, and you're using that as leverage to get him to perform as some quasi-boyfriend to your satisfaction. He's saying 'okay' to get the sex, but he's not going to put himself out for you.

 

Why not just clean this up by quitting the sex and being civil to him when it comes to business so you won't harm your own work reputation?

 

You don't need to be his friend.

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I think if you can take some ownership of being a little confusing, you could suggest just hanging out as friends or going on a proper date if you want to salvage things. Hooking up in the future would confuse things again unless you define the relationship a bit better.

 

I agree that this is a mess and a bit confusing. Instead of calling it fwbs, you should have just said dating.

 

Whatever he feels, he's obviously ambivalent towards you. He wants the physical but for some reason is not interested in actually doing the emotional.

 

Just walk away from all the drama.

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Ok so I texted him last night an apologized for being confusing. He responded by sending me a couple pics of his trip. We didn't have an actual conversation.

 

Should I continue to show genuine interest? Or just leave it alone?

 

What if he was scared to open up because he thought i was not clear with what I wanted??

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You really only have two choices - discontinue this thing that you have going on and just be civil to each other OR be straight with him that you really do want to date and see how that goes. Keep in mind that if he doesn't just shoot you down, that you will need to pay careful attention to actions, not words. See if dates materialize and progress toward something or if it was all just lip service.

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I think you are fooling yourself. The fact that you are hurt now is proof. I think you wanted something more with him, but thought if you snagged him with the sex he would want more. But he didnt' want more, he only wanted sex. So every time you pull back, he apologizes because he doesn't want to lose THE SEX. Not you, the SEX.

 

When FWB doesn't work out, and there are not emotions/feelings involved, people don't get hurt. Your feelings are involved.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I just did not want a commitment. If he feels that I am just a hook up, and that now I'm wanting more than he bargained for, why would he be acting so apologetic every time I try to cut things off?
Because he wants the sex and since you're giving it to him no matter how he treats you then he'll keep treating you the way you treat him. With ambiguity.

 

You told him not to contact you again and now that he's away and not contacting you, you've started another thread about why he's not contacting you and emotionally bonding to you. Well, my dear... you're a waffler who yourself doesn't even know what you want. He can't possibly give you what you want when you say one thing but act another.

 

You act like you don't want a boyfriend but you ask him to be committed like one. You give him sex even though he doesn't give you what you want. You tell him not to contact you and when he doesn't you freak out. My goodness, no wonder he's keeping his distance except for the sex.

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I don't think people are listening to what you actually wrote...you didn't want a committed bf, all you wanted was to have sex with someone you can also hang out with. You didnt want to be treated like a blow up doll... I don't think that's weird or confusing...he's a grown adult and you guys can agree to whatever you want to. He is the one agreeing to what you wanted, so it's not some confusing surprise to him...you stated exactly what you wanted and he is not holding up his side of the bargain. No one can tell you how this is "supposed" to be or how a "standard" fwb relationship should be, it's up to you and your partner.

 

Figure out exactly what you want and if he doesn't give you it, or is not willing to give it to you after talking I would move on.

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I would say that people are listening.

 

At the end of the day FWBs is less about being friends and more about no-strings attached sex. You can either be friends or lovers. It won't work being both as is being demonstrated here.

 

You can't be FWB yet want to build an emotional connection … that then becomes a relationship and it is no wonder why this guy might be confused as to what is expected of him.

 

Friends is friend … once sex is thrown into the mix (and maybe emotions) everything changes.

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