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My FWB and I agreed to stay together until and unless either of us met someone else. That was clearly understood. We were genuine friends and enjoyed each other’s company in every way. But after several months I found myself in love with her at just about the same time she informed me that she'd met someone else. I told her how I felt and she said she wanted to explore this other guy and see how she felt about him. Said she didn’t want to lose me, that she needed some time to figure out what she wants, but that she also didn’t expect me to wait for her. She’s been completely honest and up front the whole time, so it’s not as if she’s cheated or lied or betrayed me. She was only playing by our agreed-to rules. I’m the one that broke the rules by getting emotionally involved. So it’s a dilemma. I miss her terribly and yet I don’t feel comfortable with contacting her in any way in order to honor her request for time, and she hasn’t contacted me either. And I’ve been dating just a bit but my heart really isn’t in it. So for two months I’ve drifted in this limbo of not knowing how she is or where her head is at, not knowing what to do or how to handle this situation. I can’t ‘break up’ with her, because there was never a commitment to exclusivity, so there’s nothing to break. I can’t tell her I won’t keep waiting, because she’s already made it clear that she doesn’t expect me to. I can’t (won’t) contact her because.. what would I say? “Hey, just checking to see if you’ve decided anything yet.” Umm.. no. Anyway, I don’t know what I’m asking, exactly, but I’m just kinda spinning around here. Never have I ever been in such an awkward situation, have you?

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Well in all honesty I think your best option really is just to move on. The thing is that she actually chose the other guy and not you. I think if she felt strongly about you then she would have wanted to date you instead. If she only comes back to you after it doesn't work out with that other guy then you'd still be only her second choice.

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3 minutes ago, SixOfOne said:

Thank you. That's my thinking, as well. I'm working on it.

Good luck! FWB is hard because usually one person catches feelings. It's happened to me before too. I mean she's with that other guy now so you can't even suggest trying to date or anything. I don't think there's much point waiting for her because she might say she doesn't feel the same.

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If you really wanted her, you would say "i have feelings for you, but i know you don't have the same for me. I can't be FWB anymore.   I would like to either date you properly or i think its best to keep our distance so that we both can meet someone who thinks we are the one for them. "  Having the moving on attitude is the best way to go.

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2 minutes ago, abitbroken said:

If you really wanted her, you would say "i have feelings for you, but i know you don't have the same for me. I can't be FWB anymore.

That's exactly what I said as soon as she told me about the other guy. So now we're keeping our distance, and I'm moving towards the moving on. Very difficult, though. I miss her friendship more than the benefits, honestly. Her personality can't be replaced. 

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3 minutes ago, SixOfOne said:

That's exactly what I said as soon as she told me about the other guy. So now we're keeping our distance, and I'm moving towards the moving on. Very difficult, though. I miss her friendship more than the benefits, honestly. Her personality can't be replaced. 

Yes, her personality can be replaced by someone with a personality that clicks with you even more.  Because what good is her personality if she wasn't even into you?  And what kind of scruples does she have if she likes stringing someone along "until she finds someone better?"  Some personality, right? 

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1 minute ago, abitbroken said:

And what kind of scruples does she have if she likes stringing someone along "until she finds someone better?"

Thank you, but I don't think you're understanding my original post. ✌️

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1 minute ago, SixOfOne said:

Thank you, but I don't think you're understanding my original post. ✌️

I do understand.  Don't enter any other FWB agreements. A woman (or man) who is willing to "accept" a no relationship relationship instead of believing they have tons of worth and deserve an actual relationship or have the self worth to just not have sex for awhile if all that is offered is no strings -- they don't make good relationship material.    Or if they do, she or you accepted sex from someone that is not compatible -- because if you were, you would have just had a relationship instead of a sex agreement 

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FWB can be tough situations because even though you're not dating, you lose a friend and sex when the agreement is over.

You're doing the right thing keeping your distance. That's all you can do for now.

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2 hours ago, SixOfOne said:

She’s been completely honest and up front the whole time, so it’s not as if she’s cheated or lied or betrayed me

-Nope, you were just FWB.  That has no rules/expectations. ( But, yeah, sadly these 'emotions' can crawl up on you).

2 hours ago, SixOfOne said:

And I’ve been dating just a bit but my heart really isn’t in it

- Yah, pls don't do things like this 😞 .. if someone gets attached when you KNOW you can't take it- don't use them.

 

2 hours ago, SixOfOne said:

she informed me that she'd met someone else. I told her how I felt and she said she wanted to explore this other guy and see how she felt about him. Said she didn’t want to lose me, that she needed some time to figure out what she wants, but that she also didn’t expect me to wait for her.

- You don;t know where her head is at... sorry is not with you 😞 . Yes, you respect her wishes, leave her be.

 

I have tried- but not continue something like this ( But not with 'a friend'- will damage friendship).

This is what can happen.. at least one gets feelings- when was never a true 'relationship'.

 

I say to just take some down time... heal from this experience (BEFORE) you go looking for someone else.

 

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3 minutes ago, SooSad33 said:

 .. if someone gets attached when you KNOW you can't take it- don't use them.

Funny, because this is what I told her shortly after we met, that I wasn't ready for a serious relationship like she wanted. So she suggested the FWB thing with that understanding. Lately I've dated casually and infrequently; not trying to jump into another relationship, not misleading anyone, not using anyone. So yes, I do agree with you, thanks. 

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9 hours ago, SixOfOne said:

what would I say? “Hey, just checking to see if you’ve decided anything yet.” Umm.. no. 

She has decided. 

If it's been two months of this limbo and she hasn't come looking for you, she's already made her choice. She just doesn't want to have the awkward conversation letting you know it wasn't you. 

It sucks and I get why you're disappointed, but you actually already have your answer. 

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Sorry about all this. 

A number of years ago, I found myself in a pretty universal "limbo" situation: broken up but still navigating waves of pummeling emotions, struggling to figure out how to close certain doors and pry open others. Talking to a friend—venting, really—I said, "Ugh! I feel like I'm stuck in some emotional purgatory!" To which he replied: "Emotional purgatories are good!"

What a concept. It was quite freeing for me, that idea, in that it allowed me to stop judging all the thorns and all the spins and to just accept that, hey, that's just where I was, for a moment. Not a problem to solve or a verdict on my life, but just a tough little juncture on my journey, like having a sprained ankle when you want to run a marathon—or only realizing how much you crave running a marathon after being grounded by a sprained ankle.  

So I'm sharing that that little anecdote with you in the hopes it brings a modicum of perspective. 

These sorts of FWB arrangements, as others have noted and as humans have proven for who knows how long, often reach this point. When you agree to something like this—let's have fun until one of us gets serious elsewhere—what you're doing is rewarding and validating mutual emotional unavailability. In this specific case, you basically asked her to do just that at the start, removing the potential for a relationship. I'd say you put a cap on her feelings right there, and that it speaks highly of her sense of self that she wasn't interested in forcing anything or trying to excavate something from you that you said wasn't there.  

In your shoes right now—or at least soon—I'd give yourself some time to reflect on all that a bit. You fell in love with her in part because she's great and all that, but also because you felt "safe" to let those feelings blossom in a dynamic that began with you rejecting the possibility of a relationship. I'd say that's shortchanging yourself a bit—or, more optimistically, that maybe you needed this experience to know that what you want, romantically, is the full picture, not the shade that made this appealing, at least initially.

If you can find a way to start celebrating that as a fact, even as you mourn this, you may find this door starts to close naturally as you open up emotionally. 

Edited by bluecastle
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I am curious and I want you to be brutally honest here.  When exactly did you realize these "feelings" for her?  When you first knew about some other guy sniffing around your girl? or well before you knew he existed? 

I agree with Blue (like usual) that you didn't know what you wanted until it was gone.  Were you kidding yourself that you didn't want a real relationship with her or at all right now or were you afraid of what that might entail?   Your answers will be telling...

As for what to do:  It has been a few months so obviously things are not going terribly between them as you had hoped so suck it up that he offered something you weren't willing to give (at least initially) and learn this big lesson.  It sucks and regrets can haunt you but like Blue said you can use this as an opportunity to figure yourself out.

  Some of the biggest growths in my life have come from mistakes I have made not being honest with myself.  It is okay to feel down that you lost her just as long as you do not wallow in it.  The rest of your life continues so live it!

 Lost

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Just be careful that if this new relationship doesn't work out, I wouldn't be surprised if you hear from her.  You'd likely be the first go to if she finds herself single again.

Be true to yourself and don't fall back into a fwb situation again.  It might be hard, but it would harder to continue, holding back your feelings and risking going through this again.

 

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4 hours ago, bluecastle said:

Not a problem to solve or a verdict on my life, but just a tough little juncture

That's how I see this, too. I believe all will be well, one way or another. I'm really not committed to a specific outcome, just a bit untethered currently.

 

4 hours ago, bluecastle said:

it speaks highly of her sense of self that she wasn't interested in forcing anything or trying to excavate something from you that you said wasn't there.  

Absolutely. She does not lack self-esteem, that's for sure.

 

4 hours ago, bluecastle said:

a dynamic that began with you rejecting the possibility of a relationship

I rejected that possibility at the time because I knew it wouldn't be more than a rebound for me, and she deserves more than that.

 

4 hours ago, bluecastle said:

If you can find a way to start celebrating that as a fact

I do celebrate having met her and experiencing this. I've learned a lot, such as 'no more FWB' for me.

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2 hours ago, lostandhurt said:

When exactly did you realize these "feelings" for her?  When you first knew about some other guy sniffing around your girl? or well before you knew he existed? 

We took a road trip together in mid-October. That's when I felt the shift in me. She told me about the other during the last week of November. I had no clue.

 

2 hours ago, lostandhurt said:

Were you kidding yourself that you didn't want a real relationship with her or at all right now or were you afraid of what that might entail?

Not sure I completely understand your question. I couldn't have the kind of relationship she wanted at first, but the passing of time changed that. No fear of any kind, just awful timing.

 

2 hours ago, lostandhurt said:

suck it up that he offered something you weren't willing to give (at least initially) and learn this big lesson

Oh I totally accept this. Lesson learned.

 

2 hours ago, lostandhurt said:

Some of the biggest growths in my life have come from mistakes I have made not being honest with myself.  It is okay to feel down that you lost her just as long as you do not wallow in it.

Agreed, except for the not being honest with myself part. No wallowing going on here. I posted originally because I respect the opinion of you guys, and was wondering if this is unusual. Apparently it is not.

Thank you!

 

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2 hours ago, reinventmyself said:

I wouldn't be surprised if you hear from her

I wouldn't either. I know some folks think 'second choice' here, but I'd be happy to see her again just as a friend. So that really isn't relevant to me.

 

2 hours ago, reinventmyself said:

Be true to yourself and don't fall back into a fwb situation again

Oh no worries about that! This was the first and last time. Thank you!

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Sounds like you've got a great attitude and perspective. 

Here's how I'd think about things: 

You rejected the potential of a relationship here, recognizing you were in a rebound headspace. Now you're kind of ruminating on things with her, which means were you to meet someone new you'd be at risk of finding yourself in the same position: only open to so much, still plucking out the thorns of something that didn't work out, but perhaps drifting into something untenable.  

Good time to sit back, breathe through all this, to swab the emotional decks, so to speak.

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32 minutes ago, SixOfOne said:

Not sure I completely understand your question. I couldn't have the kind of relationship she wanted at first, but the passing of time changed that. No fear of any kind, just awful timing.

 

 

We often tell ourselves or convince ourselves of something out of avoidance or fear.  Why couldn't you give her the relationship she wanted at first?  This answer is not for me, it is for you.  Rebound?  Fear of getting hurt again? Wanting to keep your options open? Not sure she was the one?  To keep from ending up with "bad timing" again it would be good to figure out who you were several months ago and why that guy couldn't see what todays Sixofone now sees so clearly.

Bad timing is a thing for sure but I have found many times we create our own bad timing without even knowing it...

  She protected herself and might have even hoped months ago that you would change your mind.  Special women come along rarely, treat the next one accordingly.

 I am sure your story will have a happy ending, just with who is the only question.

Best wishes

  Lost 

Edited by lostandhurt
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