How Can I Turn my Friend With Benefits Into My Boyfriend?

kmtc87 asks: 

So in January I met a guy on Tinder. He is an awesome guy and at the time that we began this we both wanted the same things. Neither of us really felt like we wanted a committed relationship, but a little more than just sex. Neither of us are booty call kind of people. We texted a lot in the beginning too, and not just about sex. In fact it mostly wasn’t about sex. We have been getting together weekly to bi-weekly since that point to have sex mostly or once I invited him to go see My Fair Lady with me as it was playing in the theater and we are both fans of musicals. He’s going with me to a concert this weekend, and we’ve made plans to go to other fun dates throughout the summer. Recently I’ve begun to realize I want more from our relationship. This isn’t an exclusive relationship at all and I know he has at least one other FWB. I’ve dated other guys as well, but he is the only one I’m sleeping with. I just really am becoming more and more infatuated with him. He is extraordinarily sweet, treats me wonderfully and respectfully, we have a similar sense of humor. We cuddle for hours and hours watching movies while he plays with my hair and kisses my head. We hold hands while cuddling up watching movies, and he cooks for me, I cook for him, we hold hands when we walk with one another.

I want to know if anyone else thinks that this has the potential to become a relationship. If you think it could I would appreciate any thoughts you have on how to talk to him about it.

You know, I’m often asked questions about this sort of scenario, but the reason I chose your question to answer specifically is because of how atypical your situation is. I think this is maybe the first time I’ve ever had anyone try to turn a friends with benefits situation into a relationship that already sounds like a relationship. Look, I like my girlfriend, but there’s no way that I’d go to see My Fair Lady with her. To be fair, I don’t like musicals, but still, that’s some real boyfriend/girlfriend type of activity if I have ever seen one.

This guy is clearly into you, is treating you as an actual friend, not just a fuck buddy which is VERY different from a friend with benefits. He sounds like he actually enjoys your company and treats you with respect. Based on what you’ve described about him, he’s almost your boyfriend. To answer the first part of your question, YES, I do see your current situation as having the potential of becoming a relationship, assuming that when you say “relationship” you really mean “committed, monogamous, relationship that is clearly defined as a boyfriend/girlfriend”.

The major difference between what you have and the standard boyfriend/girlfriend relationship is the fact that you both have other FWBs in the mix. For him, there’s sex involved, for you, not so much. Nothing wrong with either of you doing this, I just want to lay out the situation is clearly as possible. Based on the fact that he’s still out there hooking up with other people, I’d say the odds of him wanting to forego that and switch to full-on monogamy with you are at about 50/50. Those are pretty good odds!

To be honest, there isn’t much you can do to increase to the odds of him wanting to settle down with you. Here’s how to talk about maybe becoming monogamous:

1. Bring it up

“But Demetrius, that’s too simple”. Listen, I don’t make the rules, I just tell you what they are. If you want the conversation to start, you have to start the conversation. Don’t wait on him to start it because right now he’s having his cake and eating it too.

2. If he’s amenable to the idea, tell him what you’d like

People say “relationship” and assume that everyone has the same idea of what a relationship means to them. Maybe for him, you ARE in a relationship. An open, non-monogamous relationship where he sleeps with other people but treats you like a girlfriend. Or maybe it’s the traditional Bf/Gf deal. Either way, be clear about what a relationship means to you. If you start dating seriously, how soon until both of you drop the other FWBs in your life? Clear that up.

The most important thing to take away from what I said above is that I said Amenable, not that he’ll say yes. It’s all about being open to taking things to another level, not necessarily rushing into a relationship. Just bear in mind that even if he’s open to the idea, he might change his mind. Or not. Again, 50/50 odds.

3. If he’s not amenable to the idea, figure out your exit strategy

Since it’s a 50/50 split on whether he’ll want to be your boyfriend or not, you need to figure out your exit strategy if he says no. I’m not saying that you have to end things with him, but you do need to figure out what your line in the sand is going to be. If he doesn’t want to be your boyfriend, will you be okay continuing to be his FWB? Is there a certain limit on sexual partners? Figure all of that out and let him know. Don’t make it an ultimatum, don’t make it about a time limit, or a goal to meet, just let him know where you stand if he says he’s not interested in pursuing a relationship with you. The important thing to do though is tell him what you want first, but don’t tell him what your intentions are if he’s not interested in a relationship until AFTER he responds. If you tell him you’ll end things if he doesn’t commit to you, he might just commit to keep you around.

Hopefully things work out for you both because you guys sound like a fun couple. If it doesn’t work out, you’ll eventually find the right guy for you who wants to do more than sleep with you (plus a few other women).

Good Luck Out There.

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