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Advice – I am falling for my FWB.

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/u/Hebske123 on /r/relationship_advice writes…

“We [25F] [23M] see each other a few times a week and we’re progressively moving towards acting like we’re together. We have AMAZING sex and really good communication but I’m worried about bringing up feelings because I genuinely enjoy our friendship without sex.

I want to be honest about my feelings without ruining what we have. I don’t NEED to be in a relationship and I would be okay continuing on as we are now if he doesn’t feel the same way.

The tricky part is that this person and I have ZERO business sleeping together as he is my ex boyfriend’s best friend.. He told me that he loved me in his sleep and I just don’t know how to proceed.

What would you do?”

Dear Hebske123,

It might be a good time for you to establish and discuss boundaries and expectations with each other.

Let’s get this out of the way first. I personally do not believe that there is anything inherently wrong with sleeping with your ex’s best friend, especially if there aren’t any pending baggage from the end of your relationship with your ex. If you and your FWB are secretively sleeping with each other knowing how it might negatively impact your ex’s mental health and their friendship, then yeah. I think that’s probably not the most ethical way of approaching this newfound connection. World is tiny and massive at the same time. Why not just celebrate the emotional connections you’ve built with the people you care for?

There are three available options for you and your FWB to choose from.

  1. Discuss those feelings. Realize and develop a relationship with your FWB if the feelings are mutual.
  2. Establish some firm boundaries so that you and your FWB can continue being FWBs.
  3. If you cannot establish and stick to your boundaries while remaining as FWBs, end things.

Recognize that all three of those options require you to come to actualize your intentions a bit better here. From your post, I get the sense that you do feel a bit ambivalent about bringing up your feelings in fear that your feelings might not be reciprocated. But as you said, you two are genuinely good friends eve without the sex. Why not rely on those “really good communication” that you mentioned and talk about the feelings you are developing? Love is always a gamble because it asks us to be vulnerable with other people, to step a bit outside of our comfort zone. Understand that denial and rejection is always an option, but the payoff of reciprocated love is almost always worth the shot.

If your romantic feelings/intentions are not reciprocated, it is time for you to establish some firm boundaries around your FWBs so that you don’t continue to indulge in and develop your feelings. Those boundaries could look like:

  • No overnights.
  • Limited number of days you spend with each other.
  • Actively and mindfully dating others outside of your FWB arrangement.
  • Set a timeline on how long this FWB arrangement can go on before you end the sexual component of your relationship.

Remember, your feelings are your feelings. But you completely own the actions and reactions to your feelings. So you can always be more mindful and approach your relationships with conscience and perspective.

Good luck!

Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.

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