"What does FWB mean? Are We More Than Friends?" - Is He Your Boyfriend or Not?
By: Carlos Cavallo
So what does FWB mean? And does that mean you can be more than friends with him?
Simply said, it stands for "Friend with Benefits."
Those benefits are that you can sleep with each other, and get some intimate action as a side benefit.
But is it really a benefit?
Is that the relationship you REALLY want with him?
You might actually be wondering if you're an FWB - friend with benefits - or are you his girlfriend? Is he your boyfriend?
What "is" your relationship?
First we should cover some signs that you're only friends with him:
Are You More Than Friends - Sign 1: He keeps you as a secret...
This might seem kind of cool in a "forbidden love" kind of way. You almost fee like you're doing something a little edgy and taboo...
Until you don't.
Which is to say that it gets old the second you discover you have feelings for him, and you wonder if he has them for you. Or if you're just a friend with benefits. And all he does is hide you away like a dirty secret.
A lot of women start up a relationship with a guy only to discover that he's not posting anything about them online.
Or talking to his family about her...
Or putting her full name in his phone...
Or meeting any of his friends...
What's typically going on here is that he's either not ready to make your relationship public, or he just doesn't want to define it quite yet...
Or he only wants to be FWB with you.
Another sign is that he will not be as affectionate in public if he's not feeling you two have relationship potential.
Another way to say this is that he will be all over you like a cheap suit if he's into you. Guys like to stake their claim, and men simply don't hold back on their PDAs (Public Display of Affection) unless he's not into a relationship with you.
Just FWB? Sign 2: He won't label your relationship...
How do you label your relationship...?
Simply put, he's not going to let you declare the relationship as... well ANYTHING. The second you ask "what are we?" he's going to start ducking, bobbing, weaving, sidestepping, and dancing the tap dance of a lifetime.
He might say "I don't like labels."
"Let's just play it casual..."
Or a bunch of other things.
The truth is that a lot of women will hear his excuse and immediately think he's commitment phobic.
NOPE - He's just not into YOU.
And I know that's a bitter pill to swallow. Especially when he breaks it off with you - or disappears - only to resurface 3 days later with a girlfriend he can't keep his hands off. (By the way, when this happens, now you know what it was all about. You were a placeholder while he found a women he was really into.)
Are You His Girlfriend? Sign 3: You're not going out - and you're not going ANYWHERE...
This one shows up pretty quickly as an obvious situation of never leaving the house. You wind up staying home and just chilling & Netflix - because he never wants to go anywhere.
He might be a loser...
There's a couple possibilities here:
He's just a lazy homebody. I know about this one - I used to BE one. Until I finally realized that it was costing me relationships, so I started to relax that need to stay inside. To be fair, I had a pretty cool apartment. Big screen TV with theater sound... comfy chairs and couch... relaxing location in Sausalito... Ahhh... I kinda miss that old place...
He could be cash-poor. Not having any disposable income limits a man's options. And he's not going to be proud of that fact - or want you to know.
He's not into being seen with you. This one is usually connected to the whole "doesn't want to define the relationship - or HAVE one." It's rare that a guy doesn't want to be seen with a woman because he thinks there's anything really horrible about her. He may just be avoiding running into anyone he knows, or any women he's already dating...
He's only in it for the convenient fun. And that usually means that he's not so into spending money on dates when take-out and a movie rental will do.
Are You Just FWB? Sign 4: It's all about the booty, baby...
One of the simplest ways you can spot an obvious FWB relationship is that he's only going to call you when he wants to come over and get some.
He'll show up late, because he has no interest in hanging out. Just the booty, ma'am!
He'll avoid any kind of conversation that doesn't end with - "So let's get nekkid!"
In fact, you'll notice that this kind of guy will also get a little bratty and selfish if you're not into having him sleepover. If he keeps steering the entire conversation or "date" over to getting you into bed, you know where you stand.
Now, there's a far more important detail you're probably curious about: Are you more than friends?
And does this relationship have the potential to be more than friends or friends with benefits?
The answer is YES - it always does.
BUT - you have to be willing to reach out and apply some STRATEGY.
A lot of women might see that word and pull back, thinking that I mean you should play games with him.
The truth is a bitter pill to swallow...
Here's the scoop on playing games with guys...
You're already playing games right now!
Let me put this into perspective for you:
When a guy shows interest in you, and he's someone you've been interested in - what would you say to him when he asks you out?
A) "I don't know if you're my type..."
B) "What a surprise! Sure we can. What did you have in mind?"
C) "Oh, YES! Look, I really like you. I'm so glad you're interested in me, too! Can we go out tonight?"
Chances are, you answered B.
Well, you realize that Option A ("I don't know if you're my type...") is the classic hard-to-get response. That's DEFINITELY game playing in a rather unhealthy way.
Option C ("Oh, YES! Look, I really like you...") is too much truth. You're spilling your guts and saying WAY too much. Even if it's all true, you'd never tell a guy this much before you got to know him in case you would scare him off.
So even though you know Option C is the most truthful, you wouldn't use it.
Huh. How about that.
Which leaves Option B as the most middle-of-the-road response. It's the answer *I* would pick for you, too.
Why isn't Option B game playing? After all, it's also not entirely true. You're holding back information about your REAL feelings. (Which is technically a lie by omission. But it's a safe white lie that won't hurt anyone.)
Well, you don't consider it game playing because you're being STRATEGIC with the information you reveal to him. All in an effort to play it slow and relaxed until you can both ease into your feelings for each other. And eventually tell the whole truth about those feelings.
Technically, this is MANIPULATION!
But it's a GOOD and healthy kind of manipulation. To help you both not freak each other out. And it gives you a chance to build up the romance between you.
After all, what you don't know is good - at least at the start of a relationship. 🙂
How do I know if he wants to be more than friends?
So the truth is that all interactions have a small amount of game-playing in them. (Some have a huge amount of game playing, sure.)
Human beings are actually very suspicious when people are TOO open and honest with them.
You know that... I know that.
Which is why we go along with certain games.
So let's talk about the elephant in the room:
Attraction is what brings us together. And that attraction almost ALWAYS starts out as sexual attraction. (yeah, that means you, too.)
Attraction is about the driving need to couple up with someone and fulfill one of our most powerful and primal drives - to procreate!
And just about every part of your body participates in this ritual, too. From your hormones to the fine little hairs on your neck and arms, you're tuned into love in every way.
Men know that a "serious relationship" requires work.
So a man might not want a "real" full-scale relationship for many possible reasons:
Because he's too busy to invest in a real relationship
Because he doesn't see himself here (in this situation and this lifestyle) for the long-term
Because he's not happy with where he's at and sex is a nice diversion
Because he's a single dad and his children are his ONLY priority
Because he's rebounding from a serious relationship (frequent)
Because he might be kind of cheating with you
Because he's been hurt too much and just wants no-complications sex without entanglement
Because he doesn’t want to be monogamous as a lifestyle choice
And all that stuff I mentioned earlier.
AND guys also realize that they're not as good at relationship stuff as you probably are!
Men also know that relationships are messy, and they often (frequently) don't work out. You either find your true love, find someone that's good enough to stay with (but you know you're settling), oryou break up.
That's all there is.
That's huge, by the way.
So let me share a few important Truths with you about men - and answering the question of whether you can be more than friends:
TRUTH: Casual sex tells a guy that you're not a serious girlfriend.
Even if you ARE serious about having a serious relationship, jumping in bed quick tells him you were more willing to give up your desire to wait than you were to hook up.
When you put the sex first, he will put the relationship last!
That spells "C-A-S-U-A-L" to a guy in very clear terms.
A lot of movies and books depict FWB relationships that turn into love. But in the real world, it’s pretty rare.
I know, you feel you got ripped off by all those rom-com movies. You're right - they didn't do you a service at all.
Guys don't see casual encounters as emotionally engaging. They see them as sexually relieving.
A man has a strong natural physical drive to jump in bed with women, because it's built into his body. His mind doesn't even have to participate.
So if you let him, he'll just shut that pesky brain right off and have some fun.
TRUTH: In order for casual fun to turn into a relationship, he's got to see something that he really wants in you.
This might seem like an obvious thing to say, but it's actually important to your dating life.
You will KNOW if he wants to be more than friends...
A lot of women I work with and coach are very eager to stand out from other women. They often ask me:
What perfume should I wear?
What clothes do men really like?
Should she act more sensual/sexual?
Should she lift up his ego more?
What should she say to him that will make him pay attention to her?
All of these questions are important - but only if you don't understand men.
Sure, you could wear a really expensive perfume... But if you don't know how to talk to him, he won't care.
Sure, you could wear an expensive dress and shoes... But if you don't know why he listens to some women, while he immediately dismisses others, you're lost.
Sureyou could polish his ego up with flattery... But if you don't understand what a man needs more than superficial ego strokes, he'll lose interest on the first date with you.
People have a way of focusing on those things that make the least difference in how men REALLY look at them.
Everything on the outside should be attended to, of course.
But the real thing you have to know is why a guy chooses one woman over another.
Let me be really clear about this: NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!
Because if you understand what men are looking for, the outside stuff simply doesn't matter to him.
You can always get a guy to want to be more than friends, but it starts with understanding how men work. Without that skill, you will never really have a solid relationship with him.
You'll always be uneasy, worried whether or not you'll be able to keep him attracted. You'll think about cosmetic surgery, implants, makeup, and fashion choices until you die.
And I don't want that for you. The women that really understand men can attract guys at ANY age!
Doesn't matter how many extra pounds she has...
Doesn't matter if she's not a runway model...
Doesn't matter if she's not the smartest, sharpest knife in the drawer...
Women who get their soulmate know how to keep him locked in and wanting her FOREVER.
When you're unhappy in a relationship it's one of the most difficult situations. When you've got relationship problems, everything else just seems to fade into the background, and you want to know how to fix it. You wish you had a Magic Pill that would turn your unhappy relationship into a healthy relationship. Whatever the […]
According to relationship experts, the best way to get over someone you love is to just "get over them". But, this is the worst advice ever for how to get over someone. Breaking up hurts. But it doesn't need to be constant suffering. If you want to know how to get through a breakup, that's […]
You can be in a real panic when a guy stops paying attention to you or ignores you. When you feel him slipping away, all you can think about is how to get his attention back fast - and without looking desperate. If you sense he has lost enthusiasm for you, you don't want to […]
Every relationship is awesome at the beginning. But it's also perfectly natural to have slow periods in your relationship. You may be wondering right now how to get the spark back in your relationship. Falling in love is easy when the feelings of passion and desire run high. Staying in love is a little trickier. […]
If you've ever been in a relationship where you want to get the attention you deserve, you might have found yourself feeling neglected and unwanted. You may have even told your friends "My boyfriend won't make time for me! What the heck should I do?" Let's tackle this tricky situation and give you the tips […]
A long-distance relationship can be one of the most challenging situations for dating. If you want to know how to make a long distance relationship work you gotta know what most women don't know! There are a lot of barriers to keeping a long distance relationship healthy. A lot of people don't believe that long-distance […]
If you've ever been in love with a guy and wondered: Is he just a friend or is he interested? - you're not alone. When a man and a woman hang out, even if they're only friends, there's always going to be a little bit of sexual tension. Many studies have shown that the number […]
One of the most controversial parts of dating and relationships is the age of your partner. Is it okay to date someone younger, older? If you're dating a younger man, you better know what to do. We often think about older women dating younger men as “cougars.” But that label is just not fair. You […]
One of the most common Romance novel plots is the rich, womanizing playboy that finds an amazing woman, realizes the error of his ways, and settles down to be tamed by this amazing woman. But is this realistic? Will a man change for the right woman? Well, we all change over the course of our […]
One of the most important milestones in a relationship is when you become exclusive. It's also one of the most anxious times for women because she's waiting for weeks or even months to figure out “Where is this going?" So let's talk about exclusive relationships, and when does a relationship become exclusive? In many surveys, […]