Dear V: How do I shake my clingy FWB?

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Dear V,

I’ve had a friend with benefits for a while. Things have been good so far; we talk once a week or so, hook up a few times a month and occasionally hang out together in our group of friends. Problem is, I think my FWB is developing feelings for me.

At first, I thought he was just being friendly. But lately, he’s been texting me more often, even asking to go to the movies or a concert together. Don’t get me wrong, I like him as a friend, but I’m in college and don’t want anything serious.

The sex is great, so I don’t want to ditch my FWB unless I have to, but I think he might start to think I’m interested in him, too. It’s become clear he’s not seeing anyone else, but I’ve been seeing a few guys off-and-on.

I don’t want to crush him, so how do I remind him he’s my FWB, not anything more?

Sincerely,

Keeping it Casual

Dear Keeping it Casual,

That’s rough. No one wants to ditch a FWB they enjoy seeing, but sometimes you have to cut your losses. You don’t want to end up with the reputation of a heartbreaker, but you also want to remind him he’s not going to be your boyfriend any time soon.

First, nix the one-on-one plans. Sure, if you were just friends it would be fine to hang out with him, but since you’re already hooking up you don’t want him to think you’re dating.

If he still doesn’t get the hint, you might have to have “the talk.” Ask him if he’s seeing anyone else and throw something in there like, “I’m so glad we’ve managed to hook up without getting feelings involved.” See how he reacts. Maybe he just got a little carried away and this reminder will bring him back down to earth.

Now, if your FWB still doesn’t get a clue, it might be time to cut him loose. Sure, ditching him will suck and it’ll feel like an awkward almost-break-up, but it might be the right thing to do. Explain to him that you’re not looking for anything more than a way to let off some steam once in a while.

Remember, you and your FWB might have a good thing going, but you don’t want to lead him on – that’s just cruel. Try to break the news to him gently and see if he gives you space. But if not, don’t be afraid to move on.

There are always more flings between study sessions and coffee breaks, and there are always more fish in the college hook-up sea.

So, grab your reel and get fishin’.

-V

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