My Friend With Benefits Gets Jealous When I Date Other Men.

My Friend With Benefits Gets Jealous When I Date Other Men

I’ve been in a friends-with-benefits situation for about 3 months. I’ve continued to date other people as I don’t know what I really want right now. The problem is he is starting to get jealous of the other dates. We’ve agreed to be exclusive sexually only. He says he doesn’t know what he wants either but seems to be mad at me all the time. I think it may hurt him that I’m dating but he doesn’t ask to be exclusive. I wouldn’t mind giving a relationship a chance but I don’t want to stop dating if he can’t open up to me about it bothering him. He just won’t talk to me for a few days. Should I initiate the conversation or just walk away? I’m very confused by his actions.


It would be easy for me to give advice to your guy. Unfortunately, your guy isn’t the one who wrote me this letter. So I’m going to give you some advice on how you can see yourself a little more clearly.

The thing is that you’re only seeing what he’s doing wrong, but you have no idea what you’re doing wrong.

Now, to be fair, it’s extremely easy to see flaws in other people when you have them yourself. It’s why I’m a dating coach for smart, strong, successful women and I can speak, as a peer, to women who are often as equally busy, opinionated, critical and difficult as I am.

You and your FWB have a lot in common, Jen. The thing is that you’re only seeing what he’s doing wrong, but you have no idea what you’re doing wrong. To wit:

You point out that he’s getting jealous of your other dates. This is in clear violation of the 1982 Friends With Benefits Charter and is usually considered grounds for breaking things off.

Then again, in Paragraph IV of said charter, it is agreed that FWB relationships should be considered “don’t ask, don’t tell”. Meaning, it’s easy to blame your guy for getting jealous of your other dates, but why should he have to hear about your other dates? As long as you’re not a couple, you both have the right to do whatever you want. The problem is that…

You’re exclusive sexually but you both claim to “not know what you want.”

Being exclusive sexually doesn’t mean very much if you’re still actively looking for other men. And since this guy wants to be your boyfriend (the jealousy part gave him away), your proactive attempts to meet a guy you like better bothers him. Somehow, you don’t seem to understand this. I presume that this is why you actively tell him about the other guys you’re seeing, even though you say…

You are open to pursuing a relationship.

It’s like you’re a woman who wants to buy a lawnmower and he’s a man who wants to sell a lawnmower, and you’re both still wondering why the deal hasn’t gone down yet.

It’s because neither of you seem to have the ability to…

Communicate authentically.

Act like an adult. Speak your needs. Stop playing guessing games that lead to more guessing games.

In your own words, “I wouldn’t mind giving a relationship a chance but I don’t want to stop dating if he can’t open up to me about it bothering him.” And I can guarantee that he’s thinking, “I wouldn’t mind giving a relationship a chance but I don’t want to let her know in case she pulls away from me.”

Basically, you want him to communicate better but you’re not doing a great job yourself. So what do you do? Simple. Act like an adult. Speak your needs. Stop playing guessing games that lead to more guessing games.

    a. Figure out if you want a boyfriend.
    b. Figure out if you want HIM as a boyfriend.
    c. Tell him you want him to be your boyfriend.
    d. Continue to communicate this way for the rest of your life, otherwise, you will have a hard time no matter who your boyfriend might be.

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  1. 1

    Never understood the FWB thing.  You’re suppose to hang out and be “friends”  and share the nasty, but not get emotionally involved or feel any attachment…..too complicated! Hasn’t she seen the movie?  Maybe the OP should try finding a F*** buddy instead?  No strings, straight forward deal meant for what it is 🙂  

  2. 2

    Or maybe he is jealous not because he wants to be her boyfriend but because he wants the ego boost of a woman who is loyal to him while he is free to date/sleep around. In that case she should ignore his protestations and continue to date till she finds someone who really wants to be her boyfriend and not just a pseudo-boyfriend.

    1. 2.1

      Treifalicious nailed it, as with most men, he wants the woman to be exclusive to him while he puts his d!ck in every home.

      1. 2.1.1

        I agree with you two on this completly. Men often get jealious when sexually involved with a women, even if they don’t want a relatiinahip with her. Friends with benefits doesn’t work at all, unless there is no desire on either side for something more. It’s easy to fall into one of these arrangements, as a female, when you start to see someone, and they string you along, until you become emotionally attached. Then you end up as a FWB without intending to. I ended up being very emotionally abused by him, and called a fucking whore for attempting to move on or sleeping with anyone else, and I had not told hum. They find out anyway.. Why he,did that I don’t know. He wasn’t a relationship person but I thought he was just lonely. It was just awful, and that phrase friends with benefits disgusts me now that I’m no longer single. If I were that girl in the article I would break contact with that guy, don’t even call him to tell him why. If he wanted something more, he would have declared it allready, or even more telling, never treated a girl like this in the first place. His  jealious behaviour changes NOTHING. A nice guy wouldn’t want one of these arrangements. He,would want a partner.

    2. 2.2

      Jen’s situation is very similar to mine. I was actually honest with him and asked if all he wanted was a fling or something serious? That was by our fourth date and he said “I like you but only time will tell”. I was confused, how can he not know what he wanted? Anyways, I decided all he wanted was a FWB , something I didn’t really want at the beginning but seeing how he would not man up to it I was not going to wait around. Sure, the sex is good but we are not exclusively. This has been going on for two months but we rarely have sex now since I am busy and because I decided, at least from my part, not to contact him for any other purposes than sexual. He, however contacts me daily and sooner or later he was going to end up knowing I am seeing other guys. Although not sexually I am pretty sure that is what he is thinking and therefore he made me a little jealousy scene on how he was only talking to me but that it was fine he would let it go. I didn’t reply to that and now he continues talking to me as if nothing had happened. I think his problem about me dating other men is simply knowing that I can find someone sooner than he can find someone to leave me for as well. Or he is simply annoyed that I can also just have casual sex without any attachments. In most guys minds, women are not allowed to that. But I believe we can’t wait sitting around for someone to decide what they want, putting our time and happiness at stake. It doesn’t go that way anymore, for men or women alike.

    3. 2.3

      Maybe, but this is a very big assumption made by what sounds like some prior event that has happened to you, leading to a probably understandable bias against men. I can promise you that 90% of men get jealous in this situation because they want to be with you, not because of some egotistical agenda to dominate and control. There are certainly those out there who are like that, but speaking from the male perspective, he wants you, bad. That same masculine ego is what is preventing him from finding the right words.

    4. 2.4

      Or maybe advice in the article still stands and you should communicate instead of making assumptions? That’s what got Author here in the first place…

  3. 3

    Jen (letter writer)
    “The problem is he is starting to get jealous of the other dates”.
    So don’t tell him about the other dates. Problem solved.
    Unless…you want him to be jealous?
    “He says he doesn’t know what he wants either but seems to be mad at me all the time”.
    You have both agreed that you’re in a friends-with-benefits situation. Therefore, until it’s declared otherwise you can assume he that’s what he wants. So let him be mad. It’s on him – just ignore his bad moods.
    Although you have agreed to be “exclusive sexually” so I don’t actually know why he’s mad at you all the time. He is getting nsa sex whilst some other guys are doing the heavy lifting and taking you out on dates – if anything he should be delighted!
    “I think it may hurt him that I’m dating but he doesn’t ask to be exclusive”
    Until he asks to be exclusive any hurt he feels is on him. If it hurts badly enough he will ask. If he doesn’t, you can assume it’s not bothering him enough.
    “Should I initiate the conversation or just walk away? I’m very confused by his actions”
    Evan’s answer:
    “Basically, you want him to communicate better but you’re not doing a great job yourself. So what do you do? Simple. Act like an adult. Speak your needs. Stop playing guessing games that lead to more guessing games”.
    I’ve been in this situation before and got pretty good at handling the “push-pull” dynamic that is required to sustain a FWB situation. So when she started talking about other guys to make me jealous; rather than falling for the bait I would play along and ask her to tell me about them. You see, I assumed I was better than those guys (even if I wasn’t) because otherwise, she would have dropped me so as not to ruin her chances with them. The fact she was still seeing me – and telling me about them – was an obvious ploy to make me jealous.
    However, I made sure not to tell her about any other women I was seeing, as I didn’t want to risk making her jealous or upset her, thus unnecessarily ending the FWB situation. So I would obfuscate/change the conversation and talk about happy things whenever she started inquiring.
    I’ve heard many times that FWBs are impractical in reality as one party will inevitably develop feelings at some point. Therefore, I think people should only enter FWB arrangements if they’re absolutely sure from the outset that they don’t want a relationship with that person. It would be naïve for someone to hope that a FWB might be a stepping stone to a relationship.

    1. 3.1

      Practical advise.  Keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life.

    2. 3.2

      Good advice.

  4. 4

    Oh, what a tangled web we weave.

  5. 5

    The line between FWB and a relationship is a very fine one indeed.

  6. 6

    I don’t think it’s necessarily true that just because your friend with benefits gets jealous of you dating other guys that it means he wants to be your boyfriend.  Some people want to have someone all to themselves, even whilst they themselves are not prepared to commit to a relationship with that person.  They get jealous of the time and attention which is being directed to someone else, as well as I think the understandable connection which develops between two people who are sleeping together. It can make you feel a certain pang of jealousy, or grief, or possessiveness… it does not necessarily mean that they want to give a proper relationship a try.
    I just think there are no hard and fast rules for these situations.  Each person gets into a Friends with Benefits arrangement for their own reasons, and each situation might end differently – it might end with the two becoming a real couple, or it might end with them going their separate ways, or continuing as long as the arrangement suits them.  And I think it has more to do with the people involved than it does with the nature of the relationship.  I think two people who are emotionally available could take a FWB arrangement to the next level, but if one is emotionally unavailable they will run when things start getting more intense.

  7. 7

    I have had a FWB and she only wanted me for my particular benefit that her dates could not beat. I just wanted to be friends, but after she got to know me she became more obsessive over the benefit she found enticing that our friendship became nothing more than her grabbing her benefit. 

    1. 7.1

      I think when you start off with FWB, you can expect just about anything that the other person might throw at you, because you don’t know exactly what their intentions were when they started the FWB.

  8. 8

    Ah the FWB, I played that game so many times I feel experienced to contribute to this. As Evan states, talk to the guy. Ask him if he wants to be your BF. If he doesn’t give clear answer then you know he just wants the double standard. Urgh, how I hate the double standard. The amount of times I’ve seen guys chat on their wives on TV who get jealous or angry with the wives who cheat too. I also experienced controlling and jealousy behaviour from a guy who was a FWB when he heard me take a call from a guy he suspect was ‘into me’. I had another FWB who started confiding in me about some girl he was in love with overseas. He went to her country to see her and was all torn up about it because she dumped him. It had been going on for a while (me and him had met up during this). I had attempted to stop my FWB with him because I realised I didn’t want to do that with anyone anymore. Out of interest I asked him why he didn’t have a girlfriend or want one and he said he was commitment phobic and was only into FWB. Now, I knew I didn’t want him to be my BF either, but when he revealed to me that he was in love and had been for some time I told him where to go. The BS was too much for me. If he would have told me about the girl he loved when I asked him before than I would of had more respect. Thing is, he knew I didn’t like him for me BF, so I just don’t understand that lying. That is where FWB gets complicated. If your going to do it, just smash and go. Sharing intimacies just gets complicated. Most people are not mature enough to handle it. Is why prostituition has made the dollars since the dawn of time. 

  9. 9

    Two points….
    1. I get that guys are supposed to be the initiators. The key thing here though, is that “JEN” is the one who is seeing other people. So it is on her to say that she wants to see only him in this case.
    2. This article is a great reason why as a guy I move fast physically with a woman I am seeing. I don’t want to be wasting time, money, and energy with a woman who isn’t really available. I think Jen’s behavior in this sucks. She is really leading on the other guys she goes on dates with, as “sexually exclusive with someone else” qualifies as “not really available”.  
    Anyway that is my 2 cents….

  10. 10
    Karmic Equation


    Michael17 #9 wrote:
     1. I get that guys are supposed to be the initiators. The key thing here though, is that “JEN” is the one who is seeing other people. So it is on her to say that she wants to see only him in this case.
    She also said HE hasn’t asked for exclusivity. That is a guy’s responsibility. So if he hasn’t asked then she has to assume he doesn’t want it. She’s doing the right thing for HER.

    Michael17 #9 wrote:

    2. This article is a great reason why as a guy I move fast physically with a woman I am seeing. I don’t want to be wasting time, money, and energy with a woman who isn’t really available. I think Jen’s behavior in this sucks. She is really leading on the other guys she goes on dates with, as “sexually exclusive with someone else” qualifies as “not really available”.  
    Sorry, Michael. That’s just b.s. rationalization.
    Until you ask a girl to be your girl friend, it doesn’t matter if she’s celibate or sleeping with an entire football team. Just as SHE has no right to expect that YOU’re not dating other women until you become her boyfriend.
    A date doesn’t guarantee sexual availability to you; just as a date from you doesn’t mean you’re guaranteeing to be in a relationship with your date.
    Jen is doing NOTHING wrong.
    You don’t like it because she’s turning the tables on men who want to call the shots on both woman’s sexuality and relationship once he “deigns” to date her.
    Sorry to burst your bubble. Jen is living the liberated lifestyle she’s entitled to. She’s doing what she wants to do. Good for her.


    1. 10.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Sorry, Karmic. Jen’s NOT doing what she wants to do. That’s why she’s writing to me. She thinks she wants a relationship with this guy, but she’s waiting for him to step up. He CAN’T step up if she’s seeing other guys. So it’s on HER to figure out what she wants and take action. The alpha takes action on his own. Jen’s guy isn’t an alpha and she would be well served to state her needs to get them met, instead of expecting her guy to intuit them and step up.

      1. 10.1.1
        Karmic Equation

        I disagree Evan. She states that “he doesn’t know what he wants either.” All she knows is that he’s acting jealous and mad. He’s a big boy. He has a mouth. He can ask a question. “Do you want to be exclusive?” or he can make a statement “I don’t think I like you seeing other men.” He doesn’t need to be alpha to state what he likes or doesn’t like; what he wants or doesn’t want.
        Yes, she *might* want him to have a relationship with him. But she shouldn’t have to decide unless HE offers. They’re already sleeping together, so HE knows she likes him enough for that. If he’s so stupid that a woman sleeping with him is not enough of a clue that she likes him, then she’s just better off ignoring his jealousy.
        There’s beta and there’s stupidity. It’s ok to be beta. Stupid beta – she can do better.

        1. Lola

          She’s behaving like a man, and the man don’t like it…. Snap!

        2. ACaringSoul

          It could simply be that he is fearful about what a proper relationship might entail, and that he is waiting because he’s not sure what to do. A proper relationship has many more triggers which can cause it to end, and it becomes that much easier to lose her. He’s afraid of that loss and he doesn’t have an alpha’s confidence to say what needs to be said. Please understand that he may not be stupid, but fearful.

    2. 10.2

      Burst what exactly? Looks like he’s doing what he wants anyway.

      And I agree with him. She can lead any lifestyle she sees fits, but so do other parties involved with her. Or they can see it as a deal-breaker and move on. I’m just tired of those double standard witch hunt, it doesn’t need to be that complicated. Let other parties decide what they want, and if it doesn’t match – bye bye.

  11. 11

    I feel like she likes him, but now she’s gotten herself into a messy situation. I don’t see why women do this to themselves. The lady likes him, maybe he likes her a bit too, but eve n if they try to date, she’ll have an uphill task getting him to really treasure her and love her, since she gave sex away so easily. It could still work, but it’d be so much easier if they’d just dated from the start. I’m not a fan of casual sex, but it seems if I ever wanted casual sex, I’d rather have a one-night stand with a stranger than a consistent FWB partner. Less complicated and less chances of getting hurt in the future

  12. 12

    I am trying to figure out whether his jealosy means that he wants to be her boyfriend, and I tend to think that it does not. From my distant memories of dating at university, men hate it when they realize that a woman that they have had NSA sex with, actually has no moral objection to NSA in principle.  There is a certain balance-of-power dynamic at play in any relationship (Tom 10 called it push-pull dynamic), and the famous slut shaming is a classic instrument for a man to control a woman’s behaviour.  Then, when he gives up this instrument (because he is OK with her NSA sex WITH HIM) he is left almost powerless… not a good position to be in.

  13. 13

    I definitely don’t agree that a guy getting jealous means he wants you to be his girlfriend. From my limited experience, most guys are possessive of their sexual partners – but it doesn’t necessarily mean they want to commit to them. I agree that communication is key here.

  14. 14

    As an older woman in a FWB for 3 years with a younger man, I believe Jen wants her FWB to step up to the plate and profess his love for her. She lacks control in her non relationship with her FWB. Dating and telling her FWB gives her control. She wants the upper hand and if she can get it she may realize she does not want a BF status with him. The thing that makes a FWB works is both MUST be on the same page. Accept it is what it is and nothing else. If you can accept this it can work great. 3 years and still having a blast.

  15. 15
    Tanisha Marie

    Evan…. this is the  funniest reply i have read on your page.. i absolutely love how straight forward, no sugar coat, your answers can be… keep up the good work.

  16. 16

    I can so relate to this. I’ve been in an on and off fwb with a guy for 5 yrs I fell in love with him and I know he wasn’t in love with me. I always felt he was too good for me I was the fat girl hooking up with this tall  gorgeous guy. He would come over I would tend to him in every way I would  cook for him I would give him massages I would listen to him talk about his problems. I recently loss a lot of weight and Im getting more attention from different guys and since he told me he just likes where we are and nothing more I thought it would be ok to tell him about going out on a date. Big Mistake because he flipped on me he  said Im choosing another guy over not cool he will remember this I was so confused what did I do? I thought all he wanted was what we have he acted so weird I wasn’t use to it. I honestly thought he would be fine with me moving on trying to find someone to be in a real relationship with Im not going out having sex with anyone else so why the change? I still love him but Im older now and I want more and he  doesn’t want more from me so I want to move on.

  17. 17

    You’re both acting like adult children and pussies. Weak people don’t know what they want, strong people do.

    1. 17.1

      People who don’t have it all figured out yet are weak?  There is empirical proof for this?  Are you going to call a guy who needs time to figure out if he wants a relationship with you weak?  How long do you think he’ll stick around?

      1. 17.1.1
        I Lucia

        Empirical proof? Ya, plenty. Google ‘benefits of marriage.’
        I’m not willing to confuse the heart of another human being, nor my heart, by acting out a hollow facsimile of an intimacy that doesn’t even exist.
        If it came right down to it, would rather do a vibrator than use my body to act out scenes of passionate romance that are a lie. Messes with my head—and that of my Bestie. 
        But then, that’s me. 
        I hear you; it’s hard. No judgement. But what if women were too proud to put out when the boys who pass for men these days withhold commitment? Not dictating what you or any woman should do, but would women en masse saying: “No more: I’m worth more than this chicken-sh*t,” be such a bad thing? Methinks it might force some if these child-men to grow up.
        Ironically, despite 50 yrs of  2nd Wave Feminism, I have strong recollections of our grandmothers placing higher demands on their men, and having more confidence and pride than we. 

        1. Mash

          Thank you I Lucia. I have used your words of wisdom to leave my new relationship’s 1 month, post-major fight FWB relationship and have consequently gained my self respect. I plan to work on myself to find a man who would never put me in this awful position. I don’t care how messed up emotionally, it’s not ok to put a woman in this position in order to continue to be with him. I deserve better. But I have to live that. Very hard.

  18. 18
    I Lucia

    FWB is a bit of a mind-f**k, isn’t it?

    “Pretending” a lover is just a buddy is like imagining your plumber is really your dentist: confuses both the ivory-tickler and the tradesman, and makes for weird dental work. 

    1. 18.1


  19. 19

    FWBs is difficult. I realized years ago it just doesn’t work for me. I make it very clear with men I date, I don’t do FWBs.  It’s saved me years of heartache.

  20. 20

    You are right Evan! Your reply is an eye opener. I didn’t have anything close to FWB. But, there was a guy that I liked. He didn’t come forward because he saw me  turning down another guy. I did it because I wanted my guy to come forward and tell me, that he likes me. He was the jealous type, I tried my best not to make jealous, but I ended up alone. He didn’t say a word, but he kept ” telling me what to do” I did it for a while, hoping he will come forward. But, then I felt that he just wanted to control me. When I came to see him last time, he flipped just because some men complimented me, I just kept to myself, I tried to talk to him, but he kept hurting me with harsh comments, he was verbally abusing me. I left. Later out hurt and anger, I said something harsh, but asking him not treat me like this again. I also showed with another guy, he was hurt. I feel stupid. I really cared about him. I didn’t know how to hold on to him. I wish I read Evan’s reply earlier, maybe I could have saved the relationship.

  21. 21

    This man is too available to her.  I think she needs to ask herself how would she feel if he was dating other women or stopped sleeping with her to be with other women?  Or slept with other women?  And if I were advising him that’s just what I would tell him to do.

  22. 22
    Kiki Rand

    ok how bout this?  Your guy has an “old fixer upper” car that he keeps in the garage, every week he tinkers with the car, buys new parts to fix it up, washes it…waxes it drives it around the block…shows it to his friends… and then parks it back in the garage for another few weeks…. until he decides he want to “tinker with it again,,”  he will never give up his car because it means so00000 much to him….but its only a “hobby” to him..something to amuse him.. when hes bored, .its just a thing HE OWNS,,

    GIRL YOU ARE THAT CAR….he takes you out, spends money on you….AND THEN WHEN HES DONE, HE PUTS YOU BACK IN THE GARAGE,,,,

    Is that what you want?






    1. 22.1

      Great analogy! My advice to her still stands, after reading all these comments. MOVE ON! If that guy really cared and was a man, he would have told her he wanted exculsivity  after a certain time. I wouldn’t advice her to tell him her feelings either, I did that, and he just smiled and said nothing.  I thought he was pleased, but his silence was just to not stick his foot in his mouth, and ruin his sexual supply which was only me.  Some guys will not ever know what they want, and that’s why they love these  arrangements. Don’t participate! You’ll ruin your chances with other nicer guys by being sexual with him. They pick up on it as your heart is somewhere else.

    2. 22.2

      I love your comment. My marriage was like this. I ended it. Now Im in a FWB situation. Guess I need to end it too. The sex is amazing. No other guy comes close to my FWB. He says he cant see me with another guy either. Relationships are so…….impossible!

  23. 23

    My situation is similar, except my fwb deceived me into thinking we had a relationship. Obviously, he was too cowardly to be honest and admit he didn’t like me and was only seeing me until a younger, prettier woman comes along.  He too was “jealous”, which seemed illogical. Men are territorial and ego-driven. That doesn’t mean they like you!

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