I Am Heartbroken that my Friend With Benefits is Getting Married and Wants to Remain Friends

Hello Evan,

I’ve been in love with my friend for over 5 years. We’ve been friends with “benefits” for over 2 years. Over the years, he always assumed we were just friends and as for me, I agreed with everything he said because I loved him. He told me two weeks ago, he was getting married to a girl he was into for many years. She finally accepted his proposal. I was devastated when he told me the news. I decided then I would cut him off because I could not handle it emotionally. I just wanted to crawl up in a hole and cry. So I cut him off. It was only a week since he didn’t hear from me. He got upset and came to see me. He said he was “hurt” I stopped talking to him. He still wants us to be friends and couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to carry on as we were. He didn’t think it was a big deal that he was getting married but we could still maintain being friends. He couldn’t forget me and he will never erase me from his life. How can I pretend to be his friend?

I’ve been sleeping with him for awhile. I couldn’t imagine being introduced as his “friend” to his wife. He said everything will be normal and even I’ll get married and it will eventually all work out. What should I do? Continue being there as his “friend”? Why does he still want me around even though he’s marrying the women of his dreams?

Is he just using me?

I am so confused. Does he genuinely care for as a friend? He says so but somehow that explanation doesn’t sit well with me. If he loves his future wife as deeply as he says he does, what does he need me for?

 

G.D.

On one hand, I can’t imagine how you could be shocked when your best friend proposes to his girlfriend. On the other hand, I can’t imagine how you’d be so heartbroken if he’s been dating someone else exclusively for two years.

There are two very important pieces of information missing from your email. And until you clarify them, it’s impossible to give sound advice. But I’m going to do my best to be a detective and figure things out, logically.

The way you tell the story, it sounds like you were the “once a week” girl for two years, and then suddenly, he informed you that he was marrying his long-term crush that he had never even dated.

But something about this scenario doesn’t add up. It seems to minimize the relationship he has with his fiancée – as if he suddenly got married on a whim. Now if he DID get married on a whim – if he proposed to a girl he’d never even dated before, then, yes, I could see why you’d feel shocked and devastated at this sudden turn of events.

However, people generally don’t marry total strangers. I’m particularly skeptical because you wrote, “she finally accepted his proposal”. This indicates to me that this was his long-term GIRLFRIEND that he was marrying – not just a long-term crush.

Which brings up another question: was he cheating on his girlfriend with you for two years? Or were you friends with benefits until he got exclusive?

This, as you can imagine, makes a huge difference when it comes to assigning responsibility for how you could have ended up here, G.D.

On one hand, I can’t imagine how you could be shocked when your best friend proposes to his girlfriend. On the other hand, I can’t imagine how you’d be so heartbroken if he’s been dating someone else exclusively for two years.

What I CAN say with all certainty is this:

He is selfish. You are clueless.

He is selfish because, whether he cheated on his fiancée or not, he has to know that you’re in love with him. And while you say that he “assumed we were just friends”, he was still having sex with you. The fact that he wants to stay in touch and act like nothing’s changed indicates that he doesn’t fully understand how much you care. Whether he wants to keep you around as a friend or as a hookup down the road doesn’t matter. Neither case works for you. Lots of guys don’t think they’re selfish when they don’t say “I love you” or make any promises about commitment, but the good ones know when they’re abusing their power. This guy doesn’t seem like a good one.

What I CAN say with all certainty is this: He is selfish. You are clueless.

As for you, G.D – “clueless” may sound harsh, but there are too many things that don’t add up in this story.

Were you investing way too much time in a man who said you were “just friends”?

Did you have a fantasy relationship with a taken guy who blew you off years ago?

Do you foolishly want to win over a man who has been cheating on his fiancée for two years? Or win over a guy who has never given any indication to you in five years that he wants you as a girlfriend.

No matter what the real story is, you’ve made some major miscalculations. No matter how selfish your guy is, it’s your responsibility for not reading the writing on the wall sooner.

Which is why my advice to you echoes exactly what you said in your original letter.

Yes, he cares about you as a friend.

Yes, he still wants to sleep with you.

No, things will never be normal.

No, you shouldn’t be friends with him anymore.

Good luck to you – and good riddance to this one-sided, unrequited love you’ve been harboring for five years. I hope you won’t accept another friends-with-benefits arrangement ever again.

Click here to learn the 5 Massive Mistakes You’re Making In Your Love Life – And How to Turn Them Around Instantly!

http://www.evanmarckatz.com/coaching/

1
0

Join 7 Million Readers

And the thousands of women I've helped find true love. Sign up for weekly updates for help understanding men.

I hate spam as much as you do, therefore I will never sell, rent, or give away your email address.

Join our conversation (65 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.

Comments:

  1. 1
    delicia

    He came back to see you a week after you cut him off?? Girl, he is using you for sex and/or emotional support and the ego boost he gets from your fawning over him. GET RID OF HIM. He is not going to go away until YOU TELL HIM TO. That means no calls, emails, texts, visits, and if you see him on the street, say hi and keep walking. You deserve someone who loves you and wants to be with you and only you. Please find the strength within yourself (and on this blog if need be) to love yourself and first and foremost take care of your emotional needs. This guy needs to go. Obviously it wasn’t meant to be and you need to accept that and let him go. Good luck and keep us posted!

  2. 2
    starthrower68

    While I suppose it’s not true of all women, most of us cannot have an “FWB” arrangement without developing feelings for the guy. I don’t believe most women are wired that way. Nothing good generally comes of these arrangements. Of course the question is not the FWB issue, it’s should she or should she not be friends with this guy. I say that is as about as self-protective as hurling oneself in front of a bus. Her healing will come only through completly cutting off contact with this prince of a guy .

  3. 3
    Steve

    GD;

    The bottom line is that you need to take care of yourself.

    Very few people can heal by hanging around someone they are in unrequited love with. Yes, your friend may be hurt that he can no longer be friends with you for an indefinite period of time. However, he is in love and has someone…you don’t,… and you are in pain. Explain this to him and then cut yourself off from him.

    The best way to get over somebody is to work hard at something that sucks up your attention and gets your mind off of yourself.

  4. 4
    Steve

    GD;

    I disagree with Evan that you were clueless or that your friend was dishonest in any way.

    “Friends With Benefits” means just that, friends.

    It is based on upfront agreement that people like each other, want to have sex, but can’t see being romantically involved with each other.

    There is the assumption there that both people will be looking for someone they can get romantically involved with and that is one of the few ways FWBs work well. When both people are out there seriously looking.

    Once you fell in love with him you stopped being his friend. You should have said something then and ended the FWB if he didn’t feel the same. I’m guessing you didn’t because you were afraid of feeling rejected and you didn’t want to lose what little you thought/wished you really had.

    Now you have the pain of an unrequited love to deal with. Lesson learned.

    Unless you friend promised you he wasn’t dating anyone else he wasn’t being dishonest with you. Again, that is what FWB is about.

  5. 5
    Steve

    I have to say that I am taken aback by the number of people instantly writing off GD’s friend as a bad guy.

    How about the possibility that he was genuinely friends with her and that is why he wants to stay in touch? You know, being a friend?

    It was a FWB relationship. That means people understand up front that it is only about friendship and sex. It sounds from GD’s email that he never led her to believe anything else.

    I agree, GD needs to cut herself off from him.

    In the meantime can we can the sexism by assuming that GD is a victim because she is female and that her friend is a perpetrator because he was a man?

  6. 6
    dadshouse

    EMK – great detective work! GD is clueless, indeed. In fact, I’d suggest she’s not “friends with benefits” with this guy – she’s his mistress, straight up.

    I don’t believe he wants to remain friends and not have benefits with her. For this guy to be sleeping with one woman while he’s courting another woman for marriage says a lot.

    dadshouse´s last blog post…Sex Toys Suck!

  7. 7
    Jennifer

    GD,
    This arrangement can’t have been satisfying for you- pining away for someone for years, being as close to them as physically possible yet still not ‘having’ them- but you stayed and now you are upset that it’s ending and all of your feelings and time are going to be discounted. I’m sorry this happened.

    I know you want to hear that he cares about you. He does. But not the way you want/need him to. It’s gonna be hard but don’t spend a few more years trying to figure out why he doesn’t- just get yourself together.

    I understand that this sucks and hurts a lot. But this is much bigger than this guy and your friendship and his marriage. You aren’t a very big fan of yourself; you need to figure out why and what you can do to feel better. Because once you like yourself more, you won’t punish yourself or just feel happy to be getting *something* from somebody even if it’s not what you really want or stay in unsatsifying situations long-term. And I think that’s the ultimate goal here.

    You’ll be uncomfortable and feel out of sorts for a while, like when you are doing anytihng new, but eventually you’ll learn and you’ll be okay. Best of luck.

    1. 7.1
      Stel

      Jennifer,

      This is just what I really need. I am not in the same situation as GD, but in an unrequited love situation myself. I have tried so many times to cut all communications from him and I kept coming back. I hope i can finally do it this time.  

      GD,

      I know it’s going to be hard, I just wish you all the luck that you will get over this soon. 

  8. 8
    Selena

    This is sad. I suspect in many of these FWB arrangements one person does feel more and continues on hoping the other will “come around” and realize it’s more than just booty call after all.

    The only way I can see GD being surprised at the engagement is because he probably never talked about the girl “he was into for many years” when they were together. Hard to keep up the pretense of being FWB knowing someone else is waiting at home and being lied to.

  9. 9
    Selena

    @#5

    We could Steve, and maybe should given the lack of information, but when you are genuinely friends, you usually know when your friend is serious about someone enough to propose. If he was really her friend why would he have hid the knowledge of “the girl he was into for many years” from her? Or downplay it, if that was the case?

  10. 10
    Lexy

    This is sad, only because you have had such low expectations for yourself for 5 years, your self-esteem is so low that you still believe this man to be a “catch.” I believe GD knew about the other woman and wasn’t blind-sided. If that’s so, then she has been cheating with the guy. If that’s not the case, then this guy was passing time with her for two years, afraid to go for the woman of his dreams, and begging her to give him a chance and marry him, when he couldn’t even commit fully to the future fiancee because he was busy messing around with GD! Phew. I am tired.

    GD, find an available man. There has to be a man better than this one out there.

    Lexy´s last blog post…Not Seeing

  11. 11
    Honey

    Yes, I agree with what others have said that something here just doesn’t add up – Evan assigns equal blame that she is clueless and he is selfish, and I agree. I don’t think it’s sexist (@Steve, #s 4 and 5) to say that he almost assuredly knew that GD was in love with him. Someone is always the attached one, and one the taking-advantage-one, in FWB relationships – I’ve certainly seen the guy be the attached one while the girl takes advantage and vice versa. It’s not gender related, it’s who happened to do it this time.

    Honey´s last blog post…Vegas Memorial Weekend Sextacular: Preview

  12. 12
    Steve

    @Selena, post #8. Good point.

  13. 13
    Ruby

    You want to talk about clueless? Someone who could say what G.D.’s “friend” said below is even more clueless than she is. Either that, or he’s a class-A manipulator:

    “He said he was hurt I stopped talking to him. He still wants us to be friends and couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to carry on as we were. He didn’t think it was a big deal that he was getting married but we could still maintain being friends.”

    He “couldn’t understand”? His marriage isn’t “a big deal”? Yes, something isn’t right here, but does it even matter? Sounds like this guy would be happy to keep his FWB, even after he’s married. My guess is that’s exactly what he’d do if given a chance. Time to kick this a-hole to the curb!

  14. 14
    4badgirlzonly

    Replying to STEVE (#4 & #5):

    I believe that Evan is right-on with his analysis…

    1) Not enough information. There are some holes in GD’s letter. The reader does not know if the FWB situation came as a cognizant agreement between consenting adults, or something that was haphazardly stepped into (@#4/#5). Steve’s post places ALL the blame on GD’s undersights, but how does the reader know if GD violated a spoken or UNspoken agreement or not?

    2) GD’s friend is selfish AND greedy. Period.

    3) GD needs to move on. Her “friend” is not the type of “friend” she needs. Period.

    I’m definitely seeing where BOTH parties need to take responsibility for their actions.

    http://www.4badgirlzonly.wordpress.com

  15. 15
    Karl R

    G.D. said: (original letter)
    “We’ve been friends with benefits for over 2 years. Over the years, he always assumed we were just friends and as for me, I agreed with everything he said because I loved him.”

    That’s not being in love. That’s being in a fantasy.

    If someone says “No”, then you need to move on. You can have sex with that person if you want (though that tends to get in the way of “moving on”). But the chances of getting that person back are a long-shot at best. Most of the time you have no chance.

    But it’s easy to find reasons to give ourselves false hope. Just over a week ago I asked a lady out. She said she was “flattered” that I’d asked, but she declined because she was “seeing someone else.” It’s possible that she’ll break up with that man and be interested in dating me … or it’s possible that she’ll eventually marry him. I’m not waiting to find out. If they break up, she knows where to find me.

    Or to put it another way, “No means No.”

    Evan said: (initial response)
    “he has to know that you’re in love with him.”

    I have to disagree with this one. I don’t read minds, and I don’t expect people to read my mind. G.D. said that she “agreed with everything” when her FWB said they were just friends.

    If I consistently lie to a woman (whether it’s about how I feel or anything else), does it become her fault when she believes me? If not, why does the FWB become responsible for knowing how G.B. really felt? Maybe he figured it out; maybe he’s clueless too. There’s just not enough information to go on.

    That point aside, I see a FWB situation as one where two people have mutually decided to use each other for sex. As long as they both agree to it, it’s their decision. And if it’s not working for one person (like G.B), then that person should leave the situation immediately.

  16. 16
    Lisa

    I was in a relationship very similar to this until two months ago. I was that amount of stupid/unrealistically hopeful. I’m somewhat ashamed that I REFUSED to read the writing on the wall.

    However, I’m taking this as a learning experience. Now I REFUSE to let anyone treat me like that again. Here’s hoping I’m smarter while I’m still in my mid-20s! :)

  17. 17
    Sara

    @Steve I think the FWB relationship gets a bad rap because it’s often not an equal relationship where both people’s needs are being met. Like Honey said, this isn’t about men and women, it’s about who is taking advantage of whom (just like you probably hate beautiful women who string guys along for money, attention, whatever). In this case, he should care at least enough about her to end their sexual relationship since after two years, it would be obvious to anyone that she has feelings for him. FWB isn’t just “benefits” but also “friends” which implies mutual respect for the other person. It can work, but it often doesn’t. Both people have to be able to honestly express what they need from the other on an ongoing basis.

  18. 18
    delicia

    @ Steve, I didn’t say this guy was an inherently bad guy…. but he (and G.D.’s involvement with him) is BAD for her. Toxic, actually. I’d like to think this guy really was just “clueless” and not the A-hole he might actually be for stringing G.D. along “not knowing” she was head over heels in love with him. But that’s an argument for another day. Bottom line, G.D., quit spending any more of your precious life figuring out what happened or hoping/wishing things were different. Much easier said than done I know, but I PROMISE, your life will be 10,000x better once you free yourself from this situation that is sucking the life out of you. I really do wish you all the best – I’ve been in your shoes before and I know how hard it can be. But you will get through it. To echo other posters, focus on yourself or volunteering or something to get your mind off it. Be open to new things, people and experiences and in time your heart will heal.

  19. 19
    Steve

    @Ruby, post #13

    Maybe he truly valued her as a friend, was hurt at losing a friend, and meant that his marriage so no big deal in terms of their friendship ( presumably without the benefits ) surviving.

  20. 21
    Curly Girl

    Bad story. Well, we’ve all been there.

  21. 22
    JuJu

    I have an acquaintance who was in this exact same situation. Had a mental breakdown when the guy announced he was getting married.

    All the same questions remained unanswered (did she not know about the other, the -actual- relationship he was in? was he cheating on his actual gf the whole time? etc., etc.), and she and I are not close enough for me to ask that. As it happens, I only heard about the guy’s marriage from a mutual friend.

    But hey, what on earth did she expect from a guy (this she told me herself) whom at first she had to implore to be with her? Who in the beginning explicitly told her that he doesn’t perceive her as a woman? (!)

    Really, instead of trying to seduce the guy anyway, have some self-respect! And Curly Girl, no, we haven’t all been there, fortunately (not that I personally never had any self-worth issues).

  22. 23
    JuJu

    One of my best (male) friends had this sort of non-relationship, too. At first I knew nothing about the woman, thought that perhaps it was some college girl who didn’t take him seriously either (he was 37 or something like that at the time). Well, it turned out to be a woman a decade older than him. And I told him right off, that I DO NOT BELIEVE that a woman that age, who’s never been married and does not have children, is NOT, in fact, looking for love.

    Yes, it was a FB relationship from the beginning – she specified this much in her own online ad, something like “looking for summer fun with a younger man” (how frightening is it, a woman approaching 50 having so little self-awareness). Well, a summer turned into a year, and when he announced he found someone he’d actually like to get serious with, she broke down in tears, said she fell for him, and so on and so forth.

    And then I asked him, “and how do you feel about yourself NOW?”

  23. 24
    JuJu

    I would venture to claim that it’s only men who are capable of this sort of arrangement to begin with. Not necessarily because the women always get attached after sex – there were times when I certainly didn’t, and, in fact, never wanted to see the man again (something I always said: being attracted to someone and still finding them attractive after having sex with them are two different things).

    I get attached when I am able to maintain attraction on all the necessary (for me) levels, which at first are physical and intellectual. However, if I can’t talk to the guy, I won’t be willing to have sex with him either, at least not indefinitely. It’s only men who can have sex with someone they aren’t attracted to on any level for years on end.

    1. 24.1
      lily

      I think that is terribly sexist to say only men are capable of this sort of arrangement. I think any human who is very highly sexual is capable of doing FWB to assure a constant supply of sex, especially if both people are extremely sensual AND sexual. Everyone has to be up front and honest about the parameters of the relationship (i.e., both people are looking online and once one person starts sleeping with another romantic partner, the sex stops in the FWB and it will be just friends.) But to be in a FWB with someone who is also very serious about another romance, and not to be looking for your own, separate romance, is a very vulnerable position indeed.

  24. 25
    delicia

    @ Juju, I disagree. He had to have been attracted to G.D. if they were f*** buddies for two years. And from her letter it sounds like he enjoyed her company (i.e. it wasn’t just booty calls); it’s just that he never saw her as “girlfriend material”… which could very well be its own post (Evan, are you listening? :) I’m sure it wildly varies from one bloke to the next, but I’d love to get some “guy input” on what makes them think of some girls as having “girlfriend potential” vs. just FWB?? I think there’s a book out like “why men marry some women and not others” or some such title, haven’t read it but I’m curious to know people’s thoughts.

  25. 26
    Curly Girl

    JuJu, I meant unrequited love that makes us hold out for the unattainable and do dumb things. I once baked a pie and left it with a doorman. (It was a very good pie. I eventually got the pie plate back, but not because the guy was so keen to see me again. I felt really dumb.)

    I’m not a FWB kind of person myself. Too complicated for me and I don’t need them. But I applaud the spirit of those relationships.

    I think many, many women have sex with men they aren’t attracted to for years on end. Think about it.

  26. 27
    JuJu

    delicia,

    this guy friend I spoke of said exactly that – that he didn’t find that older woman attractive. Moreover, he mentioned at one time that the “relationship” was taking more of an emotional toll on him than he would have liked. Due to the lack of self-awareness on her part I referred to above, occasionally he had to counsel her on the various aspects of her life, and as a person she did not interest him enough to invest than much energy in her.

    Frankly, I was surprised he was able to get it up for her for as long as he was. Seriously.

    I know I wouldn’t have been able to, figuratively speaking.

  27. 28
    JuJu

    Curly Girl said: I think many, many women have sex with men they aren’t attracted to for years on end. Think about it.

    Heh, look at all the women, historically, who never loved their husbands! Which is how it is beyond obvious that women do not, in fact, automatically develop feelings for each man they have sex with.

    Although, I doubt they would pursue a “friends with benefits” situation with men they don’t find attractive.

  28. 29
    Selena

    JuJu #24
    “..(something I always said: being attracted to someone and still finding them attractive after having sex with them are two different things).

    I’ve always felt the same. When I’ve found myself incompatible with someone sexually, or on other levels, the initial attraction fades out. I’ve never felt the desire to keep a relationship like that going, casually or otherwise.

    But plenty of people of both genders seem willing to keep a relationship going despite lack of attraction: they call it “settling”.

  29. 30
    Ruby

    @Ruby, post #13

    Maybe he truly valued her as a friend, was hurt at losing a friend, and meant that his marriage so no big deal in terms of their friendship ( presumably without the benefits ) surviving.
    Steve,

    I did consider this as a possibility after I posted. But I wonder if the “hurt” her friend feels is really just guilt? Who cares about his “pain” or guilt at this point anyway? He’s had his cake and been eating it too (no pun intended). What about G.D.’s pain? And yes, she has brought this on herself, but I have trouble believing that he didn’t straight up take advantage of her feelings for him. She may have known about his feelings for the other girl, but did she know that they were in a serious relationship? “A girl he was into for many years” doesn’t quite sound like a girlfriend to me. Remember, she said she was the one who had to “cut him off”, despite the fact that he “loves his future wife…deeply as he says he does…” Sorry, I still think this man is bad news.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>