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.

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Comments:

  1. 31
    Steve


    Ruby May 22nd 2009 at 06:31 am 30

    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?

    Guilty until proven innocent?


    What about G.D.’s pain?

    GD wrote in and she has been getting advice so nobody is dismissing her.


    And yes, she has brought this on herself,

    Exactly. Its called being an adult and accepting responsibility for your decisions. She entered the relationship of her own free knowing up front that it was an FWB relationship. Nobody lied to her. She also chose to stay in the relationship after she found herself developing feelings for her friend. She didn’t tell her friend about her feelings either. She is an adult, she knowingly made a bad decision. While she deserves our sympathy as a fellow human being she is not a victim.


    but I have trouble believing that he didn’t straight up take advantage of her feelings for him.

    Why do you have trouble believing that? GD did not tell him her feelings. Do you have proof that he knew?

  2. 32
    starthrower68

    The problem is, we’re analyzing the guy and he is incidental at this point. It’s about GD being able to move on and heal and the only way she can do that is by making a clean break. All of the “is he this” or “he did this” doesn’t matter at this point. If GD feels she has been wronged, the best thing FOR HER is to let go of the perceived offense. Forgiveness is so WE can be set free.

  3. 33
    searchingwithin

    In my opinion:

    I believe the only clueless one here is the fiance.

    This is the problem with FWB arrangements, there is not enough honesty with yourself, or each other.

    and,

    If she remains friends she will waste more of her time holding out for hoping something will happen between this guy and his future wife. Until she has healed, she needs to stay away from him completely, so she can move on to hopefully a healthy relationship.

    and as Evan said;

    “I hope you won’t accept another friends-with-benefits arrangement ever again.”

    searchingwithin´s last blog post…What’s Emotional Maturity, Needs and Denial Got To Do With It?

  4. 34
    Lance

    Definitely agree, she’s just as complicit in this mess as the guy. Obviously, he had a girlfriend for a significant amount of time leading up to the marriage proposal, which means GD and her were having a full blown, long term affair. She needs to start over.

    It’s also worth mentioning, the guy probably shouldn’t get married!!

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

  5. 35
    Steve

    @starthrower, post #32

    Honestly, I brought up my points about GD’s FWB because I was disgusted by the sexism of some of the comments.

    However, I think it is a useful discussion for GD. I’m not an expert, but I think it will help her heal and I think it will help her avoid hurting herself again if she doesn’t view herself as a victim.

  6. 36
    Curly Girl

    Steve: One person’s s*xism is another person’s “great insight into the opposite s*x.” Haven’t you ever noticed that when people start talking about dating that all sorts of strange generalizations start passing as fact? All unsubstantiated, of course. Women get attached through physical intimacy (implying that men don’t). Men are visual when choosing a partner (implying that women aren’t). Men are predatory. Women are gold-diggers. Blah, blah-blah, blah-blah, blah-blah. And then everyone starts tossing around the bad science and it just all unravels from there.

    And still, despite the very negative generalizations that people toss around about the opposite gender, everyone wants to get into a “relationship” with one of those folks from the dark side. Humorous, right?

  7. 37
    Ruby

    G.D. dismissed her own feelings, and her friend in turn, did the same. He should be considering G.D.’s pain (and respect her need for space), because if he wasn’t aware of her feelings before, he knows now. As already mentioned, he also has a fiance who probably didn’t know anything about the situation. G.D. needs to get free and clear in order to move on with her life.

  8. 38
    starthrower68

    Steve,

    Perhaps the discussion is about FWB is useful from the standpoint of G.D. denying her wants and needs thinking that if she were quiet enough, loved him enough, were good enough in bed, etc., that he might come around. Fact of the matter is, a woman can never make or persuade a man to want her above all others and commit to her forsaking all others. We live in a world where if it feels good we do it or we act based on emotions. I’ve done this too, and once I learned to be involved with someone based on my values, life started going much more smoothly.

  9. 39
    starthrower68

    Tp add a small caveat, one of the things Evan says is that people do what they want to do, which is sounds like FWB did. I’m not making a judgement on his character either way. What I am saying is that GD has seen this is not the right thing to do, he chose how he chose and now she needs to focus on her healing.

  10. 40
    delicia

    @ Lance post #34 – I completely agree about the guy’s readiness for marriage. Although we don’t have the full story and timing of events, if this guy was FWB’ing with G.D. while at the same time dating/pursuing the fiancee who “finally” accepted his proposal, then it doesn’t sound like they were exclusively dating while he was hooking up with G.D. Makes me wonder how much he is actually in love with the fiancee vs. the idea of her and the challenge/chase he had to engage in to win her over vs. if they are truly compatible and have the maturity it takes to make a relationship work for the long haul. I guess only time will tell. I wish the best of luck to all involved.

  11. 41
    Angela

    Ju Ju I disagree. There were times in my life where I just wanted FWB. It really only works if both people are on the same page. In my case I was not in a realtionship and wanted good sex on a regular bases. Found a younger guy that felt the same and for 6 months it worked. The sex was great and we had fun. Althought I genuinely cared for him as a person, I really had no illusion about us having a real relationship. We got along great and when one us found someone we really liked (which was the agreement) the sex ended.

    Often though, One person really cares for the other and accepts less in the absence of not having anything. Thats why it doesn ‘t work. Sounds like the case here. Also. seems like he was cheating on his soon to be wife and wants to continue, which makes him not really worth pinning over.

  12. 42
    Michael

    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.
    This could happen in FWOB arrangements as well.

  13. 43
    Michelle

    It seems unreal, reading this letter, that a woman could let herself be involved in such an unhealthy relationship – for 5 years!!!

    I’m no expert, but there must be deeper issues about GD than she’d care to admit – for one, self-esteem. Please don’t feel hurt by my saying this, GD. I’ve been in your shoes before. I totally empathize with you – it’s easy for a woman start weaving a “fantasy” relationship and making sacrifices for a man once she’s developed feelings for him.

    This is not the time to assign blame on the guy. You have to start owning your responsibility for the mess that you’re in – meaning, you have to stop asking questions that don’t really matter: Does he care for me as a friend? was he using me? etc – BECAUSE the answers don’t change anything : he’s stilling marrying another girl and you’re still ALONE. The ONLY question you need to ask yourself are: How can I become a happy and fulfilled human being? I can tell that you’re incredibly unhappy. If this way of living is not bringing you smiles and joy, you need to shift gear.

    FIVE years is a long time. You don’t have a lot of 5-years to waste on a man.

  14. 44
    Curly Girl

    I don’t know why everyone is being so hard on the guy. He knew what he wanted in a relationship, he went after it, and when he was rejected or put on hold or whatever by the woman who became the fiancee, he stuck it out and somehow persuaded her that he was the one for her. When she came around he ended his casual sexual relationships. He didn’t hide his feelings from the FB, she hid her feelings from him. We have no evidence that he lied to anyone, and we have no evidence that he cheated on the soon-to-be fiancee. As a matter of fact, that would be a thing G.D. probably would have mentioned had he done it (“He was dating her with intent to marry but sleeping with me! Doesn’t that mean he has feelings for me?”) It could be that he had an unrequited love and was honest with everyone about it and it worked out, and G.D. had an unrequited love and wasn’t honest about it and it didn’t work out. Maybe if she’d have told him how she felt from the start he would have stopped pining for the woman who wasn’t into him (until after unremitting pursuit) and fallen for G.D. instead.

  15. 45
    delicia

    The guy is pretty much irrelevant at this point. As Jennifer, Lexy, and others said, it is now all about GD and her healing process so she can get back on track with her life and re-gain control of her emotions and self-esteem. Whether this guy is a total d-bag or the nicest guy in the world, what’s undebate-able in my opinion is that she will be able to move on with her life much faster if she cuts off contact with him. Maybe someday down the road they can be friends but right now she just needs to move forward.

  16. 46
    Sam

    I admit that an ex-girlfriend of mine is my best friend and an off-an-on (currently off) FWB.

    I don’t think being FWB is inherently a bad thing provided there’s a lot of honesty involved. At least it’s sex with someone who is safe, who cares about you, and will call you in the morning.

  17. 47
    Michael

    At least it’s sex with someone who is safe, who cares about you, and will call you in the morning.
    That is what the “F” stands for.

  18. 48
    delicia

    Sam, out of curiosity, if your ex is your best friend AND you guys have a physical attraction towards each other, why aren’t you together?? Emotional and physical connection – that’s the holy grail! :)

  19. 49
    Sam

    Delicia,

    There are a few reasons that my best friend/FWB and I are not married.

    1. My best friend/FWB does not want to have children and I completely want them.
    2. When we were a conventional couple we also argued a lot, which is not something that happens to me in most of my relationships. Even as FWBs we argue about things.
    3. I would like to be with someone who is better educated, has a better job, and more mature.

    I will say this, being FWB is not necessarily something that entirely benefits the man. My FWB is always the one who decides what we do and when.

  20. 50
    Angela

    Sam,
    So the sex must be good then?

  21. 51
    Angela

    My experience with FWB was not with an ex. I think that having it with an ex could complicate things. For me it was a mutual situation where neither party wanted a serious relationship with the other but yet there was a strong physical attraction, and we had fun.Over time there was a development of feelings. I think people try to make FWB something it is not. It’s a bit more than a booty call, IMO. and only time makes it that.

  22. 52
    delicia

    Sam, thanks for the reply…. hmmm, interesting, I guess your situation is a (rare) example of FWB actually working. Good for you and I wish you (and your FWB) all the best!

  23. 53
    vlh

    Why didn’t G.D. keep her options open and date other men? At first sign of any inconsistency, or unreliability, in a partner, you should post a profile on a dating site, or at least a personal ad someplace, and line up dates with men who have a bit more potential. I always have at least one in reserve, in case Mr. Now flakes out and becomes a liability.

  24. 54
    lets

    I have tendencies to be like G.D., to offer all of myself to a guy that I have feelings for and patiently hoping that he would someday realize how fortunate he is to have me and love me as much as I love him in return. Martyr effect. True that a “positive” result can happen but I kind of knew that the percentage is ????? Please don’t allow him to use and hurt you any further. Two years is more than enough. If this person had conscience and is a “FRIEND”, he shouldn’t have allowed this to happen in the first place. He knew that he had no love for you. Respect and love yourself more because you deserve it :)

  25. 55
    lets

    Hey Michael…comment #47….loved it….thumbs up…lol

  26. 56
    Nelly

    I recently went through this myself. Much worse though. It was a guy i knew for 15 years. Good freindf for 7 years. We went to high schhol, college, worked together, travelled together, the whole nine. I thought i knew everything about him, i even knew about his girfriends. Over the years when i was living my life he got closer to a girl who was freinds with his sister who passed away. He started cheating with her on his girlfreind at the time. Fast forwrd to 2007. We got up one evening and that changed things. He askled me to hang out with him. We traveled to foreighn land together, had great sex. He told me before it all happened he loved me as a friend. Afterwards he said he loved me. I thought he did. Zoom forward…we fought all year over this girl who he said ” was a freind of the family” and “would not move on” from the previous situation. He has had a girlfriend after her. I thought he was single as he said. Well his grandfatehr passed and i attended the funeral. 10 girls were there, including her. WE talked and got the scoop on hiom. He stood up for the girl’s honor and totally dissed me. 2 girld fought him at the funeral after he disrespected them. The “girlfreimnd” looked ion, and is still with him after learning so so so much of his infidelity. I feel like a huge fool. I knew better. I thought i could have him becase of our history and his persistance, our freinds thought he liked me too. He used to show my picture to girls and say this is who i really wanna be with…yeah right…

  27. 57
    Gina

    FWB is a stupid invention for an old scam.  There is nothing honorable about being someone’s “friend” while they are online looking for a real deal!
    I read all the posts and SO TRUE, if you’ve been in a FWB situation like that and find out later that he was not divorced, STILL MARRIED to his “ex” you do feel betrayed and stupid. Really, yoiu only went on the facts he gave you and they were not true! What a total cluster f$ck and for too many years in my case. In a profound moment, he said, “So, I guess you know me better than I do!” when I was puttiing together the pieces of the puzzle. What a waste of time and energy trying to figure out WHY his “ex” was still on thier property tax roll…but hey, it’s public information and if you have to investigate, DO IT. Absolutely.  And this is a bullet dodged, people. I should be doing flips down my driveway in happiness that I AM FREE to pursue something of worth for myself. You are right, once you KNOW, then move ON. He/It won’t change. He’ll find another idiot.  Happily, I have met some very different types of men (like normal, not selfish) who also enjoy my company, and one particular One, So, it is better already.  G, Kiss off the fantasy ASAP…he’s toxic.

  28. 58
    Elizabeth

    I have a similar experience but we started seeing each other for almost 2 months. He did tell me that he didn’t want a girlfriend at that time but what confused me was he got a girlfriend just weeks after! He met this girl around the same time as he met me but ours obviously didn’t work out. After a few months, we started this FWB relationship and it has lasted over 4 years.  At the same time, he’s still with that girlfriend while cheating on her with me.  If he’s so serious about her, why is he  “cheating?” And since they’ve been dating that long, likely they’ll get married. I don’t get men’s mindsets. I do however admit I’m shameless for knowingly doing this and stupid for hoping he has feelings for me (he knows I do).  
    But during these years, no matter how active I am in meeting guys and online dating,  nothing has ever worked out and not many men find me attractive or ask me out.  I don’t have a self-esteem problem and I’m confident I’m attractive, I honestly don’t know what’s my problem.  Anyway, I let this go on and on as I need my physical needs fulfilled and don’t care if I have to be self-fish for it.

  29. 59
    judy

    Did the poster really not know that he had a girlfriend? Perhaps that girlfriend was not sleeping with the man, hence the FWB.
    I don’t think much of the guy’s behaviour and in that situation, if he asked me to stay friends, I’d decline.
    He sounds like the kind of person who would like to continue to have FWB, or ego stroking.  Either way, she should just move on, and perhaps reconsider what FWB actually means.
    To be clear, it means no strings attached, no love attached, no marriage attached.  I just get to shag a woman I have friendly feelings for.  Full stop.

  30. 60
    Angels

    That’s a pityful life you have right there my honey. I’m twenty four and i never encounter friends with benefit. I nearly fall for it , so i cut it off and never ever see this person ever again. He got a no contact order against me for a time period im okay with that , a quicker way for me to move on easy to follow. There were no penal codes saying i need to stay within a feet amount apart. Some what girls build up your self esteem.  Those boys who said boys and girls can’t be friends is right. Boys can lose there homos and will encounter these type of problems. If you ladies are strong enough to only meet men to hangout with when your ready for the next step is better. If your only planning to meet boys for friends its going to be tough . I think this is why girls encounter fwb easily due to that reason. Its cool to be friends with boys, but whats wrong with having just friends who are girls.

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