Ask a Dude: Can You Go from Friends with Benefits to Just Friends?

Dear Dude,

With summer quickly approaching I started to think about what has happened in my love life over the past year and realized something major… I keep hooking up with my guy friends. I’ve always been the “single” girl in my group of friends and have no issues with that. Also, I’ve always been a “guy’s girl,” I just get along better with boys. But last summer (after graduating high school) I ended up hooking up (ranging anywhere from just making out to the full monty) with seven guys. SEVEN. Some of these boys I have known since elementary school! I though that this pattern would end after the summer, but it didn’t. I have seen them on breaks and even visited some of them at their own schools, and every single time, even if I am not planning on it, we end up fooling around!

What I want to know is why. Why did they suddenly start wanting to make out with me instead of just hanging out? Is it because they trust me?

I’m so confused about this and need to know why. I love my boys, I really do, but I really am looking for a man who is willing to commit to me. I don’t really want a romantic relationship with any of them, I want to find someone new, outside of our group of friends who I connect with. But how can I do that while they still want to be my friend with benefits?

— Can We Just Be Friends?

Dear Can We Just Be Friends?

Are all seven guys shorter than you? Do they room together in a cabin in the forest? And do they sing as they go to work in the morning in a single file line? (Do we all get the joke? Good! Moving on!)

Yes, you can just be friends. Unfortunately, you may end up losing some friends in the process.

Look, FWB isn’t a stable arrangement. It sure as heck rarely ever satisfies both of you for very long and it’s got a half life shorter than a FunnyOrDie clip. It’s like watching Chuck: easy to start, tough to stop. Can you ever go back to the old status quo? Yes and no.

First of all, you’ve got to realize one thing: all SEVEN of these friends probably wanted to hook up with you before you did the deed. A lot of guys don’t start out looking for admittance to the Friend Zone. They get relegated there when they feel rejected. Or they think it’s a temporary halt on the Big O momentum train. Sleazy? Maybe. Disappointing? Depends on how much fun you’re having.  Typical? Definitely. Sorry ladies, but he wouldn’t do anything he hadn’t already thought about. Hooking up with a friend isn’t always, or often, about just trust, but it’s always got to do with horniness.

Now you’re knee deep in thigh high activities and you wish to go no further. Tell them. One of you has to say, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS” or this cycle’s going to keep revolving on its axis with a full turn at every spring break, winter break, October break, prison break, and break up.  Will you lose some of them as friends? Possibly. It’s definitely a changing of the dynamic, like, when you all started hooking up.

Some of them will get the message and all’s well that’ll end well. Others are going to feel rejected and “take some time” or cut you out. Screw those a**holes. Makes their intentions pretty clear (unless it’s because they DO want something serious with you and you’re rejecting them, in which case, they’re just SOL and don’t give in to pity f*cking).

Honesty is your only way out. Well, honesty and restraint (and no, not the kind of restraints you might have been employing during your…cycles…). Once you set the boundary, you’ve got to hold the line. Otherwise, this becomes the song that never ends, it’ll just go on and on my- you get me.

One of the big boundaries you have to put up for awhile might be a “no talking about other people we’re hooking up with” rule. This may not be about your comfort but theirs. If you want to stay friends then during the initial withdrawal you’ll be picking at their scab of rejection by telling them how hot and heavy you’re getting with someone else. Don’t. It complicates things that you’re trying to simplify.

Also, best not to let them meet the new guy too soon. We don’t need a Mr. Darcy and Daniel Cleaver brawl. On that note, avoid passing Greek restaurants on your dates.

They can’t just be your friends if they still want to be FWB. And it sounds like you don’t think you can enter into a committed relationship with someone new with your sensational seven pulling at you from all angles. Be honest. Tell them the facts of you. You can try to be gentle or you can be brutal. Some guys will respond to one and some might respond better to the other. Maybe you’ll go undefeated in keeping them as your friends, but if you pull a best of seven series then pat yourself on the back.

Time to unstuck yourself from the seven dwarves and find your prince charming.

Beware accepting fruit from strangers,
Dude Lebowski

[He’s good, right? Sigh, we know. Too bad he’s taken. Check out The Dude’s other insights into the male mind right here.]



    1. oldfashioned says:

      I don;t think they're sleeping with you because they trust you so much. Where did you get that idea from? Its becasue you're willing to have sex with them and they don't have to do anything to get it. Even if they're not that into dating you. Kind of like how you don't turn down free food, even if it's not your favorite kind. Anyways just stop hooking up with them if you want to stop hooking up with them.

    2. Erin says:

      I hate girls who say they "get along better with guys". That is 99% of the time code word for they are catty and jealous and can't get along with other girls.

      You sound like a hoe. Guys don't sleep with you because they trust you or secretly have been in love with you, they are sleeping with you because they know they can and have probably heard about their 6 buddies who have as well.

      1. Jenna says:

        Wow have to say this comment comes off as far more "catty and jealous" than the person who wrote in!

      2. Brianan says:

        I get a long better with guys! Because I hate how catty and jealous girls are and hate being around people who sit there and gossip all day. I don't want drama, and Guys don't have it. For the most part anyways. Honestly, I just want kick back, relax, maybe play some video games and chill and chat. THATS why I get a long better with guys.

      3. abigail says:

        girl who "get along better with guys" aren't necessarily catty – they're just sluts, haha.

      4. bebe says:

        Or… they just want drama-free friendships. Or they share more interests with guys. Or they happen to be in a major where they happen to meet more guys. What the hell? lol Are we in middle school?

      5. Ali says:

        My interests include: working out, working on cars, playing sports, playing video games, and building things, etc.
        They do not include: shopping, tanning, gossiping, etc.

        Call me crazy (or slutty) but I prefer to hang out with people who share my interest.
        Some of those people are my girlfriends, but a majority of them, are guys.

      6. Courtney says:

        and you sound like a jealous bitch who judges other girls because you want to be like them. Im just like her because girsl tend to judge each other so much that it becomes annoying and petty to the point where i dont want to associate with them. You need to stop judging her just because she hangs out with guys more than girls and guys like her.

    3. dma25 says:

      Guys "want their cake and eat it too"…they will say or do anything to have sex with you without any committment. They are just using you so don't do it!!…plus you might also get a reputation…guys talk!

      1. Ali says:

        Sounds to me like she is using them too though.
        I completely relate to the girl who wrote this, as I am also a "guy's girl" and have ended up hooking up with a number of my guy friends.
        While one person might say that my guy friends have used me as a way to get sex without putting in a lot of effort, I can say the exact thing about myself too. I trust my boys, I'm comfortable with them and (this might be just in my group of friends) but we are all very open about our sex lives, so chances are, even if we have never hooked up before, they already kinda know what I do and don't like.
        I think as much as they might be using her, she is definately using them too.

    4. criolle johnny says:

      What exactly ARE the "benefits"? Why are the guys the ones who want to "have the cake and eat it too"?
      Are the guys buying her drinks?
      Are the guys paying for her meals?
      Are the guys comping her cover to get into clubs?
      Are the guys driving while she tags along?
      Is he chipping in for gas on weekend trips or breaks?
      She's awfully vague about who is getting what from whom.
      She's awfully specific about what she wants … " a man who is willing to commit".


    5. AnotherDude. says:

      Meh I've known many girls over the years who have joined our various friend circles, generally they are as Brianan described – chilled, funny and enjoys similar things. And they also happen to be hot.

      Most of the responses here to this sound like rubbish from people who have not been in the situation. Within my own personal experience most of the friends I have that are girls I have slept with or wanted to sleep with at some point – because I like them, get along with them, and trust them – all of which is attractive. If I can sleep with someone who enjoys doing things that I do, who I don't need to keep my guard up around, and I am attracted to – I will, and they are usually good relationships for their duration (my three cases have resulted in twice when she got into a r/ship, and once when I did, all went amicably because we were friends first).

      The authors advice above is good, and don't second guess yourself. Us guys love our lady friends as well – its not primarily about the sex as the above may suggest. The important distinction I have found is whether or not the guy was a friend for a while before the sex, or if it was FWB from the get go – the latter r/ship means much less than the former in the minds of most men (another indicator is whether you hang out in a group or just alone all the time).

      1. Nicole says:

        I agree. It sounds like she was friends with them for a while before all this happened, as in since grade school, so not a fwb from the get go, a good distinction.

        Most importantly, it isn't fair for the "dude" to assume the seven boys are either dogs who are only hanging out with her in order to get in her pants or what he basically characterizes as losers who are pining away for her. He seems like he is a good guy who has a lot of jerks for friends who have given him a bad impression of overall MANkind…perhaps a particularly douchey frat full of them?

        Maybe CWJBF gained confidence in her sexuality and was a little too intoxicated by her newfound vagina power, but my impression from her letter is that she honestly had good intentions and now wants to make sure there aren't too many hurt feelings. There are worse ways to experiment with your sexuality than with longtime friends…in fact, I wish I had had the opportunity to do the same. The only problem is when feelings get hurt, as they inevitibly will when seven people are more or less vying for one.
        Also, I'm guessing there are no secrets here…news like the formerly platonic one-of-the-guys girls hooking up with every one of the guys spreads fast.

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