Should I be worried about the direction my casual relationship with a married guy is heading in? If so, how do I tactfully deal with it?
posted by houndsoflove to human relations (36 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I met a guy a couple of months ago online for an FWB deal. He's married but in an open relationship, which appealed to me because I wanted a low pressure situation. He also seemed really funny. I thought we'd get along well enough for a positive short-term experience. After chatting for a bit, he agreed. He asked me what I expected from him and I said "fun, friendship if we're lucky?" He said that was good, because that's what he's looking for as well, nothing long-term.
We met up, were attracted to each other, and got along well in person. We had sex, agreed that we both really enjoyed it, and met up 2 more times within 10 days. We had more sex and laid around joking with each other for an hour or two, then he'd leave. He really made me laugh and made me feel comfortable in my body, which has been a big struggle for me (invaluable!). But if he never contacted me again at this stage, I'd have been fine with it. No strings at all.
He started suggesting that because we get along so well, we might want to do hangout-y things in addition to sex. I said sure, that would be fun. We started going to parties together and watching movies before winding up in my room, talking constantly through all things about our jobs, stupid pop culture, guys and girls we've dated. I'll admit that with him, there's an ease of conversation like I've had with few other people; we both have the same odd, overarching sense of humor, but maturity where it matters. We have very similar values and opinions, if not the same interests. Around the New Year, he called rather than texted me for the first time out of nowhere and suggested we start talking on the phone, since we get along so well.
I was definitely cool with this escalation of the F in FWB, because it makes a huge difference to know that the person you're sexing genuinely likes and respects you, even if there's no future in it. But I still maintained some boundaries, such as not texting him first unless I want him to come over and not being overly affectionate, not initiating physical contact unless we're in bed.
We went through a period of not talking to each other for a couple of weeks because his life became extremely hectic managing their family. I didn't think anything of it, because I go through two week periods of not talking to almost all of my other friends (whom I've known far longer), all the time. When he contacted me again, the first thing he said was how much he'd been missing me in that time. That he wants to make more time to see me, and believes he "should" be able to do so "at least once a week." He thanked me for being patient with him. He started calling a few times a week, sometimes twice in a day, just to talk. Once, we planned to get together around a certain event; as the event approached, he started saying maybe we could just stay in that night and see a movie or go shopping, because "the main thing he was excited about was seeing me." He has expressed disbelief that I am still single, because I am "so amazing." We've started being able to hang out for hours without having sex (though we still do that regularly), just talking, hugging, and kissing. We've also started, indeed, seeing each other once a week. We have plans/non-refundable tickets for future events. He also sometimes talks to me about problems in his marriage. Not for long, but he mentions them, and I don't know what to say.
His wife knows about me definitely, though she is monogamous. I'm not worried that things aren't above ground. But she has also started to behave in ways that make me uncomfortable, calling/texting him several times while he's with me to ask when he's coming home and even what we are doing.
I have no doubt that he loves her, some things he says to me -- or to her on the phone around me -- convey that clearly. And I don't have fantasies about him leaving her for me, not at all; my feelings on that subject lean more toward compersion than jealousy, knowing that they are a good fit for each other. But the more he does/says these intimate things to me as well, the more I wonder about the future of this relationship. How badly it's going to hurt me, ultimately. He has told me before that he's fallen for a few of his FWBs. I've also become more attached because of our increased intimacy. My biggest fear in all of this is that we will become really close, his wife will get upset by the time we spend together, give him an ultimatum, and I'll be the casualty.
Is the way this has escalated enough within the bounds of "normal" friendship that it's not worth worrying about? Can I talk to him about this in a way that doesn't make accusations/destroy our friendship? My ideal result to this situation would be continuing to be friends with him and keep our connection because it seems to make us both happy, even if sex has to come off the table.