Friends 4 now benefits later?
June 15, 2010 10:59 AM   Subscribe

How to tell a friends with benefits that you dont want the benefits for now but perhaps may want them later?


Over a year ago I met my good friend "J" in a random meeting on a subway station. We bonded over politics, religion and other topics that unfortunately I cant discuss with my current crop of friends for some reason or another. I always thought "J" was quite attractive and I always thought the attraction was mutual but was content to keep the friendship platonic for some reason or another.

Fast forward to the end December of last year where after a weekend of skiing and coming back to our lodge things got hot and heavy and we ended up having sex, however the next day we went back to our friendship and there was no romantic context discussed. The same thing happened a couple of weeks later and we had a conversation where we both talked about how we like where we were and how she discussed she didnt want to be tied up to anyone for personal reasons. I expressed similar feelings and through the end of January that was the agreement.

In February she moved to the west coast for an indefinite period of time. A month later I met someone else and shortly after we agreed to be in a monogamous relationship. We have been together for a little longer of three months and are now discussing the viability of being in a poly amorous relationship. She is currently reading the ethical slut and listening to savage love podcasts and after a period of a few months we may decide to open the relationship.

In the meantime my current friend "J" got back from the West Coast a couple of weeks ago and we've hung out a couple of times. Most of the time it has been with common friends (which include her parents) and not with my girlfriend around and nothing has happened because as soon as the activity is over (lets say drinks/dinner/dancing) I would go home and nothing would happen.

I had assumed that "J" had seen my Facebook relationship status and was keeping away from me..but a couple of weeks ago she reached out to me needing a job and I "hooked" her up with an interview yesterday. After the interview we met to debrief the prospect of her getting a job and at the end of our meeting we went to hug (like always) and she tried to kiss me.....I avoided the kiss but now feel like I must have a talk with her......

I would like to tell her that I want to keep things platonic for now but in the case that me and my girlfriend open things up we could re- assume the benefits portion at that time but not before then.

Me and "J" always have acted like friends never had a formal conversation about what "we" were so it feels extremely weird to approach this topic. I dont want to ruin our friendship she is one of the most unique friends I have but I also know I am not going to cheat on the girlfriend and do not want to hurt her feelings. How do I ago about doing this?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Hey, J, I'm dating someone exclusively right now. We're thinking about opening up the relationship in the future and if that happens, I'd love to hook up with you again. Until then, we need to just be friends."
posted by too bad you're not me at 11:04 AM on June 15, 2010 [10 favorites]


Me and "J" always have acted like friends never had a formal conversation about what "we" were so it feels extremely weird to approach this topic. I dont want to ruin our friendship she is one of the most unique friends I have but I also know I am not going to cheat on the girlfriend and do not want to hurt her feelings. How do I ago about doing this?

Don't give her a "maybe in the future" part of the conversation, because that leaves her in a big, ambiguous hole.

Tell her you're committed to your relationship and that you want to remain friends. If something more is possible in the future, broach that topic then, but don't open the door to things you may not be able to follow through on.
posted by Hiker at 11:04 AM on June 15, 2010 [9 favorites]


Yes, too bad you're not me just been said. The fastest way to ruin something this awesome is to start misleading anyone involved. Just because you've never had a conversation like this doesn't mean the relationship can't handle it, and if it can't, it's probably not the best thing for you (because of your relationship) or her (because she's not the kind of woman who can be the one "on the side") Whichever way the chips fall, you owe to yourself and to her (for being so awesome thus far) and your girlfriend (for having an open mind to such things), to be honest with all parties fully and completely
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:07 AM on June 15, 2010


I agree with Hiker that you shouldn't say anything about the possibility of future benefits. You and your girlfriend haven't made a decision yet, so if I were her, I would consider the matter to be a private discussion between us and wouldn't be happy to know that you'd not only shared it with another person, but shared it with a potential future sex partner.
posted by spinto at 11:14 AM on June 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Agreed with the above.

Also.

Three months is, I think, far too soon to be opening up your relationship to other people. Going on the assumption that this relationship will be your primary, you need to really lay down a solid bedrock of trust before engaging in activities that may well test that trust.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:23 AM on June 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Eh, you're trying to figure out a way to leave her hanging. The only thing I get out of this question, besides that you're nominally attracted to this woman, is that you're considering breaking up with your current girlfriend. Doesn't really seem fair to the missing woman.
posted by rhizome at 11:33 AM on June 15, 2010


I'm going to disagree with the folks above to some extent. If you and your girlfriend really are serious about the non-monogamous relationship, I see no reason you can't mention to J that you might be down for it in the future.

I'd just say something like, "J, I'm sorry, but at the moment I'm in a monogamous relationship. I can't sleep with you. I don't want you to wait around for me or anything like that, because I have no intention of leaving my girlfriend or breaking the terms of our relationship. But, we have talked about opening it up at some point in the future. So, for the time being, let's just be friends and try to keep our pants on. But, you'll be the first to know if my status changes."

Also, I don't think it's too early to open up the relationship. While trust is vital, the open relationships that I've seen fail most dramatically are those that were closed for a very long time before being opened. Those that I've seen work best were open damn-near from the beginning--even if only technically, with nobody acting on it.
posted by Netzapper at 11:44 AM on June 15, 2010


All I can say is I'm pretty sure you're mint-new girlfriend would not be threatened whatsoever by you already scoping out poly-hookups with old sexual partners who you've known longer than the girlfriend herself.

Just in case that assumption is totally off-the-wall though perhaps you should let this girl know you're in a monogamous relationship and leave it at that. Once the details of the potential open relationship have been sussed out with your current lady and she approves of Hookup then return to the negotiating table.
posted by schroedinger at 11:45 AM on June 15, 2010


She is currently reading the ethical slut and listening to savage love podcasts and after a period of a few months we may decide to open the relationship.

So . . . is she initiating this, or are you?

I wouldn't say anything yet. You don't know what the constraints of your open relationship will be, and you don't know if your girlfriend will be okay with you hooking up with this girl.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:32 PM on June 15, 2010


Ask your girlfriend what you should do.

This is one of the best open relationship/polyamory skills ever.

When you're in a confusing situation with a potential partner, ask your current partner what they think you should do.
That way they can say "you know what, just let it go, I'm not cool with it" or "do you think you can keep it casual?" or "that's too much pressure for now, but in the future maybe I'll be up for it" or "She's awesome! Go ahead and sex her, and invite her over for dinner so I can meet her."

Your relationship with your current partner is the relationship you should be thinking about first. Until you get that out of the way, romantic strategy has to wait.

Best of luck.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:53 PM on June 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


« Older Shut up and let me go?   |   Building maintenance staff tipping? (Non-holiday... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.