He was this super hot, older guy who lived a few hours away from me. I would visit him sometimes on the weekends, and sometimes, he would come and visit me, too.
We would spend the weekends cozied up in one of our apartments, watching movies, eating junk food, and hooking up nonstop. It was so passionate — I'd never felt anything like that before.
I fully thought we were dating and potentially headed to a committed relationship.
But within six months, I realized we weren't going anywhere. We never went on dates. He never talked about what we were actually doing in the relationship. He never put pictures of me up on his social media. And ultimately, I found out that on the weekends that we weren't visiting one another, he was visiting other girls.
I wish that I had spotted all of these red flags sooner. It would have saved me a lot of time, energy, and heartache — not to mention gas money from visiting him.
So to prep for any future FWB situations, I asked Jacqueline Nichols, a professional matchmaker, about the subtle red flags that indicate he just sees you as friends with benefits, even if you see him as something more.
1. You're His Secret
I once "dated" a guy for five years without him ever putting up any pictures of me on social media. I had met all his friends, but then, I realized he introduced me by my name and nothing else. He also showed me zero affection in public.
Then finally, it hit me: Ohhhh, we absolutely are not dating. I'm just his hookup buddy, and I caught feelings for a friends with benefits.
"Does he like to keep you more private?" Nichols asks. "He might casually introduce you to friends, but he doesn't show much affection in public."
If this is the case for you, then you're probably going through the same situation I did — you're just friends with benefits and not much more.
2. He's Not Down To DTR
A guy who only sees you as a friend with benefits doesn't like labels or titles, and he definitely isn't trying to define the relationship.
Nichols says, "When it comes to announcing your relationship status... is he more likely to say he's happy just the way things are and doesn't understand titles?" If this is true, Nichols explains it's probably because "he just wants to have fun."
I once dated a guy who said he didn't believe in labels and wanted to just "be." Months later, that guy was very happy labeling his relationship with another girl, whom he called his girlfriend.
Guys are fine with labels, but he might not be fine with labeling his relationship with you if he just wants to hook up.
If he's not trying to have the DTR conversation, or freaks out when you try to initiate it, then you're in friends-with-benefits territory.
3. All Your Hangouts Are Inside The House
If he refuses to be seen with you outside the house, then that's a bad sign — obviously.
Nichols says a good indicator that you're just his friend with benefits is when "he'd rather keep your time together inside where you won't run into anyone he knows."
If he's not taking you out to dinner or on real dates, then most likely, you're no more than a hookup. Or, he's hanging out with several girls at the same time and doesn't want to risk the chance of crossing paths with one of them.
If a guy is hiding you, then he's definitely not envisioning a future with you.
4. There Are No Future Plans
A guy who doesn't see you as girlfriend material "only talks about the present... he never wants to make plans very far into the future," Nichols says.
This is not the kind of guy you can ever turn into a boyfriend, and definitely the kind of guy who will run away from any sort of ultimatum. (Those never work.)
If he's not trying to pin you down before anyone else can, then he isn't looking for a commitment — he's just looking for someone to hook up with.
5. He's More Sexual Than Substantive
If your hangouts consist mostly of sex rather than, say, talking about your childhoods or going for long walks in the park wondering what to name your future children, then yeah, you are probably just a hookup.
If a guy just wants to just be FWB, "he refers more to how sexy you are and less to how much he loves learning about you," Nichols concludes.
If he makes you feel guilty when you don't want to have sex, or if he only comes over at 10 p.m. and doesn't even sleep over, then most likely, a relationship is not on his mind.
Have you ever ended up being just friends with benefits when you thought or hoped the relationship was something more? Well, if you're operating in that grey area where you aren't really sure, sometimes it's best to muster up the courage and just ask your guy what's going on.
Hey, you're letting him hook up with you, and that's pretty intimate. If you don't feel comfortable enough to have a conversation with him, then why are you letting him into your bedroom?