Real Live College Guy Joel: No More Hook-Up and No More Buddy?

Desperately trying to understand the inscrutable mind of the college male?  Real Live College Guy Joel (replete with a name way cooler than those of RLCGs Joe and Joey) is here to help you out, call you out, write you a poem to show you’re great and to stop worrying, etc. From major emotional drama to the minutiae of social interaction, use him as your one-stop shop for guy advice.
A few months ago my really good friend turned into my hook-up buddy. It was awesome and harmless I thought, but he told me we should stop having sex because he was scared it would ruin our friendship. At first I was kinda mad and really confused (what guy says no to NSA sex?!) but then saw his point - our friendship was pretty amazing and I guess worth giving up sex for. Except now it's not like we're really that good of friends. We haven't hung out once since then. I only see him at work, where things are great between us, but outside of that I've gotten to the point where I'm scared to even ask him to hang out because I feel like he's always got something else to do now. I don't get it, we used to always hang out and do fun stuff (and not just FUN stuff), so why can't we anymore? Did he think I was getting attached? I did my best to show him that I didn't want more than a friendship, but do guys just assume that every girl wants more than sex? If our friendship was really worth not screwing up then why does it kind of feel like we screwed the friendship up? - Friend Without the Benefits at Franklin & Marshall

Friend Without the Benefits,
It’s an awful feeling to grow apart from a friend, but I think it was a mistake to begin a sexual relationship with your friend when the two of you did not seem to be on the same page emotionally. I personally don’t buy the friends with benefits myth. I have no idea how I would even enter a FWB situation. You can be romantically involved or only physically involved, but platonic i physical connection make a volatile cocktail. There are intelligent people who disagree with me, but I don’t see why you would want this sort of thing or how you could make it work.

I don’t think this guy thinks you wanted anything more. Far from it. He more likely was freaked out. I don’t think he wanted anything more either, but he probably considers sex a private act in a totally different sphere from friendship. You have a pretty loose attitude towards sex, and he found that both fun, obviously, as well as disconcerting. It feels odd to suggest, “Hey come over. We’ll play Mario Cart then do it.” Sex is more than just another component of a relationship. It changes everything. Although he likely didn’t foresee a problem either, sex is a complicated thing, and you feel that acutely when you try to simplify it.

You still have a good rapport with this guy at work, which tells me the two of you can definitely be friends again. What you need to do is completely take the possibility of sex out of the equation. Ask him to hang out in group activities with other friends, or do stuff with him only in public. Also, be completely upfront that you aren’t interested in sex with him anymore. This way, you can at least attempt to reestablish what the two of you had before. Whether or not you can salvage this friendship, use this as a learning experience regarding what happens when you take a perfectly cool friendship and complicate it just so you have someone to hook sup with.

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