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Ask Page: Ghosting With Benefits?

·437 words·3 mins
Advice Friend

I’ve never been in this situation before and am not sure quite what to do. Even though I’m not a person who does “casual,” I now have a friend with benefits. Polyamory is about love, so I feel shitty about this.

He has been very clear with me that he doesn’t want to be my boyfriend. I brought it up as something I wanted, and he said no.

My FWB is smoking hot. We have had a lot of fun, but now I’m starting to get bored with just the physical stuff.

He’s also started bringing up that he wants me to have threesomes with him and this other guy. I said no, and he said he was okay with that, but he keeps bringing it up. It’s confusing and getting on my nerves.

I want to break things off, but since I’ve never had one before now, I wanted to ask: How do you break up with your friend with benefits? Would it be ghosting just to let things trail off?


I don’t think you should feel shitty at all about having a physical fling as a polyamorous person.

Some other folks may feel differently about this, but for me polyamory is about radical openness to whatever happens to develop. And it’s okay if whatever develops stays very casual. I differentiate it from other open relationship styles in that polyamory is not scared of developing multiple emotional connections. But that doesn’t mean that every person you start up with has to become a Relationship.

Sometimes? You just have hookups.

I treat hookups just like the emotional stuff: respect, honesty, acting in good faith. Sometimes a hookup blossoms into more. Sometimes it’s just a fun or fleeting thing.

Which brings me to your question. One of the best things about having a friend with benefits? You don’t need to break up with them. You just stop providing them benefits. Because a FWB situation operates without a formal commitment, there’s no guarantee to either party that the arrangement will continue.  All relationships operate on an at-will basis to some degree, but casual ones are doubly so.

So the next time he asks to hook up, you can just say no. And that’s the end of it. Because you don’t owe him an explanation. “I don’t want to,” is good enough.

And if he has a problem with this? Maybe he hasn’t been honest enough with himself about what he wants from this situation.


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