Dating and Relationship Advice

Dear, iris

If you have sexual intercourse with a guy you’ve been talking to for a month or two and you want it to be more than that (such as going on dates), how do you proceed with telling him that?

Signed, Wants To Be More Than Friends

Dear, Wants To Be More Than Friends

This is a great question! Many people develop romantic feelings for their friends with benefits but stay quiet about how they feel. Good on you for realizing that sex isn’t enough for you anymore. I know you might feel worried about what this guy’s answer will be. I’ll not only help you with what to say but also with feeling okay no matter what his answer is.

So first, let’s talk about how to bring it up. Remember to focus on what you feel — namely that you want to give dating a shot. After you express what's on your mind, the ball in his court. I know that might feel frightening and extremely vulnerable (which is something to feel proud of!) but dating involves getting out of your comfort zone sometimes. Better to tell him how you feel than to wonder “what if?”

The timing of the conversation is almost as important as the words you say. Please make sure not to have this conversation right before, during, or just after sex. You don't lust to impact your decision-making.

But as for the words you’ll actually say, try something like, “Hey, I want to talk to you about something. I realized recently that I enjoy spending time with you. I’d like to go on a date and see if we would be a good match as more than friends.” Then wait. If he needs time to think about it, that’s fine (though more than a day or two isn’t the best sign). Don’t try to over-explain yourself or backtrack on your feelings. Give him the silence to tell you what he thinks.

Try remaining detached. You want to go into the conversation with zero expectations. That way, if he says he doesn’t feel the same way as you, you won't be too disappointed. But, on the other hand, if he does feel the same as you, you’ll be extra excited.

All of this is to say: focus on speaking your truth rather than getting hung-up on what his reaction will be.

If he answers that he wants to just keep having sex, it's crucial that you walk away from the arrangement. You may think that you can go back to just having sex, but if a relationship is what you want with this person, you’re just going to cause yourself more pain trying to act like your emotions don’t exist. Your boundaries and needs matter. Don’t betray how your authentic self feels so that you can stay in someone else’s comfort zone.

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