Help! Special Friendship gives me anxiety…

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    So to make a long story short: there is a guy, I will call him C., 10 years my senior (I am 24) whom I’ve met two years ago when I was an intern where he worked. There was instantly an attraction, but nothing ever happened, not even flirting. Until about two weeks before I finished my internship – somehow, coincidentally, we started e-mailing. Back and forth, all day. And then we added each other on facebook, exchanged numbers. And somehow started flirting via text messages. But not in a sleazy way, in a funny way. (His humor is really what makes him attractive to me.) So then we actually decided to hang out outside of work, and he told me he had a girlfriend and that he had been with her for ten years. To me, cheating was and is not okay. And neither was it to him. But there was still something there. So anyways, we decided it was wrong to act upon anything and so nothing ever happened (apart from some steamy texts, which I felt bad about sometimes). He said it was a very strange situation for him, cause in the ten years of being with one woman, he had never talked to another woman like that. And I know this to be true because now I’ve known him for two years, and he’s a truly good, decent guy.

    So now, fast forward; we stopped texting that often, we met up for coffee, there was still a little spark but we left it at being friends. Then I met my now ex-boyfriend and was happy. Then after a long silence, he told me on fb he and his girlfriend had broken up. This didn’t bother me, because I was (supposedly) in a happy relationship. I was with my ex for over a year and right before I broke up with him, my friend C. was there for me and became my distraction. The attraction grew again from my side, and one night, out of the blue, I suggested we could be “fwb” – friends with benefits. He was a little shocked, didn’t expect it and at first not into the idea. He said it would probably get complicated at some point.

    After realizing that I would’ve just jumped into that “special friendship” with him to get over my ex or be the first to have someone else, I took time for myself. But then, a few more weeks went by and we kept talking, texting and meeting up. And it became VERY flirtatious via text. Very sort of sexual, but knowing I can trust him, I feel comfortable doing so. I made it clear to him that I was attracted to him, and he did, too. Now it’s been THREE dates where he came over to my house, it was night time, we were alone, the mood was right…and he just couldn’t act upon it! And neither could I. The attraction and chemistry was there, we were always THAT close to kissing (and I guess then one thing would lead to another) but no one had the courage. I know he’s into me, I am into him.

    But now this humongous tension has built up and we are planning to see each other tomorrow and actually ACT upon it. But can you plan something like that?
    And since I’ve struggled with anxiety for two years, I know when something is giving me the bad kind of anxiety. And this definitely does. Is that sort of not organic sexual relationship a sign? That it just shouldn’t happen? That it would be sort of forced of the both of us? I feel like I’m such an indecisive person, I know that – but I know I want him. And then I have anxiety and overthink it and think to myself: “Do you really want this?” My head is exploding.

    I could seriously use any advice you have. I would be so grateful to know someones thoughts on this.


    I think the thing is that you’ve now been Friends for so long. That once you “Go There”, and it doesn’t work out, that it will Never Be The Same. Also, maybe (depends on the guy) the age difference is freaking him out. After all, when he met his old girlfriend, you were 12! A third thing ~ you’ve been the one (I think) to mostly initiate, to put ideas in his head that weren’t really there before.

    He seems passive. I would let him take the lead. Forget the sexual tension. Just see what happens.

    But don’t you think he should be your official beau first, who loves you (and says and shows it)?


    To piggyback off Inky’s question, I’m curious why you proposed friends with benefits versus a romantic relationship? I personally would be confused if someone I was interested in suggested that – it seems to put restrictions on the relationship, a way of saying “I am attracted to you and I like you, but it’s just going to be sex among friends”. Given that he was in a (presumably) monogamous relationship for 10 years, I would suspect it’s not his “style” to have sex outside of a relationship. Is that what you want?


    It’s what I want, and it’s what he wants. I’ve just come out of a relationship and don’t want a new one, and neither does he. It was my idea, but he is really the one contacting me usually.

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