How do I tell my secret romance to tone it down at school?

This guy and I are secretly friends with benefits. He constantly stares at me during class and is always finding ways to touch my body at school in front of my friends. I'm not looking for a relationship with him right now, but he's showing signs that he does. How do i tone him down at school? - Tara from Atlanta, GA

I hate to point fingers , but from the sounds of it, the problem here isn’t so much with him…it’s all due to the fact that you’re leading him on HARDCORE!!!

You see, the whole friends with benefits (FWB’s for short) bull-honky can only last so long.  It’s like a wick to a firecracker…no matter how long the wick is, once lit, it’s only a matter of time before the whole thing blows up…and usually, it’s right in your face.  There aren’t many people in this world that can abstain from developing some sort of feelings for another person while having a sexual or physical relationship after a period of time.  If it’s not one person, it’s usually the other.

You happen to be on the “not” side of this equation.  However, Mr. Touchy McFeely over here sounds like he’s totally smitten…the staring, the touching, etc… He obviously WANTS to be with you and share more than just spit during your behind-closed-door makeout sessions.  This guy has definitely fallen hard and is no longer in the grey area of FWB’s land; this guy wants some form of commitment, and he’s gonna want it SOON.

You see, going back to the whole leading him on spiel…by you not being honest with him from the get-go and letting him know that you have ZERO intentions of having a boyfriend by the end of this, you’ve sprinkled visions of grandeur throughout this poor fledgling pubescent male’s head-piece…both of them. Not good. Now, not only does he think you’d like to date him, but that you also CARE about him. Tisk, tisk my dear. You done just effed up. Welcome to Dating 101: don’t start something unless you can own up to it later.  Sad but true.

My point in the mix of all this rambling is this: you shouldn’t have started this whole menagerie without AT LEAST telling him your intentions first.  “Hey _(insert name of dude getting his soul crushed)_, just so you know, this is all just us having fun…no strings attached.” But generally, you don’t want to even start any sort of pseudo-relationship like this anyways…EVER.  It just leads to him getting his feelings hurt, you getting a bad rep as being easy, and you having to deal with a hot mess of a teenage boy that will probably end up all super emo while cutting your name into his arms…But good luck with all that! 🙂

The most apparent positive point about being FWB(friends with benefits) is the availability of easy sex, without all the pressures and limitations of a relationship. The beauty of this situation is its clarity — if both sides are honest going into this, then both will know that it’s solely about sex. He/she can never accuse you of anything, or vice-versa, because  you’re, in fact, using each other. Using each other in a good way, however, because removing all the emotional baggage from sex makes it much simpler and  more enjoyable.

However, nothing is that easy…right?! Its perceived as a safe relationship, at least at first.  Different types of emotional fallouts can doom FWB. The most common type is when one of the friends gets too attached and begins wanting something more. If the other person feels differently, they will get hurt. Also, sometimes the other person may become jealous if the other person starts dating someone else seriously. It can be very difficult to separate emotions from sex, and usually ends in a negative way.

If  your not looking for a “real” relationship right now, cut the strings and move on. Sounds like your dude wants more out of it, and maybe he isnt on the same page as you–also may not be aware your just FWB. The best thing to do is talk with him about it- just be straight up and honest. Stringing him along for the ride(no pun intended), isn’t fair and goes along with playing games….this is a big no-no for any relationship.

I have faith you’ll do the right thing here. Good luck!