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  1. #1
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    Unhappy ISTP - "friends with benefits" relationships

    Hi,

    I'm posting on the forum for the first time here, but I've been following the threads quite frequently. I had a question to ask you ISTPs on this forum, hopefully you can help me out.

    I'm currently stuck in a "friends with benefits" relationship with an ISTP. We met half a year ago, started off as casual friends through a circle of common friends (we're college students). That lasted for about 4 months or so before he made a move on me, and we have been hooking up ever since. We are VERY physically attracted to each other, and (being a girl and a typical ENFJ), I started to develop some feelings for him. After a long month of feeling guilty and torturing myself psychologically for getting into such a messy situation, I finally dumped my feelings onto him, to which he responded he doesn't want a relationship right now.

    He insists that this is "not just a friends with benefits thing," and that I am not "replaceable by some random person." But because of his previous relationships (he just got out of a heartbreaking one just around the time we met), he needs the casualness right now. Just recently after I confessed my feelings to him, he acknowledged the emotional strain on my part and agreed that we needed to stop doing this and start working on the actual "friends" part, as our friendship had been mostly through the mutual circle of friends up until this point.

    He's definitely opening up to me more, but every time temptation takes over and in the heat of the moment we hook up again. We respect each other and have friendly conversations during the day, and at night, the sex is intimate and very fun and intense. One time when I teased him during, he even blurted out that he would "take this seriously" (though I don't know how much trust I can put into his words when he was desperate for some).

    I still have some feelings for him, but the situation doesn't hurt me as much as it did before because we are more open to each other as friends and lost much of the awkwardness and confusion that used to surround us before. But on the other hand, I can't help but search for signs that he may have developed some feelings towards me too.

    I want to know how easy it is for ISTPs to maintain a completely unemotional friends with benefits relationship. Also, what are the signs that he may be developing some feelings for me, and the signs that it's a completely casual thing?

  2. #2
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    If he said he's going to make an effort to take it seriously, you should take him at his word. If he's anything like me, that is a very hard thing to say. It's something I WANT to say, but I don't know who I want to say it to.. So I don't. I haven't said anything like that to anyone in some time.

    Anyways, good luck. Take it slow. Also, if he said he didn't want a relationship right now, it's not definite.

  3. #3
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    Thank you Rez, it definitely helps to know that but I have to consciously control myself to not keep my hopes up.

    From what I observed from the threads in SP Arthouse, it seems like ISTPs' true intentions are conveyed through action. I feel lots of attention and intimacy during sex, and afterwards too (he likes to cuddle a lot). But what makes me suspicious is the fact that he always says "we NEED to stop this!" and still somehow succomb to temptations and spontaneously act out on our physical attraction. Does that mean he's just trying to manipulate me into hooking up with him using the "friend" card and all he wants is just the pure physical part?

    Currently our understanding is still that the last hookup was going to be THE LAST hook up. But in the future if he tries to hook up with me again (which I am almost sure he will), what should be my action? I obviously am tempted too, but ultimately I want this to develop into something more solid before I can fully enjoy the physical aspect.

  4. #4
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Huh.. I really don't want to say what your action should be.. In the end, do what makes you feel good, right?

    Since you ask though, I'd suggest that you both just hang out/go on dates and do something both of you like. You could kind of keep it at the friend level, but nudge a little further. Try just having fun without sex next time. If it is going to move into a relationship at all, it's gotta be about how well you like each other as people in the end. It can't revolve around sex, and if he doesn't want to get to know you any other way, or be known for that matter, it's best to take a step back.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lasdf23 View Post
    I want to know how easy it is for ISTPs to maintain a completely unemotional friends with benefits relationship.
    He's a human, and sex is emotionally motivated, so unless he has brain damage of some sort, there is a 0% probability that his relationship with you is "unemotional."

    Confused?

    Remember, T doesn't mean he doesn't have emotions, or that he is unemotional. If he's anything like me, he may have very strong emotions, but he sees his emotions as having considerable limitations.

    So he may very strongly be attracted to you, and on some other level, really actually like you for whatever qualities you possess. And the sex might be really good. I don't think you can fake intimacy. When he said he can't just replace you with some random girl he just met, it's likely true. But for whatever reason, push comes to shove, he doesn't want to be in a relationship. There are a whole lot of reasons why this could be so. I can't say why - it could be anything to do with either of you and is dependent on the individual circumstances.

    My experiences in this realm have been: I don't think we would really meet each-other's needs. I can really like someone, admire some of their traits, be comfortable with them, and want to have sex with them, but not necessarily think we would make a good couple.

    So:

    But in the future if he tries to hook up with me again (which I am almost sure he will), what should be my action? I obviously am tempted too, but ultimately I want this to develop into something more solid before I can fully enjoy the physical aspect.
    Echoing other response, this is your call. I can't tell you what to do.

    But you said you are looking for "something more solid" before you can really enjoy the physical aspect. I interpret that as "having a clear definition" but I also suspect there is some trust involved in that.

    In that case, it might work for you to say, 'hey, we're friends, i like you as a person, and i'm really attracted to you. but you're not my soul mate.' And if that's mutually agreed upon, then you can enjoy a friendship, some companionship, and good intimacy for the time being (until either of you find "the one.")

    If you're not into that, or you don't like that, then don't do it. back off. stop seeing him for a while.

    One philosophy says "why waste time with someone who isn't the soul mate" while another says "why not make the best of the situation." Your call.

    My opinion: You have classes to go to, you can't spend all your time searching for Mr. perfect. Enjoy it. You're a modern woman, all that jazz - get your degree and career set up. Mr. Perfect (who won't actually be perfect) ideally should fit into your lifestyle. So figure out how you want to live your life for yourself and then find the companion to go with it. And enjoy the intimacy for now.

    So I recommend:
    - figure out: what do I want? are you ok hooking up and being friends? know this for yourself.
    - what is his deal? he might be worried about hurting your feelings, he might not feel the right kind of spark, he might be nervous about being hurt, or he might be like me and just not think you are quite right for each other - but he likes you. find out.
    - making a clear decision. seriously. lack of a clear plan/idea of what you want is a path that only leads to mediocrity and heartbreak. if you are into it, stay into it until it's done. if you're not into it, you need to create some distance, otherwise you're going to just be tempted by eachother - we know where that leads.


    WOW, long post. It's a topic that's been on my mind.

    Good luck.
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  6. #6
    Senior Member McRumi's Avatar
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    ISTPs are ready for real relationships at about the age of 40.
    In my experience, "FWB" rarely work for ISTPs.
    We tend to be all or nothing types.

  7. #7
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lasdf23 View Post
    I finally dumped my feelings onto him, to which he responded he doesn't want a relationship right now.

    He insists that this is "not just a friends with benefits thing," and that I am not "replaceable by some random person."
    Ugh, you are letting him mess with your heart, your head, and your body.

    This is a classic example of why FWB is a terrible idea.

    Is he emotionally and physically monogamous with you, yet putting a relationship on hold or

    is he sampling what life has to offer? If he is, then this guy does not deserve you.

  8. #8
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    why does f* ckn' have to become so complicated?

    :pornstar:

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sLiPpY View Post
    why does f* ckn' have to become so complicated?
    so you're saying friends with benefits can just be a strictly physical relationship to an ISTP then? (because it certainly won't be the case with me)

  10. #10
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    What he's really saying is that ISTP's are full of one-liners and abrasiveness. ;D

    My "F" says he means well.

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