Ask Austin

Ask Austin

Friends With Benefits?


I’ve had two separate Friends with Benefits (FWB) relationships in the last few years. The sex was spectacular and I ended up having feelings for both of them. It wasn’t reciprocated and both men went on to other women. Since then, I’ve found a new FWB and it just ended by his choice this week. He just stopped calling with no reason and hasn’t responded to any of my texts. Austin, how do you feel about FWB arrangements and how can women like me who crave love and validation from men stop sabotaging themselves by accepting an FWB arrangement?  -Kristy

Hey Kristy,

The infamous Friends With Benefits conundrum, huh?

On the surface, it has all the makings of the perfect coupling. Two sex-crossed lovers, lots of slam dancing and zero strings attached. After all, this isn’t courting…it’s copulating. That means the guy gets to slowly peel away the lace from that dreamy whisker biscuit despite the fact he probably won’t be taking this chick home to mom. For the girl, she still gets that much-needed bang on the bathroom floor despite the fact he isn’t exactly her type. Which is one reason she’s there in the first place, right? Precisely. Who cares if he’s always broke or passes more gas than a fleet of Chevron trucks? To her, he’s a damn fine lay and it’s a match made in nookie heaven as far as they’re both concerned. Everyone gets what they need.

If only it were that simple.

The truth is, a friends with benefits arrangement almost never works out the way you want it to. Anytime you introduce sex into the picture you complicate things. In theory, everyone should remain friends while sweating each other up against the wall, but the reality is much more complex. We’re emotional creatures by nature and sex is the ultimate emotional act. Even if you don’t think so, your soul knows better.

Case in point: You’re lying naked in bed with your bang buddy in the throes of post-orgasmic bliss. You already know that men are never more honest than in the few short moments following a kick-ass orgasm, but even so, you’re hardly prepared for what comes next. Your toes have only just begun uncurling when he casually mentions that he and a co-worker shared a few drinks and an intimate kiss a few nights earlier at a local bar. Against your better judgement, but with your ‘friend’ hat firmly atop your head, you press him for more details. It isn’t long before you learn he spent the evening at her place.

No big deal right?

Wrong!

All of a sudden, you’re awash in sea of conflicting emotions. On one hand, you don’t care. On the other, you’re absolutely raging but don’t really know why. It shouldn’t matter, should it? After all, you’re just friends…..

Unfortunately, this happens ALL the time when two ‘friends’ hook up. Someone eventually develops an emotional attachment, a sense of entitlement, or starts romanticizing the relationship into something it isn’t. When this happens, the ‘friends’ aspect ceases to exist and it becomes exactly the type of complication you were hoping to avoid in the first place.

Ironic, huh?

Kristy, a friends with benefits deal is the ultimate consolation prize. It’s a great way to scratch that itch by hangin’ and bangin’ until something better comes along. But what happens when something better comes along for him and not for you? Or the other way around? Therein lies the problem. Someone always gets the shaft. It’s funny how quickly the whole ‘friends’ thing can evaporate when people start feeling used, jilted or otherwise slighted.

My advice? Please don’t be the woman who longingly pines for more or gets emotionally involved. I know that can be a tall order, but looking for love or validation in the arms of your boink buddy is a fool’s quest. If that’s your goal, it can only end badly for you. A man might tell you the time isn’t right or that he’s too busy for a relationship, but you and I both know that’s just a cover story. What he’s really telling you is that you’re not his Mrs. Right. You’re Miss Right now.

Kristy, try your best to think like a man on this one. Put your thinking cap on the little head and don’t view friends with benefits as anything other than pure, unbridled carnal pleasure. Anything above and beyond that and you’re just asking for trouble or heartache.

That’s The Unfiltered Truth, my friend.

Austin

Ask Austin

Do You Make This Dating Mistake?


Hey Austin – I’m divorced and have been back in the dating world for a few years now. I’ve met some good men but they don’t stick around long enough to develop a ‘real’ relationship. “Ghosting” is my new normal. I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. I am decent looking, fit, educated and have a great sense of humor. I just can’t seem to find a man that will commit to me for more than a few months. HELP!  – Hannah

Hey Hannah,

Thanks for the note. Unfortunately, your tale is an all-too-common one. Many guys are notorious for doing a one-eighty and hauling ass in the opposite direction early in the game. This is ESPECIALLY true when the woman starts talking commitment.

Here’s what you need to know:

A woman on the prowl to lock a man down gives off a vibe a guy can sense a thousand miles away. So if men are consistently pulling a Harry Houdini disappearing act, that tells me everything I need to know. If I had to guess, I’d say you’re wearing your heart on your sleeve with an air of low-grade desperation that drives these dudes to make a break for the hills faster than you can say ‘wedding cake.’

Hannah, I understand you want the safety and security a good relationship can bring. We all do. It gives us a sense of peace and satisfaction when we have someone we can call our own. But when we allow our insecurities or fears about the future to influence the way we behave in our relationships, it’s a recipe for disaster. As an example, I can’t tell you how many women try to plan a future with men they’ve known only a few weeks or months. Ladies, if you want to drive men away, this is the way to do it. Do yourselves a favor and breathe for a moment. Slow your roll and just enjoy being together. There’s no need for a commitment at this stage in the game. No need to determine if this guy is ‘THE ONE’. When you take this approach, you force the relationship forward unnaturally, not to mention risk driving the guy away. I don’t want to sound like a new age mystic, but if a relationship is going to work the way it should, it will naturally evolve to the point where the two of you look at each other and just know there is no one else.

Here’s an example from my life:

One of my best relationships ever was with a woman named Lauren. When Lauren and I first met, we were both seeing other people. But over the course of the first several months, we found that we enjoyed each other’s company so much that it didn’t make sense to continue the other relationships.

So they naturally fell by the wayside.

During that time, Lauren never pushed me to define the nature of “us” or asked me for a commitment. She was secure enough in herself that she didn’t feel the need to pressure me, label us, or define our ‘status.’ It didn’t matter to her. She just enjoyed the time we spent together. I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to just be with a woman who was comfortable in her own skin. She didn’t need me to validate her or make her feel whole and that was incredibly appealing for a confident man like myself. As a result, I found myself drawn to her all that much more. So over the course of our first six months together, I stopped “playing the field” to focus on her exclusively. It wound up being one of the most amazing and fulfilling relationships of my entire life. When Lauren and I talked about this much later, she told me she got what she wanted without even trying.

There’s a lesson there for all of us.

Hannah, I know how challenging dating after a breakup can be. But one of the great things about being single again is the chance to give ourselves a fresh start. A do-over. Granted, some women choose to be single while others have the decision made for them, but either way it can be a golden opportunity to do things right the second time around and make it all about YOU for once. After all, you’re older, wiser and in a position to know what you DON’T want. How cool is that? Many people don’t get this opportunity. Instead, they remain trapped inside lifeless, abusive or passionless relationships for the sake of money, children or just pure convenience.

That’s no way to live.

The famous author, Jack London, once wrote ‘The proper function of man is to live, not just to exist.’ So as I see it, Hannah, this is your chance to really start living again. On YOUR terms. It’s time to fall in love with yourself all over again and realize that YOU – not the man – are the prize in the game of love. As I always say, it is NOT your job to make a man love you… It’s your job to love yourself so much a man CAN’T HELP but love you. Once you realize this simple truth, your whole life will change. People (men AND women!) will gravitate towards you in ways you can’t begin to imagine.

Trust me on this one.

Hannah, the best relationships in life are the ones that just naturally happen. The ones that aren’t forced. So enjoy the journey and don’t worry so much about the destination. I’ll bet when you look back on your life, the people with whom you had the best connection and chemistry are the people who naturally gravitated towards you and you to them. With no pressure or expectations.

Your relationships with men should be no different.

All the best to you,

Austin

Ask Austin

The Worst Thing I’ve Ever Done


Austin – My fiancé cheated on me a couple of years ago with a co-worker. We broke up and I recently took him back. Everything was fine up until about a month ago. Now he’s keeping his phone close and private like before. My gut tells me something isn’t right but every time I bring it up he gives me a guilt trip and says I need to trust him for our relationship to work. What are your thoughts on this? Please help. –  Lisa

Hey Lisa,

I get some variation of this question almost every day on, so please know that you’re FAR from alone on this one.

Every healthy relationship needs to be rooted in mutual respect, admiration and trust. That said, yours unfortunately sounds like a recipe for disaster.

You have two HUGE problems right off the bat.

First, your pussy-hound of a fiancé has already proven he’s willing to cheat on you. Second, the fact he keeps his phone close to him is probably all the confirmation you need. Short of you walking in on him with another woman, I don’t know what other kind of sign you want.

Lisa, like a lot of men, I’ve been untrue to some of my partners. I’m not proud of it, but it’s something I did and I can’t change the past. But the best thing about having a reformed bad boy like myself as an advocate for women is I know every trick in the book guys use. Hell, my ex-wife would even tell you I wrote the damn book. But you know what? I wouldn’t trade my experiences for all the tea in China. Without them, I wouldn’t have the wisdom and knowledge to help others like I do.

You mentioned your fiancé is keeping his cell phone close to him and says you need to trust him for your marriage to work. This classic Male Manipulation 101 stunt. It’s the same trick I’ve used several times myself.

Listen to this story……

When I was younger, I was dating Kelly and Ashley at the same time, neither of whom knew about the other. One evening Kelly confronted me and told me she suspected I was dating someone else. With my back literally and figuratively up against the wall, I did exactly what your fiancé and so many guys do when they find themselves in a jam….we  lie our asses off at any cost.

I first unloaded on Kelly telling her she was incredibly insecure and that she needed to get a grip. Then I ripped into her saying I couldn’t believe after all the time we had spent together that she actually had the audacity to suggest I was dating another woman. I finished my rant by telling her she was free to walk out the door if that’s what she really believed. I even pointed at the door.

Can you BELIVE that??

What a dick!

I fired the weight of a two-ton manipulation hammer while making her feel like she was the crazy one daring to question me.

And guess what?

It worked.

Even though she was no wilting flower, Kelly ended up apologizing later that night as so many women often do.

How awful is that?

And to add insult to injury…less than twelve hours later I was deep inside Ashley, thereby proving Kelly’s suspicion.

Lisa, as I mentioned earlier, every healthy relationship needs to be rooted in mutual respect, admiration and trust. There is very little, if any, trust in this relationship from what I can see. The fact you feel the need to look through your fiancés phone should tell you everything you need to know. Please learn from the wisdom of my experience and don’t play the fool by continuing the relationship if your gut is telling you something isn’t right.

Because like Kelly, even if you ask, it’s unlikely you’ll get the truth from him.

Austin “Former Bad Boy” Blood