Our arrangement was only supposed to be temporary. We were one another’s placeholder until something more suitable came along. Overall, this arrangement worked for us. Our friends and family knew that we were one another’s placeholder.
Our names were often listed together on wedding invitations, birthday parties, and other social events. This suited us both just fine. In fact, our friends with benefits status sustained us throughout our 20’s and into our mid 30’s. Until one fateful day, I met someone and the instant spark of attraction floored me. I had never felt so drawn to a man in my life. Not even my FWB.
The code of ethics surrounding our arrangement required that I inform my FWB of this new development in my life. To my secret disappointment, my FWB is not even fazed by my news.
“Cool,” he replies.
How can he be so casual about this? Shouldn’t he be a little more heartbroken?
“Thanks for understanding,” I reply.
“Sure thing,” he says.
An awkward beat of silence passes between us. I am forced to acknowledge the sadness that I am currently feeling. My entire 20’s were spent accompanying this man on countless adventures and long conversations. Yes, we both agreed to be each other’s placeholder but, in the back of my mind I thought that the ending of it would be a little bit more dramatic.
I am being a bit of a drama queen. I should just be thankful that he is being supportive of my journey. Yet, fear courses through me at the thought of permanently losing this FWB arrangement for good. I have never attended a wedding, party, or any other social gathering without him. Hell, most of my friends are married or otherwise coupled off. They are probably going to cease inviting me to their social outings.
Suddenly, the thought of being in a real relationship with chemistry doesn’t appeal to me so much. There is not a lot of chemistry between the FWB and me. In fact, we are more companions than lovers.
His voice cuts into my inner monologue. “I am glad that you brought this up because there’s this girl on my kickball team and I kind of like her. We’ve gone out for drinks a few times and we kind of click. I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to end our arrangement without hurting your feelings.”
His words run roughshod over my ego. How could some random chick on his kickball team be a better relationship candidate than I am? Perhaps, he has also discovered the joys of chemistry and is reluctant to settle for a companionship arrangement. Well, I guess it’s okay since I found someone else as well.