How Do I Handle FWB With A Dismissive Avoidant Ex?

Question: Yangki, my DA ex said from the beginning that he’s not ready for a relationship. We’re FWB and getting close (thanks to your advice!) but I also feel that he thinks I want to get back together. He again said he’s not looking for anything serious and doesn’t want to lead me on. I want to tell him that I’m working on myself and not looking for anything serious so he feels safe with us being FWB.

Tbh, I’m happy with the way things are now; sex is great and he’s been opening up to me more than he ever did when we were together. We’ve talked about attachment styles and he said he might think of going to therapy, something he was so adamantly against when we were together. I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress and fear that he will pull away if he thinks I want to get back together. How do I reassure him and make him feel safe that he’s not leading me on. Should I be upfront and tell him I’m happy with being friends with benefits, and if so, any suggestions on what I should say? Thank you in advance.

Yangki’s Answer: Being friends with benefits with an ex, let alone a dismissive avoidant ex is not right or healthy for everyone, but it seems to be right for you – and working for you.

Should you be upfront and tell your dismissive avoidant ex that you’re happy with being friends with benefits? Yes.  Honesty and being upfront works better with most dismissive avoidants because they mostly take things at face value and don’t want to spend energy trying to guess what you mean. Guessing what an ex “really” means is an anxious attachment pass time and an unhealthy one. Also, because dismissive avoidant exes want honesty and take things at face value make sure it’s clear to him that you want to get back together at some point.

I suggest saying something along the lines, “I’ve been wanting to talk to you about your concern about leading me on. I understand that you’re not ready for a relationship and frankly neither am I. I still have a lot of work to do to get myself to where I feel happy with who I am and what I bring to the table as a partner. And for now, I’m happy with the way things are between us. I would like for us to continue doing what we’re doing and if in the future we think that we are both ready to give the relationship another chance, that’d be great. So don’t worry about leading me on. Let’s just enjoy what we have and each other”.

Phrase it in away that’s your tone and texting style. Every texter has their style of texting and some exes are sensitive to changes in style, and react to the style and wording rather than what the text says.


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