Interested in (possibly) someone else's FWB

Dear Toni,

I met this really nice girl 10 years ago through someone in my family. We've encountered each other repeatedly over the years in different social events and I've always been interested in her. I've been living abroad for the last few years, however when I've been back on visits with mutual friends, she has often been there.

For professional reasons I decided to move back to my hometown next month. When we talked about my move when I saw her just a few days ago, I felt like something really clicked if you know what I mean. She said some things that suggested she'd like us to start dating once I get back.

My main concern is that at some of the social events where we ran into each other, I saw her interacting intimately with another guy, always the same guy. I don't think they're a couple but they might have been some sort of friends with benefits.

So, I'm wondering if this will be a problem. I mean, is there a way to let her know that I don't have time to play games? It's not like she's the only girl I would ever want to date but she's a pretty good candidate. I guess I could try it out for a few months and just move on if I don't like it? Do you have any advice for someone like me who'd like to start a long-term relationship?
--Wants to Test the Uncertain Waters

Dear Wants to Test the Uncertain Waters--

Your question is interesting in that you actually come up with your own potential answer at the end. I think you are on the right track with your thinking, by the way.

Let's look at what you DO know here. This young woman has expressed an interest in you. You have maintained a fairly consistent interest in her over many years and social encounters. You know she has been seeing other people during the years you have known each other--after all, you were only acquaintances and she was an available single woman. I'm guessing that you have done some dating as well, maybe even had some short term relationships?

The key point here is that the timing appears to be in your favor now. Neither of you is in a committed relationship, and both of you want to date the other. The next step of course would be to ask her out and see how you two click on a date and beyond.

This is like any potential dating scenario. Boy and girl meet, both have an interest, girl subtly expresses hers and waits to see if boy will make his move. Sounds as though she has thrown the ball into your court. Now all you have to do is decide how if or how you want to play.

(from June 2011)

Want to read other columns on this subject?

"Tired of Always Settling"
List of more
"Help With Dating"

"Is it OK to date more than one man at a time?"


Toni Coleman, LCSW
Phone: 703-847-1768


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