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Friends with benefits break up

Community Member

Hi, new poster here.

I recently was left by my 'friend with benefits' that is a self admitted commitmentphobe. Can't hold a job, girlfriend or where he lives. He dumped me by text message because he was 'confused' and is now ignoring me. We spoke every day at length, and like me also suffers from depression. I reached out after this saying I really wanted to meet to chat and say bye for closure, but he said he doesn't need closure.

I'm struggling to accept this and it's really pulling my self worth down. I didn't want anything more than what we had (neither did he) and I knew he would make a terrible partner. How can I stop continuing to idealize this in my head as something I want when I definitely don't. I've gone a week without contacting him, it's taking alot of self control.

I have been diagnosed with ptsd, depression and anxiety.

Thanks for all advice in advance.

8 Replies 8

Community Member

Could be that you’re lonely at the moment so it’s not so much him that you want. Could be that you want the companionship? Just keep yourself busy with other things in your life to take your mind off it. Hang out with girlfriends, go for a walk, read a book. Do what you need to do to clear your head.

I feel like if you knew that this guy is a commitment phobe you should have expected that the relationship could end at any time without warning. Unfortunately when you get into a friends with benefits relationship it’s just sex. There’s usually no emotional connection so it can ended at any point. Some girls think they can handle it and they can’t and subconsciously want more than what the guy is willing to give. If you can’t handle it don’t get into a friends with benefits situation in the first place. I never did that sort of thing because I knew I would get too attached. If you have depression, ptsd etc maybe being in that type of set up isn’t the best decision for you? Maybe you need something with a bit more stability? I think next time before you get into something like that you need to figure out if it’s the best thing for your life.

Community Member

Thanks for your reply Kim. I think the inverted commas around the friends with benefits, was that we did have an emotional connection, and it was just labelled as such to prevent him panicking and running away (fat load of good that did!)

You are right, it is companionship I'm lacking, and yes definitely true that I won't be doing this kind of thing again. You never know until you're in the middle of it though!

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Em bee,

I’m of a different opinion to Kim, in that I think that human beings know when there’s a connection between two people. If you felt it, I believe he did too and he may even be hurting now. But the thing with commitment phobe’s is, their issues prevent them from putting themselves out there for you. They feel closeness and for them it creates an intense anxiety that is extremely unpleasant. Once breaking it off, they will feel relief for a short-time, then once they have had space, they may feel comfortable reinitiating contact. But the problem is that this will then create that suffocated feeling again, and so the cycle is deemed to repeat itself over and over. It almost never ends well for the person involved with a commitment phobe, this is hard, but the alternative is harder. Sometimes making a list of all the things you want in a partner, or all the things he didn’t do, may help remind you in your weaker moments?

Community Member

Hi Juliet,

Thanks for this. Also very likely! As someone who is not a commitmentphobe it is something that is hard to relate to, and reading about it definitely makes me understand at face level, but I obviously can't fully understand those feelings.

This is a great idea, I'm doing it now 🙂

Community Member

I had a friends with benefits once and when he broke it up via txt too i was devestasted but i realised down the track that he was a emotinal manipulator who likes to plays games be with a good guy not a nice guy a good guy listens to you. Wants to hang out with you with out neededing sex all the time and speak to friends and get into an activity together it helped me

Thanks for this, I knew I wasn't the only one haha!

It's taken a couple of weeks but I now know that it's mostly to do with my own self worth, and I'm onto it. Yes he's an ass with issues but we've just gotta keep drumming into our head that we're better than that hey! Hopefully typing this logic will actually change my crappy brain patterns 😉

Community Member
I'm a little biased on the topic, but maybe you're feeling this way because either you want closure, or because you have real genuine feelings for him, and want to be in a committed relationship? When there is that "emotional connection" to me it shows that you're more than just friends. But like I said that's my biased opinion. Hope it all works out for ya.

Community Member

My ex broke up with me a couple of months ago. I still can’t believe it. He has commitment issues due to past relationships and his head is a mess. I have a feeling that he wants friends with benefits. The whole situation is confusing myself and a couple of friends that I confide in. Even my psych said that it sounds like that’s what he is after.

Has anybody gone from being in a relationship to friends with benefits due to the partner being a commitment phobe and/or going through depression? What were the rules? How did it work out for you?