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Power and Balance

This is just an update/stream of consciousness about the state of my new fwb relationship. Minor/trivial, etc.

As I've mentioned in a few places, I'm in a new fwb relationship that I'm generally pretty pleased with, but it involves a lot of re-framing in my head. Historically, I tend to give up a lot of agency if I'm not careful, framing things around the relationship and whether the person wants me, rather than around my life and how/whether the relationship fits in.

I've been doing really well consistently re-framing for the last two weeks, with some minor readjustments over the weekend to get myself back on my "awesome life AND awesome sex" track, rather than "awesome sex at the expense of the rest of my life". Yesterday, though, was feeling a little nasty.


When we decided this was going to be more than a one-night-stand, we set clear boundaries for overall expectations. He's leaving after graduation and not in a good place for a serious relationship, which is fine in my book. I went home with him knowing that in the first place.

Where it gets a little murky is that we didn't set boundaries and expectations for how much we would see each other, what communication should look like, etc. I let him take the lead for the first week, leading to me sleeping over 5 out of 8 nights, tons of awesome sex, and him messaging me frequently and over long periods of time. This was pretty great in my book, but I was idly wondering what separated this from a dating relationship.

This week, thus far, communication and visits have dropped off significantly. Again, whatever, but I was getting uncomfortable. Because we didn't discuss expectations in this area, I was trying to feel them out, but I wasn't getting much back. I felt like I had surrendered or lost my power in the relationship (whatever you call fwbs — it's a relationship between people, just not a dating relationship), because I was putting energy out and not getting much back. Quite frankly, this makes me feel really shitty, because this is the negative status quo that I end up slipping into — the guy defines when we meet and how based on how I fit into his life, and I bend over backward to fit him into mine. Not healthy, and I am not interested in doing that again.

So last night, I just said that we need to talk about expectations here, because I was not sure where they stood in his world, especially in light of last week (all initiated by him). He agreed. Today, I feel significantly better.


It might be wrong to think of relationships in terms of power between people, but I feel like I've regained the power I held originally and somehow lost a little over this week. We're equal partners in this thing, and I hate feeling like a supplicant asking for attention. Even if we decide to end this, it's better to do it in a way where I feel some measure of control than allowing the other person to entirely dictate how things go.

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