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I'm a 22-year-old female studying abroad and have recently begun hooking up with someone I met while traveling. I've never been amazing at friends-with-benefits situations but I don't have a desire to date this guy and he doesn't either. I tend to get attached or latch on to small issues or instances. Recently, we were hooking up and he called me by his friend's name. Twice. Those two are quite close, she is FWB with someone else, and she looks kind of like me. I suspect that he probably likes her and can't have her so he found someone who kind of looks like her to make up for it. I questioned him at the moment when he used the wrong name but we both kind of ignored it after and he made some passing excuse and kept going (we both were on substances). I know we aren't dating but if we hook up again I want to know I'm there because I'm wanted. I don't want to seem too pushy but I also want to tell him it's not OK to make that mistake again. It made me feel bad about myself and like I wasn't desired in that situation. Is there a way for me to say "don't do that again" or "this is the respect I want in our FWB relationship" without seeming too hung up on it?

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Second Choice

You want to be wanted. That's understandable, SC. Everyone wants to be wanted. We particularly want to be wanted by the people we're sleeping with. But what if this boy wanted you—at least initially—because you kind of looked like this other girl? What if he desired you—at least initially—because you kind of looked this other girl? Would that really be so awful?

I don't think so.

If I'd met a guy named Melvin who closely resembled Jason Patric in 1987—when I was 22 and Patric was 20 and starring in The Lost Boys—it's entirely possible I would've... no, scratch that. I can say with absolute certainty that I would've gone home with Melvin because he looked like Patric. And while Melvin's resemblance to Patric would've drawn me in, it wouldn't have been enough to hold my interest. Hanging with Melvin, sexing with Melvin, talking with Melvin—if Melvin revealed himself to be a total idiot/fuckwit/Reaganite during the discovery process that is dating and/or FWB'ing, I would've stopped seeing Melvin and gone off in search of some other boy who looked like Jason Patric (or Andy Gibb or Parker Stevenson or Jon-Erik Hexum). But if I had kept seeing Melvin, it would've meant that Melvin brought more to the table—and the mattress—than his resemblance to Jason Patric.

That said, I'm not the boy you're FWB'ing while studying abroad, SC. It's possible he's using you in way I wouldn't have used Melvin. So you should ask him what he's doing and decide for yourself 1. whether he's into you for you and 2. whether you're going to keep FWB'ing this guy.

So tell him you know he had a thing for this other girl, this girl you resemble, and tell him that's okay—if that's what attracted him to you at first, that's understandable. But you want to sleep with guys who are into you for you, SC, not just into you because you remind them of someone else. Tell him you're willing to give him a pass for the two times he called you by this other girl's name; add that you don't think it's funny so you can't bring yourself to laugh it off. You are, however, willing to shrug it off—if he's into you for you.

Because if all he's doing is masturbating into you while he fantasizes about a girl he'd rather be with—if all you are is a consolation prize—that's not okay, it's hurtful, and you can't shrug that off.

Then listen to what he has to say, SC. If he admits to be drawn to you at first because you looked like his crush, think of me and Melvin. It's okay if the resemblance was the initial draw. But he's gotta want you for you—and he's gotta use your name during sex, not hers. He might lie to you, of course, so you'll have to assess what he says, how he says, and make up your own mind about whether he's being truthful.


Listen to my podcast, the Savage Lovecast, at www.savagelovecast.com.

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