Wanted: Unboyfriend

he's not my boyfriend

That doesn’t mean though that I don’t want to gather some nuts around me until springtime comes. Even I recognize that cold weather = more inside time = fewer opportunities to find victims. Which means it would behoove me to lock something down while I’m still tanned and looking segzy before the situation becomes dire. Enter the Unboyfriend.

Ah the unboyfriend. The holy grail of relationships. The mythical, magical, majestical (word to Bleek Gilliam) man who kinda acts like your man but isn’t your man. He surpasses the fuck buddy because you actually like him and he’s less dangerous than a friend with benefits because you don’t have all those blurry boundaries to confuse you. The unboyfriend is just a dude that you like and enjoy spending time with. He’s hawt and you are obviously sleeping with him (in the figurative if not the literal sense) but you also hang out with your clothes on.

But wait Max – how is that any different from a boyfriend? I can hear your brains buzzing with confusion, so let me break it down for you:

The number one way in which an unboyfriend differs from a boyfriend is this: he is not your boyfriend. Can’t really explain it any better than that. You know that conversation you have after you’ve been dating someone for a while where you both decide that you’re going to be boyfriend and girlfriend? Yeah you don’t have that with an unboyfriend.

Second: you have no intentions with this man; you’re not going to be moving in together or meeting each other’s families or getting a cat together. You are – in the immortal words of the great lovers Nina Mosely and Darius Lovehall – just kickin’ it.

Third and most important: It’s not an exclusive thing.

Now I would be irresponsible if I didn’t warn you that having an unboyfriend is not for the faint of heart. As a wise man once said, this is strictly for live men, not for freshmen. If you’re the type of gal who needs to declare your relationship status on facebook, an unboyfriend is not for you. If you want to walk down the street holding hands and bring him to Christmas dinner to meet your granny, stop reading now. And if you are the type of gal who needs exclusive rights to the peen, abort the unboyfriend-seeking mission immediately.

For many women, the unboyfriend seems like a recipe for disaster, but as a veteran of the unrelationship I can tell you that doesn’t have to be that way. When approached with the right attitude, an unboyfriend is a beautiful thing. Imagine it; you get to spend time with someone who respects you and actually cares what happens to you. You can trust him with at least your minor secrets. He will do you a favour and won’t expect pussy in return and even if he does it’s not a big deal because you’re giving it to him anyway. You can unleash your inner nuturer and occasionally cook him a meal or iron his briefs if that’s what you’re into without seeming like you’re trying to #swindle him into something. And at the same time you get to have your space – the unboyfriend does not need to see or even speak to you daily. You still have your freedom – you don’t have to consider his opinions when making your life choices, and you can feel free to change your hair all you want without worrying if he’ll like it. And the best part? If Idris Elba offers you a trip to heaven you’re free to hop on and ride him til the wheels fall off. Sounds like a win-win to me!

Like boyfriends, unboyfriends can be a bit tricky to find, but they’re a lot easier to deal with once you’ve got one.  I mean really, why buy the cow when all you want is the milk? So now that Auntie Max has schooled you, go get yourself an unboyfriend quick before the winter comes.

What do you guys think? Will an unrelationship work for you or do you need something more structured? Are you looking for something cheaper than a Canada Goose to keep you warm in the snow? Discuss in the comments.

bag lady. digital nerd. beauty junkie. shoe whore. i'm a sucker for big words and box-fresh kicks. know a little bit about a lot of things and have something to say about everything.

Comments 64

  1. HLBB says:

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  2. sweet tea says:

    This is funny cuz I read it a light bulb went off. I was with this guy who I thought was my boyfriend but it went sour because I was his ungirlfriend. Tricky thing. Lesson learned: communication is key.
    Can’t say I blame you for wanting one of these tho. All the perks and few of the cons of a real bf. Good luck.

  3. You are something else, you know that? Ha! The “unboyfriend”. Interesting post. I always make the assumption that no woman wants an unboyfriend, but here you go proving me wrong.

    More power to you, but I totally want to hold hands…and other things.

  4. Sukez says:

    Woooooooooooooooooooooo! I just got rid of an unboyfriend because he wanted to be a boyfriend with someone else. I need a replacement!! O_O 🙂

    Great Post Maxxx!! Triple X needed. Unboyfriends are so much fun. Now that I think about it, I just might have one. *waits for text*

  5. stephanie says:

    Thanks Auntie. Max….

    what do you do when your unbf is pressing you for a relationship???

    1. max says:

      It depends. If you want to be in a relationship with him too then I guess you get to negotiating. If not, abort mission. Trust me – there is no more obnoxious a man than one who wants something that a woman doesn’t want to give him. Bad things will happen.

      1. fixedwater says:

        cosigned fully

  6. CHeeKZ Money says:

    Some how Max is managing to de-value male what men bring to a relationship with every post. I feel like my worth is being limited to dirty chex and fixing things around her apartment.

    I’ll wait for Most Interesting to come along to say something deep and make me feel better about myself.

    1. max says:

      Hahahaha Cheekz dirty chex and fixing things are the two most important things a man can bring to my table. Everything else is just wasting time.

  7. Sam Sharpe says:

    Preach Maxie Preach….

    Not too, too long ago I was an unboyfriend…and just when I thought things were running smooth she went and caught a serious case of “where do we stand I think you should be my man-itis”…Left me with no choice. Had to cut myself loose. Pity though. Her poon was off the charts. Anyway, love the post. I swear you’ve been on fire lately. You just know I’d love a post with a ‘Mo Better Blues’ AND a ‘Love Jones’ reference.

    I only wish you’d written this post about a year and a half ago…

    1. max says:

      Although I abhor a woman who tries to defile something as beautiful as the unrelationship, I can’t say I really blame her. Given the fact that you are damn near imaginary, I’m sure a lot of women want to club you over the head and lock you in a cage.

  8. interesting. careful before you find that unboyfriend that you’ll want to husband up. seriously i think the only difference between an unboyfriend and a boyfriend is the woman involved. she wants all the perks of a boyfriend but doesn’t want any of the responsibility.

    1. max says:

      “she wants all the perks of a boyfriend but doesn’t want any of the responsibility.”


    2. Sukez says:

      But I think the guy has some of these feelings too of not wanting the responsibility of having a girlfriend, hence why the two would get into this unrelationship. For the unboyfriend thing to work, don’t we have to agree to some unwritten ungirlfriend terms too?

      1. max says:

        Please men have been taking the “salad bar” approach to relationships since Jesus was a wee boy. They should have no complaints about this.

        1. Sam Sharpe says:

          The more I was thinking about it, the more I realized that it’s not always the girls fault that the unrelationship doesn’t work. Often the dude is ok with the situation so long as he’s the only one who gets to sample from the “salad bar”….Even if they’re not willing to wife up a lady many male egos can’t stand the fact that another dude may also get in where they fit in….the girl who can’t handle the unrelationship might be a prude, might be a bitch…but that dude with the old double standard can be an insecure punk ass muthaf****

          1. max says:

            And that right there is why we love Sam Sharpe.

          2. Sukez says:

            Hey! That’s where I was!! Before I left the unrelationship. *sigh* Max, I’m fav’n this post and it’ll show up on my tumblr one day [soon]. No pun but wham, bam, Thank you Sam.

            1. Sam Sharpe says:

              Ha, Wham bam thank you Sam. Can’t believe I never thought of that one myself. Anyway, you are welcome!

          3. CHeeKZ Money says:

            I gotta be honest Sam, I have fond myself getting tight and territorial when a slide off or unGF starts flirting with another dude. Various reasons. I try to tell myself, I am only being nosy into her outside of ‘CHeeKZ life’ bc I want to make sure some dude isn’t going to wife her up and take away my buns. But truth of the matter is I am not into sharing when I am not the one who offered up my share. Most of the time I am just tight b/c I don’t know if she gave him head or not and I can’t be kissing a chick that is actively sucking another dude off. Than lastly I’m tight over the whole ‘whose better and if I’m knocking down the walls why do you need that clown for’ immature game

            1. Sam Sharpe says:


              I feel you. Don’t get me wrong, the idea of any lady sucking another man off then trying to push her tongue in my mouth doesn’t make me feel good. And I’m totally with you on the “well I’m breaking you off proper why do you need that fool” mindest. I’m not saying it’s easy to get over that shit. But in my experience it just caused me too much head and heartache. Though it also brought out the competitor in me, made me put in SERIOUS work….who am I kidding though. For us men it’s a huge hurdle to get over…Ultimately I found it useful to adopt a don’t ask don’t tell policy.

      2. don’t be fooled. what if said boy is hanging with said girl thinking they are just kicking it and then he catches feelings. it just doesn’t happen to women.

        1. SDot says:

          Exactly what I mean! I’ll be back to comment some more on this lol

        2. max says:

          You’re right. It happens to both and it’s actually more disastrous when the man catches feelings because – unlike all you e-men who can actually form a declarative sentence – he never lets the girl know and instead starts acting like an effing jackass for no discernable reason.

          1. you know i’m actually starting to question the type of man you attract. no shots to you but these dudes just seem comical.

            1. max says:

              It’s Toronto dudes. Don’t let Sam Sharpe sway your perception of how craptastic the men in this city are.

              1. fixedwater says:

                It is not exclusive to Toronto believe me!

        3. Sukez says:

          Like you were saying, it just doesn’t happen to women but the way you said,

          …seriously i think the only difference between an unboyfriend and a boyfriend is the woman involved. she wants all the perks of a boyfriend but doesn’t want any of the responsibility…

          made it seem like women were the ones that are denying responsibility but not the guys who want the “un-gf”. Then you said,

          don’t be fooled. what if said boy is hanging with said girl thinking they are just kicking it and then he catches feelings. it just doesn’t happen to women.

          Confused the hell outta me because now you’re saying how I felt. I just think it always – regardless of the situation – depends on the individual. Some people aren’t even emotionally stable for an un-S.O. despite a given warning or not. The world sucks. Along with its Crazies. *sigh* Long day. Disassembled comment. Hope that made sense though.

  9. funms says:

    yaaaaay! i have an unboyfriend…….yep i agree, not for the faint of heart and it’s working well for me cuz i am at a phase that i don’t want any boyfriend right now, my emotions are frozen…hopefully the unboyfriend situation works out really well and doesn’t start getting too ‘boyfriendly’…..

  10. average chick says:

    YOU ARE THE MOTHERF@*KING SHIT!!!!!! I LOVE this post. I really hope more people start reading your blog because your voice is how alot of women feel. I completely agree with this. I have one and there is no way in the world that I would want him for my man.

    1. max says:

      Thank you thank you 🙂

  11. Reecie says:

    this works. you gotta determine for yourself if the guy is worthy of unboyfriend or boyfriend status. I’ve had both, and the un never becomes the real deal boyfriend. I’ve been the ungirlfriend too–and of course that shit aint last long because I wanted to be the real girlfriend, lol. but if its only for the cuddle season it can work…maybe longer. depends on the people involved.

    1. max says:

      My last unrelationship was like 4 years. He was amazing but there were just a couple of things about him that rendered him ineligible for long-term status. I think that’s the key to a good unrelationship….it can’t be someone you’re just passing time with but it also can’t be someone that you would want to marry either.

  12. Iceburg says:

    See that’s all men want… however women get it mixed up & let feelings get involved and it fucks everything up.
    Women let’s be real can you really handle this?

    1. max says:

      Yes but SOME men pick women for unrelationships even though they know and their friend warn them repeatedly that they cannot handle it and then act surprised when the women go batshit crazy and lock them up in their house.

    2. fixedwater says:

      SOME women can. Some fool themselves into thinking they can. But some men don’t like the idea that a women could be okay with this set up, start getting possessive and screw the whole thing up.

  13. At one point in my life I was the king of being an unboyfriend. But you know what being an unboyfriend lead to… disappearing. Eventually when the fun of being an unboyfriend died, and she started wanting me to do boyfriendly stuff which, at some point, 99.9% of women do… 2 words… “I’m gone”.

    And therein lay the problem. Being in an unrelationship is like being in purgatory. You can’t stay in purgatory forever. Eventually, you’re gonna either go to hell or go to heaven. According to Gabriel and them, most times, when you go to purgatory, your next stop is usually hell… that’s what I heard at least. (sidebar – in real life – I don’t believe in purgatory). Point is, why go to Purgatory when you can just change a few things and go straight to heaven.

    But I wasn’t always like this, and I understand the appeal of unrelationships. If I were a man of lesser standards I would write a post explaining, for men not quite ready to settle down, exactly how to swindle a woman desirous of a long term relationship into accepting, and being happy with an unboyfriend. It is, of course, not nearly as much fun being in an unrelationship with a woman who actually wants an unrelationship (Like Max) as it is to control and manipulate a woman who actually wants a real relationship into settling for an unrelationship… but I’m better than that. So I’ll just say this… at one point, I was the King of being an unboyfriend. I stopped because all it did was leave her hurt, and me ambivalent towards someone who I, in the past, had moderate feelings for.

    Max, you been putting your foot in these posts lately – phenomenal job.

    1. That was for my homey Cheekz by the way…

      1. CHeeKZ Money says:

        ***confidence raising***

        1. NaijaSweetz says:

          I’m probably going to instantly be Max’s least favorite commenter because I’ve silently browsed through months’ worth of posts and am coming out of lurking simply to drop a “lmao” @ Cheekz & TMI(ha).

          I guess I should probably contribute in some way to the topic at hand. I’m that chick who can’t do the open relationship or unboyfriend ish. The “most important” point listed in the post is my main reason — I do not (intentionally) deal in non-exclusive transactions. Also, I want it all, or nothing at all. If there is no hope of a solid partnership, I can’t be bothered. It’s fun having people who fill in the missing pieces here and there (calling frequently, doing non-physical bf-ish things), but if there’s any kind of real attraction/chemistry, I’d rather not open a can of worms.

    2. keisha brown says:

      i love maxilicious like cooked food and thanksgiving leftovers..but um.. yeah.. dunno about this one. but hey..that’s just me.
      i think the un-whatever is just a front. like bisexuality.
      thanks to the most interesting for putting it in perspective in an eloquent way..
      *swoons for the cunning linguists (typists?) that max brings her yard.

  14. Andressa says:

    Ooooh I recently “locked” down an unboyfriend. Not that winter EVER reers it’s ugly head south of the equator. But still–I’m anywhere temporarily but long enough to get stir crazy…I’ll need to launch a recruitment fair (read: posting up at beaches). It is a beautimous thing when done right. I co-sign

  15. B_P says:

    Max, what if you start to have true feelings for the unboyfriend? How do you make them stop? Do you just up and walk away?

    1. Nick@Nite says:

      That’s exactly the issue.. I’m not sure I can enter into something with the express rule that feelings won’t develop.. I don’t like those kind of restrictions, and don’t like thinking that I have to be afraid of keeping feelings at bay..
      too much energy..

    2. max says:

      You play your position. This is where women go wrong in this situation. They think that the fact that their feelings have changed means that they can unilaterally change the terms of the unrelationship. It doesn’t work that way.

      If you develop feelings you have two choices: 1. Discuss it with the dude and see if he wants to make the relationship more official. 2. Get out of the situation and find a man who wants to have a relationship with you.

      1. fixedwater says:

        max, you are so in my head

  16. Nick@Nite says:

    Luckily for me, we don’t get cold weather where I am, so I don’t fall victim to the “winter boo” phenomenon..
    But that’s besides the point..

    I already know how I am.. An unboyfriend is not for me.. I don’t really share my food, much less share a man.. I was stuck in an unboyfriend type of situation.. It got hairy, and now, as opposed to being at my house 5 days a week, he got cut off and we might speak twice a week. Quite a step back.
    But I’m happy..

    We already know how I feel about making my personal life complicated.. I ain’t got that kinda time..

    1. Dash says:

      It got cold enough in Tally for people to go Cuffing Season crazy.

      1. Nick@Nite says:

        I’m at the bottom of the map.. 70 degrees is considered a cold front and hardly lasts longer than a week..
        I’m good..

  17. Dash says:

    I was an unboyfriend. I prefer to describe those setups with the term felationship, a word I coined. Felationships make “normal” relationships seem like prisons in comparison.

    1. max says:

      1. I love the word felationship. Only you could come up with such a thing.
      2. “Felationships make “normal” relationships seem like prisons in comparison.” is EXACTLY right.

  18. Streetz says:


    You are on fire with these posts. I did the unbf thing, but like a hot streak in Vegas, you gotta ride it till the wheels fall off then know when to get off before your trip is delayed.

  19. MsEsquire77 says:

    I refuse to co-sign this post but I love you Max 🙂

  20. LaBakir says:

    LOVE IT!!!

    there’s this guy who popped back into my life who is perfect unboyfriend material…b/c it would take a miracle and the 2nd coming (II) for us to work. He doesn’t understand why him hustling and the neck tattoos are an issue for me. He wants me to be his girl….why can’t he just accept unboyfriend status?


  21. Cheryl says:

    Okay, can somebody say dysfunctional? I’m sorry, maybe I’m being a wee bit cynical but I don’t see it. Is this supposed to be some sort of self-imposed, reverse psychology so I can cater to my broken ego thing? Have some of us women actually…ACTUALLY…convinced ourselves that this is what we want and that it is okay to settle (okay sure, lemme guess, “No, it’s not settling) because deep down we believe this so-called “unboyfriend” is all we will end up with in the end anyway? Or for some reason, believe that we cannot maintain or deserve the latter (i.e. a real relationship aka boyfriend)? When did we say f*ck it! If you can’t beat ’em..join ’em, right? Oh, hell naw. Get outta here with this crap. This is not coming correct. Yes, the whole concept is completely over my head LOL. It’s like skirting around the very thing that deep down you truly desire. YES! This is painfully obvious to everyone else but blind to YOU. Simply, having an “unboyfriend” in the first place indicates that deep down you want an honest companionship in your life but for some reason you have something to prove, or too chicken to admit it, and/or put in the work. If not, why else would someone entertain this cheap, generic bullshit version of a relationship. Both men and women are better than putting themselves (hearts, minds, bodies, spirit, and desires) up for rent. Girl, you can lie to yourself but I’m not buying it. Been there, done that and it’s got to be all or nothing from here on.

    1. max says:

      Um, wow Cheryl. Thanks for commenting?

  22. Oh my god, this is TOTALLY what I have going on right now only we talk to each other every day. My mom has met him (since I live with mom while in school) and is always always asking me “Why aren’t you two dating?!” and my friends refer to him as my “boyfriend” and I always say he isn’t. We care about each other. Love sexing each other. We’re also completely non-exclusive (but not fucking around, I dig that he isn’t trying to tie me down and run my life). It’s awesome, it’s like having that hawt best friend you never got to bang but being able to bang him. It’s so great cause I’m stupid busy these days working on my career, more college and working multiple jobs and he understands that I don’t want to get involved in a relationship until my finances are right in life (and he’s the same way). It’s not about the sex though, it’s about the human connection between us.

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