At my last morning get together with my girlfriends the topic swayed between a few hair-raising online dating experiences, some relationship issues, our gratitude for the invention of laser hair removal and my friend with benefits.us girls meet about once every two months and the topic of my casual relationship with my friend always arises with the same questions hovering between concern, disapproval and support. Granted, girls tell each other way more than we should and they don’t like his reasons for not wanting a relationship with me. to be equally fair, my ‘friend’ isn’t what I’m looking for in a life partner either. He has grown to be a dear friend, companion and lover but the ingredients that are missing aren’t strong enough to tear us apart or pull us closer together either.
To be a couple and sustain a committed relationship you need to have the vital ingredients: Chemistry, Commitment and Communication (which I call the 3 C’s).He and I have the chemistry and the communication, which is good enough to be friends, but the commitment to what we want out of a relationship isn’t there. Life doesn’t have to be all or nothing but if you can’t both agree on what the 3 C’s mean to you then your foundation of the conventional ‘couple’ might not be as solid as you think. If there is one C that outweighs the other then why not make that relationship work around it.Sometimes that means that a lack of chemistry will result in a beautiful friendship and far too many walk away from special people when they realise that they won’t be a couple. The same goes for the chemistry that totally outshines the other C’s and could potentially result in a bond based on sex.
Chemistry results in sex, but sex does not necessarily have the ingredients to result in a workable agreement between friends who intend to shag each other whenever the urge dictates. Friendship needs a little more than what the chemistry can offer.
Maybe it’s wise to clarify a friend with benefits: two single people who, for their own reasons, choose to form a sexual relationship with each other to fulfill their own personal needs.Basically, you are using each other for sex to either fill a void, avoid screwing around, keep yourself single or have your fair share of sex while you wait for ‘the one’.
If ever you think you are cut out to have this ‘friend’ you need to be damn clear that you can handle the facts: like why the other person doesn’t want anything more than sex from you, the conversations about the other people they are dating in the hope of finding ‘the one’ or their commitment issues and the gratitude that they can have their cake and eat it.
Trust is personal. You need to know your intentions and the reason why you are either wanting or agreeing to this ‘non-committal commitment’.
Can you see how the concept of a ‘friend’ that you have sex with on a regular basis may seem very unhealthy unless you are single, sexual and totally aware of the power of your choices?
I am not one to bark out do’s and don’t’s but because the non-rule rules of having a friend with benefits are as casual as the very act of the ‘relationship’, I might need to share what makes it work for me, because it can be the most fulfilling or most damaging friendship you ever have.
I know because I have been living it for nearly a year and a half and every time we are together my ‘friend’ and I have to check in with our egos, integrity, respect for ourselves and respect for each other. every good-bye doesn’t have a commitment of ‘see you again’ and sometimes we are wishing each other luck for a date or cheering each other on by telling the other not to worry because ‘that special someone’ is out there. mad right?
My friends always ask the same question: ‘Why can’t you be a couple?’It is fine for anyone else to ask you that question, but if you are asking yourself or your ‘friend’ that question then you might not be cut out for casual sex with a friend.Don’t listen to the rules about it working or not working if sex comes before the friendship or you ended up shagging an old friend on a lonely night. If you can’t forget the rules then you need to rethink your ability to do this. If you find yourself justifying to anyone, rationalising it for yourself or have any jealousy about the other’s life without you then you might not have the gusto for this unusually satisfying arrangement.
If you are shagging a friend and either of you is otherwise attached … that is not a friend with benefits … that is cheating.
Even though you are not dating, truth is so vital that it bonds you closer than you would believe. Trust is key and it fuels your right to have sex with that person that you respect and who respects you in return.Don’t shag someone you think is hot but insensitive and call them your ‘friend’. Don’t have a one nighter with someone before discussing who you are to each other and hope you wake up with the next play date and the label ‘friends with benefits’.
Making love to a partner where you have the 3 C’s can’t be found in a ‘friend’, so don’t set yourself or them up for the hope that you can pretend to be right for each other. In the moment and with a genuine friendship, it can be great sex and it should leave you grateful and hopeful at the same time.
Don’t think you will be okay without the cuddles and after-sex kisses because they are not always part of the deal. Know that they might have a half full bottle of wine in the fridge from a night with someone else. If you are going to obsess about the candles being a little shorter than when you were there last or want to count the condoms in their drawer … then you seriously have to rethink if you are cut out for this friendly sexual relationship.
You might choose to date and have sex with other people but then you need to play open cards and play it safe. The rules vary here and you may choose to use condoms with everyone else and not each other. Whatever you choose make sure that you chose together and agree to both get tested and only ditch the condom after showing each other your test results. Remember that your HIV test must be done 3 months after you last had unprotected sex to be a true reflection of your status. You have to know that you then need to talk about your other sexual encounters because condoms break, aren’t around in a time of need or seem madly unnecessary and then you must be able to renegotiate the rules as the trusting friends that you are.Truth … truth … truth … if you don’t trust them then you should either not be there or be more careful.
In our one and a half years, I’ve called it off once because I thought I had met a potential boyfriend and he has called it off once because he did his bit at giving love a shot. we supported each other and even helped each other when we needed a shoulder, but the sex stopped. we have also both had our turns sighing with relief when we were both single again and picked up where we left off. If you don’t think you can let go and stay friends when the other finds what they have been looking for then run now before you allow yourself to get hurt. If you don’t think you could have dinner with them and their new partner then you aren’t really friends … just admit it and redefine yourselves.
Why?That is what my friends want to know most of all. I wish I had a man.I wish that I could find someone to share myself and my life with and I’m doing my bit to find him. I’m dating and I’m out there, but he hasn’t arrived yet. Don’t tell me that if I’m single then I don’t really want to be in a relationship unless you are single too and know how the world of dating has changed. I’ve heard that enough from my attached friends and never once from my single ones who know that we aren’t broken just because we haven’t found our ‘one’ yet.
Here’s another why.I’m a 36 year old woman who happens to love sex, yet I was born without the ability to screw around. I get offers for quickies, one night stands and a hell of a lot of affairs and no fibre of my being can do any of it. I need to go on a few dates first and that can be quite off-putting to some guy who’s hoping for a bit of unattached fun.My friend with benefits works for me because on the first date we both saw the chemistry and incompatibility. we both stated our truths and desires and we agreed, together, that we would take it one shag at a time.only once did I ever want more and we spoke about it for hours. I had been on a horrible date and just wanted the simple way out. I wanted to force a relationship and we both knew it would destroy our agreement and friendship. we took a break and he checked in to see if I had settled my fears and irrational perception of love for him. I had and we started over as the special friends we are, with a genuine, caring and sexual bond.
I’m lucky, I sleep over and we have dinner and watch TV while we chat about our days and our lives. I think he doesn’t take enough risks in life and that would just annoy me and he thinks that blogging is nothing resembling a career and can’t support me. we giggle and wish each other’s future partners the best of luck because we would kill each other.
You might not be asked to sleep over. You might never mingle with their friends. they may choose to date other people. You may want to talk about a lover who just hurt you. they might compare your sexual experiences to another they have just had. The list of may and may-nots is endless but if the idea of not coping with any of these issues scares you, annoys you or brings about jealousy in you then face facts … you might not be cut out for ‘friends with benefits’.
Are you cut out for friends with benefits?