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Author Topic: "friends with benefits"  (Read 15655 times)
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stephanie
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Posts: 1913


« on: Oct 04, 2005, 11:05:10 AM »

Is this sort of interaction sustainable on a long-term basis?  Are people ever actually able to do this with their heads on straight for more than, like, one or two months?

Because I am on month EIGHTEEN and I honestly can't tell if I'm finally getting comfortable or finally starting to lose my mind.
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DCDave
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Posts: 10387


« Reply #1 on: Oct 04, 2005, 11:08:32 AM »

Quote from: "stephanie"
Is this sort of interaction sustainable on a long-term basis?  Are people ever actually able to do this with their heads on straight for more than, like, one or two months?

Because I am on month EIGHTEEN and I honestly can't tell if I'm finally getting comfortable or finally starting to lose my mind.


Are you happy? That's the more important question than whatever anecdote I think you'll find from the message board community.
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Wally
Registered user

Posts: 9184


« Reply #2 on: Oct 04, 2005, 11:12:53 AM »

In my humble experience it depends oo how much the friendship has already been through. If it's been a long one but without much drama the chances are the added intensity will snap it in two and will not be mended easily. However if you've already sustained drama, melodrama and god damn operatic incidents with them then a little bit of this or that won't be a big deal, as long as you're both clear from the out set.

I'm sure someone will in future posts point out that sex (god I hope that's what you're referring to as benefits) is liable to bring up emotional complications, but if you're grown ups there is no reason you can't be a physical comfort to one another.

I've tried it four times and twice it worked fine and twice it ended badly and the above advice is based on that. So that's my two cents, peace.

edit- Dave makes a very good point. Equally are they happy too.
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Andrew_TSKS
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Posts: 39426


« Reply #3 on: Oct 04, 2005, 11:36:39 AM »

it's been my experience that humans like to pretend that they can have sex without emotional attachment, but that they're wrong. maybe they can do it once or twice, but the attachment shows up eventually. and stephanie, if it hasn't shown up on your end by now, i'd be very surprised. in fact, i know it has, let's not front.

is the other person in this equation already in a longterm relationship with someone else? because like... if so, you probably should just quit now before your heart gets totally broken. it's heading in that direction. if the other person is as single as you are, there's a chance that the emotional attachment is becoming mutual... but then there's a chance it's not too.

i guess what i'm saying is that it seems to me that you're reaching reckoning point, where you either have to get together with this person or cut the shit off. because situations like this are not sustainable.
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DCDave
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Posts: 10387


« Reply #4 on: Oct 04, 2005, 11:39:15 AM »

It's been my experience that humans CAN have sex without emotional attachment, and can DEFINITELY have a friends with benefits relationship, because there is a LOT of emotional attachment involved in a long lasting friendship.
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stephanie
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Posts: 1913


« Reply #5 on: Oct 04, 2005, 11:39:32 AM »

Quote from: "DCDave"
Are you happy? That's the more important question than whatever anecdote I think you'll find from the message board community.


I.. don't know?  I don't know.  That's the thing.  Is that weird?  I guess I'm just looking to see what other people in similar situations have felt around this point (if they've made it that far).
I'm not unhappy, but I'm not totally psyched.  Occasionally the boy and I will feel like we're sleeping with someone we're related to, because we were super-super-close, brother-sister-type friends before this all happened and have gotten only slightly less so in its wake.  I adore my friend (or, as I am wont to call him, friend++) to the ends of the earth, and I don't feel at this point that anything that happens between us EVER will change the fact that we'd both lie down in traffic for the other, so.
Really, I'm just hoping there are folks out there who were involved like this and actually had it end well.  Because I've never had any kind of relationship end in anything except unmitigated I'm-never-speaking-to-you-again DISASTER, and I would probably be inconsolable on a hundred different levels if that's what happened here.

He's one of those dudes who not-so-secretly thinks that chicks are categorically unable to have one-night stands, so we've had a few conversations where I've needed to explain at great and emphatic length that I love him dearly, but not EVER in that way and it seems to be getting increasingly more difficult to get that point across -- not because I'm starting to feel that way, but because it just keeps coming up over and over again, to the point where I want to stand up and yell JESUS H, GIRLS CAN SLEEP WITH PEOPLE THEY'RE NOT IN LOVE WITH, TOO.
And for the record, this boy is categorically unable to be in love with anyone (except, I think, himself).  I mean that in the nicest way possible, but just to clarify that I'm well aware of the fact that he'll never even think of having anything but friendship-driven feelings for me, and for that I am eternally grateful, because he's at LEAST as crazy as me (again, nicest way possible) and I have been alive long enough to know that, while crazy boys are dreamy as all get-out, I am wayyyyyyyyyyy too crazy to handle any more relationships with them.

Is this too much information for a messageboard?  I don't want to offend anyone, least of all my beloved LPTJers.

Quote from: "Wally"
I'm sure someone will in future posts point out that sex (god I hope that's what you're referring to as benefits) is liable to bring up emotional complications, but if you're grown ups there is no reason you can't be a physical comfort to one another.


This is what I am hoping.

Cheers, m'dears.
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DCDave
Registered user

Posts: 10387


« Reply #6 on: Oct 04, 2005, 11:43:25 AM »

Steph,

I slept with someone who I consider one of my closest friends for a good period of time before we stopped sleeping with each other and at first I was like "Ur?" but now I'm like "I love you and would lie down in traffic for you." I mean, I definitely consider her one of my five closest friends and I'm pretty sure she does me but we're over that whole sexual tension thing, for the most part. While it didn't go on for 18 months it did go on for a while and I'm sincerely happy when she's happy in relationships and she's sincerely happy when I am and I think that because of our experiences with each other we're able to better guard each others hearts. I dunno. I think that, if anything, it made our friendship better and more functional.
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John
edit0r
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Posts: 10925


« Reply #7 on: Oct 04, 2005, 11:47:57 AM »

run screaming from so-called FWB relationships, they are a recipe for emotional meltdown
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Andrew_TSKS
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Posts: 39426


« Reply #8 on: Oct 04, 2005, 11:52:48 AM »

Quote from: "John"
run screaming from so-called FWB relationships, they are a recipe for emotional meltdown


i'm with you dude.
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Wally
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Posts: 9184


« Reply #9 on: Oct 04, 2005, 11:55:58 AM »

Quote from: "Andrew_TSKS"
Quote from: "John"
run screaming from so-called FWB relationships, they are a recipe for emotional meltdown


i'm with you dude.


Fine, but what relationships aren't a recipe for emotional meltdown, it just depends on how you cook them.
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jebreject
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Posts: 27071


« Reply #10 on: Oct 04, 2005, 12:03:51 PM »

I tend to be with John and Andrew on this, although I know from experience that FWB relationships CAN work--they just usually don't.  Every sexual relationship I've had until my current girlfriend has been FWB situations or one-night-stands, and everytime (at least with the FWB stuff) there have been problems.  There was a whole lot of say one thing, feel another going on, on both ends, and it just got really messy and complicated.  If you're able to sustain this type of relationship for 18 months without it getting messy and complicated, then maybe it's an all right relationship to be in.  But I still tend to think that FWB relationships are not particularly emotionally healthy, although they may be cathartic or a sort of half-assed cure for loneliness.
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stephanie
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Posts: 1913


« Reply #11 on: Oct 04, 2005, 12:14:55 PM »

Quote from: "DCDave"
I slept with someone who I consider one of my closest friends for a good period of time before we stopped sleeping with each other and at first I was like "Ur?" but now I'm like "I love you and would lie down in traffic for you." I mean, I definitely consider her one of my five closest friends and I'm pretty sure she does me but we're over that whole sexual tension thing, for the most part. While it didn't go on for 18 months it did go on for a while and I'm sincerely happy when she's happy in relationships and she's sincerely happy when I am and I think that because of our experiences with each other we're able to better guard each others hearts. I dunno. I think that, if anything, it made our friendship better and more functional.


Phew.  You can't see me, but I'm looking incredibly relieved right now.  Cos this is exactly what I was looking/hoping/praying for, and what my current situation is angling to pan out like -- I'd just never heard of it actually turning out that way, so I was getting a bit concerned that it never actually did.  Thanks, Dave.

Quote from: "Andrew_TSKS"
is the other person in this equation already in a longterm relationship with someone else? because like... if so, you probably should just quit now before your heart gets totally broken. it's heading in that direction. if the other person is as single as you are, there's a chance that the emotional attachment is becoming mutual... but then there's a chance it's not too.


First query:  yes.  Second sentence:  since the soul-spirit-mind-body-heart-life-crushing demise of my last relationship -- and I am ten thousand times as relieved/surprised as anyone on this front -- I've found it absolutely impossible to harbour anything but mildly fond, "aw, aren't you cute?" feelings for any boy.  Which sounds bad to some people (my mum said, "you're too young to lose all hope!"), but beyond fantastic for me, because I can be in a situation like this while remaining only moderately prone to ulcer-inducing worry-terror-worry-doubt patterns.  And even then, it's like I'm making myself feel weird because I feel like I should feel weird, not because I'm honestly that overwrought.  Does that make sense?

I know "friends with benefits" is not a good idea, but I've finally accepted that being involved with anyone is NEVER (EVER, in any capacity, for any length of time) a good idea for me, and now I'd much rather lend myself to someone who I adore like the big brother I never had than someone I'd be expected to "trust" and "love" and stuff, who'd eventually run out on my off-kilter ass for one reason or another, leaving me with one more reason to guilt-trip myself about existing for the rest of all time.

(I'm not half as depressed as I sound.  I'm actually not depressed at all.  Just a little confused.  Promise.)
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DCDave
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Posts: 10387


« Reply #12 on: Oct 04, 2005, 12:18:50 PM »

It's the sort of thing where stopping it will be a little wonky at first, but if you're both mature and understanding, which it seems you are, probably not super wonky.

Actually, Stephanie, our relationship was way better when we were friends with benefits than we were when we were dating. WAY better.
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cold before sunrise
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Posts: 2500


« Reply #13 on: Oct 04, 2005, 12:28:19 PM »

it depends on your emotional intelligence and honesty. not being allowed to be into somebody makes it hard to not be curious... i've also got to agree with dave in that eliminating the taboo from a relationship could make it more rich.
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DCDave
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Posts: 10387


« Reply #14 on: Oct 04, 2005, 12:31:59 PM »

Quote from: "cold before sunrise"
it depends on your emotional intelligence and honesty. not being allowed to be into somebody makes it hard to not be curious... i've also got to agree with dave in that eliminating the taboo from a relationship could make it more rich.


It's not even eliminating the taboo and making it more rich, it's getting the shit out of your system so the tension goes away. Sometimes friends fuck.
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stephanie
Registered user

Posts: 1913


« Reply #15 on: Oct 04, 2005, 12:43:36 PM »

Quote from: "DCDave"
Quote from: "cold before sunrise"
it depends on your emotional intelligence and honesty. not being allowed to be into somebody makes it hard to not be curious... i've also got to agree with dave in that eliminating the taboo from a relationship could make it more rich.


It's not even eliminating the taboo and making it more rich, it's getting the shit out of your system so the tension goes away. Sometimes friends fuck.


Yeah, the entire thing started as sort of a shrug, cuddling (per usual) watching a movie one night.

boy:  Hey, uh, this might sound weird, but I always thought you were kinda cute, and...
girl:  Whoa, seriously?  Because I always thought you were kinda cute, too.
boy:  Weird; is THAT what that's been?  ("THAT" being the up-to-then unnamable tension, sidelong glances, et al)
girl:  I guess!  So, what now?

We like a lot of the same things, and can sing along to all of the same songs, and quote Royal Tenenbaums at each other like crazy, so when it happened, we were both kinda like, well, duh.  But it started to drag on longer than either of us expected/really wanted it to, and we said, "Fuck, we should really probably stop doing this" at the same exact time -- we've just yet to get around to it.

How did yr kindasorta-relationship get around to ending, Dave?  Was it a mutual agreement, a one-sided decision (all you or all her), or did it just gradually taper off into nothing?  The boy and I have been conferring on choice #1 for months now, but we see each other so rarely -- he lives far away, see -- that we just sort of fall into bed every time, despite our combined better judgment (notoriously unreliable in both of our cases, but we're TRYING).
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DCDave
Registered user

Posts: 10387


« Reply #16 on: Oct 04, 2005, 12:47:35 PM »

Quote from: "stephanie"
Quote from: "DCDave"
Quote from: "cold before sunrise"
it depends on your emotional intelligence and honesty. not being allowed to be into somebody makes it hard to not be curious... i've also got to agree with dave in that eliminating the taboo from a relationship could make it more rich.


It's not even eliminating the taboo and making it more rich, it's getting the shit out of your system so the tension goes away. Sometimes friends fuck.


Yeah, the entire thing started as sort of a shrug, cuddling (per usual) watching a movie one night.

boy:  Hey, uh, this might sound weird, but I always thought you were kinda cute, and...
girl:  Whoa, seriously?  Because I always thought you were kinda cute, too.
boy:  Weird; is THAT what that's been?  ("THAT" being the up-to-then unnamable tension, sidelong glances, et al)
girl:  I guess!  So, what now?

We like a lot of the same things, and can sing along to all of the same songs, and quote Royal Tenenbaums at each other like crazy, so when it happened, we were both kinda like, well, duh.  But it started to drag on longer than either of us expected/really wanted it to, and we said, "Fuck, we should really probably stop doing this" at the same exact time -- we've just yet to get around to it.

How did yr kindasorta-relationship get around to ending, Dave?  Was it a mutual agreement, a one-sided decision (all you or all her), or did it just gradually taper off into nothing?  The boy and I have been conferring on choice #1 for months now, but we see each other so rarely -- he lives far away, see -- that we just sort of fall into bed every time, despite our combined better judgment (notoriously unreliable in both of our cases, but we're TRYING).


We were sleeping together and we got into a really bad car accident where no one got hurt and we both got really shaken up, and after that just sat around at her parents place and watched a movie and lay there and after that the subject just never came up again.

From then on things were just more chaste. I dunno. reevaluation of priorities? She was further away and working and commuting to work from her parents house and looking for a new place and I was still in college and just busy as shit. I dunno.
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FreddyKnuckles
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Posts: 11705


« Reply #17 on: Oct 04, 2005, 01:04:22 PM »

I'll go ahead and third the run screaming theory.  Either you'll get hurt or he will, and I know you don't want to hurt him.  If you've been getting freaky with this dude for 18 months, and haven't thrown him out the window yet, don't you think that maybe there is something more between you than just fuck-buddies?  I mean, 18 months is a long time.  Maybe feelings haven't surfaced because they're being surpressed.  You should probably talk to him and either cut him off, or say, "Hey, we've been doing this for awhile.  I don't really know if I like you in any strong romantic way, but maybe its worth a try."
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Quote from: Heathcote
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crystalcakes
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Posts: 2005


« Reply #18 on: Oct 04, 2005, 01:06:23 PM »

Stephanie- the way you describe it starting sounds like a perfect way for a "real" relationship to start.  Why didn't you go that way?  (just curious)

I was in a similar situation except that I thought we were just friends (he had a girlfriend).  He would sleep over, in my bed and he would invite me over to his place to sleep so that we could get up early and watch saturday morning cartoons and he would rent movies and bring them over.  Now, in retrospect, I can see how he saw things, and also why his girlfriend hated me.  Then he went kind of nuts and kissed me and told me he'd dump his girlfriend if I'd go out with him (then he married her when I said no).  I think that we should have either been friends or a couple, but the gray area in between is just so tricky.  

Also, you've been doing it for 18 months???  That is longer than 90% of my real relationships.  Maybe you're doing something right.  I don't know.
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Quote from: "John"
life is now worthless and I am going to eat cat food & die
FreddyKnuckles
Registered user

Posts: 11705


« Reply #19 on: Oct 04, 2005, 01:09:02 PM »

Quote from: "crystalcakes"
I think that we should have either been friends or a couple, but the gray area in between is just so tricky.  



That's some hard advice to follow, cause I mean, once you've entered that gray area, is it possible to go back to just being straight up friends?  I don't know, I don't know, I don't know.  I don't know.
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Quote from: Heathcote
I'm in with Greg Nog, IT'S FUCKING FAFFLE TIME!
dieblucasdie
Registered user

Posts: 24493


« Reply #20 on: Oct 04, 2005, 01:31:29 PM »

As long as you both know the terms, I can see nothing wrong with it except maybe it might be holding you back from pursuing other relationships.  And, honestly, if you like him, he likes you, you like spending time together, you have a lot in common, and you have sex, in what way are you not boyfriend and girlfriend?
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Greg Nog
Registered user

Posts: 21629


« Reply #21 on: Oct 04, 2005, 01:36:46 PM »

Quote from: "stephanie"
since the soul-spirit-mind-body-heart-life-crushing demise of my last relationship -- and I am ten thousand times as relieved/surprised as anyone on this front -- I've found it absolutely impossible to harbour anything but mildly fond, "aw, aren't you cute?" feelings for any boy.  Which sounds bad to some people


Nah, that actually sounds kinda standard; I, and lots of people I know, have been through this kind of thing, and eventually it ends.  Sometimes it takes years, but I think you can rest assured that it's gonna end eventually.

Quote from: "stephanie"
Quote from: "Andrew_TSKS"
is the other person in this equation already in a longterm relationship with someone else?

First query:  yes.


Whoa now.  Does the "someone else" know about you two?  Is he/she okay with you two "benefiting"?
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stephanie
Registered user

Posts: 1913


« Reply #22 on: Oct 04, 2005, 01:36:48 PM »

Eesh.

Well, here's the part where some of my favourite-people-ever-who-I-happen-to-have-never-met might get to hate my guts well in advance of whenever I'd have gotten around to annoying them in person.  Which I was trying to avoid by being pointedly vague, but.  Hey.

Quote from: "FreddyKnuckles"
I'll go ahead and third the run screaming theory.  Either you'll get hurt or he will, and I know you don't want to hurt him.  If you've been getting freaky with this dude for 18 months, and haven't thrown him out the window yet, don't you think that maybe there is something more between you than just fuck-buddies?  I mean, 18 months is a long time.  Maybe feelings haven't surfaced because they're being surpressed.  You should probably talk to him and either cut him off, or say, "Hey, we've been doing this for awhile.  I don't really know if I like you in any strong romantic way, but maybe its worth a try."


Without sacrificing the anonymity that has recently become my modus operandi when it comes to talking about my life on the blasted/blessed internet, trust me:  there is absolutely no way I could possibly hurt him.  Suffice it to say that if you knew this dude, you'd be like, "OH, DUH" -- not that he's heartless, but he's definitely something of a player.
And he can't hurt me because I can't really be hurt any more than I have been in the past (not by him, but my last relationship was so be-all-end-all that I'm glad to be free of the possibility of heartbreak).  I'm sort of desensitised to relationship drama at this point, so other than occasionally getting really annoyed with each other, it's all good in that sector.
There is something more between us than being fuck buddies; we're really good friends, and have been for a long time.  He's the boy who holds my hair back when I get sick, who tells me he's proud of me all the time.  I'm the girl (well, one girl of, I'm guessing, at least a half-dozen) who'll hold him when he needs to be held and kiss his forehead and all that cute stuff.  He's definitely one of the only boys in history I've been able to put up with for this long.  However.  We are both absolutely, positively, undeniably batshit insane, and very bad at relationships.  Also?  If I wanted to see him, according to Google Maps, it would take me 15 hours and 29 minutes to get to his apartment.

Quote from: "crystalcakes"
Stephanie- the way you describe it starting sounds like a perfect way for a "real" relationship to start.  Why didn't you go that way?  (just curious)


See above.  Mostly both of us being absolutely unable to have meaningful, exclusive relationships with anyone, ever, with distance coming in a close second.
(also he has a girlfriend who haaaaaaates me, and sure, she has absolutely every right to, but yeah anyway)
I've actually said things to the effect of "Being your girlfriend would be a fate worse than death" on a number of occasions, and I know it's the same way vice versa, which is especially nice because it means we both know the other one will NEVER be sitting up at night wishing things were different.  Sure, I wish we lived closer together because I love hanging out with him, but not more than I wish all my faraway friends (= probably 95% of my friends) lived closer.

Quote from: "crystalcakes"
Also, you've been doing it for 18 months???  That is longer than 90% of my real relationships.  Maybe you're doing something right.  I don't know.


Yeah, I can't really believe it, either!  The longest relationship I ever had (will ever have) was on and off (probably 75/25%, respectively) for SEVEN YEARS, but the longest relationship I ever had that was always on was a) almost exactly a year and b) with a married dude, so I never had to worry about answering to him or having to tell him where I was or getting sick of him or anything.
So I guess this situation can't really count for 18 months straight because we only see each other maybe 10-12x/year, but it's still sort of amazing that we haven't gotten into any I'M NEVER SPEAKING TO YOU AGAIN I HATE YOU I HOPE YOU DIE-type shit, because we're both really fond of being outrageously argumentative.  And loud.  And drunk.  Very drunk.  Sometimes when we're trying to have serious talks when we're drunk we'll both start yelling and then stop and be like, "Dude, what the fuck are we talking about?  Why are we yelling?" because we'll have forgotten.  It's cuter than it sounds.

Quote from: "FreddyKnuckles"
once you've entered that gray area, is it possible to go back to just being straight up friends?


In my experience, no -- never, actually, because of the resentment that's all too likely to occur when whoever out of the woebegone pairing is first to find a new relationship.  But I'm going to try my absolute hardest to make this one work, because my friendship with this boy means worlds more to me than my friendship with any other boy I've been involved with (except the seven-years boy, but that's more because we basically grew up together than anything else).

ETA--

Quote from: "Greg Nog"
Quote from: "stephanie"
Quote from: "Andrew_TSKS"
is the other person in this equation already in a longterm relationship with someone else?

First query:  yes.

Whoa now.  Does the "someone else" know about you two?  Is he/she okay with you two "benefiting"?


Kind of, and noooooooooooooo.

Commence with the hating.

*cringe*
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Greg Nog
Registered user

Posts: 21629


« Reply #23 on: Oct 04, 2005, 01:39:50 PM »

Okay then, yeah:  BREAK IT OFF YESTERDAY.
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DCDave
Registered user

Posts: 10387


« Reply #24 on: Oct 04, 2005, 01:42:21 PM »

I think that Stephanie has said they are not sleeping with each other anymore on purpose already, but want to remain good friends.

I still see this as viable.

I'm really surprised at a lot of the attitudes presented in this thread re: consenting adults having sex.

Edit: Also, Stephanie, as long as you're not intending to hurt anyone, I don't think that what you're doing with him is wrong.  It's his issue to deal with and not yours, as long as you're mature enough in your relationship with him, and you seem to be, to be ok with his behavior.

Edit edit: Which is not to say that condoning the fact that your partner is sleeping with you and his "girlfriend" is something that is necessarily a mature/healthy decision.  I just don't think it's always immature/unhealthy.

Basically, you seem like a big girl and he seems like a big boy and I think you'll be fine friends because it's not like you're making drama.
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