Sex. Three little letters that can make you feel such a range of emotions all at the same time. If you are in a committed relationship, sex is a safe happy and hopefully awe-inspiring word. But what if your lover is, well, just your lover or a friend? And you want more? Is sex with them happy, sad, a little resentful? If it's the last one, then we might want to add another three letters to the word. Sexemy. Friend, Enemy = Frenemy. You get the idea.
Is this person your friend or your lover? Or your “and/or”? Of course you want to do the mature thing and be friends first. That is the basis and foundation for all great and lasting relationships, right? But then. there’s the other part of you that wants to make it more. The more part gets tricky and sometimes messy. So let's have an honest and frank discussion about friends vs. lovers and where you stand on that.
Friends and lovers are words that many toast to on their wedding day..."I married my best friend and lover". Ok, cute, we love it. Cheers. You meet someone, find that spark, spend passionate evenings together, have great chats on the phone. It feels like a friend/lover situation. But it's not. It's a friend with benefits...and there won't be a toast.
What's the problem? Chemisty? Check? Great sex? Check. Friends? Check. Exclusivity? Ummmm.... We know it's a great physical relationship, but it's for sure not working it's way to a proposal. And before you know it, BAM! Sexemy. You're resentment level when realit hits you in the face is overwhelming. You can't be with them, but that dang chemistry is pulling you in everytime they call. I hate you, I love you.... UGGH!!
Friends with benefits don't work; at some point, someone gets hurt. Why? Because one of you got invested. One of you broke Rule #1 in a friends with benefits arrangement and started having feelings. At some point when you two were having great sex “as friends”, one of you mistook a signal and let your brain wander too far into relationship land. One of you then came to the conclusion “Hey this is a great friendship, we are obviously compatible in the bedroom, we should have a relationship!" WRONG! But...but...WHY???
Because someone was loving the freedom that came with the less emotional part of this “arrangement”. Someone didn’t want to have to blurt out feelings afterwards, bask in the glow of it all, and stand at the front door for two hours saying goodnight. Someone just wanted to have sex. Period.
OK, so which one of you caved in to your feelings? And is that a crime? Absolutley not! Do not beat yourself up for this. If sex and love can be separated so easily, then what kind of society are we moving towards? Where intimacy is a word no one knows the meaning of - where slow, long, lingering kisses are a thing of the past, and asking a woman out on a date outside of her bedroom is the exception, not the rule.
It’s not just men, women have done this too. I have done this. But sometimes, there is a bond that develops over time, and you start to wonder if it’s real. You want to test it outside the confines of your candlelit bedroom. Take it into the light – try it on and see if it fits. You already know the sex is amazing, what about the rest? Does she drink too much and just nibble on her salad. Does he chew with his mouth open and reach across the table and take your croutons without asking? There's really only one way to find out. I caution you on this choice and here's why.
I can almost guarantee if the relationship started in the bed, it will end in the bed. I’m sorry, but I gotta call a spade a spade. History with these relationships have about a good a track record as affairs. They end when the danger of sneaking around, doing something taboo has reached it’s enevitable conclusion.
So what are we left with? I’ve lost track. Oh yeah, friends and lovers. This is where you are best friends and the sex is amazing and you are in love with your lover. It all came together like the perfect storm. You built a friendship and were honest with yourselves about the sexual chemistry. You set your priorities straight from the beginning and neither took over. You didn’t end up in the “friend zone” and concurrently you didn’t end up ripping each others clothes off every time you were in the same room together. You found that healthy balance that every relationship strives for. You laugh as friends, and giggle as lovers under the covers. Bravo – good job!
I want to challenge you to look at your current relationship. What is it? Friends, lovers, “and/or”, or maybe something in between. What does it look like in ten years when you close your eyes. Do you see yourself kissing him/her? Do you see yourself wanting them as a your go-to person forever? Can you honestly see yourself married to this person? If the answer is yes, speak up. I can't guarantee that you'll get your happy ending (even though that's what we all deserve) but you will get the answer you do deserve. Respecting yourself is sexy without the emy part!