I’ve known this friend for six years, we’re both in our mid-20's. We tried dating; it didn't work, but we get along great as friends, and we know that there's attraction still there. We’ve lived far apart for much of those six years, but soon will be working in the same city for four months.
I discussed with her the possibility of a “friends with benefits” arrangement.
We've both agreed to consider it, once we're in the same city.
I'm wondering about the boundaries that should be drawn, and if you think these types of arrangements can damage friendships.
Also if we decide to go for it, it'd be a monogamous relationship, and the first time either of us have tried this type of thing.
- More Than Friends
If you’re both capable of drawing a boundary around your emotions – including those feelings involving insecurity and jealousy – then, the “arrangement” might work, at least for those four months. That’s an if which each of you should consider separately.
However, how each of you will feel afterward – when you’re apart again, and perhaps wondering whether the other one is having “benefits” elsewhere – well, that’s anyone’s guess.
This is your decision together, of course. Just be careful that you’re not just trying to play at being a couple through having casual sex, if one of you really wants more (could that be you?).
The reason: If that’s the case, that person is the one who’ll end up hurt when you go your different ways again.
My close girlfriend started dating someone a year ago; after I noticed a certain “look” that he gave her, I questioned her and she said he does have anger problems.
He’s left visible bruises on her (to which she didn’t admit when confronted). After one such incident, which she told me about herself, I left him a voice message to stay away from her (she’d said she wanted him gone), and warned that otherwise I’ll report him to the police.
He must’ve played the message to her, as she then completely cut off me and other friends.
Eventually, her mother reported him for physical abuse, he was arrested and deported to his home country, since he wasn’t a legal immigrant.
She decided not to press charges.
Now, she’s started to re-connect with her friends, but she’s planning on visiting him and even considering marrying him.
She was in an abusive relationship before and there are a number of things that she’s not gotten over.
She’s 31 and thinks that she should be married by now. Any advice for me?
You want advice for yourself, not her, because you know she’s not listening to anything but her own negative self-image which allows this nasty guy’s control. You’ve also seen that dealing directly with him didn’t work; it even caused her to push you away.
Nevertheless, as a caring friend you should let her know that, when and if she wants your support, you’re available.
Inform yourself of some of the resources that are available to her readily should she ever want them – e.g. an abused women’s help line to get her directed to safe shelter and counselling; a distress centre help line to help her through a crisis or desperate mood.
Stay in contact with her however possible, but do NOT threaten him again, it could be dangerous for her.
My husband of one year and I are touchy with each other; we’d lived together five years.
I discovered he’d emailed a female co-worker, saying he missed her and couldn't wait for her return to work.
He was helping her with her "bad" marriage, and claims he wrote it to make her feel better. He promised me he’d end the friendship.
However, he’s being secretive, carries his cell phone everywhere, and barely talks to me.
I know he’s not cheating because he’s always home. He does all this because I invaded his privacy and trust.
How do we regain each other’s trust?
- Suspicious In Dallas
Talk to him. Promise not to read his emails; ask him not to be secretive.
You both need to focus on your marriage during this still-early period of adjustment. Marriage is a commitment, which should put each other ahead of colleagues and friends. Trust begets trust.
Tip of the day:
Being friends with benefits only works if both parties are sure they’ll not later want more commitment.