I’d been good friends for almost a year with a guy I met at the gym we both attended. I’m 31, he’s 33.
We’re both single, working, have our own apartments, located not far from each other. We found we had similar interests in hiking, biking and attending small theatre productions.
It was no surprise that one night we ended up drinking wine back at his place and had sex. We both knew that it didn’t mean we were in love, but it was good sex and neither of us was in a relationship. We were friends with benefits.
That was in February. Then, Covid-19 became a frightening threat, the lockdown was ordered in March, and we decided to “isolate” through our two small apartments, with no other visitors.
(He’s from another city where his parents live, mine are in another country, so no one else needed us in person).
We both worked from our own places, both cooked. We alternated which home where we’d get together to eat, several times weekly. And almost always had sex.
It was a perfect arrangement. We were never in the other’s way, never grumpy about who didn’t do some chore, had companionship for our socially-distanced walks, and were never sexually or emotionally frustrated.
Until now. As some restrictions lifted, he went with a friend for a patio lunch, saw a woman he’d dated until she got engaged to someone else, learned they broke up and felt the same strong attraction.
He’d already gotten together with her twice, before he told me about it. They’ve had sex. He apologized but says he’s serious about her.
I’m thinking that it’s the end of our friendship and the benefits. Is it wrong for me to feel he cheated on me?
End of Perfect Arrangement
It was a pleasant, practical deal, not a romantic relationship. It worked for its time and place, until no longer needed (by him).
His only misstep was not telling you as soon as he’d arranged a date with her, rather than wait till she was a sure thing.
But, he’s good at securing his own benefit, too.
Human contact and sexual release are normal, healthy needs, sorely missed by many people living alone during the pandemic.
You’d mutually agreed to being friends-with-benefits even before the pandemic. It’s been a choice among singles for years, but never guaranteed fidelity.
Nor does it assure continuing friendship when benefits end - especially not when someone new may not want the former sexual partner around.
He didn’t cheat on you. He moved on. That’s the nature of relationships of convenience.
My eight-year-old son is very anxious about the coronavirus, affecting his ability to enjoy summer’s benefits like the opened splash pads.
He’s so happy initially, but when someone comes too close to his liking, he becomes afraid and cries inconsolably. Naturally, we have to leave.
What can I do to help him?
Turn off the news reports that he may be hearing in your home, and keep your adult conversations (or those with any older children) about the serious health risks, away from his presence.
He needs to know and understand only crucial but minimal facts:
That you and your family are protecting each other, and people who are old or easily get sick, by wearing masks when shopping in stores, entering buildings, walking/sitting two-metres (6-feet) from people outside your family bubble, and washing your hands a lot every day.
I’m a guy, 24, dating someone new. She’s attractive and nice to be with when we’re alone together, but when we meet up with people I know, she suddenly raises her voice.
It’s visibly off-putting to my friends.
I don’t know why she does this but I’m afraid that if I raise it, she’ll feel criticized by me and my friends. What do you suggest?
Dating A “Loudtalker”
She may not realize that she raises the sound level at certain times. It could be a nervous overcompensating reaction to shyness with new people, or a desire to impress them.
But some people talk loudly because that’s how they were raised. There also may’ve been competition among siblings to be heard, so she learned to speak up.
Control issues are another reason that experts suggest.
Ask her, gently, if she’s aware of this habit. Continue the conversation if she’s willing. The answer may become obvious.
Tip of the day:
“Friends-with-benefits” is an arrangement of mutual convenience which often only serves its purpose for a limited time.