Sex Q&A: Friend with Benefits?

Millie writes:

I’m totally confused. I’ve been seeing this guy for two years and we never do much besides dinner and sex at my place. We’ve never really been on ‘dates.’ He is a busy attorney and has kids from a former marriage, so he says he has no time at all … Twice a week, we are together, and it’s dinner (I make it) and straight to the bed. Lately, I’m feeling that I would like something a bit more. I tell him, and he says, ‘ok,’ but then it gets pushed aside. He says he loves me, but I feel like a ‘friend with benefits.’ Am I?

Dear Millie,

You know, one of the trends that has overtaken us in this rapid-paced culture is a powerful movement towards compartmentalization — pigeon-holing people and relationships into certain set roles. I see this is especially true in your case. This man does care about you — I sense this very strongly — but his affections are dormant. You are simply the person who fulfills his physical needs. I want you to stop here and ask yourself why this is not enough for you? I want you to write your reasons down, so you understand the ‘why’ of the situation before you go any further.

The flaw occurred early in your relationship and is now almost impossible to fix. You allowed yourself to become categorized as a sex partner in his life without attempting to infiltrate any other aspects of his being. You committed the cardinal sin of early dating — letting the bedroom be your only focus meant you never developed the essential bonds of friendship and camaraderie that true lovers must build over time. Now, you pay a price.

But fear not. I sense this fellow is actually good mate-material for you. It will be hard to alter the flow, but you can begin to steer things a bit. It’s not fair to clobber him with demands or ultimatums at this point, so start out nice and easy. Ask him what he enjoys in life … What is he into? Discuss it with him. Show true and honest interest in what he thinks and how he feels. Don’t be upset if his responses are minimal early on. It’s going to take time to expand your role in his mind.

You already do well in the bedroom with him, so up the game. Suggest more time in bed, not less! Then, surprise him a bit. Become aloof and ask him to leave right after you’ve made love. If he wants to know why, be evasive — create a mystique. When he sees you as more than a convenient stress-reliever, he’ll start coming around. And it will all be his idea, not yours.

Be well,


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