Over and over society seems to say that men and women can't be "just friends." An article in the New York Times delineates these points (http://nyti.ms/HuAc3q) from When Harry Met Sally, to more recent movies like Friends With Benefits. But sex and relationship therapist Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil takes the idea of "just friends" and turns it on its head: what if this is the coward's way out?
Dr. Bonnie explains that adding in sex and intimacy into a relationship is more tricky so some people opt to take the friends-only root. "That's not to say that every male/female friendship should end in marriage or that every such relationship harbors repressed romantic feelings. But often there is at least one member of the friendship who hopes for something more but doesn't act on it."
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Relationships are hard and intimacy is difficult and Dr. Bonnie believes many times people resign themselves to being in a friendship because the expectations are lower. "People don't have to be as vulnerable," she says, "so they don't get as hurt. They don't have to let their guard down which is what happens when sexual attraction enters into the equation." Not every male/female relationship has one person (or both people!) waiting for the opportunity to share their true feelings, but for those that do, it can be a rocky road.
Of course, there are good and bad ways to declare love! And for this reason Dr. Bonnie recommends using her Smart Heart Skills and Dialogue. Developed to help couples navigate stormy waters, they can also facilitate open communication within a friendship. "Have this conversation with the other person at a time and place where you can accurately and honestly explain how you feel," advises Dr. Bonnie. "Each person should know that it is a safe place to be open and honest without fear of repercussion."
Friendship is much less risky - but so much of experiencing life is about risk. "Yes," admits Dr. Bonnie, "it's risky to tell someone how you feel especially if you're worried you might ruin the friendship. But isn't it just a different kind of risk to keep those feelings inside and not allow yourself the possibility of exploring a relationship?"
Text ADULTERY to 82257 to find out from Dr Bonnie if adultery or affairs may be looming in your relationship!
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Interested in a few dating tips from internationally acclaimed relationship therapist Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil? Text DATINGTIPS to 82257 to receive Tips and Updates from Dr. Bonnie!
Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil's best-selling book, Adultery the Forgivable Sin is being re-released under a new distributor and making its appearance available in eBook format and print on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Adultery-Forgivable-Bonnie-Eaker-Weil/dp/158776815...). Adultery the Forgivable Sin was also made into a Lifetime Original Movie starring Kate Jackson.