Dear Dr. Romance: Does Friends with Benefits Work?

man carrying woman

Spend more time getting to know each other and less on having sex.

Dear Dr. Romance:

I was browsing the net and came across one of your articles "No Strings Attached Sex" which I found very interesting as it relates to a situation I am facing currently.  

I am a young male, and I cannot handle having a FWB arrangement with a person I like without getting attached. I have been seeing this girl, who is four years older than I am since late last year (but we've known each other for a year in all), and for four months I was gradually getting feelings for the person while now, I just found out that she was seeing me just for fun. She did not think anything serious could happen between us. I found this out when she came back from holidays, and I could see she is all of a sudden a changed woman and that she was being sensitive. For the first time, she opened up, and she asked me whether I can give more to the relationship, but by then I had made up my mind to move on since I trusted my instincts that she is not interested in relationship (something she never made clear maybe because it would make her feel shamed to admit it was just for sex?).

Two months earlier I had asked her how would she feel if she saw me with someone else, and she replied: "I don't want to know if you did; but I know we are not a couple, and I am not the relationship type." Perhaps by this she was trying to hint me that for the time she wanted no strings attached. She said, "It's not that I want to see other guys, but I want my single life." Whether this is possible I still do not know. When I am single, I see more than one girl. She also said before she met me she was seeing this guy for nearly three years on the same basis. Meeting up just on weekends.

I decided to give it another go with her this week, as she told me it takes time for her to get involved emotionally. She said she was hurt in the past, and she has an issue trusting men.  Thing is right now, I am unsure of whether this can work out for us due to the attitude we have towards sex. Like can people who detach sex from commitment be loyal?  

Once I remember telling her that if I feel that I need to see other girls while I am in a relationship, I break it off and move on. She says that you cannot just forget about the person, as sometimes sex is just a need. Your take on this situation would be greatly appreciated!

Dear Reader:

Your letter is a perfect example of what happens when you try to go too fast in a relationship. I think she was just trying to get you to slow down and not ask her for a commitment right away. This relationship is probably worth spending a little of your time. Since you're trying it again, why not slow down, spend more time getting to know each other, and less on having sex?

Even in this modern, fast age, women need to know that the man they care about wants more than sex and that he's reliable and trustworthy. At the same time, they don't want to be rushed into commitment, especially if they've been hurt before.

Spend time talking, do things together, go out with friends, and give each other a chance to see who you really are. Passion clouds judgement, and both your instincts are telling you you don't know enough about each other yet. Trust that instinct, and get to know this girl. 

"Stupid Cupid" will help you create a successful relationship, and "Friends with Benefits" will explain the difference between casual sex and intimacy.

The article you refer to was based on my book, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences which has exercises and information that will help you learn to develop a real connection.

For low-cost counseling, email me at tina@tinatessina.com

This article was originally published at Dr. Romance Blog. Reprinted with permission from the author.