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Why we get hurt by Friends with Benefits


Casey and Brandon were best friends with Angie and Chris. They used to go out together the four of them and dance the sunset over the mountains and drink the night away at their favorite bars. They had the inside jokes and the same group of friends.

Casey and Angie used to giggle to each other about their men. What are you going to use your boy toy for tonight? You think he’ll try that?

Chris used to nudge Brandon and ask him how his mistress was treating him. Brandon would laugh and say better than his girlfriend.

Brandon was popular. Everyone knew him and loved his personality. But he was a genuinely nice guy and knew how to charm a lady with more than his body. He was a natural. Likable. Driven. Funny.

Casey had honestly never really liked him. She knew he had the reputation of a player and in fact had once sworn she would never make out with him. He’ll probably give you something, her friends had warned.

The idea of a commitment free relationship blossomed out of their friendship. She was the girl he couldn’t get. He was the guy she couldn’t be attached to. All seemed fair in the world.

But sometimes we spend time together. We go on trips together. We see new sites together. We write a significant part of our life story together. And all the sudden feelings can change. And that touch that once only stimulated your hormones can start tugging at your heart strings.

And it feels weird at first like it shouldn’t be happening. But then . . .

Casey fell for Brandon. She couldn’t help it. He was a genuinely nice guy honestly. And she thought, he really hasn’t been with any (or many) other girls since me. Maybe he feels the same way and is just too shy to admit it. After all he has the reputation of being that guy that will never settle down.

She didn’t blame him for keeping his feelings inside. They went to the beach with a large group and she got sick. He stayed home from the clubs to take care of her. She loved it. He must love her.

He never told her that he was interested. He never changed who he was. He never stopped being who he was. He even flirted with other girls right in front of her. But she grew blind to it and thought for sure the change in her feelings must be mutual.

 

We get hurt by friends with benefits because of two reasons. One is the benefits. This usually happens quickly. If you are easily attached emotionally by being attached physically than you will sooner rather than later find yourself liking your partner. This happens to guys too. Now if the feelings are mutual that can be good. Although it often results in a physical attraction based relationship.

The other reason is the friend’s part. This takes longer to develop. But if you have a solid relationship and you become even close friends by adding benefits to it, you may begin to fall for the other person.

The benefits don’t necessarily make the change in this case. It’s the friendship which was the original benefit of the relationship. See there is this false notion that the benefits in a relationship are all physical. But this is ridiculous, for then what other benefit would there be to marriage?

The benefits of a deep friendship go way beyond physical. And if they are allowed to flourish, one can fall in love. Which can be quite healthy if both people do. Sadly this is rare.

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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in James

 

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Myths about Friends with Benefits


Although my poll is not a scientific one, so far the results show that 60% of my readers believe that friend’s with benefits is never a wise idea.

This is the expected answer in Christian circles and I would presume that most of my readers are Christians. However, I would guess that in practice the actual number is much lower. Perhaps that is why some of us feel it is unwise, we have practiced it and had negative consequences.

Unfortunately most people learn by trial and error and not by other people’s advice. Especially when hormones and emotions are involved.

However, if we define friends with benefits as any amount of physical relationship (from cuddling onward) that is not a committed exclusive one; then I think we could say that most of us have had this type of relationship before. And that is the definition of friends with benefits I will use in this series. I’m not just talking about friends that have sex. I’m talking about all levels: cuddling, making out, Christian sex, etc.

So if you still believe friends with benefits is morally wrong (biblically) despite my definition and my assumption of actual practice, let me challenge you thinking once more:

Do you believe that some sort of physical relationship (holding hands, kissing and making out, are ok according to another poll we did) during a committed dating relationship is ok?

If so have you had been fully committed and then broken up?

Have you have thought you would marry someone and allowed yourself to go further physically than you would otherwise and then found it didn’t work out?

How many of your friends married their freshman boyfriend?

How many of you were quite physical with him?

Where do we get our standards for physical morality?

Is it from the Bible? Read out previous series to learn more about how far is too far and the like in a healthy physical relationship.

Did you know that the Bible only makes one distinction when it comes to relationships? Married and unmarried.

So what if we agree with the last series and say that physical needs to progress slowly with increasing intimacy toward marriage (I would agree with that for sure). This would involve a physical relationship to some extent outside of marriage. However, the Bible from which we get our morality would consider this simply a friendship, especially before engagement (remember marriage or no marriage is the paradigm).

Therefore, would it not be reasonable that if it was Biblically wrong to be friends with benefits than it would be biblically wrong to be dating with benefits?

If the average person have four failed relationships before marriage, aren’t your chances of a serious relationship not ending in marriage greater than the other way around?

If we liken dating to marriage instead of to friendship than wouldn’t it be more like a divorce when you break up after being physical?

And if God hate’s divorce wouldn’t it be better to wait until you are both 100% sure you will spend the rest of life together before advancing physically?

I’m only trying to challenge conventional thought not give an opinion here. The following articles with seek to address some of the practical ins and outs of friend’s with benefits without delving to deeply into the moral issues. That’s for you to decide. Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2012 in James

 

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An Introduction to Friends with Benefits


Chris and Angie have incredible chemistry. Anyone who watches their fluid bodies on the dance floor can tell you that. Chris can always make Angie laugh. Angie can always seduce Chris.

Chris always wanted to marry a good southern country girl. He grew up in Georgia in a well off family on an old elegant plantation about an hour outside of Atlanta. He knew eventually he’d move back and settle down with a wife and a guaranteed good job at his father’s company. His father encouraged him to make his own decisions, and this was what he wanted.

Angie was a Cali girl from a single parent home. She wanted an adventure. She wasn’t opposed to marriage despite her parent’s bad luck. She just wanted to make sure hers was based on love and compatibility not “the smart financial choice”. She wanted to see Africa and start a non-profit.

They both loved to dance. And while attending University they begin to cross mutual paths at dance parties, salsa nights, and night clubs. When Chris saw her slim blonde figure glide across that dance floor at a formal ball they attended, he knew he had to touch that body.

Fortunately they connected in more than just a physical sense. Enough so that you could certainly call them friends. Country boys were hot Angie thought. And Chris found the more liberal free mindset appealing.

It wasn’t long before a long sensual night on the dance floor turned into a steamy love scene in the bedroom. His body was perfect. Her sighs were ecstasy. It wasn’t a one night stand by any means. They both knew it would happen again. But neither was it true love as some would see it. Hormones were the drivers of their “love” and they were both ok with it.

On more than one occasion a friend might see them laughing and teasing each other at an outdoor café or over an Italian dinner. But anyone who knew them would know that this was most often subconscious foreplay to their vibrant love life.

When asked by his best friend if he was getting whipped by this girl, Chris laughed “no, that would never work; you know I still like Amber back in GA. I’m just waiting on her to realize Jake is not what she wants. We still text all the time.”

Angie was too independent. She never let herself fall for guys. Sure Chris was different. They had a connection. But she could never live in Georgia. Never.

She was just happy they were friends. With some damn good benefits.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2012 in James

 

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Getting Physical: All I Want Is Your BODY (4)


She said it just right:
“All I wanna do is love your body
Tonight’s your lucky night, I know you want it” Christina Aguillera

We all have that time when we just want somebody… and not just to cuddle, haha. There’s just something about being physical with somebody. It’s fun. It’s close. It’s intimate.

The reason why it’s fun is that besides being a body, the other person is a soul. They’re not just genitals attached to a body. They also have a soul… which makes them human.

In our sensory saturated society we feel that all we want is release. So much pressure from everywhere… it build up. And we want release. When TV, movies, commercial, music and books talk about sex, it’s hard not to think about it.

What if we play it safe, use protection and enjoy ourselves? The only catch to that is that there’s no condom for the soul. And the soul gets affected.

In a world where bodies are just cells, brought forth by evolution, biological machines well tunned… in that world sex is just to continue the species. Sex doesn’t have meaning… well, nothing does for that matter – outside a subjective experience.

But life’s not like that. Even if we don’t believe, we feel that there’s something else out there. We feel with our heart the reality of other hearts – or souls.

And when you make love to somebody, it’s not just a body, but a soul with a body. That’s why it’s so much fun. That’s why it’s serious.

 

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Start with “me” to build a “we”


One of my friends, Brandon, was always in a relationship. I don’t think I’ve seen him single for more than a week in all the time we’ve know each other. Now he wasn’t quite the chick magnet, but he had a way with words. He was one of the good guys.

In one of our discussion, this came up. He admitted that the real problem wasn’t not finding the right girl, but hating to be alone…

In order for there to be a you+ me= we, there must be a heathy “me”. A growing relationship is based on two mature individuals who know how to handle life and want to share it together. When one of them is dependent on the other for their happiness, weird things happen.

When the relationships is a patch for a soul struggle, a deep heart wound or insecurity, the relationships is not in a good spot. If you’re using the other person just so you won’t feel alone, how much is love and how much is self-love?

I’m not talking here about being selfish, not that kind of love but a proper understanding and relating of you with yourself. How can you love your neighbore as yourself if you don’t love yourself?

Take the time to understand who you are. Take the time to appreciate the good, to ponder about the things that need some work… Take some time to work on yourself. Be loving, be firm, be honest and real. And when you’ll meet somebody who you want to spend your life with, you won’t have a perfect heart to share… but one that’s been healing and growing.

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Should I spend the night with my boyfriend?


“It’s getting late. We just started the movie. I’m getting comfortable. I feel really connected to him tonight. I’m honestly not looking forward to that fifteen minute drive home. Would it be ok for me to spend the night just this once?”

This is a popular question among Christian couple: is it ok to have a sleep over? In fact, I’ve gotten it a few times from friends. Inevitable someone hears of some other Christian who presumably spent the night with the opposite sex, or at least at their home. And so they ask: “is that ok? What do you think?”

First, like most things, when it comes to relationships there is rarely a one right answer. It’s better to start by thinking through your personal goals in life and in the relationship and then match those with your personal moral standards. Also there are two big distinctions to make:

  • spending the night on your boyfriends couch (or kicking him to the couch and taking his bed) is one thing
  • spending the night with him in his closed bedroom is another.

Some people tend to be overly worried about moral issues and temptation in relationships. My response to the first situation (spending the night in the home of someone of the opposite sex without sleeping in their bed) is this: if you can’t have self-control on your boyfriend’s couch you are not ready to think about a long term relationship.

Why? When you are married you will inevitably go through times of disagreement. You may go through a time when your man is emotionally distant and not really meeting your needs. It happens in most marriages. Meet nice, charming, understanding man at work. He recognizes those needs your husband is not realizing right now. If you haven’t built a pattern of self-control and boundaries in tempting situations, you will not be able to resist when this happens. People who say they would never cheat, who judge those who do, who think they are incapable of falling, these are the ones who fall.

The second situation requires some thought on your part. First you need to decide you goals. Many girls love the idea of being a virgin. It sounds appealing in Christian circles, almost mandatory, that you be in some way a virgin. But not many girls think about what staying a virgin actually means for their lifestyle choices. In other words, it’s a nice theory, but they don’t have clear picture of what a virgin really is and how to stay/be one.

In my opinion, many women can be very strong physically until you get them to a certain point. From that point on the guy has basically complete control of where they go physically. If you are one of these women and there are certain physical boundaries you don’t want to cross, your safest bet is don’t get close.

If you are one of these kinds of girls know this: guys love girls like you. Especially respectful guys. Because they know when the time comes you will be as crazy about them as they are about you. And this will make for a great relationship.

A couple areas you should be careful about: does your boyfriend have the same standards as you? Does he respect that your standards are stricter than his? Does he value a virgin? Does he think you are too uptight and need to let loose? If not, be honest with him how you feel. Don’t break up necessarily, but maybe you shouldn’t spend the night either. Don’t drink wine late at night if it turns you on. Don’t stay so late that you’re too tired to hold your own.

Other girls have a very strong sense of their boundaries. They could make out all night long with a guy and yet as soon as the physical starts going too far they stop immediately. These girls either have a stronger self-control of their sex drive or a stronger sense of who they are and their standards than others. If you know you are one of these girls, don’t think you can’t fall. Make sure you stop at your boundary every time. But in general I wouldn’t be concerned morally about you spending the night with your boyfriend.

If you are one of these girls stay strong. But remember, if you get married sex is an important part of your relationship. So mentally, emotionally, and physically begin preparing yourself to totally let loose when you are married. Just as you would be harming your relationship to let loose now, so you will hurt your marriage to hold back later.

Also remember to be reasonable. If you get your boyfreind turned on while making out with him on his bed, don’t consider it wrong or perverted that he wants you to stay.

Remember, making good decisions about spending tonight involes three things:

  1. Know your boundaries physically
  2. Know your weak points
  3. Have a plan and stick with it
 
 
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Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Expectations: the silent killer.


Princesses. White churches. Cherry blossoms.

Every since she was a little girl, she wanted her wedding day to look a certain way… Roses. Champaign. Slow dancing.

Every time she saw a wedding, she got more ideas of how her weeding should be.

Weddings are just one example of how we model expectations…. often by osmosis. We see a cute couple and decide that our life will be like that. We hear a romantic line and decide we’re going to be better. From real life examples to magazines, cartoons, cereals ads and museum painting- each element ads another expectations to what we want our relationships to be like.

Where do you add that in Christian thought, marriage is a “for-life” deal, so whatever deal you make, you better make the best one you can. No pressure. But really, make the best deal you can. And all this from afar- because as soon as you’ve had coffee you’re on a count-down to either rejection or an exclusive relationships.

I’m being a bit sarcastic here…. but let’s be hones: how many times have you not seen this happen? Our expectations, coupled with the exclusivity of marriage make dating relationships incredibly hard. 

So what about expectations makes them so dangerous? Most commonly, the fact that they are silent. They’ve been silent for a while, even subconscious. Some of us may be more vocal about them with our friends, but for the most part they go under the radar, unnoticed, unchecked.

I’ve this scenario one too many times in my life or the lives of my friends: things are going well, the day is unfolding and then snap- something happens. The other person doesn’t know what exactly it was, but something happened, and it killed the mood, the night, the relationship. And often, the other person doesn’t even know what hit them. Sometimes even we don’t know what hit us… we just know that we couldn’t see ourselves with somebody like that.

Expectations are relationship killers because they are silent. They go unsaid, yet wanted. 

And when we dont’ get what we want, we’re not happy campers. The problem is that we never said what we wanted. Often we can’t even name what we want, it’s kinda there – as they say:”you’ll know it when you see it”.

This kind of approach is not healthy. It’s magical, it’s romantic, but it’s not mature. If we are to embark in long-term relationships, we have to employ a better technique than “finding a soul mate that is my other half and makes me happy”.  A mature relationships would require talking about what we want, processing through our life history, our culture and our desires. Expressing our expectations is a grown-up way to go about it. Some of them may be legit, some may not. But either way, the other person can’t meet some of them or address other, until you talk about them.

So do the hard work of figuring out what your expectations are. Work through your history, figure out what has defined them for so long. As you work through that, look for somebody who can meet them and who knows them.

After all, to be loved is not just to be know, but to be know and loved as you are.

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Jack

 

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