Friends With Benefits or Friends With Complications?

By Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP

Friends With Benefits or Friends With Complications? Suzanne Phillips The Real Cougar WomanAccording to the urban dictionary, ‘friends with benefits’ are defined as “Two friends who have a sexual relationship without being emotionally involved.”

Wait a minute… didn’t someone say that once people see each other naked they can’t be friends?

In my experience working with people, I have found that those who have acted on what is now termed, “friends with benefits” often end up as “friends with complications” – or not friends at all.

Both men and women who sleep with a friend often start out believing, or telling themselves and each other  “It’s no big deal. Why not?”

The reality seems to be that it is a big deal emotionally – if not for both, often for one. Sleeping with a friend changes the definition of the relationship in terms of physical boundaries, emotional connection, conscious and unconscious expectations, view of self and other.

Whatever ground rules are set, adding sexual intimacy to friendship ushers in more than sexual release:

  • For some it brings to the surface a wish to be loved, a desire for more connection than was intended.
  • For some it escalates a fear of being trapped by expectations that change the comfort of the friend connection.
  • For those who feel caring and protective of each other, there is a fear of being exploited or guilt for exploiting.
  • For others a feeling of exposure limits the previous freedom of disclosure – Can you really tell the friend, with whom you just slept, of your interest in another man or woman?   Can you really complain about your weight gain or hair loss to a friend without complicating sexual desire with self-consciousness?
  •  For many, there is a lingering feeling of not being good enough to be the real spouse, lover or committed partner – only the sexual friend.
  • For too many, it jeopardizes the friendship because it collides with the many other roles friends freely choose to play in each other’s lives.

If people are really friends – they were enjoying mutual “benefits” long before they decided to sleep together.

  • Friends, whether at age six or eighty-six, are crucial ingredients in physical and emotional well-being.
  • Friends are the “peers” and “chums” who offer inclusion, belonging, learning and laughter.
  • Long time friends are the mile markers who bear witness to who we were, what we have faced, and how we have arrived.
  • Friends are the people who offer a different view than family or become a second family.
  • Friends are the people who meet our family and become extended family.
  • Friends are the people that mirror passions and expand our lives beyond our partners.
  • Friends are the people who have attunement to a special dimension that we value in ourselves.
  • Friends are the people who make us feel valued by their trust and reception of our help.
  • Friends are the people who are similar and different from us but whom we treasure for their unique gifts.
  • Friends are the people for whom time and distance make no difference in connection.
  • Friends are the people who enhance our sense of sexual desire by validating us, affirming our assets and applauding our victories.

It would seem that all friends are ‘friends with benefits’.

It may be too risky to believe that sleeping with a friend is a benefit! 

The Real Cougar Woman is a 5-carat diamond who knows the importance of taking care of her health, beauty, relationships, finances and spirituality. Linda Franklin says,”there is no stopping a woman who has a strong belief system, passion and a dream. All things are possible”. Linda’s book, Don’t Ever Call Me Ma’am helps women of all ages tap into their power and live life to the fullest.

Friend With Benefits – Equal Benefits For Both?

by Linda Franklin

Friends with Benefits - Equal Benefits For Both? Linda Franklin The Real Cougar WomanFriends with benefits or friends with “benies” or friends for cut – it’s all the same thing.  In theory FWB’s is a mutual practical arrangement for satisfying each others sexual needs without the usual bothersome expectations of love, romance, or in most cases – monogamy.

The thing is, FWB’s don’t always provide equal benefits for both parties involved.  But, nevertheless these arrangements are becoming more popular.

Most women, not all, too often confuse sex with love.  Whether or not they admit it, we are suckers for emotional attachment.  It’s hard for us to keep our hearts under wraps when we are putting ourselves in such a vulnerable position.  Even the hard-hearted-hannahs do get their hearts broken.  It’s painful knowing we don’t rank high on our lover’s priority list. We are a convenience when time permits.

Here’s a couple of reasons people decide to switch from being just friends to FWB’s:

  • both agree from there is no emotional attachment so there is no pie-in-the-sky expectations
  • you have recently come out of a breakup or a divorce are ready to sex, but not a relationship

If you are considering the switch, ask yourself these tought questions:

  • Is this FWB relationship just a rest stop on the way to something better?
  • Is this relationship one that makes me happy?
  • Is this all I can expect at my age?

I suppose the success of an FWB relationship depends completely on the two people involved and the ground rules they establish. For some it may be just what the doctor ordered, while for others just an another bump on an already hazardous emotional roller-coaster.

The Real Cougar Woman is a 5-carat diamond who knows the importance of taking care of her health, beauty, relationships, finances and spirituality. Linda Franklin says,”there is no stopping a woman who has a strong belief system, passion and a dream. All things are possible”. Linda’s book, Don’t Ever Call Me Ma’am helps women of all ages tap into their power and live life to the fullest.

Does Cheating Ever Work Out?

Does Cheating Ever Work Out? Fayr Barkley The Real Cougar WomanBy: Dr. Fayr Barkley, Ph.D.
 
Back in my grandparents’ era, divorce was relatively uncommon. Women had fewer choices then and fewer financial resources. “Divorce” and “adultery” were dirty words only whispered.  Most wives looked the other way. There was not any No Fault Divorce on the books, so one had to prove adultery or cruelty, which brought even more whispers and shame from the community.

Flash forward to the ‘60’s and women’s struggle for civil rights, equal pay for equal work and sexual freedom. Increased financial resources meant women didn’t have to put up with infidelity any more; they could now take care of themselves.

Nowadays, almost as many married women as men are cheating. The “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” is alive…but is it well…for relationships, that is. Celebrities do it. Politicians do it. Now Middle America is doing it. But I have to believe it is taking its toll on relationships and perhaps people are not really focused on the gravity of the marriage commitment so much when they think,”If it doesn’t work out, I’ll just get a divorce, or find someone on the side.”

I also have to believe, there are those of us out there who still believe in the integrity of the institution of marriage. Just this week, a young man whom I have known for a few years texted and asked me to have an affair with him. “Aren’t you married?” I asked him. “And don’t you have a young child with your wife?”

Here is the rest of the conversation:

Him: You know you want to see me. I really want to see you.
Me: There is no potential upside for me to see you.  And it would not be fair to your wife or your son. I am sorry you chose to marry a woman with whom you now say you don’t love and don’t feel sexually compatible, but you made that choice and now you have a child with her.

Him: Do you want to see me or do you just want to tear me apart?
Me: I don’t break up marriages or families and I don’t help married men cheat. I have integrity and ethics about that.

Him: OK. I get it. How about we meet just for coffee? We can be friends. Good friends. ;-)
Me: Frankly, I don’t associate with liars and cheaters.

Him: You know you want to see me. We had such great chemistry together once. Let’s see if it’s still there.
Me: There is no future for us either romantically or as friends. I hope you focus instead on your relationship with your wife and son.

Afterwards, it occurred to me if women didn’t cheat with married men (and vice versa) then the rate of infidelity would go drastically down.  People would think hard about making a marriage commitment and work harder at making better choices and working on the relationship.
 
Men cheat because we LET them cheat. Maybe wives don’t give them permission to do it, but it makes it easier if other women make ourselves available. I happen to believe I am worth more than being the “other woman.”  A LOT more. Think of it this way: Would YOU want some woman helping your husband or partner cheat on you? 
 

The Real Cougar Woman is a 5-carat diamond who knows the importance of taking care of her health, beauty, relationships, finances and spirituality. Linda Franklin says,”there is no stopping a woman who has a strong belief system, passion and a dream. All things are possible”. Linda’s book, Don’t Ever Call Me Ma’am helps women of all ages tap into their power and live life to the fullest.

Sexual Friendships Sans The Sex

by Linda Franklin – The Real Cougar Woman

FlirtationSexual attraction is a powerful thing.  From the moment your eyes meet, you feel that undeniable spark. You tingle with excitement and immediately reconnect with how much you love that sexual energy rush. It's been too long since your body reacted in such a powerful way to another person.  But, then reality hits – you're married and are commited to remaining faithful.  So what do you do?

You wonder if it's possible to have ahighly charged flirtatious friendship with a work colleague, a neighbor or even a friend's spouse if it never extends beyond the bedroom door?  What if there was a way of sharing many of the things that make a romance exciting — flirting, positive reinforcement, compliments, desire — without messing it all up by leaping into bed together? 

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Friends With Benefits But Without The Sex

LindaFranklin01a Have you ever wondered at what point you cross the line and are actually betraying your marital vows?  Is is the first kiss, an intimate conversation, or is the emotional connection with this other man that makes you feel like you are cheating?

Hmmm – if we're honest is your marriage actually in danger the moment you start investing time in a relationship with a man who isn’t your husband?  Could the emotional connection you have be much more hazardous than a physical one could ever be?

Some might argue that an emotional affair is harmless because it is more of a casual relationship than traditional cheating. However, the intimate nature of the communication, in addition to the emotional investment made by the people involved, places an emotional affair on the same level — or worse — as traditional cheating.

It starts off innocently enough.  You meet a man who listens to you.  A man who compliments you.  A man who offers to help you.  A man with common inetrest.  A man who makes you feel at ease. And, before you know it, you're hooked  He is providing the connection you are looking for, he is making you feel special – something that your husband is no longer doing.

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No Strings Attached – Will Friends With Benefits Make You Happy?

Cheaters Friends with benefits or friends with "benies" or friends for cut – it's all the same thing.  In theory FWB's is a mutual practical arrangement for satisfying each others sexual needs without the usual bothersome expectations of love, romance, or in most cases – monogamy.

The thing is, FWB's don't always provide equal benefits for both parties involved.  But, nevertheless these arrangements are becoming more popular and more movies are being made, like this weekends "No String Attached" with Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher.

I'm wondering if FWB's are only for single folks or can married people partake as well?  I'm not sure. Didn't they used to call it an affair if you cheated on your spouse?   

Most women, not all, often confuse sex with love.  Whether we admit or not, we are suckers for the emotional attachment.  It's hard for us to keep our hearts under wraps when we are putting ourselves in such a vulnerable position.  Even the hard-hearted-hannahs do get their hearts broken.  It's painful knowing we don't rank high on our lover's priority list. It's not good for our self esteem.

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Cougars Confused About Friends With Benefits

Cougars are talking more these days about friends with benefits. For those of you who may not be familiar with this term a friend with

benefits or “benie” is a mutual practical arrangement for satisfying each other’s sexual needs without the usual expectations of love, romance, or in most cases, monogamy. The thing about these arrangements is they don’t always have equal benefits for both parties involved.Cheaters

Not all, but most women likely will confuse sex with love, even when they say they just want sex.

Whether you admit it or not, if you are a woman you will get sucked into an emotional attachment.  It’s hard for any woman to keep her heart under wraps when she is putting herself in such a vulnerable position (pardon the pun). Even the hard-heartedhannahs do get their hearts broken.

It all boils down to asking yourself these two questions:

1. Am I strong enough to suffer the emotional ups and down of this non-commited relationship?

2. Is this FWB relationship okay because it’s fun and just a rest stop on the way to a something more fulfilling?

Think about it and even if the answer is yes to both questions, are you sure you are ready to dive in?

The success of these relationships depends completely on the two people involved and the ground rules they establish. For some it may be just what the doctor ordered, while for others just another bump on an already hazardous emotional roller-coaster ride.