“I’ve been fooling around with my straight best friend for 6 months. Surprisingly, he made the first ‘moves’ and we progressed from there, but we agreed to keep it as ‘friends with benefits.’ But we act like a couple – we do everything together, and we both even say I love you several times a day. The only thing he won’t do is admit we’re ‘together,’ even though our close friends even say we’re a good couple. I call him Mickey (from Shameless) because he won’t admit he’s gay. Do I just wait?”
-Question submitted by Anonymous
Shane Billings Says:
In times like this I find great comfort in the electropop yodeling of Gwen Stefani, whose first solo album demanded that we ask ourselves: What you waiting for?
Not-so-totally long ago, I fell for a guy who kept small Warhol prints hanging on the wall of his bathroom, each with a different quotation. One, in particular, read: “The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting.” So I’d be visiting this guy, and I’d be in his bathroom, checking for boogers or stray hairs before smoochy time. And I would see this particular print and wonder… Does waiting actually make it more exciting?
Like, waiting at the DMV never made my registration tags sparkle or shimmer. Two hours in line at Space Mountain maketh not a spacier thrill. Waiting, in and of itself, does not promise meaning or value to the futures we’re hoping for.
So to answer your question: no, you shouldn’t JUST wait. Take your Gwen Stefani moment, and find out what exactly it is you’re waiting for. Waiting for Mickey to admit he is gay could be frustrating and insensitive to the reality that he may be searching for a different way to define his own sexuality.
Instead, pair the waiting with a variety of other things, like a behavioral platter of fruits and soft cheeses. Tell Mickey how you’re feeling about the dynamic in your relationship, and that you love him. Then wait a little.
Enjoy the current status of your relationship, and take pleasure in the fact that you’re able to do everything together. Expand your definition of “everything.” Wait a little more.
Watch a few Nora Ephron movies. Read a few Nora Ephron books. Then wait a little.
In a relationship, waiting can be a courageous act, so long as the waiting doesn’t make you inactive or resentful. Be generous and be kind. Give Mickey time and space to define his sexuality on his own terms. Appreciate your role in his discovery.
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"Please provide list of rules when entering into a Friends With Benefits SITUATION. Thank you."
- Question submitted by Anonymous
LOLOLOL. I like you because you asked this question as if there is a direct and not-at-all-complicated answer. HERE IS A LIST I MADE UP JUST NOW.
1. Mix CDs – don’t make ‘em for one another.
2. Feels – do a weekly check in to make sure you are on the same page before you sex.
3. Boundaries – if there are certain things that make you feel too coupley, like holding hands or cuddling or sleep overs or watching Lifetime movies, don’t do those things.
4. ARE YOU TOTALLY OKAY IF YOUR FWB MAKES OUT WITH SOMEONE ELSE!??! Keep checking in and make sure this is the case.
5. Don’t buy them presents.
6. Don’t sleep together every night.
7. Don’t make your facebook relationship status “It’s complicated with… “
8. Don’t awkwardly introduce them as your “uh… friend? i guess??LOL” to people.
9. DON’T SAY I LOVE YOU.
10. If you don’t wanna share your Doritos and they’re like “come on share with me” stick to your guns bc the whole point of NOT being in a relationship is NOT having to share your Doritos.
I deem this a comprehensive and educated list of rules. My list, therefore, is brief:
1. Follow Dannielle’s list of rules
2. Give me a fucking Dorito
"How should I feel after a friends with benefits weekend?"
- Question submitted by Anonymous
Depends on where you are in your life and what you want and stuff. I CAN’T DO THAT EVER. I can’t be physical with a human unless I want to like marry them and have their babies and introduce them to my family and write about them in my journal and tell them all my deepest darkest secrets and giggle and do manicures and cry in their arms, etc.
hOWEVZZ, I think I’m a special case and I think people do friends with benies all the time and it works. If you feel good, that is awesome and you should absolutely feel good. Don’t feel like you HAVE to want a relationship with someone just because other people want that, ya know?
Also, check in with you and be honest with yourself. If you’re starting to have feels for the friend and the friend isn’t feeling the same feels, it’s okay to put a stop to the benefits to protect your heart. AND VICE VERSA.
I, like Dannielle, generally attach all my feels to mashing mouths with someone else. I don’t know why, but it’s always been really hard for me to be “just friends” when it comes with “benefits.”
That, however, has literally nothing to do with you.
Because your name isn’t Kristin Russo… and it isn’t Dannielle Owens-Reid. Unless this is some weird time-travel situation. In which case, can you tell 1999-me that I should stop wearing that knee-length denim jacket? Thanks.
You should feel however you feel. Period.
I know that might seem like a cop-out answer, but you guys, we are the only people who can determine how we feel about things… and those feelings are valid just by the very nature of the fact that we are feeling them!
If you feel like your heart is getting involved, either put the brakes on the physical stuff (to protect your heart), or have a conversation about how you are struggling to keep the friendship separate from the heart-feels. If you are having a great time and your feelings are all, “This is great! Boners Without Borders!” or whatever, that is amazing! Keep the benefits coming and make sure you’re also clear about how great this friends-with-bennies situation is (just in case the other party might be developing feels).
You’re doing great.
Three cheers for makin’ out!
"I have an on and off again relationship and right now it’s off … he wants to have sex and I do too but I’m scared he will just leave afterwards …. is it worth being friends with benefits?"
-Question submitted by Hanna
No amount of ‘doing it’ with someone is worth emotional hurts SLASH heart ripping… I hope that makes sense. I know you like him PROBABLY A WHOLE LOT and you enjoy having fun with him A WHOLE LOT, but there comes a point when you have to do what’s best for you.
Right now, you are literally saying to us ‘this already hurts my heart, should i keep doing it?’ AND TO THAT I SAY: no. Do not. It will probably be hard to cut all ties at first, but it will be worth it, you’re putting yourself through a lot right now, and this relationship isn’t fair to you.
It’s one thing to be emotionally ready for a friends with benefit-ship and it’s a totally different thing to NOT be ready but to push yourself into it anyway. It’ll mess with your head, trust me.
I VOTE NO.
I SECOND THAT VOTE. No. You should not.
You literally just said “he wants to have sex.” So you KNOW what he wants, and you KNOW what you want, and you KNOOWOWWWWOWOWWWWW that those two wants do not align. Sorry for the scream-wail on the third “know,” I was just feeling dramatic.
I am sure the sex is awesome and I am sure you just want to be able to put your heart aside and have fun and hope that maybe this time something will click in his brain and he will want to be with you and all the problems will vanish in a sea of kisses and naked bodies… but that only happens in movies, you guys.
He is who he is. You are who you are. One night of sex for another several weeks of heartache, generally speaking, ain’t worth it. Bite your lip, invite some friends over, and watch a crappy horror movie with a bowl of popcorn instead of giving into that desire. It’ll only hurt your heartbones in the end.
Also featured in “The Hook-Up” on MTVAct and MTV’s It’s Your Sex Life