This guy and I have been friends for a while, and we talked about trying a “friends with benefits” type relationship. Even though I know this can get messy, I’m tempted to try it out with him. Am I making a mistake?
Dear Cautiously Curious,
Even though a “friends with benefits” relationship may initially seem like a good idea, it usually gets messy at some point or another. Especially because you two have been friends for a while, there’s always the risk of losing what you had before. But if you really do want to try it out, tread carefully and set ground rules. By starting off on the same page, you will be able to avoid confusion later on.
A “friends with benefits” relationship becomes messy when someone begins developing feelings for the other person. Make sure you stay tuned into how he’s feeling, and be open if you feel the “friendship” element is shifting. Open communication is key to making this work.
I have been friends with this girl for four years now, but lately I feel our relationship is very one sided. Especially since she started college last year, I feel like she’s changed a lot. I don’t see our relationship going further, but I can’t just cut her out of my life. How do I start creating separation?
Dear Needed Space,
College is a big turning point in anyone’s life, and unfortunately relationships can suffer during this transition. At this stage in your life, everyone is beginning to figure out who they are as individuals and priorities change. To your point, you can’t exact “cut her out” of your life, but you can create separation between the two of you. By talking to her less and less, you will transition into life without her.
While this may not be easy after four years of friendship, sometimes relationships run their course in unexpected ways. And this space may be exactly what you two need: She may begin to realize the valuable friendship she’s losing, and start to reevaluate how things have changed. But for now, you need to do what’s best for you. Unfortunately things don’t always turn out as planned, but everything always happens for a reason.