I told Malcolm about my previous relationships, my fantasies, my heartbreak.
It’s like my morals were thrown out the window, and I felt this gross egotistical sense that I should come first, because I’ve been around longer, like, ‘Girlfriends come and go, but I’m .’” Sometimes it’s hard to accept that these dynamics usually have an expiration date, which tends to be when one person gets into a committed relationship.
And, unfortunately, not only do you lose the benefits, but you sometimes lose the friend, too.
When I met him, he was 45 and charmingly grumpy, and he would always tell me: “Sex is so perfect. ” I’d go over to his apartment for a couple hours in the afternoons, we’d have sex (soberly, which meant I could actually cum), and then afterward we’d drink tea and complain about stuff. There were times when we saw each other frequently, and other times when things dropped off for a while, usually because one of us had a partner. It felt like we had entered this secretive bubble of transparency—we were emotionally intimate, yet free of the burden of jealousy and ownership.
And sure, when he would get a girlfriend I would be a little bummed out—I’m (unfortunately) not a sociopath—but it didn’t cause me to spiral into an emotional cyclone the way I would have if I’d been cheated on by a boyfriend. We could spill our guts to each other because we didn’t have anything to lose.
Afterward, when they’re lying in bed together, Betty says of Don’s new wife, “That poor girl.
She doesn’t know that loving you is the worst way to get to you.” Harsh.This arrangement would generally be called a friend with benefits, or a fuck buddy, or a romantic friendship, or perhaps even a relationship—with “no strings attached.” But let’s be real: There are always strings, aren’t there?It was while planning this vacation that it hit me: The two longest relationships of my life have both been with men who I was never officially dating.Others dismiss fuck-buddy dynamics as just being compulsive sex that’s devoid of emotion. Surely it’s possible to find a middle ground between eternal love and zombie-fucking a stranger: a place where you can care about someone, have good sex, and yet not want to literally implode at the thought of them sleeping with someone else. Case in point: The most significant romantic friendship of my life was with an ex-editor of mine, whom I’ll call Malcolm.We started “a thing” five years ago and have yet to end it.We are taught that all relationships that don’t end up in marriage are failures (because, ya know, hetero-normativity and patriarchal narratives or whatever).