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Ask Nicci: Friends with Benefits? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nicci Sprouse   
Monday, 11 April 2011 07:24

Ask Nicci: "Friends with Benefits"?   
Our dating and relationship expert gives one reader a reality check.  Life happens quickly; some times it takes an unbiased perspective to clue us in on what’s really happening.  


I have a “friend” that has been in my life for over 3 years. After simultaneously going through nasty divorces we connected on a friendship level. We were both extremely jaded and found comfort with each other; ultimately agreeing we were completely comfortable remaining single, never marrying again, and not having kids. Over the past year we have become inseparable. Lately I’m confused — it hit me that we talk daily and see each other every other day. I look forward to seeing him and he makes me smile. We have a romantic relationship but have never labeled what we share — I suppose I’ve been fine with him being “my friend” all along. Are we a cliché “friends with benefits” or did I accidentally stumble into a relationship at some point?

Signed,

Bitter sweet

 

Dear Bitter sweet,

 

Let me be the first to let you in on a little secret: He is not your “friend” — he is your BOYFRIEND! Sounds like Cupid snuck up on you when you were least expecting it. Let me break this down for you: If you are speaking regularly, have been seeing each other consistently for over a year, neither of you are dating other people AND he makes you smile, then its official — you’re in a relationship. It might be time to formally label it!

 

“Love at first sight” isn’t the only way to fall in love. It can also be a natural progression when two people find a common ground and start off as friends. Personally, if given a choice, this would be my preference because it is completely organic; you have a comfort level and a strong foundation to build from. Given the proper attention this type of relationship can grow and be healthy.

 

I understand your concern sharing your feelings with your “boyfriend” given the mutual understanding of your relationship goals before. However, things change — people change. Your behavior and routine clearly models a typical boyfriend/girlfriend relationship so you should not feel apprehensive to let him in on our secret. I would approach him from a place of factual humor. Meaning, make light of it jokingly but also state the facts. Let him know you would like to explore being exclusive. Clearly you already are it is just a matter of getting him on board with the reality of it.

 

Once you have shared your epiphany with him and made it “Facebook Official” (Ha Ha), I think you should make sure your head is on straight. In your question to me you stated the two of you went through nasty divorces. Give your relationship the clean slate it deserves — if there is the possibility that either of you could harbor any emotional baggage from your divorces then you might consider seeing a relationship counselor as a preventative measure. Counseling is not just for unhappy married couples on the brink of divorce anymore. Relationship counseling is proactive and solution focused; a great way to make sure neither of you repeat negative relationship patterns.

 

Love happens when we least expect it. It’s what you do with it once you’ve got it that really matters. So many people in this world yearn for the feeling of butterflies when someone kisses them or feeling lost in the moment of someone’s presence. Take advantage of the gift that’s been given to you — it’s priceless.

Nicci Sprouse -

Nicci Sprouse is Cincy Chic's dating and relationship columnist and the owner of Ask Nicci, an upscale dating service in Cincinnati and Columbus. Send Sprouse any questions at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For more information, visit AskNicci.com or e-mail.

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Last Updated on Monday, 11 April 2011 12:22
 

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