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-   -   Friends with "benefits"...how did you do it? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=27796)

RestlessMoon 09-01-2012 01:46 PM

Friends with "benefits"...how did you do it?
 
So, my hubby and I are totally new to opening up our relationship/polyamory. Actually, I still haven't figured out if I'm really poly or just semi-poly. :)

Anyhow, the idea of having a "friends with benefits" or an "intimate friend" appeals to me. I want more than just someone I only see for sex; I want someone that I can also joke with, watch a DVD, grab brunch, etc. Someone that I have a connection with, even if it's not a deep love connection.

But how do I turn existing platonic friends into intimate friends? Let's just posit that I have current single male acquaintances/friends who I am interested in connecting with in this way, and they know I am married but don't know about my new open/poly arrangement. How do I approach one of these people and "pitch" the idea of a FWB relationship? Help!

GalaGirl 09-01-2012 05:25 PM

I'm a fan of KISS -- keep it simple, silly. Tell it straight up.
"Look, friend. So I want to tell you something and don't get all crazy, ok? Don't even answer me. Just digest this for a moment and hear me.

DH and I have Opened. I'm seeking an intimate friend. To me that means someone to share (list things here) with. I really like you. A LOT.

Now if this I seek is not your scene at all, I apologize for any discomfort the new knowledge brings you. Know that I hold you in high esteem and wouldn't just fling about willy nilly.

If this might be your scene, let me know later if you want to explore that conversation more.

I'm cool either way, and I value your friendship as it stands either way. Thank you for letting me say this to you honestly and openly. Thank you for being my friend."
There.

Then see what happens next.

GG

CielDuMatin 09-01-2012 06:52 PM

The direct approach is often the one that gets you an answer quickest.

If that doesn't feel comfortable to you, then you can talk around it. A lot depends on the nature of your friendship with the person. If you tend to chat about everything and the world in general, find some way of bringing up in conversation celebrities that have open relationships, and try to read what sort of reaction you get from him.

If he says "yeah, it's alright for them, but I could never ever do something like that" then you have an answer, and haven't exposed yourself to him any more than you needed to.

redpepper 09-01-2012 11:30 PM

How is what you describe any different from those of us who have other partners? The level of commitment? "Intimate friends" or "friends with benefits" confuses me...

RestlessMoon 09-01-2012 11:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redpepper (Post 152152)
How is what you describe any different from those of us who have other partners? The level of commitment? "Intimate friends" or "friends with benefits" confuses me...

I guess what I want really does toe the line between "friend" and "boyfriend/lover", but labels are really hard to apply, since I'm kind of new to this.

I think the commitment and level of involvement would be lower with a "friend with benefits." I wouldn't necessarily expect to meet his family, for instance, or have a regular date night. Another difference might be that if he wanted to become involved with another partner who was monogamous, I could probably be OK with the sexual part of our relationship ending or being put on hold until it was convenient for both of us again.

But I do want a little more than just late-night booty calls. So, this mythical relationship would fall somewhere greater than strictly booty calls and less than being expected to make an appearance at Christmas at grandma's.

RestlessMoon 09-01-2012 11:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GalaGirl (Post 152134)
I'm a fan of KISS -- keep it simple, silly. Tell it straight up.

...

GG

Thanks for the advice. Straightforward is good, though I'm still working through my fear of rejection. :rolleyes: I like the idea of saying "don't answer right away" because that gives the other person some time to recover from what be a little bit of a shock.

RestlessMoon 09-01-2012 11:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CielDuMatin (Post 152140)
The direct approach is often the one that gets you an answer quickest.

If that doesn't feel comfortable to you, then you can talk around it. A lot depends on the nature of your friendship with the person. If you tend to chat about everything and the world in general, find some way of bringing up in conversation celebrities that have open relationships, and try to read what sort of reaction you get from him.

If he says "yeah, it's alright for them, but I could never ever do something like that" then you have an answer, and haven't exposed yourself to him any more than you needed to.

Thanks for the advice. I'm definitely dealing with how to make things happen without it being super-awkward after the "conversation."

Of course, friends and others say, "Oh, just make a move on him, and if he's into you, then you'll know." But that just seems kind of shady without explaining the situation first, ya know?

redpepper 09-01-2012 11:54 PM

You can fashion your relationships around anything you want though. Who says he has to be mono with you or you have to meet his mother? There are no rules here; Its poly, we make our own rules. Hell, I had a boyfriend for three years that I only saw once a month and never fucked. It worked for us and we made it what it was. My other boyfriend lives with me and my husband and I would have it no other way. Neither would any of us. There is no need for definitions, just do it and see if others want to do it with you. Start talking about what you want with those you want it with.

nycindie 09-02-2012 12:22 AM

There are a few of us here who have relationships like that. I adopted Sourgirl's term "lover-friend," and others have followed suit. I have no desire for committed partners or boyfriends in the usual sense of those words. So I know what you mean.

As far as propositioning an already established friend who knows you are married, I haven't had that experience because I am divorced and solo. I date and bring up my approach to non-monogamy if and when it feels appropriate to do so, and I don't have any established friends I'd want to turn into lovers at the moment. However, I really like CielduMatin's approach. I would add that you may want to discuss with your hubs which of your friends you are interested in (are they his friends, too?) just so he's in the loop, but that might depend on what agreements you have between you about that sort of thing (like let him know in advance, or after an attraction is established?). Then I would probably meet with one of your friends and start off telling him about the new change in your marriage and discuss the whole idea and philosophy behind it and of being poly/open in general. If he seems intrigued or interested and generally positive, then I would let him know how much you always valued his friendship and would like to know if he would be interested in "being more than a friend" or "sharing physical intimacy" (or similar phrase that you'd be comfy saying) with you. Let him know that your husband definitely gives his blessing. But if his reaction is negative, harsh, or critical, then you know not to proposition him and won't be dangling out there without a net, so to speak.

Mya 09-02-2012 08:57 AM

I can tell you how I got together with my FWB. So we were hanging out and I told him about my other partner (at the time I had two, since then I've broken up with one of them), he already knew about the first one. Later I clarified that I'm also open to other people besides these two. Then after some time, maybe a month or two, he told me he and his girlfriend had also opened up their relationship. He had some questions about that and we talked quite a bit about open relationships in general. Then one night we were at a bar together and started flirting and dancing and ended up at his place. Then it just developed from there. First it was just random hook-ups, as in bumping into each other in a bar and going to his place, but later we started making plans to see each other and ended up meeting about once in a week or two.

So my advice to you is to talk about being open first and see how your friend(s) react to that. Give them time to digest that info. Then later you could for example flirt a bit and see if they go along with it. Even though I usually like the direct approach in most things, I'm not sure how I'd react if someone said to me something like GalaGirl suggested. I guess in these things I like to see if the attraction/connection is there and if it is, then just go with it. That kind of direct suggestion feels a bit too...rational for me. Like a business proposal.


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