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  #1  
Old 09-01-2012, 01:46 PM
RestlessMoon RestlessMoon is offline
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Default 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!
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:25 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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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
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  #3  
Old 09-01-2012, 06:52 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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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.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:30 PM
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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...
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:45 PM
RestlessMoon RestlessMoon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
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.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:22 AM
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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.
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:19 AM
SearchingforMyself SearchingforMyself is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RestlessMoon View Post
I guess what I want really does toe the line between "friend" and "boyfriend/lover", but labels are really hard to apply....
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.
I'm not sure I've ever understood the labels thing myself. On the one hand I live with E - we sleep in the same bed when our work schedules allow, make decisions together, wear rings, and plan to get married "someday, maybe." I refer to him as my boyfriend, fiance, husband, or whatever-he-is depending on my mood and who I'm talking too. Then there is also JP in my life - and I wouldn't know what label to put on that one either. He and I hang out, go to the zoo and take photos together, email back and forth during our workdays, and have 'hooked up' at least once a week for the past 6+ weeks - and he got a touch upset when I referred to myself as his "whatever I am" last weekend. His wife, J, then asked him what I was - because, oh yeah, he's married and she was sitting on the couch with us while we all three spent the evening chatting. He said I'm a FWB, she decided that no, I'm his lover. I did not get a say. I hope he's more than just a booty call, because I'm coming to care for him as much, much more than just a friend, but I would never want to get in the way of JP's 20 year relationship with J, just like he says he wouldn't want to get in the way of my relationship with E.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that labels aren't what make a relationship. No matter what you, they, or anyone else calls it, it is what you and your ______ put into it that matters.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:49 PM
RestlessMoon RestlessMoon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CielDuMatin View Post
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?
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RestlessMoon View Post
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?
Extremely. If a friend of mine that I knew was in a relationship and thought was monogamous glomed onto me, my first reaction would be to push that person off me.

I currently have a lady friend that I see regularly (we love each other but have decided an official "relationship" is not what we want) and we started as "friends with benefits." From what I've seen and experienced, "friends with benefits" transitions quickly into something else and rarely stays simple.

Its not a bad idea, but you should prepare yourself for the possibility of one or both of you developing feelings beyond simple benefit-yness.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:34 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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I was single when my friend, Eric, started chatting with me more regularly online. It was really nice catching up with him, and after about a week of this he said, roughly, "You know that Gia [his wife] and I have been involved with other women before. Well, after Jen [their ex] we decided to close our relationship for a while. Now we're feeling ready to open back up and you're on the top of our list for a threesome. Let me know if you're interested!" EXTREMELY straightforward, and I appreciated that.

I thought about it for a few days and then decided to go for it. For a few months I was a friend with benefits with them, and then Gia and I started hanging out more and really connecting and we decided to call ourselves "girlfriends". Now, three years later, we have a really close emotional relationship, and a really hot physical one that still occasionally includes Eric, and this is all in the context of having no "formal" commitment to each other, no formal schedule for seeing each other, rather infrequent dates, but a great deal of comfort and camaraderie and mutual support.

Obviously your situation is different in a couple of ways, but I thought it might be helpful to see one example of how things can start and then progress. Long live the straightforward approach!

Best of luck.
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