Dear Em & Lo,
Is physical attraction a gift or a curse? I’m writing this because a friend and I have been friends for a year. Let’s just say we’ve had our share of up and downs. From us being friends with benefits to helping him deal with his crazy ex-girlfriend. I enjoy being friends with him socially, being able to do regular normal things. We have a lot of similar interests. I’ve always been there for him.
But the downside is our extreme physical attraction to each other is very intense and strong. I don’t want that to destroy our friendship. He’s been cheating on his new girlfriend with me several times. He claims he loves her but she isn’t a very sexual person.
I know he feels guilty when he wakes up and I’m just numb and when I leave I feel like a whore. We’ve set up boundaries — like no sleeping over anymore — but over time I feel our sexual tension will start to build up again. What should I do ?
— Friend with Limited Benefits Plan
Here’s a better question for you: How many of your other friends make you feel “numb” and “like a whore” after you’ve hung out?
And here’s another question: How many of your female friends make you feel “numb” and “like a whore” after you’ve hung out?
You do have other friends, right? We’re assuming this dude isn’t the only person you share interests with, the only person you enjoy socially. So you don’t really need him, socially speaking.
The reason you do need him, we think, is because you actually enjoy the sexual tension. Why else would you ask us if physical attraction in friendship is a gift or a curse? But this guy is (a) a bad friend with benefits (the sex makes you both feel bad — and the whole point of FWB sex is to have fun); (b) an even worse friend (you’re always there for him, but it doesn’t seem like he’s there for you); and (c) a terrible, cheating boyfriend (in case you were thinking along those lines). So why the hell would you keep him around?
We understand the thrill that comes from an FWB — but we think you should replace this dude and find a new one, someone who actually plays by FWB rules. And in the meantime, spend lots of quality time with your female friends who don’t make you feel numb or whore-like. If, god forbid, you find yourself missing those numb and whore-like feelings, then we suggest shelling out $15 to see Charlie St. Cloud at a movie theater near you.
Gifted & cursed,
Em & Lo