Friends and Lovers

Can a man and a woman be just friends, have sex with no love? I say yes to both with a caveat.

Some say it’s impossible, can’t happen…safely and maybe that’s true. My personal feeling is that yes, I can have a friendship with no sexual connection and I’ve known others who have had sexual connections with “just friends” and no emotional tie beyond that… or were they lying to me?

A loaded subject.

I have someone I consider a very dear friend whether he knows it or not. We were lovers once but are no more.   Outside of photographs, neither of us has seen one another in over 47 years and I don’t know that I’d recognize him on the street if I saw him but I really like hearing from him and reading about his exploits and I think he enjoys following mine and that’s perfectly fine.

I remember having male friendships when I was young that were strictly platonic and I had the finest time with them but most were gay.  No sex. No expectations of sex. I also had one relationship that ended in friendship after a rambunctious love affair that lasted a few weeks. It was hot. Probably one of the hottest affairs I ever had and I really liked the guy.  We parted mutually as friends. No hard feelings, no angst, no anything but a warm parting. We eventually lost track of one another.

Recently, I spoke with a young lady who had the great idea to give her spouse permission to have an affair. No, I take that back, she only gave him permission to have sex with someone else.  She set the ground rules with both parties, or so she thought, that there would be no emotional involvement between them, just sex. When more developed, she was angry that they hadn’t “followed the rules”. It wasn’t working and she just couldn’t understand why. They had fallen in love. She’s still in the equation but unhappily.  In her minds eye, it was supposed to work. (I guess if you play with a loaded gun, be sure you know how to use it or it could backfire.)

I explained to her not everyone is hard wired for sex without love. How awful is that? What makes sex grand is love.

It reminded  me of the story of a little girl I once knew who decided she would be a Jehovah’s Witness and her friends would be the people they call on when they knock on doors.  This little girl would stash each child in a closet with a scripted dialogue she gave them to repeat as she would proceed door to door “calling” on them. In the meantime they waited in this dark closet for her to get to them.

If they deviated from their given dialogue, she would tsk tsk, shove them back in the closet and have them do it over  again until they got it right.  Their dialogue would vary from slamming a door in her face, yelling at her, to being interested in “the message” she had to deliver. She was 5 years old and it was humorous then watching this child bully the neighbor kids, some of which were older than her, into doing what she wanted.

But this is not humorous and she is no longer five. The dialogue and wills of others cannot be dictated to.  I’m afraid this young lady, like the little girl will discover that love finds a way. I know she thought if he is given permission to stray then perhaps she could have a fling of her own without guilt or without giving up what she has or thinks she has. She wanted the proverbial cake and the right of eating it too.

It reminded me of when my marriage was going south how it was the guy at the desk next to me that was my sounding board for all the things that weren’t working in my marriage. My husband was paranoid, didn’t allow me to do things, he was afraid of everything and used God’s word as a weapon to neutralize everything I believed in or wanted.

It was this co-worker and friend, who I didn’t love initially who became my sanctuary and who I ran to in my sadness and took refuge in.  From that innocent beginning love grew and eventually became my partner, life mate and fortunately still friends as well. Oh yes, we don’t agree all the time, but that’s okay, we accept that and agree to disagree which means compromising sometimes. We don’t have to be right all the time and we have the freedom to relish in that at times.

As for the young lady, you might say, “what the hell was she thinking?” Sometimes, in my opinion, in an effort toward “free thinking”, we lose our souls, our sense of fair play, and most of all love. Is it okay to have multiple partners? I don’t think so. But I sampled a few to find the one that was the right fit for me and I’m done.  Maybe that’s what all this is about.

The young lady in question was 17 when she married an older man. She was suppressed and molded into developing a mindset that didn’t fit her, only she didn’t know it.  Unconsciously she’s been rebelling for some time and he has been trying to redirect her and get her back on the track he believes she needs to be on even though deep down he’s probably hoping she’ll totally derail.

The dilemma:  What now?

Her fear like mine was and is “What am I going to do? How do I support myself? What about the kids? Will his ship come in once I’m gone. Wouldn’t that be my luck! Then he’ll say, it was my fault that he never succeeded.”  All the same negative self talk I had as well. It’s a safe bet that he’ll do better if they are not together.  Why? Because perhaps his lack of success is that he’s as miserable as she has been.  Who can flourish in a negative environment?

To stay or not to stay?

She’s going to college right now and is a bit shy of her degree. Yes, it would be hard to support herself and continue with school. She may have to learn to budget and plan and…what about the kids?

Yes, there’s a lot to weigh in at, but …with a little bit of faith it’ll work out. I’m praying for her. In time, I hope she’ll figure it out.

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