Senior Sex Buddies – Friends with benefits
By Tom P Blake – Finding Love after 50
A 51-year-old woman described her one-year plus relationship with a 52-year-old man:
We clicked from the time we met
The chemistry is there
We have a lot in common
He's an easy-going guy
We have fun together and get along well
We enjoy each other's company
We see each other almost every weekend
We talk on the phone 3-4 times a week
Most women would enjoy a relationship with those characteristics. But Karen—not her real name—says she’s in dire need of advice. She described the problem.
“He’s never been the type to utter the verbal language of intimacy. At the very beginning yes, I’ve heard him say I love you or I miss you on occasion. Now, I seem to be the only one who says those words. I sometimes get a response.
“Our relationship isn’t going forward as it should be; it seems to be stagnating. Something is missing. Our relationship can be likened to two buddies who have fun together over the weekend with a benefit of sex (also known as “Friends with Benefits.”
“I deserve more. I need someone that I can express my true feelings with, grow with, lean on and have him reciprocate. I want romance/intimacy and don’t feel I’m getting this most important facet from this guy. How should I proceed to solve this dilemma?”
It’s a good thing she asked me and not Dr. Laura Schlesinger about her dilemma. Dr. Laura likely would have bluntly told her that she created the problem herself by having sex with a man without being married, and might have added something like, “Why should he pay for the cow when the milk is free?”
I asked Karen if she’d ever communicated with him about her concerns. As of this writing, she hadn’t responded.
I suggest she have one of those lets-hold-off-on-the sex-for-a-few-minutes-and-discuss-an-important- issue talks. She may find her sexual buddy thinks their relationship is perfect. Heck, it sounds like a pretty good arrangement to me.
And for once in my life, I might even agree with Dr. Laura: the problem is Karen’s. I suggest Karen read Susan Jeffers’ book, The Feel The Fear Guide to Lasing Love, particularly chapter 4, about people holding up a mirror to discover what they’re doing to make themselves unhappy.
It’s not his fault that Karen’s deeper needs aren’t being met, it’s hers. Either, she’s got to figure out a way to express her feelings to him and grow with him, or, she needs to move on, to find someone more suitable.
I suspect if she moves on she’ll soon realize that she had a great relationship with him and the new men she meets will fall short in areas where her sex-buddy excelled. She’d probably end up being sorry she left him.
The answer? She needs to work on herself and not screw up what sounds like a damn-good relationship. Karen needs to get Susan Jeffers’ book.
Janice: "I've been going through a nasty divorce for the last two years. My ex hasn't talked to me since the day he left. I don't know where he lives. We were married for 36 years. I am in an all-time low and would like to meet a nice man who wants no commitments but friendly companionship at first. Do you have advice for me other than my living on tranquilizers. I can't work until the divorce is over."
Response: "I understand your hurt and frustration. Get Susan Jeffers' book and study it cover-to-cover. You need to help yourself get through this, her book will help you start. You might also seek counseling."