However, if you or your opposite-sex friend are only participating in the friendship because of these "perks" (it happens more often than you think), then it's more of a business arrangement than a friendship. Although other people's opinions shouldn't matter, they can still be problematic.Individuals in a guy/girl friendship may start to feel uncomfortable with how they're being perceived by others, and get discouraged from spending time with each other.Most of the time, individuals in a guy/girl relationship aren't bothered by these "friend zone" roles.
If you were asked what you thought were your opposite sex best friend's best features were, you could probably come up with a whole list.Your consciousness of your friend's attractiveness is the foundation for developing feelings.Usually it's the guy who falls for the girl - a study conducted by Harvard University surveyed 88 pairs of opposite sex best friends and showed that the males in the friendship were more attracted to their female counterparts, rather than the other way around. Guys probably don't want to hear about their girl best friend's time of the month.The next morning (or even that night) come the recriminations: Was it wrong to give that person the sexual green light when you had no intention of rekindling the emotional side of the relationship?Marilyn, a 57-year-old single colleague of mine, recently reconnected with someone she had worked with many years ago. "No," Marilyn said with a laugh, "it's better than that: I'm in like with him — and that's exactly where I want to be." She further confided that they planned to make their reunions "a regular thing — if four times a year can be called 'regular.' But I think that's about all I really want." Marilyn's casual approach to maintaining a friendship with benefits typifies the mindset of older folks who have reconciled themselves to having "great fun" even if it's "just one of those things." And episodic pleasure-seeking may be more common than you think: In The Normal Bar, a book I wrote last year with Chrisanna Northrup and James Witte, we reported that 61 percent of female survey respondents who had partners fantasized about someone they had met.For 50-plus types unwilling to walk — possibly rewalk — the path that leads to romance, rings and relocation, the prospect of a "friend with benefits" is looking less and less like a millennial indulgence.After all, it gets awfully lonely waiting around for "the one." Perhaps you've decided that what you need at this point in your life is someone to talk to and laugh with — someone with whom you can share the sheets, but not the tax refund.They've seen one another at their best and at their worst, and never pass judgments for past mistakes.All of that sounds pretty similar to a relationship, no?En español | You made the mistake of asking your adult daughter if that guy she went out with last night was "anything serious." She gave you a nonchalant shrug and smiled."Don't book the church yet, Mom — it was just a hookup!