So, in some conversations with a few different people recently, the topic of the FRelationships has come up. The term FRelationship can be used in a few contexts.
- · When you are technically married or in a romantic relationship, however tend to behave more as friends than lovers.
- · When you are technically in a friendship but tend to behave more like you are in a relationship.
- · When you used to be romantic, however broke up and remained friends…. Still behaving in similar ways to when you were in a romantic relationship.
- · When the status of the relationship is unclear to one or both of you, as nobody has defined the relationship
- · An intimate friendship that exists between 2 couples.
- · An unsuccessful attempt to turn a friendship into a relationship… where they do define it differently, but do not behave differently.
- · A casual sexual relationship between friends without commitment or long term potential.
(Sourced from the Urban Dictionary: https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Frelationship)
Let’s talk about these in more detail, shall we?
The first Frelationship, is the type you may find yourself in after a long term committed relationship. It started out romantically but seems to have dwindled somewhat to a stable platonic connection. I am a big believer in friendships within relationships and think it has to be an essential component… but remember you are in a romantic relationship and keeping the romance and spark going is essential for the health of your relationship. I am not only referring to sex, or feigned attempts at romance if your heart isn’t in it. If the romantic part of your love for your partner has ended, do you both a favour and set yourselves free to love again. If however, you want to save your relationship, make the effort to do something special for your partner that you would not do for just a friend. Remind them that you think of them and value them, and want to take care of them emotionally. Offer words and acts of positivity and appreciation regularly. Try not to stop kissing them, regardless of your sexual status.
The next type of FRelationship on the list pertains to people who only share a platonic connection, however behave more like they are in a romance. They flirt, they attend events together, they may even live together. They are very comfortable with each other in an almost intoxicating way. What differentiates this from the last Frelationship on the list is that they do not share physical intimacy. They feel taking that step would make it a relationship. They may do intimate things, like dance together… infact their whole relationship is a subtle dance. One partner steps forward, with the innate trust, knowledge and or acceptance, that this will cause their partner to naturally take one step back. The problem with this FRelationship is that while it embodies a romantic relationship, it usually threatens that very thing. Other partners either can’t compete with the friendship, or the friendship is discarded when romantic entanglements ensue, only to be picked up again when those relationships fail. It can be dangerously addictive, however be careful not to use one another to fill a void or avoid yourselves or real relationships.
Speaking of real romantic relationships, that brings us to the type that exists because you used to be in one. With each other! You probably had separation anxieties and decided to straight away try and be friends. What usually happens after that is that you change the title of your relationship but forget to change your behaviours. Even if you are no longer physically intimate, the emotional intimacy and security is still there. It is preventing you from moving forward and letting go. Can you be friends with your ex? Yes, but it takes time, and space and change in your attitudes and behaviours. Your friendship is kind of stuck in limbo. Make your choice and act on it.
Alternatively, you may be in the reverse situation. You were friends, but decided to become a couple…. Unfortunately although you defined it differently, you neglected to change your behaviours. You might still find it strange to hold hands with them after a long friendship, or struggle to introduce them under the new title. Maybe there was a reason you didn’t progress to a relationship sooner? Often this happens because OTHER people, outside of your friendship have said you’d be great together and encouraged you to try. As you couldn’t see any real reason not to, you decided to go ahead. Ask yourself if the spark is there? If it isn’t, just be honest and go back to being friends. But do define that with the other person so they know they can start looking elsewhere. Embrace your friendship and at least you can say you know you tried.
What if you don’t actually know if you are in a relationship with someone? Perhaps you met online, went on a date or 2, but never kissed. You kept hanging out, but it seems more like friends than lovers because neither of you has made a move? Or maybe you were friends, then you kissed one night (maybe more) but never spoke of it again and kept hanging out as normal. You’d probably (not definitely) like to be in a romantic relationship, but you are too scared to talk about it or act on it. Unfortunately this is another stop in Limbo Land. What are you waiting for? A written invitation from the queen? I know you are scared, because the answer might be “No” but if that is true you are wasting your time anyway, romantically speaking. DTR. Define the relationship. Make the move or have the conversation, and find out if your energies are best invested elsewhere or if this is going somewhere. Anyone who tells you “I’m not ready yet” is hedging their bets and using you til someone better comes along. If they like you, they will know. If not, you have your answer. You can still be friends, but cool it!
Another way the term FRelationship exists is when you are part of a couple, and you have a very close friendship with another couple. It can be hard to tell sometimes who is partnered with who as you are all so close and do everything together. Maybe you should consider a quad relationship? (It’s a thing, google it?!) This is not an unhealthy FRelationship, just make sure you are getting quality couple time and quality time with other friends together and individually. The worst thing about these situations is that people sometimes lose their individual identity, so make sure you break out on your own occasionally too and look out for codependency.
The last way a FRelationship comes into play is when you are basically good friends with sexual benefits. You may or may not act like a couple, but you do share intimacies friends usually don’t. You know. Casual sex. Lol Basically you are using each other, which isn’t the worst thing if you are both using each other for the same things. However if one of you is hoping it will progress and the other is looking for more elsewhere it is a recipe for heartbreak. The Rhianna song “Rehab” covers it quite well when she says “The only problem is that you were using me, in a different way than I was using you.” If one partner is using the other for sex and money, while the other is using the first partner for pseudo love, comfort, affection and attention, then the latter stands to get very hurt.
I personally have experienced almost all of these Frelationships, which I believe exist because relationships and friendships are so similar it can be hard not to blur the lines… or even know where the lines were to begin with. They can be lots of fun actually! Open and honest communication (even when it is difficult) and intentional boundaried behaviour are crucial here to make things work. Have you had any Frelationships? What have your experiences been like?
Your best Friend ForNever