Friends Without Benefits — Married Men

I know, it sounds juicy or scandalous.   I assure you, it’s neither.

The Confession.

I spend time with married men from time to time.

These men are happily married.  And it is not one of those situations when the men are unavailable for or forsake their wives and family to hang out with me.   No, these guys are good to their families, first.  And these are not “emotional affairs” either.  Nobody’s saying, “Oh, if I wasn’t married . . . (wink wink)” or “My wife doesn’t understand me.”  No, nothing like that.   These are men I’ve met professionally or from my old neighborhood.     It’s lunch, every once in a while during the work day, it’s dropping by to say “Hi,”  while out on a run.  It’s helping with a household project, or moving or carrying something which requires man strength and then staying for a cold drink.   It’s random phone calls to chat.  Although my girlfriends and I check in from time to time, I would say my face and phone time has been with married men more frequently than girlfriends or family recently.

The Benefits.

I confess also that there are benefits, plenty of them — just nothing sexual.   In addition to having  someone to move the refrigerator — which, I’m convinced is a man’s true purpose on this earth — but I digress . . .   The emotional benefits are that they make me feel like more than  —  a mother.  One even asks if I’m seeing anybody and thinks that I should.  I rarely get that question from family or girlfriends, a fact that may be the topic of another post . . .  but I digress again.   When my married male friends  tell me  I look nice or that it was good to see me, etc. . . .  it makes me feel good.   Occasionally, I can even go a semi-professional event with one of these married guys, to avoid the dreaded and frequent “The New Walk of Shame for the Single Woman: Going Out Alone.”    So, it’s nice.  These married guys genuinely like me as a friend, still acknowledge that I’m a woman, and offer statements of admiration for me and what I’ve accomplished in a difficult situation.   It’s nice to see that in a man’s eyes.

Yes, benefits abound, with pants on.

The Problem.

Perhaps, however, there is something sinister going on here.  Not with them, but with me.   And no, I would never be the “other woman.” Never.   I was “the wife”  I know what that’s like, I wouldn’t do that to another woman.  And these guys wouldn’t do that to their wives anyway.  No, what is sinister is that I’m getting my “man fix” without any chance of getting involved.  It’s safe.   Too safe.  How will I find the courage or interest  to have dinner with an available man, and all that implies, if instead I can hang with a man who I know I will never have a romantic relationship with, but who will, most likely, share a meal with me, tell me I look nice, and pick up the tab.   I don’t have to worry about a kiss goodnight — or more,  or when he should meet my kids, etc.  Hell,  these men either already know my kids or it is completely appropriate to introduce them to the guy because he is just another adult.   Bonus —  I don’t have to shave my legs or stock my goodie drawer since nothing will ever happen.  I get to hang out with guys, but I don’t have to deal with any of that pesky dating  stuff.   Great, right?   Wrong.

Armchair Analysis.

At a time when I have to literally force myself to be more social with adults, when I do socialize it is often with unavailable men.   Sounds like a bit of escapism, don’t you think?      No need for a degree in psychology to figure this one out.  What about hanging with some women?  Well,   my female friends are a force to be reckoned with.  They are smart, successful and together.   They do not judge me — but I wish I was more like them and sometimes that makes me uncomfortable.   Escapism and avoidance.   I see it.

The Solution.

The solution is obvious.   I need to spend time with men who are potentially available to me in all ways.  I know this.    And, frankly, it’s  probably a good sign, a healthy sign,  that the married, platonic friend thing is starting to bother me a bit.   It’s not good for me to be so safe.  I’m single.  I need to spend time with single people.   The married guys are all cool, and I want to keep our friendships,  but I need to add an available man to the mix.   While I’m making that happen, I need to  reconnect with my female friends, and make new ones.  For me it’s easier said than done, but at least I see it.  I own it.

Still, I’d like to give a shout out for the proper married men who do the right thing at home but still take time out here and there to check in on,  hang out with, or just help out  a single woman going through some tough times.  There are true gentlemen in the world.  I just need to find one who doesn’t  already have a wife.

Just Me With . . .  a bit of armchair analysis.

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6 responses

  1. I hope this isn’t proof that all the goods ones are taken. Please tell me no God.

  2. I had a platonic relationship with a single male friend for 20 years. When he died, I was adrift. Many dates dumped me when they saw or heard of him. I told him after about 10 years that I would never find a guy as long as we hung out. He laughed. I told him that he was chasing men away. We both laughed. However, we still dated other people, so I was not going to chase away my friend. Ten years after his death, I wonder if being such good platonic friends was a good or bad thing. He lifted things became a great sounding board and did all the male things except for sex, something neither of us wanted from the other. I often wonder….

    1. Wondered if you should have had sex?

  3. […] from Peter to pay Paul to pay some Painters that gave me a good deal because one of my “Friends Without Benefits” told them […]

  4. […] “I”.   I had help from guy friends for a couple of days for the really big stones, see Friends Without Benefits, but  most days I was on my own.    I’m always so careful with my projects, safety first, […]

  5. […] He’s one of the men I was thinking of in “Friends, Without Benefits — Married Men.” […]

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