I’ve had an extremely special man in my life for over two years. We are sexual partners and have a deep amount of love for each other. He recently moved to a different state, but we remain actively in touch. His friend -Frank -and I ran into each other a couple weeks ago and started to platonically hang out. Frank is good-looking, interesting and attentive and, to be honest, I would have already slept with him if the friend complication didn’t exist.
The other night, Frank came over to hang out. He brought a nice bottle of wine. I heated up frozen tamales. A few tamale bites in, he looked at me and said, “I usually am really good at sensing vibes from people and I cannot read you at all.” Here we go. I clarified, “I think you mean you are interested in knowing if I want a sexual relationship with you?” He laughed at my bluntness and confirmed that was what he was curious about.
I paused to check in with myself and gather my thoughts. “Well,” I said slowly, “I think you are attractive and interesting. And, I like being around you. But, _______ is always with me when you and I are together and I would need to address that before truly thinking about where we could go sexually.” Honest, succinct, and not the answer he wanted. I was then treated to what I have dubbed the “Trifecta of Manipulation” (emphasis on Man):
- Separate girl from boy who is cockblocking: “Oh, I didn’t know you and _____ had a thing.” “But, you weren’t the only woman he was seeing when he lived here.” “He had other women in his life.” (me: Yeah we do have a thing, he’s incredibly special in my life. Yep. He had lovely women here and we had no monogamy restrictions.)
- Weaken the friendship bond: “You know, we aren’t even very close friends.” “I don’t consider him in my closest circle of confidants.” (me: You’re friendship with him is separate from my relationship with him and that is what I’m focused on.)
- Mansplain ‘how it’s done’: “No one checks in with friends about this.” “Especially not in this city. It’s just not how it’s done.” (me: It doesn’t really concern me ‘how it’s done’ by other people. My values and integrity are the priority and I will decide how it’s done in my life.)
After each of the three steps failed, Frank left rather abruptly. He called a few days later to see if “things were weird between us.”
Regardless of whether I decide to pursue a sexual connection with Frank (despite the unattractive and pathetic Trifecta of Manipulation), I will talk to my special guy first. Fucking the friend of a lover is similar to fucking a friend’s ex. A discussion should happen between the primary relationship first. To be clear, I don’t think you have to ask for permission, but I do think it’s important to communicate the intention to pursue a sexual relationship. It’s a respect and integrity thing. And, the one thing I’m sure of is that – regardless of who I’m fucking – I get to go to bed with myself every night and I want to be sure that I value the choices I make and the actions I take.