Healthy-relationshipFor 7 years, I’ve been in what I call a Frilationship.  Although I thought it was just some random word I made up to get an appropriate title to what we’ve had, apparently Urban Dictionary describes it as:

“When two people are in a relationship that is somewhere between friendship and a romantic relationship. They are usually initiated by men who need female companionship but are unable to commit. It is often very difficult to determine if you are on a date or just hanging out as these men will often pay. The word comes from joining the words friend and relationship, thus you are in a Frilationship. The frilationship is a very grey place and it is very difficult to define the situation. It is very similar to friends with benefits except the benefits aren’t always sexual in nature and can be seen as help buying gifts for one’s mother, ect”

When I looked at the definition, I saw where it actually differed when it came to my situation.  He wasn’t the initiator, I was.  I honestly can’t say I want a commitment at this stage in my life.  But I want the companionship of one person, not a bunch of random dating.  Now, I will say, the “friends with benefits” comparison could be appropriate, but the benefits are less sexual and more emotional.  Don’t get me wrong, the sex is amazing.  But it’s not a common occurrence. Over the last 7 years, we’ve probably gone to more family gatherings than CVS runs for condoms.

Sure, we’ve gotten our fair share of side-eyes from family and friends. There’s always the questions, “Why don’t you two make it official?”, or “If you two love each other, why not just get married?”.  Unfortunately, neither of these are that simple. And we never have an answer.

Marriage has never been on the forefront of my life plan, or his.  A frilationship has worked for us. There’s no drama, no fuss, no snooping at each other’s text messages, no wondering if and when someone will pop the question.  No question will be popped.

But there is that grey area.

Last year I came across someone who piqued my interests. Because of our agreement with each other, I told my frilationshipend (as opposed to boyfriend) that I wanted to test the waters and see how things could go with this new person.  To say he was shocked was an understatement, but he understood and appreciated that I was being honest.   Two months later, after being on a “hiatus”, I Skyped him and told him that the new guy just wasn’t what he cracked up to be.  He listened and we laughed at the stories I had to share.  Two hours later, he was at my door with take-out and wine.  We watched our favorite movies, cuddled and fell asleep in each others arms.  The benefits weren’t sexual that night, but the chance to share my emotions were welcoming.

A frilationship isn’t for everyone, neither is a friends with benefits relationship.  But if you’re two honest adults, with the same expectations clearly defined, who knows, it may work out.

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  • Laura Charles

    This sounds like a major setup for a broken heart, lots of tears and comfort food. If the author finds herself comfortable with arrangement and he (who is in no way committed to her) finds another woman, courts her, falls in love and marries her, trust me, it will be devastating.

    Not sure why people are so afraid of labels but if I had to guess I’d say these same people fear commitment. While it seems like a great set up now, later down the line it may just seem like a waste of time for both parties involved. You will lose a friend in the end or a chance at a great relationship, had you set boundaries and expressed expectations. Closed mouths do not get fed.

    • Pseudonym

      Very much so. Also, frilationship is exactly “friends with benefits.” The emotional support bit falls under the “friends” part and the sex under the “benefits.” The two are no different.

  • Pseudonym

    So…it seems like what you have is a “placeholder” so you can always have someone to play your boyfriend, even when you don’t really have one. It seems that if you were really into your “frilationship,” then you’d not ditch it when you met a guy you wanted to date. If you’re in one of those “committed but not official” relationships, you wouldn’t see other people and if you were in an “open” relationship, you’d still be able to continue to see you “frilationfriend” (or whatever it’s called) while seeing what’s up with the new boo. So, basically, you’re having emotional and sexual intimacy with a dude you like enough to hug you when you have no one better around to hug you, but that you don’t like enough to actually want to be in a real relationship with him. Is that what is going on?

    • Me27

      i swear you took the words out of my mouth. As soon as i read the definition i said, this sounds like a placeholder until someone better comes along…

      Personally, I think that is a terrible way to treat a person. They are good enough to kick it with sexually and emotionally, but the minute someone better comes along, you kick them to the side. It seems selfish and someone is bound to get hurt.

    • We are >>>here<<<

      But i figured her partner is obviously ok with the arrangement (or really patiently waiting for her to "come to her senses") so *kanye shrug*

  • Ashley

    I appreciate articles like this that show the diversity of human relations. Not everyone finds normative relationships fulfilling. Besides, looking at all the relationship drama around so-called normal relationships showcased here and elsewhere I’d say most of you who are critical of the author would do well to learn from people who forge their own paths. based on what she’s saying, this is a mutual arrangement. At least everyone is being honest. As long as it’s affirming to both of them, what’s the harm anyway?

  • Brewchowskie

    Honestly this just seems really selfish. What you didn’t mention is whether or not the guy is also free to explore other options and how this would make you feel.

    I honestly hope he realizes you aren’t the person he can rely on the rest of his life and isn’t just waiting for you to “come around”.

  • Frilationship, Friends with benefits, Situationship, Cuddle Boo….. IT’S ALL THE SAME THING.. don’t let these urban dictionary words make you think otherwise. The terms and conditions are no different when dealing in these areas although people like to think their circumstance is the holy grail.. As long as both parties are on the same page and honest with themselves and each other then a successful outcome can be had.