Over and over society seems to say that men and women can't be "just friends."
Over and over society seems to say that men and women can't be "just friends." An article in the New York Times delineates these points (http://nyti.ms/HuAc3q) from When Harry Met Sally, to more recent movies like Friends With Benefits. But sex and relationship therapist Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil takes the idea of "just friends" and turns it on its head: what if this is the coward's way out?
Dr. Bonnie explains that adding in sex and intimacy into a relationship is more tricky so some people opt to take the friends-only root. "That's not to say that every male/female friendship should end in marriage or that every such relationship harbors repressed romantic feelings. But often there is at least one member of the friendship who hopes for something more but doesn't act on it."
Relationships are hard and intimacy is difficult and Dr. Bonnie believes many times people resign themselves to being in a friendship because the expectations are lower. "People don't have to be as vulnerable," she says, "so they don't get as hurt. They don't have to let their guard down which is what happens when sexual attraction enters into the equation." Not every male/female relationship has one person (or both people!) waiting for the opportunity to share their true feelings, but for those that do, it can be a rocky road.
Of course, there are good and bad ways to declare love! And for this reason Dr. Bonnie recommends using her Smart Heart Skills and Dialogue. Developed to help couples navigate stormy waters, they can also facilitate open communication within a friendship. "Have this conversation with the other person at a time and place where you can accurately and honestly explain how you feel," advises Dr. Bonnie. "Each person should know that it is a safe place to be open and honest without fear of repercussion."
Friendship is much less risky - but so much of experiencing life is about risk. "Yes," admits Dr. Bonnie, "it's risky to tell someone how you feel especially if you're worried you might ruin the friendship. But isn't it just a different kind of risk to keep those feelings inside and not allow yourself the possibility of exploring a relationship?"
Text ADULTERY to 82257 to find out from Dr Bonnie if adultery or affairs may be looming in your relationship!
Interested in a few dating tips from internationally acclaimed relationship therapist Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil? Text DATINGTIPS to 82257 to receive Tips and Updates from Dr. Bonnie!
Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil's best-selling book, Adultery the Forgivable Sin is being re-released under a new distributor and making its appearance available in eBook format and print on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Adultery-Forgivable-Bonnie-Eaker-Weil/dp/158776815...). Adultery the Forgivable Sin was also made into a Lifetime Original Movie starring Kate Jackson.
Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, PhD, is also author of the 2010 New York Times Reader’s Choice Award-winning book Make Up Don’t Break Up with accompanying DVD. Dr. Bonnie is a marriage counselor treating couples, singles, and step families. She works with those considering breaking up, people who have committed adultery, and couples who want to strengthen their relationships damaged by resentment or unresolved anger, teaching people to “fight” to increase passion, bring back magic and restore the sizzle.
As a marriage and family therapist, Dr. Bonnie teaches Smart Heart Dialogue along with intimacy, communication, and connection tools, and counsels families and children.
Named the Best Local New York Therapist by the US Commerce Association two years in a row (2011 and 2012) and known as “The Adultery Buster” and the “No. 1 Love Expert,” she is the best-selling author of other books like Can We Cure and Forgive Adultery?, How Not to (S)mother Your Man and Keep a Woman Happy, and Financial Infidelity: Making Money Sexy.
Dr. Bonnie was named by Psychology Today and NY Magazine as one of America's Best Therapists and is presently featured and available now on the Discovery Health/Oprah Winfrey Network documentary titled "Unfaithful" (http://bit.ly/GSP0KB) and A&E on addictions. The San Francisco Chronicle, which interviews Dr. Bonnie regularly, voted her one of their love experts.
Also find her on Good Morning America, on the Today Show's three-day series on infidelity, The Oprah Winfrey Show five times, and a four day series on Fox TV regarding dating. She appears frequently on ABC, Fox, CBS and NBC News, The View, 20/20, and CNN; and is often featured in USA Today and the New York Times. Visit Dr. Bonnie at http://www.DoctorBonnie.com.
Is "Just Friends" The Coward's Way Out?