For 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 giftsfor one’s mother, etc”
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 familygatherings 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.
Reprinted with permission from Clutch.