Having Sex With a Friend: Is it Possible?

 By Nina Atwood

Dave writes: Is it possible to have a sexual relationship with a friend of the opposite sex? We really care about each other, and we’re also physically attracted to each other – would we ruin the friendship, or is it worth a try?

As soon as you have sex, you are no longer “just friends.” You are now in a romantic relationship, whether you call it that or not. You’re lovers, and that is not the same as friends, although friendship can be part of being lovers.

The relationship changes at a fundamental level when you become sexually intimate, regardless of what you say to yourself, to each other, or to others. Saying “we’re still just friends, this doesn’t mean anything” doesn’t change the fact that you are no longer just friends.

One of several things is likely to happen. One of you will fall in love and feel compelled to hide this fact. It doesn’t fit in with the agreement that you established up front. Not wanting to feel vulnerable and out on a limb, you withhold the shift in feelings. But intense feelings cannot be entirely withheld, so in your behavior you operate from the new feelings, creating confusion in the relationship.

Another possibility is that neither of you will fall in love, but will begin to act like lovers whether you expect to or not. Your attachment bond will lead to jealousy about other dating partners. Time may pass and you will find yourselves in a settle-for relationship, knowing that you’ve compromised but unable to move on. Breaking up is a threat to the long-term friendship, so you become emotionally stuck.

Another possibility is that both of you will fall in love unexpectedly, leaving you confused about how to deal with the shift in feelings. You may be tempted to withhold your deeper feelings for each other, and that prevents you from moving forward with the relationship.

How can you avoid all of this potential confusion and pain? First, spend lots of time discussing up front the pros and cons, and the considerable emotional risk. Talk about the possibility of falling in love and how you would handle it. Talk about whether or not you’re comfortable dating others while being lovers together. Be brutally honest about how you feel and what you want. In short, have a direct, straight forward You and Me conversation and hold nothing back. Make your decision based on the reality of the choice, positive and negative, not the fantasy of it.

For most people, this level of honesty and openness does a pretty good job of dispelling the fantasy. If you are totally honest, odds are you recognize that going down this path isn’t worth the few emotional goodies you’re trying to obtain. If you’re looking at the big picture of your lives, you can see that if you could be a wonderful couple with a future, you would probably have already gone there. Bottom line: 99% of the time, opposite sex friends should stay that way unless they’re willing, prepared, and open up front about exploring a full-out romantic relationship with commitment and intention toward a future.


Entry Filed under: No Category


  • 1. Annonymous  |  January 7th, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    I am kind of in a situation where I am thinking about being intimate with a friend. He’s a virgin and I’m not, the only thing is I’m worried about the emotional attachment and the consequences that comes along. Right now we are pretty sure we’re just friends, its the after effect I’m worried about, though he doesn’t seem to be worried at all. This article definitely helped me when it comes to dealing with the situation before hand.

  • 2. anon  |  April 26th, 2008 at 2:06 am

    I’m in almost the same situation. However, there is a difference- he also happens to be my ex, from years ago. He’s also a virgin, I’m not. I feel a sort of physical attraction at times to him, and him to me, so it gets quite tricky…

  • 3. Ange  |  October 21st, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    Dont do it i had no intention of falling for my male friend but did its so dissapointing and upsetting when you have trouble admitting how you feel it could ruin the friendship


Search Singles Blog

Most Recent Posts