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Sex & Relationships

The 5 Benefits of Becoming Friends Before Lovers


We can be guilty of being so eager to reach that end game of whatever relationship we’re seeking that sometimes in our sprint to the finish line we forget how important it is to stop and smell the roses along the way; especially if the scent and look of those roses are a dead giveaway of what awaits us there.  – Mr. SoBo

Dating is fun. Scratch that, dating is exciting. It’s also frustrating as hell and disappointing . But through it all, there is no denying the thrilling allure of being in the presence of someone you have yet to experience while eagerly searching for a romantic connection with him/her. After all, isn’t that why we date – to connect like dots and legos? Not my eggos.

It starts off with that highly anticipated telephone conversation you’ve both been eagerly awaiting since you first met. Two weeks in, a few phone calls and several text messages later, you have an actual date or two (if you’re lucky these days).  Things are going seemingly well. So well, that all that goodness leads you to the bedroom. Thereafter, you find yourself noticing things about this person you are not particularly fond of. Perhaps it’s his ascot and 3 sets of extra tight suits that rub you the wrong way. Or perhaps it’s the wife and three children he was hiding that eventually turns you off.

Fellas, maybe she doesn’t like to use coasters and the thought of her leaving watermarks all over your precious glass tables makes you wanna chuck kittens out the window. Maybe its how filthy she keeps her own home or perhaps it’s her flare for dramatics that sends you running for the hills. Or simply, maybe this person’s personality just doesn’t mesh well with yours.  Whatever the case, why does it seem that after finally sleeping with someone we discover we can’t stand them?  Do we skeet ourselves to clarity? What are we seeing after sex that we didn’t see before having it? It’s almost as if getting naked and exchanging a few licks, some gyrations, and body fluids magically reveals that his bald spot isn’t really a part; or that her sweet sassiness is really just…well,… ‘Evelyn Lozadaness’.

Ratchet hyperbole aside, most times the indicators of incompatibility are much more subtle, but in our quest for that romance we either simply ignore the obvious, or haven’t gathered nearly enough information to determine if this person is either worth our time or a headache we’d like to happily avoid. Now although we’re not able to control who we are (in)compatible with, we can still avoid much of our dating woes if we were to tailor our approach just a tad.

What do I mean by that you ask? Welp, wrote a post ’bout it…like ta hear it go.

There are times we only want simple love affairs and other times we desire commitment; but how many of us desire to become friends? Yeah, you read that right – friends. Not friends as the end all be all of our romantic endeavors, but actual friends before AND in addition to the romance being sought after?

Far fetched concept right?  Seriously, as much as we theoretically understand the importance of a solid foundation to any relationship we desire, the reality is that in practice, much of our romantic affairs are built on straws. Sometimes its intentional, other times not so much. The thing is a lot of our modern ‘dating’ typically follows this pattern:

Meet ->> Interest piqued->> SEX ->> Attempt to build a relationship/or simply go your separate ways.

Somewhere in the middle of all this and typically after we’ve explored the bedroom is when a good many of us attempt to dig deeper into who this person actually is, or at least pay closer attention to them.  We want deeper intimate, romantic relationships/connections and we want them now! Fcuk first, ask questions later. Can you blame us? I mean, that curiosity and desire to explore new terrain can be rather intoxicating.

Yet such an approach often finds us in undesirable relationships with experiences we later regret and/or want to forget, or at the police station filing for a restraining order. Now this isn’t to suggest that developing a friendship first will somehow help you to avoid all the nonsense. However, it might place you in a better position to avoid taking things to a level with someone you’re probably better off not going there with.

That said, here are 5 Benefits to Being Friends Before Lovers.

1. You’ll determine your (in)compatibility

With dating, we are driven by motive.  We want companionship, love, sex or some combination of the three. The hard part is figuring out which of those three things the person you’re seeing wants as well (assuming they even want anything from you at all).  By putting your agenda to the side, you’ll eliminate the dating pressures and expectations which will result in a more genuine interaction. You’ll find it easier to focus more on the actual individual and not your ‘wants’ from them; making it easier to recognize early on what you have in common (or not so much), and uncover any undesirable personality and character traits.

2. You’ll build better trust

This is the glue. If someone were to ask you to name two people you trust and respect in life, chances are you would name either a family member and/or *drumroll*, you guessed it, a friend. Whether you have three besties or just one, there is no denying the trust and respect that exists in the friendship you share. Those things are established because there tends to be much more openness, realness and honesty within a friendship.  Not as much fear of judgment. You simply allow yourself to be who you are. Plus, there is no agenda.

When dating, trust is more complicated. We are more preoccupied with being judged, and since there is an ‘unknown’ agenda on both ends, we tend to be much more guarded with our feelings making it a little more challenging to establish trust.  But that aint stopping us from fcukin’ though. Funny how that works, right.? We trust more with our bodies than we do with our hearts. Sh*t some of us don’t even trust our wives or husbands. But our friends!?….we usually trust with our lives.  How many of you reading this have friends that know you more intimately than your significant other ever will? How’s that for trust?

3. It’ll improve your chances at experiencing a more fulfilling relationship

How many of us have had more than our fair share of short-lived ‘romances’? I’m talking anything under six months. Chances are many of those instances left much to be desired. It’s a gamble indeed. Yet there is no denying the dependability, growth and fulfillment we experience with our friends. Sure the dynamic is different, but a romance built similarly (in addition to the fire and desire) could be the difference between having another ‘passerby’ and the type of relationship you crave.

4. It may keep your ‘list’ shorter

And I aint talking about the one that Santa checks twice a year. Fcuk your wish list and your grocery list. I’m talking about that list. No slut shaming here because life is about experiences; and truth be told, all of our experiences – including the one’s we feel we could have done without – serve a purpose. They all contribute to our personal growth. But philosophical bullsh*t aside, we all know damn well we wouldn’t have wasted nah a condom or two minutes of our lives with some of them ‘fresh faces’ we let into our bedrooms had we exercised a little due diligence. If only life came with a ‘do over’ button.

5. You get to witness their crazy, so you don’t make it yours

If this person is already exhibiting slightly concerning behavior while you are getting to know one another, can you imagine how much more turnt up it will be after ya’ll cross that bridge into lovers territory? I don’t know about you, but I like my family pet cute, cuddly, unboiled and… alive.  Anyhoot, what do I know – it aint like I got the answers anyway. Sway.

So my OM family, what are your thoughts on all of this? Do you believe there are benefits to being friends before lovers, or is that an unrealistic approach to dating?  Does sleeping with someone open our eyes to their ‘faults’, or is it that we just stop turning a blinds eye to what we already knew all along? What would you add to this list?

Read up all about me in the "Men Behind The Pen" section on


      • Adonis

        @Mia N

        How do you know someone got to sleep with her?

        I study people as a passion, and I know the subtle changes of a woman who has been sexed.
        That being said, doesn’t mean that I cannot be fooled.
        If I sense it, she is done as a serious contender for any long-term investment.

        I always thought a guy could “sense” this, but I am very curious.

        It is a matter of experience.
        Some men have no clue.
        Other men have an idea.
        Some men are very exeprienced with women. But won’t tell you what they know.

    • Adonis

      The problem coming from a my POV in big city dating, is that you don’t push for s-x early for a lot of women & do the traditional courting, “get to know you” swag, she will most likely put you in the friend zone.
      Being a “gentleman” works against you often. It is just not the business.

      • Mr SoBo

        “Being a “gentleman” works against you often. It is just not the business.”
        Not necessarily so. Only if being a gentleman is all you’re bringing to the table. There still has to be ‘sex appeal’ underneath that gentlemanly persona. The trick is finding the balance between the two so that you can cultivate both the romance and friendship you are looking for.

      • Mia N

        Lies you tell…lol. I would love if that happened. And I can’t let a guy take me out if I am not interested…I feel bad. Try to pick women with more character.
        Please don’t stop being a gentlemen. I actually watch couples together and love to see how the gentlemen treat their women and pay attention to her, because that’s what I want.

        • Adonis

          Please don’t stop being a gentlemen. I actually watch couples together and love to see how the gentlemen treat their women and pay attention to her, because that’s what I want.

          Of course you are interested in guys being gentlemanly & romantic to other women. That is the best way to have other women eating out of the palm of your hand.
          Also, that is what that couple shows you for the camera, you have no idea what there relationship is like 24/7.
          Again, being a gentleman, outside of being a celebrity or some highly valued male, is not the business.
          That advice, you would give men you are ALREADY ATTRACTED TO.
          Not men, who are always looking to get their foot in the door.

          • Mia N

            I wouldn’t want that particular guy but a guy that treats me like that.
            I just don’t agree with you.
            Even men I am not attracted to, I would tell to be a gentle men. There is a difference between a gentlemen and a pushover that lets women walk all over them. I think “nice guys” get confused on which is which. I have met plenty nice guys that put women in their place.

  • Mia N

    Friends before lovers worked better in college. There are guys that I got to know very well in college, inside out well, and never dated.
    But nowadays, even when a guy approaches, and acts like he wants to be friends, I can smell the ulterior motives.
    Interest piqued, then sex is exciting only for a second. There have been so many guys that try to “get in there quick” before I really get to know them…but upon waiting it out, all their cards fall down and the real them shows through. Thank goodness.
    Not saying I am perfect, I also want to make sure a guy can deal with the highs and lows of personality also.

    • Mr SoBo

      Well, college is a haven for bedroom liaison . Its part of the collegiate culture. In fact, I’d argue that given the atmosphere there, it is probably easier to accomplish such than it is out on the street. I do agree with your point about it being easier to develop friendships in school. So I’m curious: Why is that so, and what makes it more difficult to the same as adults?
      Welcome to the OM btw.

      • Mia N

        For me, I had a lot of guy friends from working my dorm and another dorm. They would always tell me who they liked or what kind of girl they liked (which was nothing like me) usually thick, dark skinned, long straight hair ( I had locks). They told me EVERYTHING, talking about women’s body parts…everything.
        But as an adult, I will clearly state to a guy that I want to be friends or nothing more. And I can tell he is guarding a lot because he thinks he still has a chance to sleep with me/date me, whatever. Even when I try to set the tone by talking about other guys, who is cute, the guys still won’t completely open up completely as they did in college.
        The bond I have with male friends from college is so much stronger than any bond I have ever formed after.

  • hershykiss

    This has always been an issue for me dating. I’m a strong believer on getting to know someone before you sleep with them. Taking time to date and become friends with a person before sex is undoubtedly very hard these days. For men at least, because men are visual creatures, they view us women as something to fulfill their lusty desires. So trying to find a man who can look past my sex appeal ( as modest as it is) and to get to know me is a CHALLENGE.

  • Kay-nycgirl

    I do agree with this post..I think the best approach to dating is to simultaneously build a friendship while cultivating the relationship. What’s so great about this dating experience is that it goes hand in hand with great communication, which is essential in forming a lasting relationship. It just makes for a more fulfilling experience because when you begin to build a friendship, you are more open and honest because you are both trying to get to know the other person instead of focusing on only putting the best aspects of yourself forward or going out of your way to put forth a persona that’s not totally genuine. This way your potential suitor can get a full picture of who you really are, including your not so lovely traits, which we all possess. It can also lead to a more genuine experience where you feel comfortable sharing your secrets and fantasies, good and bad..
    I think approaching dating this way is also beneficial when we end up in the bedroom, which most of us end up there faster than it takes us to learn each others last names. I find that when sex is introduced while you’re dating and incorporating a friendship, it leads to less questions and less confusion. When I have grown to value your friendship, that means I have achieved some level of trust in our friendship, which leads me to put more trust in your actions overall. It allows me to simply enjoy the experience and focus on how good the growing connection feels instead of obsessing about where I stand with someone or where it will lead. By no means does this guarantee you a successful relationship but when you have a connection with someone and you nurture the friendship as well, it can lead to a truly beautiful thing..

    • Mr SoBo

      “This way your potential suitor can get a full picture of who you really are, including your not so lovely traits, which we all possess. It can also lead to a more genuine experience where you feel comfortable sharing your secrets and fantasies, good and bad..”
      Exactly. And isn’t that essentially the purpose of why we date – To find someone who will like/love us for who we really are (masks off)? Imagine how liberating that would be.

      • Kay-nycgirl

        I have experienced this, however for this to work you actually need two people that desire the same things and approach it in that respect. And…they keep the lines of communication open so that whatever issues arise can be discussed, bc we all know if we can’t effectively communicate then our issues will never be resolved and the relationship won’t progress..that is if you actually want it to..

      • Mia N

        Why aren’t more guys more interested in this? It’s like they know they want to date you but they don’t even know you.
        I am actually tired of explaining in detail to guys that I can travel alone, or see a movie alone, or like every kind of music, even country….I actually don’t feel like the guys that claim to like me are comfortable with who I am and because of that we aren’t compatible.

  • Oju

    You are so right about this. Spot on. I wrote an article about this very topic earlier this year. Lol, ratchet hyperbole though? funny as hell

  • joy eger

    I have learned thru experience- after 3 months a woman should know if he is serious relationship material. It also makes her confront if she is doing the chasing. To drag it out for over a year without some sort of friends “exclusive” is a waste of time. To go beyond 2 years is asking you , “What about my self-respect and dignity?” A good guy needs a damn good reason to be dragging it out. After that, you are only staying with each other to hang out then, after 5 yrs, 10 yrs, you finally marry and because ‘what would happen, we’ll never see each other again.”
    Not a good reason to marry. Like Will & Kate.

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