Or at least, without getting super-jealous and –esque?Some assume that one of the “buddies” is always being strung along, secretly hoping that the fucking leads to something more serious.We are taught that all relationships that don’t end up in marriage are failures (because, ya know, hetero-normativity and patriarchal narratives or whatever).But subscribing to that belief ignores the fact that romantic friendships can be extremely fulfilling, enlightening, and straight-up fun.It started when she was 13, with a boy whose family spent every summer in the same beach town as she did.(Cute alert.)Over martinis at Cafe Mogador, Casey told me, “When I’m dating someone, my immediate impulse is to be like, ‘Let’s lock shit down!
We live on different continents, but inevitably, a few times a year, we find each other somewhere in the world, have a few days of romance, and then go our separate ways.It’s like my morals were thrown out the window, and I felt this gross egotistical sense that I should come first, because I’ve been around longer, like, ‘Girlfriends come and go, but I’m .’” Sometimes it’s hard to accept that these dynamics usually have an expiration date, which tends to be when one person gets into a committed relationship.And, unfortunately, not only do you lose the benefits, but you sometimes lose the friend, too.I told Malcolm about my previous relationships, my fantasies, my heartbreak.Once, he told me this long, complicated story about an affair he had with his cousin, adding, “That’s not something I tell most people.” Probably wise on his part, but I loved that story, as problematic as it may be, because I loved knowing something about him that no one else did.Boyfriends and girlfriends have come and gone, but my friends with benefits have stood the test of time. That’s longer than I predict my first marriage will last.And while I can’t imagine being with my Cuba date “for real”—I mean, he’s a low-key homeless anarchist who once took me on date to his Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous meeting; there are red flags—I still value our relationship immensely.Sometimes it feels like we are more honest with our friends with benefits than we are with our partners.This paradox always makes me think of that episode when Betty seduced Don at their kid’s summer camp, well after they had both remarried.But sometimes, romantic friendships can offer a type of intimacy that committed relationships can’t.I was curious to know if Malcolm felt the same way I did about all of this, so last week (for strictly journalistic purposes), I paid him a visit.