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Casual relationships...are they ever 'healthy'?

(45 Posts)
FlightHattendant Tue 01-Sep-09 18:55:38

A man I know has come back from his travels, as he does sporadically, and very upfront has said he'd love just to come round whenever he is here, and be close physically (not sure how close exactly but that kind of idea) but is worried it would not be fair on me as he is away so much.

I said it wasn't so much the unfairness thing but that I always invest ehavily in relationships, emotionally I mean - and with the children around all the time it isn't likely there would be any time for physical intimacy.

We left it at that but he'll be round tomorrow to help me with some garden stuff and I am very attracted to him...the kids'll be here anyway but I'd like to figure out what I want from him and whether I could actually live happily with someone coming round every few months, uncommitted, etc etc.

I'll always be fond of him and fancy him. It's about whether anything happens I suppose, and I'm adamant it won't when the children are here because it's not fair for them to get attached to him as mum's boyfriend and then he buggers off. Ds1 was already upset that he didn't come here for months.

If anyone has a perspective and can talk me through it I'd be grateful. My usual criteria are all or nothing iyswim.

warthog Tue 01-Sep-09 19:10:47

i'm like you - it's all or nothing.

i've felt like this in the past and had the opportunity for that sort of relationship. i didn't go for it and was glad in retrospect. i knew i'd get too heavily involved, he'd say 'back off', i'd lose my self respect and generally feel crap.

it's whether you feel you can not get too involved, keep him at arm's length.

100namechanges Tue 01-Sep-09 19:16:06

i think this depends on the type of person you are. No right or wrong about it. In my group of girlfriends, I know that myself and couple of others could fairly easily cope and enjoy a casual relationship like this and take it as it comes and just enjoy the sex.

However, a couple of my other female friends say that they can't help but get involved emotionally if they get involved physically. One of my friends even says that she falls a teeny bit in love with every man she sleeps with. She's recently accepted that one night stands are not for her cos she ends up with no heart left to give.

It's totally about your own personality.

FlightHattendant Tue 01-Sep-09 19:19:39

Thanks Warty,
well last autumn before he went off, he was getting very interested in taking it further but i only let him kiss me - whichw as nice - but the kids were there and I just said not in front of them.

I've been Ok without him around - I know he'll always come back, sooner or later, so that's Ok - and it is kind of nice to know there is someone out there who likes you and cares a bit about you, well, that's probably my fantasy - but I enjoy his company and am fond of him and I think that's mutual.

I got annoyed when he didn't come back when he said he would (march!!) because he owed me money - but he's come good on thatnow.

I struggle with that idea of whether he actually does give a shit about my feelings, or just wants sex, iykwim? I just don't know how to tell. Maybe when someone just wants to be 'casual' it's the latter...

and whether I am offended by that. I think I probably am a bit. I want to be loved not just shagged.

FlightHattendant Tue 01-Sep-09 19:21:26

Thanks 100 as well. Food for thought most certainly. I can't let myself give unless I am being 'loved' with someone's mind, heart etc - even just a bit - rather than simply used.

I need to know I'm respected and liked at least or else I'd feel angry, empty and used. I couldn't sleep with someone I didn't respect.

bigchris Tue 01-Sep-09 19:24:35

hi FA
do you fancy a shag though every once in a while?
would your mum babysit so that you could go out
I don't think a bit of physical comfort every odd occasion matters as long as you don't get emotionally involved
it doesnt have to involve the kids
it could be just for you iyswim
I know i did when I was single grin

FlightHattendant Tue 01-Sep-09 19:35:49

Well yes, I do fancy a shag but only a shag that means something.

That is physically I wouldn't want to unless it was symbolic of attachment, mutual attachment not just one way.

I could if thatw as the case. But if it#d be him thinking 'well there's no way in the world I'd live with her, I don't like her much, but hey she is quite sexy and seems to be up for it' that would not cut it for me.

FlightHattendant Tue 01-Sep-09 19:37:37

Also he is in a position of power as he owns the house. I'm not sure how this would complicate matters if we did fall out somehow. Whetevr did happen would need to be entered into with much caution I think, that's why I'm discussing it here in private with you lot grin

Nancy66 Tue 01-Sep-09 19:40:20

There's absolutely nothing wrong with a 'friends with benefits' arrangement as long as both parties are clear that is all it is - and the clear understanding has to be that both are free agents and may well be seeing other people.

flightattendant, from what you've said and (if i've got the right person) from another thread of yours I would say you are too sensitive and emotional for such an arrangement - not a critcism, we're all different.

I had a very sexy f*ck buddy years ago before I met DP and it was great - we met once a week had a bottle of wine and a damn good session but that was that. I fancied him but would never have considered him as a boyfriend - too flakey and too full of shit -and there was no emotional atachment.

warthog Tue 01-Sep-09 19:41:10

examine what you want closely.

are you really looking for a long term relationship? do you harbour secret yearnings for this man to fit the bill? do you have fantasies where the sex is so good he gives up his worldly adventures to settle down with you and only you?

how would you feel if he has a couple of other women that he occasionally shags? have you ever indulged in one night stands? do you normally only have sex with someone you've got more than an acquaintance with?

Overmydeadbody Tue 01-Sep-09 19:42:50

same as 100

It depends on your personality.

Like all things in life, what's healthy for one person isn't necessarily healthy for another.

Whatever floats yer boat I say.

FlightHattendant Tue 01-Sep-09 19:43:30

Nancy thanks - I probably am. No offence taken!
Yes I think I would generally be approaching it with some degree of specialness about him, and I'm not even sure if he is seeing someone still - last year they were not getting on, he said. He's never settled properly and I doubt he ever would.

I am also tempted to think I might 'tame him' with my womanly wiles. I like having a man wrapped round my finger, it happened once...quite exhilarating. But I don't think I am fooling anyone now I am old and haggard grin

Overmydeadbody Tue 01-Sep-09 19:44:09

warthog speaks a lot of sense.

warthog Tue 01-Sep-09 19:44:10

just read latest posts - if i were you i would NOT go for it. you would be giving something away that you value more than he does. listen to what he's saying: 'he'd love just to come round whenever he is here, and be close physically (not sure how close exactly but that kind of idea) but is worried it would not be fair on me as he is away so much.'

he wants to come round for the occasional shag. worried about how you would handle it.

sad sorry. don't open yourself up to this hurt.

warthog Tue 01-Sep-09 19:45:10

thanks - overmydeadbody - am all gooey inside - no-one EVER says that to me grin

Overmydeadbody Tue 01-Sep-09 19:45:33

Flight if you have fantasies of 'taming' him or making him yours, then the best thing would be not to have any kind of fhysical relationship with him, you will just end up hurt and in this scenario it would not be healthy for either of you.

So don't do it.

FlightHattendant Tue 01-Sep-09 19:46:06

Warthog - x posts, how did you guess wink

No, I've only had about 2 one night stands, which were crap. This was in my first foray into sex which lasted a year or two. I soon realised I hated that kind of non emotional thing - sex is just too disgusting and complicated not to mention risky to share with anyone you don't really love.

So it's generally reserved for special relationships, which sadly I am not, er, having.

Overmydeadbody Tue 01-Sep-09 19:47:26

You do though warthog!grin

Your last post was also excellent. I couldn't have put it bettere myself.

Flight he wants sex with no strings, don't oblige or you will get hurt.

FlightHattendant Tue 01-Sep-09 19:48:34

ok. I do love him being around and doing stuff together, gardening,'s jolly good fun. He's a laugh and very sweet to the kids.

I can enjoy that, it's hard not to look into his eyes and go all funny but I think he probably does that to all the girls.

I don't feel I would be that special. It'd be nice to be special to someone again.


Thanks for all the advice. I'm glad of it smile

Overmydeadbody Tue 01-Sep-09 19:49:10

you know the answer then don't you Flight?

In the meantime, if you haven't already got one, get yourself a rabbit grin

warthog Tue 01-Sep-09 19:49:32

well the bonus of witholding will possibly be he respects you a little more. you're more than an easy lay.

you sound like a really special person. hold out for the man who deserves you smile

warthog Tue 01-Sep-09 19:50:47

group hug?

forgot myself for a minute there - this is mumsnet isn't it? <slap>


itsmeolord Tue 01-Sep-09 19:53:33

NOOOOOO! Don't shag him, he owns the house you live in, you want more than he does, you will always harbour a little fantasy in the back of your mind that you will be the one he will settle down with, but he won't.

Wait for someone special.

FlightHattendant Tue 01-Sep-09 19:55:21

Group hug grin

I'm actually really special, absolutely grin

KiwiKat Tue 01-Sep-09 19:56:25

We used to call this 'maintenance', and it had definite appeal. However, in reality I found it impossible to get the balance right, and one of us would end up getting hurt. Usually me. I always ended up getting emotionally attached, and in the rare occasion when I was emotionally removed, the other person would get attached. And the uncertainty was a breeding ground for jealousy and insecurity. Trouble!

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