Understanding The Benefits and
And so from the male perspective, that leaves two possibilities:
What about someone you're not having sex with and also aren't particularly interested in having sex with? That's "just a friend".
One important point to note is that when you hear someone arguing against the wisdom of casual relationships, chances are good that it will be a woman making that case. Why? Because historically they've been the gender which benefits more from having formalized relationship structures.
As many mothers have admonished their daughters over the years: "Who's going to buy the cow if you're giving the milk away for free?"
That's of course a delicate and awkward topic for women, but it's one reason why so many men are initially more open to informal arrangements. It's the same logic that makes the concept of "getting a company car from your employer" more desirable than "buying that same car yourself".
But things are not so cut and dried. Few relationships these days start out as formal relationships. Rather, they begin casually but either fizzle out or else progress to a more formalized arrangement within a few weeks (with "going steady" being the usual next step). Casual relationships have "a short half-life", as nuclear scientists might put it.
We've seen two primary causes for men to agree to the more formalized agreement. Both factors have a sexual aspect to them:
Those are the usual selling points: continued access for him, combined with (he hopes) exclusivity.
But for as long as they can last, these informal relationships frequently represent an ideal arrangement for men if they can handle it. But most guys can't, especially when they're in their teens, twenties or thirties.
Unless you've had a lot of experience with a lot of women, you've got "game" and your sex drive is starting to slow down a bit as you age, it can be tough to handle for extended periods. It's just too hard for most guys to keep their emotions in check otherwise.
What's the best advice for such guys? To move from informal relationships to the "going steady" stage quickly if need be, but then to move beyond the "going steady" stage as slowly as they can get away with.
For further advice on improving other aspects of
your casual relationships with women (or more formal ones), continue to our main Understanding Women in Relationships page.
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