Match.com Shares What Modern Singles in America Are All About

Singles in America Match.comLast weekend, Match.com hosted a livestream event that shared plenty of surprising stats about singles across the country, covering tantalizing topics such as friends with benefits (FWB), casual sex and sexting. For instance, would you believe that almost a quarter of all singles have shared received sexts with others? And men might be surprised by how much women are willing to go to have transparency in their relationships. According to one Singles in America study statistic, twenty-two percent of single women have checked a date’s pockets, drawers or closet.

These were just some of the many fascinating findings that Match.com‘s Chief Scientific Advisor Dr. Helen Fisher presented from Singles in America, the 2012 study of more than 5000 single men and women (and approximately 1000 married individuals), aged 21-71+, to gauge their beliefs and behaviors about love, dating and marriage. This is the third year of studying singles; 2012 focused on technology and the Internet, while also including a comparison of married people to singles.

While media and pop culture would have us believing that the state of marriage is doomed, Fisher said most singles in their 20s and 30s still want to get married and believe that marriage to one person can last forever. She observed from study results that singles today are focused on looking for personal connections with their mates, as opposed to 10,000 years of history where commonality in ethnic and religious background, as well as pleasing family and community, were paramount. While I have personally endured a family’s disapproval of my ‘ethnic disharmony’ with their son, in general, I can see increasingly more of the younger generations breaking the mold, looking beyond skin color and creed when it comes to love.

The Match.com study found that more than 90 percent of singles are looking for people who respect them, whom they can trust and confide in, and who can make them laugh. And brush up on your vocabulary, ladies and gents, as well as your teeth—the study found your teeth and grammar are the top two things you are judged by when someone first meets you.

The smile and expressiveness of eyes are the what I notice when I first meet someone. As a wordsmith, I do take notice of horrific grammar right away, but if we can easily be conversational, I’m not going to end a conversation.

Fisher has noticed a new trend in dating and relationships in just the last year. “We’re seeing an emergence of a new stage in the courting process,” she said. This year, 45 percent of singles reported having a FWB relationship turn into a long-term partnership. “I’m not surprised because any kind of sexual stimulation of the genitals drives up dopamine, which can push you over the threshold into falling in love. And with orgasm, there’s a real flood of oxytocin that is linked with feelings of attachment.”

I guess I was ahead of the curve in this respect—my longest relationship began somewhat as a FWB situation. However, it wasn’t too long it turned into a loving relationship that lasted four years.

In 2011, only 20 percent of participants in Match’s Singles in America had developed something long-term from a FWB situation. Fisher theorizes that due to a long middle age and the pain of divorce, “we’re trying to know everything we possibly can about a human being before we step into that first commitment stage, and that this is a pre-commitment stage that is emerging in America.”

To hear more about these trends, online dating, texting etiquette, differences between men and women in love, dating in the golden years, and of course plenty of stats about sex, watch Dr. Helen Fisher’s presentation here.

**This is a sponsored post for Match.com**

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The Power of Love to Transform an Embittered Heart

brokenheart-300x257Over the years, I’ve learned not to give up on the power of love to transform an embittered heart. I’ve seen too many instances that contradict that timeworn saying: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” The latest example that turned this adage on its head: My former FWB has ditched his list and has fallen fully in love.

Ditch The Dating Checklist?

You know The List. Your potential mate checklist. Chances are, you’ve had one of your own at some point in your dating life. You may very well still have it. If you’re still unclear what I’m talking about, let me give you an example: he must be at least 5’11”, athletic, not bald, never been married, no kids, well-educated, make more money than I do—you get the picture.

Find out how my former FWB finally dumped his cynicism, ditched his dating checklist and found the light of love on the other side in my post on Singles Warehouse:

http://www.singleswarehouse.co.uk/2013/01/the-power-of-love-to-transform-an-embittered-heart/

The Kiss Off

It’s been more than four years that we’ve been playing this game. First we finally established a committed relationship that lasted for nearly two years. Eventually I broke up with him, thinking we weren’t moving any farther forward. There would be no next step—no marriage or kids definitely, but not even moving in together, though I spent four to five nights of the week there, and was spending most of our time together remodeling his house. I had met a lot of his friends, but he kept his flashy work life separate from me—to maintain his cool bachelor status. I never met his mom, who literally lived 10-15 minutes away, and once when she made a surprise visit to the house, I was asked to hide in the bedroom.

The year and half we weren’t together, we remained friends…sometimes with benefits. We still had this bond between us. We still enjoyed spending time together in small doses, and whenever I saw him unexpectedly, it made me light up.  When I was terribly sick, he was always there, never ashamed to take me out in public, even with my embarrassing (to me) ailment.

So fast-forward to almost a year after he started the talk about how he felt I had misconceptions about him and what he was all about in the relationship department, we tentatively decided to give it another try. Some things have been great and wonderful and had me thinking this reconciliation was totally worth it. He was more affectionate. When he was home from work and spending time with me, he truly wanted to be spending time with me, not his projects and gadgets.

Other things made me think he had gotten even worse in selfish independence. He’d go for two weeks or more without wanting to see me—and he called me high maintenance for wondering what the scoop was. Was it too much to think that a man I was exclusively dating would look forward to seeing me and put me as a priority?

Apparently, to him, it was too much.

The biggest disappointment, though, was this past week when I was at my sickest and loneliest, he didn’t call. He didn’t text. He had no idea I had to be taken to the ER for a second time. He didn’t know the medical treatment was kicking my ass. He didn’t know my doctor was removing me for my work duties for much longer than I anticipated because my treatment was going to require that much out of me.

It’s not as if I wanted to focus on all this. I knew how to be upbeat and talk about the other good things going on in my life. He always talked about his work too, the projects he was working on, his sick, elderly cat, whatever. It would have been nice to just hear whatever he had to say.

By Friday, I gave in.  “Are you living?”

Later that night, “How doin’?” he asks.

“Is that a rhetorical question, or do you really care to know the answer?”

Next day we text back and forth about how even old friends I haven’t talked to since before high school were reaching out to me…yet he hadn’t. He replied that he was busy with projects, works, etc. “I figured you were doing your own thing,” he said.

What? Doing my own thing like losing some of every meal, collapsing on the floor at least half a dozen times a day, having random moments of unconsciousness? Sure I’ve also tried to at least have a hand in the news publication that it still mine but I can’t officially be writing for and running right now. I’ve been catching up on Netflix and reading.

But yeah, I would welcome a phone call from the guy I was dating.Everybody is busy, not just him, yet they still carve out a minute of their time just to say I’m thinking of you.

So yesterday, after telling him, I finally get it—that he just doesn’t think enough to phone or text to see how I am (whether I am sick or not), I wrote an obvious kiss off. He tried to ignore it today, asking, “how are you feeling?”  I ignored him.

I am done. He can go try to find someone more perfect. He can find his dream girl, Spanish “chick.” I am done with his shit, and I getting off this bus for good this time.

I may not be a high priority to him, but I am one of the highest priorities to myself.

Next blog, remind me to share what happened with my police officer…now, that’s a funny story.

Can FWB Become Friends With Potential?

Recently jackfrombkln contributed to a great discussion on the subtle differences between friends with benefits, f*ck buddies, and booty calls. He said that FWB were actual friends who enjoyed doing things together, including have sex, but just weren’t relationship material for whatever reason. F*ck buddies often started out as people dating, then they started having sex, but realized something was missing, but they haven’t stopped having sex…yet. I don’t really need to explain booty calls. You’re called after 11 p.m. to come over and perform a service, there’s not a whole lot of verbal communicating going on, and there’s no relationship to speak of. jackfrombkln‘s delivery is classic, though, so you should check it out anyway, just because.

Last summer I was involved in a FWB relationship. We went out on a couple dates, and by the third date, I could sense he was just going along with the motions, so I ended things. He said something about knowing how we would never get married–to this day, I still don’t know the precise reason why not–but he wanted to continue being friends. We were practically neighbors, we had a lot in common, and there was a certain shared level of intelligence that was reassuring–neither of us felt like we had to talk down to the other. We’d go to the movies, go the beach, go to dinner.

All was beautiful, until the flirtation really started building up. I was actually at another guy’s house when my friend got randy and started texting about the slightly inappropriate thoughts he was having. Since this guy had fallen asleep on me, and my friend was starting to send me pictures, I shamelessly bailed, and headed over to his house.

This was a forty-five minute drive. We had a lot of time to second-guess and psychoanalyze this decision of taking our friendship to the FWB level. Were we prepared for the affect this could have on our friendship? Were we mature enough to handle it? The big question was I, the slightly more emotional girl, going to be able to separate sex from a relationship? A part of me was uncertain, but I was intrigued enough to try.

And so began the summer of Movie Man. I will call him that because he loves movies more than anyone else I know. Movie Man and I went to the movies with his friends, and we went to his friend’s house for MM’s birthday celebration and a hilarious tournament on the Wii.  When MM had friends from work over for a last-minute BBQ/wiffleball game, he invited me to come, and all the girls seemed to think I was his girlfriend, and if I wasn’t, I should be. Again, we went to the beach with his co-worker and her friend,. When he went up to Cape Cod for a week, half of the time he was going to be by himself, the other time with his childhood best friend. He invited me to come, and on a whim, I went and we had an amazing time. He showed me his favorite places, we took hilarious photos, we spent a crazy amount of time together, and we had the best sex.

It all had to come to an end, though, didn’t it? I had to stupidly, predictably, fall in love. He had to repeat that he would never marry me (wtf, dude!). He told me how this was all he could do. His ex had gotten frustrated with him because it took so many months for him to even accept the title of boyfriend. I thought, you’re 39 years old. Grow up, already. And so, as painful as it was, I said goodbye to my FWB, and goodbye to my friend almost completely for several months. We reunited for a movie around New Year’s but it wasn’t the same. At least we’ve picked up our email correspondence. As much he sucked as a FWB, I do miss our conversations.

Then there was Superman. I’m not exactly sure how to classify him. It was about seven years ago when we met in the open mic circuit. He was a sweet, slightly nerdy friend, or so I thought. We talked at the open mics, I cheered for him and his band when they played, but that was it. One day, I took him on his invitation to come to a party at his house after one band show. That’s when everything changed. We were sitting next to each other, and while one girl seemed to really want to get into his pants, he was slowly making moves on me. I realized there was this whole other man inside him, the incredible tiger of a lover.

So began our relationship. Except we weren’t exactly boyfriend and girlfriend. We saw each other at least once or twice a week. I was limited by my health in what activity I could do, so I couldn’t go to all the shows he invited me to. He’d call from parties and say he wished I was there. I missed out on huge aspects of his life. But when I could come over afterward, we’d play guitar for one another, talk for hours, and make love for even more. It was a peaceful little existence until I wanted more. I wanted labels and reassurance that he wasn’t sleeping with his groupies as well. He naturally freaked that I was no longer just laid back, and “letting things flow”. And then he and his cousin decided to move to Florida.

We kept in touch. When I moved to Las Vegas, he called me and told me how sick he had gotten with Crohn’s disease, how it nearly had taken his life. He spoke of how much more compassion and understanding he had for what I lived through with my autoimmune disease. In and out of my life he came. When I broke up with that boyfriend, moving back to the East Coast permanently, he would call when came back to the state and we’d spend time together. He met the new boyfriend. He came to my 30th birthday gathering.  I was there for him when he reunited with his alcoholic, drug-addicted father. When it was time for my 31th, we admitted attraction was still there, and our respective partners were not still, so we acted on it. We played music, talked for hours, and made love, admitted how long it had been but how things didn’t feel so different at all. Business was bringing him  up to the area much more frequently, so he called whenever he came home.

Suddenly friends turned into FWB into f* buddies. When my life became too busy or unpredictable, gone went the movies or concerts. Then it was texts that read: “You wanna come over. My mom goes to bed at like 9:30. You can come over at 10. We can watch movies and cuddle. I just want to hold you so bad.” I thought to myself, what are we, 17 again? It began to feel like we had transitioned from real friends into booty call, and I told him that I didn’t want that. I had matured to a place in my life where booty calls were empty and meaningless and basically a waste of my time. Superman appreciated that and hoped we could still be friends.

He texted this past Mother’s Day when he came home. We’re both dating. We’re both happy. There was no talk of getting together. My instincts were correct. Sad after seven years of friendship, but I guess every relationship has an expiration date.

I would like to posit that there is yet another category that fits in this no strings attached category. He is more than a booty call, but you don’t see him often enough to comfortably fit him into FWB. You probably used to date him quite passionately. Now he lives out of state, so you never see him. He sometimes calls or texts out of the blue and remembers odd but sweet things about you that make you think, wow, he still cares quite a bit, or has nostalgia about what we once had like I do. Right now, I think of HH, who in his grief, clung to me like a drowning man clings to a makeshift raft. He literally clung to me at the burial of his sister and later at the reception, pulling me to his side, squeezing my hand. Smiling at me as if I was the best sight he’d seen in years. It was so obvious that my cynical best friend had said, “I’d say HH was definitely very glad to see you.” Another friend joked that I would be the one to convince him to move back to town.

Well, he was glad to see me. Acting like a silly, old couple trying to reclaim our teenage years, we looked for a familiar place to park just to talk, or so I thought. It was romantic, the stars were out, the frogs and crickets were chirping, it was chilly enough to need each others heat, and the next thing I know, we’re making out in his truck like we’re 16. But we also talked for hours about life and loss, about love and loss, about what the future might hold for each of us, about our dreams and goals. We were a huge release for each other.

After a few random texts in the week afterward, I just signed it up to sympathy f* buddies. But then he sounded panicked when he heard I might be considering grad school far, far away. Then he sent a text when I changed my profile picture, “Nice picture,” he commented. Stalker, I thought, with a smile. And then today, when I wanted some reassurance, he texted, “Of course we’re friends.” Oh, “And I just bought a house three miles from you.” I swallowed, unable to comprehend the news after my three hours of sleep. What?? Apparently he’s going to rent it out while still living down South. But he’s keeping his ties up here. Is this a new category: Friends With Potential? Maybe I just need more sleep.

Does He Always Come in Threes? Part II

Where we last left off, I was describing the trend in my life of old flames coming back in triplicate. One of those times brought me back in touch with an ex for whom and with whom closure was severely needed. Unfortunately, true closure has never occurred with the long-term relationship that followed with V-Man. Ironically, of all my exes, we probably have remained in touch the most and been the closest post-break up.

After two years of a relationship, and one year of time apart, V-Man and I are buddies. We have spurts where he calls several times a week, or we text back and forth throughout a day. He’s watched my cat when I went on vacation in the early days. We’ve hung out as friends-only last year when we were officially no longer a couple, going to concerts, meeting for meals, seeing fireworks.
During the times when we both knew better, there were times when we gave into the attraction that was still electric between us and enjoyed extra benefits. I’ve gotten confused, overreacted, rehashing the issues that caused me to break up with him in the first place and never were resolved back then and still fester from time to time, and he’s wisely withdrawn. Then two weeks later, he texts: “How doin?” as if nothing ever happened. And things go back to normal again.
This year, when I was in the hospital for a week, he came to see me though he hates doctors and “medical stuff.” He held my hand during the horrible seizure-like episodes, and he came to visit when I got to come home. He was the first person to take me out to do something fun, see a concert. My boyfriend at the time didn’t do that. The V-Man held me protectively and tenderly, treating me like a fragile china doll only when necessary, but also let me feel free to be normal when I could.
So why the confusion? Well, late last year, when I was obviously dating someone else, the V-Man turned alpha male, for the third time that year. He talked into my ear with urgency how the only reason he and I aren’t still together is because of me. He talked about how my parents have misconceptions about him because of lies or half-truths I told them about him, because I have this misconceptions about him, that I don’t know everything about how he really feels. He was overtly flirtatious, which is normal, but this other side of him that was basically saying, it’s still your move made me think, is he really saying this doesn’t have to be the end of our story? Do I want it to be?
It took me getting sick and seeing the way he tended to me so lovingly to really take the question seriously again. So, after breaking up with said boyfriend, I brought it up. In a text, blech. He said, “Why do you always do this over emails and texts. Let’s do this face-to-face, so you can hear my side of things and know how I really feel. I want you to get better first. [my emphasis hereI’m not going anywhere.” So, days and weeks pass. He constantly asks my status. Are you eating well? Are you gaining weight? How many episodes did you have today? How are you walking? No mention at all of the topic.
Today was the first time we’ve seen each other since then. We’ve talked plenty. When he was covering the NCAA Women’s Tournament in Dayton, he called me first after he arrived before he called his mom. He’d call to ask me where he should go to eat. He called the next night when he was waiting to get food. He’s called several times this week about various stuff just to share random or crazy work or life stuff.
Then today, he said he wanted to have the cat play date before I left for vacation. Since we broke up, he finally moved his cat into the no-longer new house, so my cat has never met him. We worried there’d be some strife. There was. What I wasn’t at all prepared for was the “SexySweets”, the touching, the “what do you want to do?” bit. Bent over to rescue my cat from under the sofa, the V-Man was envisioning an entirely different bending over. Figures. I know he still lusts, he still loves, but he doesn’t seem to want the relationship. I really don’t think I want it anymore either, but what gives?

Last night, the most recent ex who claims to be un-datable but still wants to go on dates that aren’t dates, hold hands, hug, and kiss, asks me to sleep over. I don’t. Today, the other ex wants to give me a “complimentary special.” There are only two and half more days until Vegas. Do you think I can make it through without any more temptations? Because I haven’t even told you what’s awaiting me there…

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Does He Always Come in Threes? Part I

For reasons that will become apparent later in this [way too long] post, tonight I started thinking about things that come in threes. According to Google: bad luck comes in threes. Bad news comes in threes. Trouble. Death. Good luck. Apparently even comedy comes in threes?
Thinking about my dating life, it always seems like romantic opportunity usually comes in threes. In most cases, this usually comes in the form of old flames. For me, when one old flame flickers back into the picture, I always have an eye out for at least two others to shortly follow. They usually do within a week or two. I always feel like God is pulling a sick joke on me when this happens.
At one point in my life, a guy I had dated for a month emailed over a year later to re-kindle our friendship (read: ring for a booty call while his nearly live-in girlfriend was away on a business trip, ass). At the same time, an old lover, always kindred spirit and good friend, from maybe six years earlier announced he was coming to town and was finally completely single at a time when I actually was too. Meanwhile, my ex-boyfriend, with whom I had lived for over two years and dated off and on for three, was making contact finally after close to two years.
The last time we had talked, he had admitted impregnating his (formerly our) neighbor shortly after we had last seen each other, which was a nightmarish scenario when I walked into a bar with my new boyfriend only to see him, the man who was still in love with me after four or so months.
This particular old-flame reunion was the most cherished one for me, as it was the first time R had picked up the phone to reach out to me and ask to meet. Some mutual friends were throwing a concert at our old stomping ground. He and the mother of his daughter had finally broken up, presumably for the last time, so he felt it was okay reaching out to me.
He talked to me about everything. He seemed a changed man; one, he was completely pot-free; two, he was a father of a beautiful little girl who he absolutely adored; three, he as changing his career back to teaching and coaching; and four, he was the fittest I’d ever seen him. I told him how proud I was of him, and I meant it. He took me back to the house, let me see my cats that he forced me to leave behind when I moved out. A lot of old memories swirled together with the new changes, and we stayed up until maybe 4 a.m.
Our relationship had never had resolution or closure before. When he had called me those years before to tell me his girlfriend was pregnant, he had been in tears, saying he still had love for me and hadn’t even been sure our story was over yet. As painful as it was to hear, I told him, this was his story now, and if he wanted to be a good father to his daughter, he had to be a good partner to the mother now. I told him I knew he loved the mother, especially if she was bearing his child. I knew his heart. He had to let go of the past and look to the future.
Sadly, this mean he cut everything off completely. I sent emails of congratulations when news passed via our mutual friends, I remembered his birthdays, but he couldn’t and wouldn’t reciprocate anything back. I understood why it had to be that way, but it still stung to have been so close so many years and now be nothing at all.
Today, we do not remain in touch. We finally had our one chance to say everything that needed to be said. Sometimes we are never given an opportunity to have full closure with someone we once loved. I feel especially blessed that I did with R because I never have had the opportunity to with V-Man, the one who came afterward.

When Temptation Knocks, Do You Answer?

Today I went over to J's house to listen to his latest set of music, grab some fried chicken and coleslaw at Popeye's, and watch The Tudors (which I highly recommend–it has romance, sex, violence, historical intrigue, and lots of sexy men). J is a singer/songwriter, like me, which is one of the common interests that brought us together. When we first met, he played to an invisible audience in his bedroom. I encouraged him to play at his first open mic, which led to a couple more. Then, I casually talked to one of my friends who is a drummer in three or four different bands, what would be the best way for a musician to start off getting gigs at a bar. He said, "Talk to someone like me. We just had a cancellation for our opening gig. Is he interested?" The rest, as they say, is history.

Since then, I have been J's "musical muse," as he often says, but mostly I have been his sound (wo)man. I listen to his music during the practices, tell him what sounds good, whether he should move up or down a capo, alert him when he's off key or playing a funky chord, etc. He feels I'm the only one he can trust with his sound. It's a fair-sized responsibility that I've enjoyed even after we broke up.

J and I dated for a little more than four months, and we broke up shortly after Valentine's Day when he began to passively withdraw, and I finally decided to end both of our misery. My illness made things difficult in terms of togetherness. I didn't get to see two of his big gigs. He never saw me without my family home. It broke his heart to be unable to just "fix" things, and I could feel it becoming a burden to have to come by every weekend. However, what really broke us up was admitting once again for the last time that we were just not right for each other, which we had been fighting since the very beginning.
J was still heartbreakingly in love with his ex when we began dating, which of course I didn't know until maybe a month or more until things. Yet it wasn't as painful as it might have been since I was still in love with the V-Man, who I had been seriously dating for two years up until November of the previous year. Over the year since, we still spent a considerable amount of time together and talked often.
J actually met V-Man early on, not knowing that he was an ex. The energy between us was something J instantly noticed and envied. Chemistry was never a problem for me and the V-Man. Throughout my relationship with J, he told me I never seemed excited around him. I didn't seem thrilled to share my world with him like I did with V-Man or any of the other friends and family he'd met. It was a fair observation. As sexy as he was, as much as we had in common superficially (writing, teaching, and music), we still lacked that magnetic pull. I found myself preferring to spend time with others more than him. So many times when we'd do something special, I'd be enthused and think I was showing, but he'd say I didn't really seem enthused. In the bedroom, I'd be aroused and ready to play, but he'd say I didn't seem into it enough. In short, I just wasn't into him enough. And you know what? With all his doubts, his back and forth between being present and being distant, he was right–I wasn't feeling it like I should.
J has a track record for either rushing in, way in too soon, which is what he did with me as soon as he finally accepted things with his ex were finally undeniably over, or distancing himself and creating a cocoon of J keeping him and his passions and toys inside and the rest of the world out. He recognizes this, and he calls himself broken and un-datable, excusing himself from ever having to try harder or compromise or admit he can have at least parts of it all.
Somehow, we've managed to stay friends post-breakup, but even a "platonic" friendship with him is confusing. The first time we really spent time together after the official break up, he came to the house, picked me up and we went to a nearby park to do a little hiking. We were walking along, talking peacefully, when suddenly he reaches out for my hand, like it's the most natural thing in the world. As we crossed the bridge, he stopped me, gave me the biggest hug, saying, "You really are a beautiful woman." I didn't know how to react, so I just kind of went with the flow and let the moment pass.
Last weekend, he asked if I wanted to go see a movie with him. Eager to get out of house lockdown, I agreed. We went out for sushi for dinner, on him. Yes, he's making money right now, and I'm not, but he shouldn't be assuming to pay for my meal like that when it's not a date. So we walk around the outdoor mall for a while. I have a couple episodes, he holds me close, protectively, jokes about whether he'll have to carry me back to the car. We head to the theater. I pay for the movie to be more fair. When we sit back and the movie begins, J's hand immediately crawls over to my leg and gives it a lingering squeeze before it just rests there, claiming it. It feels nice there, so I hug his arm with my hand briefly. After the car ride home, he kisses me.
Tonight, after music, food, and shows, J casually offers, "You can spend the night if you want." I remember the last time I came to listen to his music, when he couldn't keep his eyes and hands off me. But he stopped himself from getting too out of line. "No, I can't." On the car ride home, I asked him what he meant by that. He said he was worried about what I'd think. I said what that I'd be upset that this was purely a physical thing, it didn't mean anything more than that. He nodded. I said if we were to have sex, it would be no strings attached. I think I meant it, and I wasn't even so sure I did want it.
But tonight, I admit I was tempted. Our coats were on to go, though, but I allowed myself to feel the way his hands caressed my sides. I allowed my hands to slip under his shirt around his waist. He truly does have the most beautiful male body I've had the pleasure of intimately knowing. He greatly admires mine as well, but his body is truly a rarity in its perfect combination of height, leanness and muscular strength. Finally he pulled away. He knew I had already made my decision. I didn't want this. Even if he doesn't know what he wants, or he's just confused because he enjoys a female's company every now and again and it just happens to be me every time, he would still pull away immediately afterward. And even though I don't want the relationship back, I wouldn't want that emptiness. We had something meaningful between us at some point. I've done the friends with benefits thing, and it last left me with a shattered, splintered heart. I don't want my friendship with J to leave me with a bitter tongue and even icier heart. 

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