Anonymous asks:

I had a one night stand with my best friend, I hate myself for it...

Being intimate with a friend is one of the things in life that is difficult to undo once done. I wonder if you’re hating that fact rather than yourself? I hope so.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

You don’t give me a lot of information here, so I’m assuming you’re female and, firstly assuming that your best friend is too.

I spoke to a woman recently who, on a girls night, after much alcohol, was intimate with her best friend. It was, she said, an amazing experience, and just what she needed in her life at that time and with someone she loved and trusted. It wasn’t planned but it was disloyal, as each had husbands, but her main worry was that it would spoil their close friendship bond. It didn’t. They referred to it briefly and with affection the next time they met and agreed that the secret would remain between them and not be repeated. She told me that their bond feels stronger, maybe because they have shared something unique that isn’t shared with other girlfriends. She didn’t feel ashamed and doesn’t hate herself, and nor should you. But do what she did, have a brief conversation to be clear about what it meant. Hopefully, although you will always see each other a little differently, you’ll get straight back on track.

I wonder if you ‘hate yourself’ because it left you guilty, embarrassed and confused? Be careful. Intimacy that crosses a hitherto uncrossed boundary, can bring confusion. What starts as a drunken kiss and a one -night-stand can feel unnatural. It’s as if the body knows the boundary has been crossed and reacts with clumsy discomfort during the act itself.

You may feel guilt but also yearn for more? More nights of intimacy and suddenly you’re ‘friends with benefits?’ This relatively recent relationship term sounds really liberated and mature, but the blurred boundaries make it hard to know what’s acceptable and what’s not. Do I call? Is he or she with another woman? Will seeing them with another woman really not bother me? The uncertainty can make it more stressful than liberating!

But, to finish, there’s another angle on intimacy with a friend. If your friend is someone with whom a relationship is a possibility, there are huge positives over stranger sex. You know them. It’s safe. And if it were to progress into a relationship, what better basis? Often relationships based on instant lust, and possibly alcohol, don’t bode longevity. Those heightened intense feelings fade and we realise we don’t actually like the person who emerges from the dopamine charged months of new love. Love growing from friendship has a lot to offer.

But please don’t hate yourself. Decide on your boundaries going forward, especially if you’re in a committed relationship; speak to your friend and make these clear.

Mig Bennett is a fully qualified relationship counsellor specialising in relationship problems, sexual issues and sex addiction. She has over 25 years of experience, both in her own private practice and – Mig Bennett Relationship Counselling (

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