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Tina B Tessina

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Books by Tina B Tessina
Hello, and welcome to the "Happiness Tips" newsletter. In addition to a helpful tip for increasing your happiness, you can find out where I'll be signing books, and how to contact me, along with "Happiness Tips from Tina" in every month's newsletter. Please remember to add to your "acceptable" list, especially if you're on AOL.
Newsletter Dated: 9/2/2011 11:56:22 PM

Subject: Happiness Tips from Tina: Friends With Benefits

Happiness Tips from Tina

Dear Friends:

Welcome to our new subscribers, I love hearing from all of you, and I've printed your email responses at the bottom of this newsletter. I welcome all suggestions for topics. To make sure your spam system doesn’t reject this newsletter, please add to your list of acceptable e-mail. I am not able to fill out forms online because you’re screening for spam. To unsubscribe, see below.

Remember if you don’t want the newsletter, just click the link at the bottom, and you’ll be instantly unsubscribed. If you missed the newsletter last month, the article is on my website at

I’m so pleased to announce a new book! Lovestyles: How to Celebrate Your Differences is on Amazon Kindle

Happiness Tip: Friends With Benefits

If you’re thinking about having sex with a friend, be very careful, because it is not easy to preserve a friendship once you have sex. We think we can control our feelings, but it's not so simple.

*If one of you becomes romantically attached as a result of the sex, the friendship will probably not survive.

*If you've done it before, and you know you can keep your feelings in check, you might be successful, but what about your friend? Are you sure he or she is aware of his or her own feelings and motives?

*Think about it in advance and talk about it a lot

*Are you going to keep dating others while you're doing this FWB thing?

*What if one of you falls in love with someone else?

* What if you just want out of the deal after a while?
*What if only one of you falls in love, instead of remaining friends? 

Keep talking throughout the FWB arrangement It sounds a lot more fun and easier than it really is.

The benefit is being able to have sex with someone you know, rather than a stranger. The disadvantages are: It could be the end of the friendship.  One person (usually the woman) could fall in love, while the other (usually the man) doesn't want to pursue more of a relationship. It may keep you from finding a real relationship, because you're too comfortable to look.

For men, FWB is what they want -- sex without responsibility. They also tend to take it for granted, and still be attracted to other women. 
Most males have fantasies about having all the women they want. Women, on the other hand, tend to become emotionally attached when they have sex.  (Men actually do, too, but they don't want to know they are. That's why they often don't realize they feel something for someone until that person is gone.) Women's fantasies are about a monogamous relationship.

If you start to develop feelings, pay attention! Don't ignore it. Let your partner know, and watch the reaction. If you don't get a positive response, cut off the sex. That's the way to see if the other person is also emotionally attached or not.  Don't languish in a friends-with-benefits relationship when you want more. If he suddenly meets someone else and marries her, you'll be devastated.

If you want to cut off the sex, you need to explain why you're doing it. "I'm developing deeper feelings for you, and since you don't seem to return them, I have to stop having sex with you. I'd like to still be friends."  Or, "I can't even be your friend for a while, because I'm grieving."

Maintaining this type of relationship is not easy for anyone. It only seems easy at the beginning. My office is full of people who had their hearts broken this way.  Older people tend to be a little wiser and more cautious about it than younger people, but all ages get hurt.

Don't just let things develop on their own. Definitely talk about it beforehand, or as soon as possible. You need to establish that the
friendship is important to both of you, and you don't want to ruin it. You also need to talk about feelings, to open that subject for future discussion. 
* If you want to turn a friendship into a full-on relationship, and you’re serious about it, then you need to talk about that, too. Your
friendship will be altered forever when you have sex for the first time. You have things to lose here, and things to gain.

*Make some agreements, discuss the above questions, and keep talking about it.

Back to being friends                       
Friendships that go from friends to lovers back to friends can be very close, because you know each other so well. The first thing you need  to do is talk about it.  Make a deal that you won't do anything that would jeopardize your friendship, and stick to it. (That means, acting as a friend, and not acting jealous if he/she has a date.)                   

The more emotionally mature you are, the easier it is to re-establish the friendship. Openness increases intimacy. So friends who can talk about everything feel closer than friends who can't.

However, friendships have more limits on sharing than lover relationships do. If you’ve found someone new, you have to consider your sexual partner, too, who might not like his or her privacy invaded.
It is possible to re-develop a friendship after the romantic line has been crossed, but it's not always easy. If both of you are in agreement that you were better as friends, re-developing the friendship is easier than if one of you still wants the romance.
Friendships that go from friends to lovers back to friends can be very close, because you know each other so well. The first thing you need to do is talk about it.  Make a deal that you won't do anything that would jeopardize your friendship, and stick to it. (That means, acting as a friend, and not acting jealous if he/she has a date.)                   
The more emotionally mature you are, the easier it is to re-establish the friendship. Openness increases intimacy. So friends who can talk about everything feel closer than friends who can't.
However, friendships have more limits on sharing than lover relationships do. If you’ve found someone new, you have to consider your sexual partner, too, who might not like his or her privacy invaded. 
Surprisingly enough, many people do become friends again after they've divorced or split up. Here are some guidelines for doing that successfully. 
So, your ex has been hanging around, helping you out with things around the house, eating dinner with you and the kids, or just calling you up to talk about good times in the past. Old, friendly feelings seem to be coming back.  Can you really revert to being friends? Here’s how to see if you and your ex can make it work. 
* Go very slowly. It takes time to get re-organized as friends. Talk about your friendship and tell the truth. If it’s going to work, it go better if you go more slowly, and you’ll have a chance to build a better foundation than before. 
* Treat it like a new friendship. Start from the beginning, and do it differently – you have to figure out the difference between being lovers and being friends. 
* Be conscious about being friends — talk about what you miss about your friendship — if you cannot talk honestly about what changed and what to do differently, you won’t succeed. 
* Make sure your friend wants the friendship as much as you do. If there are unresolved old feelings, you need to talk about them.
 * If you run into difficulty, seek therapy to repair the friendship and resolve the lover relationship.

© 2011 Tina B. Tessina
adapted from: Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Squabbling About the Three Things That Can Destroy Your Marriage (Adams Media) ISBN# 978-1-59869-325-6
It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction (New Page) ISBN 156414469-9
How To Be a Couple and Still Be Free (New Page)ISBN #1564145492
The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again (Wiley) ISBN#0028624548
Gay Relationships: How to Find Them, How To Improve Them, How to Make Them Last (Tarcher/Putnam) ISBN# 0874775663
The REAL 13th Step: Discovering Confidence, Self-Reliance and Independence Beyond the 12-Step Programs (Career Press) ISBN #1564145484
The Ten Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make After Forty(Renaissance)ISBN# 1580631819
The 10 Smartest Decisions A Woman Can Make Before 40 (HCI) ISBN#1558746145 (also in 16 languages)
© Tina B.Tessina, 2010
If you want more, here are some related articles you can download from my website at

Anger: Cleansing Squall or Hurricane?
Anticipating Change
Apology and Forgiveness
Asking for What you Want
Aspects of Love
Attitude: From Negative to Gratitude
The Colors of You
Comforting the Little Orphan Girl
Couples Can Cooperate for Success
The Courage to Hope
Coping with Critics
Creating Connections: Draw Them In
Creating Family Acceptance
Creating Unconditional Love
Creating Holiday Magic
Dating Guidelines for Single Parents
Detox Your Life
Don't Panic
Emotional Hygiene
Emotions as Weather
Fair Fight Guidelines
Family Meetings
The Family of the Heart
Family Violence Q&A
The Fine Art of “Squirrel Hunting”
Four Steps to Success
Friends in Need: Interventions for Domestic Violence
Gentle Persistence
Getting Along With Each Other
Getting Out of Your Way
Getting to Yes
Give Yourself a Gift
Giving Thanks
Gratitude, Kindness and Happiness
Guidelines for Being Understood by Your Partner
Guidelines for Finding and Using Therapy Wisely
Guidelines for Successful Dating
Handling Anxiety Effectively
Handling The GreenEyed Monster
How Not to Fight
How to be Irresistible to Your Mate
How to Have Happier Holidays!
How to Keep Yourself Out of a Violent Relationship
How to Stretch Time
How to Write a Love Letter
Humor & Hope
The Importance of Humor
Into Every Life
Intuition or Inner Knowing
It’s a Dirty Job
Jealousy, Faithfulness and Distance
Kindness and Happiness
Learn to See Through The Eyes of Love
Learning Forgiveness
Letting Go of Anxiety
Letting Go Takes Love
Life Lessons
Lighten Up  Cures for Marital Boredom
Loss—If You Knew Curley Sue
The Magic of Reassurance
Make New Friends, Keep Good Friends
The Meaning of Life
Mirrors and Teachers
Mongong and Me
Motivation And How to Create It (Good Boss/Bad Boss)
The Nail in the Fence: Healing Wounds
No Cooperation? Solve it Yourself!
No Two Miracles Alike
Patterns of Change
Peace Begins at Home
The Power of Politeness
The Power of Purpose
Practicing Patience
Public Politeness
Relating With Love
Resolving Inner Anarchy
Relationships 101: Do Opposites Attract?
Season of Blessing
Setting Boundaries and Saying No
State of the Union Meeting
Stop Reacting and Start Relating
Stupid Cupid
Surviving Loss & Thriving Again
Tapping Your “Inner Mentor” to Create New Meaning in Your Life

Ten Things People Don’t Know About Therapy
These Decisions Can Increase Your Happiness
True Beauty: Honor the God or Goddess in You
Turnaround Time
Turn on Your Charm
Turning Poison Into Medicine
Weaving The Web
What Is A Dysfunctional Relationship?
When Love is Kind: Mutuality in Relationships
Where is Love?
Winning The War Within
Without Ego
The Worrier's Guidelines
Year of Peace
You Are a Gift
You Be The Judge
Your Bestest Friend  You
Your Heart’s Desire
Your Job on Earth
Your Primary Relationship

Appearances Calendar

New! Follow me @tinatessina
The Dr. Romance blog:
You can find me on the Internet as "Dr. Romance" on
I’m a Contributing Editor for Redbook
I'll also answer your questions at
Upcoming radio shows, TV, and lectures are all listed in my blog, Facebook and Twitter.

I welcome your feedback and support, please contact me at

Wishing you joy,
Tina B. Tessina, PhD

Re: Love and chemistry

I am also on your newsletter list for the last couple of years. which i enjoy reading your insights very much. seethamma
Thanks, Seethamma!

Tina, I found this article about "chemistry" so very interesting. All of your articles are's just that this one really hit home. Hope all is well with you. Tom

Hi, Tom: I'm so glad you found it helpful. And I really appreciate you writing to tell me.

All very true, Tina. Jeff

Hi, Jeff: Thanks for letting me know you liked it

Tina, Good usual. Great explanation for why boys like to play with both chemistry sets and doctor for the future! Keep up the good work, Lloyd

Hi, Lloyd: Great comment! Thanks for the feedback.

Re: Lovestyles

Hi Tina  Just to say I enjoyed your latest essay on love styles. Best, Norman

Hi, Norman, Thanks for letting me know.

Dear Tina, I await your newsletter more than my pay cheque. It gives me courage to carry going on, trying to understand myself and my wife. I wish to live in your dream world, you make life so easy, only if we accept to understand our partner. With the three letters after your name, you can undrestand the hearts and minds of all people Tina, Bless you, your newsletter does so good to the readers. Henry

Thank you so much, Henry. I'm glad you find the newsletter helpful. You can live as happily as Richard and I do. If you missed any newsletters, the articles are all at

Hi Tina, great article as always. Congratulations on the eBook. Can't wait to order it and recommend it to everyone I know. Your friend, Tim.

So nice to hear from you! Thanks for the encouragement.

Enjoyed I do all your stuff. I will most certainly reread this, but for now, I'm left with a most important bit of advice re: close relationships....ASSUME NOTHING....Rather, ask and learn. Unfortunately, the closer the relationship...the more we assume...often erroneously.
Thanks again, Lloyd

Thanks, Lloyd. I am honored that you think you can learn anything from what I write.

What lovely timing for this particular message! Scott and I are tying the knot legally on Aug 20 of this year (the 7th anniversary of us starting to date), and since we both love your other books, we will look forward to starting off our married life with a new one to enjoy, share and discuss
;> Love and Joy, Star

Congratulations, Star! I'm very happy for the two of you.

What you wrote was most interesting and we both read it and enjoyed it. I can't imagine you 2 ever having anything to work out, much less entertaining, as you seem so good together, enjoying most of the same of course! I admire the fact that you each
pursue some different avenues of interest in harmony. Finding your style, as you say,
makes for a happy home. Love, Marion

Hi, Marion: I'm glad you both enjoyed the article. Yes, we do have stuff to work out from time to time. We don't let it last long, though. Life's too short. I agree that there's no such thing as saying "I love you" too often.

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