Understanding Your Urges: Sexual Tension Between Friends

By Nicola Kirkpatrick

Updated December 06, 2018

Reviewer Natalie Feinblatt

Letting Life Take the Wheel

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Developing a romantic relationship over time through friendship can produce some of the deepest and longest lasting connections. By taking the time to develop a strong foundation upon which you know, care, and understand one another lends itself to nurture a healthy romance. Intimacy is defined as a positive emotional bond that is involved with understanding and support.

It is enhanced by our interactions with one another, through self-disclosure and mutual acceptance and valuing. This connection is associated with positive emotions, and is considered by some to be the biggest reward to human beings in pursuing and maintaining close relationships. Sexual attraction doesn't always follow logic, and sexual tension between friends can sometimes be hard to recognize or understand.

Sexual Tension Between Friends:

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One of the things that isn't hard to notice is sexual tensions between people. When it's there, you will feel it right away. When you belong to the same group of friends, it's not only the two of you who notice it-- other people can pick it up, too. Sexual tension can exist between friends and both of you have your own reasons whether to act on it or not. If your friendship is so much more important than the mutual attraction that you have for each other, then it's always wiser to not entertain any physical relations with the other person.

But that is the easy level of this whole thing. The difficult level is this: Sexual tension can exist between two people who are already committed. And if it comes at a time when both are in search for something new, sometimes our body has a way of deciding on things that fall short on logical reasoning.

Finding the Better Path

So, you have decided to keep the friendship. Then you ask yourself, "what now?" Let's not beat around the bush here because frankly, you know what to do:

  • Do not give in to your urges
  • Avoid being alone with that person
  • When you're in "a situation", remind yourself why you can't be with this person
  • Do not flirt with this person
  • Do not touch this person
  • Date someone else and stop thinking about him/her

If it's too hard to do, seek counseling to reinforce your resolve. BetterHelp is a resource created with the aim of connecting people to licensed mental health professionals, strengthening the skill of recognizing and appropriately dealing with one's issues, environment and overall emotional well-being.

Finding Kindred Spirits:

While our long-term friends may like us, not everyone in the world is as suited to love your unique set of traits as another. As this has obvious implications in romantic relationships, this compatibility factor is also incredibly important in relationships between friends. Just because friends can relate with each other so well, doesn't mean that they are loving you in ways which are best for you. People can bring you down without realizing that they are doing it. This process of self-actualization can make it really apparent to you how much work those around you need to make on themselves. Cutting out those in our lives that bring negativity and toxicity can be difficult, but is worth pondering over. If nothing else, and may inspire you to make other changes.

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Cards Fall Where They May:

Some people come into our lives and become family, knowing and nurturing us in ways that our biological families sometimes can't. Those with whom we choose to spend our days, celebrate our triumphs, those who share and help create our memories.

The ties of friendship are crafted through the shared experience of walking through life together, and physicality is sometimes a part of this path. Recognizing that societal boundaries are simply that, and following your emotions, urges and what kind of relationship structure this entails is a valid way, this can be an incredibly freeing realization.

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