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Friends First


Mamie and Len started out as friends and hook-up buddies. Amy and Charlie began as friends and co-workers; but they all wound up in the same happy place.

Amy and Charlie became friends and roommates at college even though Charlie had a pretty blond girlfriend.

When Amy graduated, she took a teaching job in the suburbs while Charlie finished his last year of school. He was thinking about following his pretty blond friend to her home in Mississippi, but at the last minute, a position opened at Amy's prestigious school and Charlie jumped at it: "He moved near me, and we began hanging out with the same people.

"Finally in March, on the way home from a party with some friends, he and I looked at each other and I said something like, 'I think we need to do something with this relationship.' We agreed to go on a date, and one week later we were engaged.

"People at work were shocked. When he announced that he was engaged, they were certain it was to one of the friends we hung around with, because there was never anything between the two of us that anyone could see.

"My mother was also shocked. When I told her I was engaged to Charlie, she thought it was an April Fool's joke. She kept protesting, 'But you two are just friends!'

"We've been married 13 years, and the friendship we built has become a solid foundation for our marriage."

Mamie and Len lived in the same apartment building. They became friends and started to hang out together: "I was terribly attracted to him, but he didn't want to get involved with anyone who lived in the same building.

If something went bad, the situation could get a little sticky.

"I figured I'd rather have his friendship than nothing. We shared many bottles of wine and stories."

Mamie had begun dating someone rather seriously, but in her heart she knew he wasn't right. She wanted Len. Still she dated him for two years. During that time, Len didn't date anyone. Meanwhile, they continued to grow closer: "I would tell him things I never told anyone else. He became my best friend.

"Many nights we slept in the same bed without having sex. But every once in a while we did. It wasn't often and I never felt Len was taking advantage of me, and I never felt I was taking advantage of him."

OK, so now we have Mamie and Len, best friends and occasional hook-up buddies. What next?

Mamie gave Len an ultimatum. Either they date for real or they keep it strictly friends, friends without benefits.

"He asked if he could sleep on it. I stayed with him that night, and when we woke up in the morning, he said 'Let's try it.' We've been together ever since.

"It's been very easy. When we got married, I was 38 and he was 36, so we weren't kids. We've had our ups and downs, but mostly up.

"He's still my best friend, but he's also my husband and the man I want to be with for the rest of my life." We'll be married three years, three most wonderful years. I had always been told that you have to be friends before you can be anything else. Now I believe it."

Did friendship turn into more? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to And check out my new ebook, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front."



7 Comments | Post Comment
Mamie and Len -- We've got a woman in a serious relationship with a guy for two years that is sleeping with and having sex with another guy that lives in the same apartment building - real winners. Now this guy, Len, he doesn't want to get involved with anyone that lives in the same building - isn't sleeping with a woman and having sex involvement? They're both bottom feeding low life's; she's seriously dating a guy while having sex with another and he's having sex with a woman in a serious relationship. At their age hopefully they won't have any children - real good example setters. What ever happen to the guy she was in a serious relationship with? Hook-up buddies, a great way to find a lasting relationship.
Comment: #1
Posted by: J
Sun Mar 1, 2015 2:53 AM
to comment #1 Only lowlife I see here is you! Sober up & get a life!
Comment: #2
Posted by: bonzo
Sun Mar 1, 2015 8:30 AM
Re: bonzo -- I didn't know having sex with someone that's in a serious relationship with someone else was the way to go about getting a life. Sober up -- I don't drink.
Comment: #3
Posted by: J
Mon Mar 2, 2015 6:05 AM
Re: bonzo -- I didn't know having sex with a woman that was in a serious relationship with someone else was the way to "get a life!" Sober up -- I don't drink
Comment: #4
Posted by: J
Mon Mar 2, 2015 6:19 AM
Mamie and Len -- "I never felt Len was taking advantage of me, and I never felt I was taking advantage of him." OK but she was taking advantage of the guy she was in a serious relationship with. If she wanted Len then she shouldn't have been in a serious relationship with someone else.
Comment: #5
Posted by: J
Mon Mar 2, 2015 11:00 AM
Can anyone make sense of this long rambling column? A few more paragraph spacings would have helped.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Seabeast2
Tue Mar 3, 2015 9:12 AM
Seabeast, I found it difficult to follow, too.

J -- I'm not sure that "serious" always means "exclusive." It could mean that Mamie thought that outside relationship had POTENTIAL to go somewhere because they'd been dating some time, but that they had never agreed to see one another exclusively.

We don't even know that Mr. Serious was serious about Mamie, or that Mamie was hooking up in the same period of time when she was seeing Mr. Serious.

Since we don't know, there's not much point in speculating that she was a low-life who crushed poor Mr. Serious by sleeping with Len.
Comment: #7
Posted by: hedgehog
Tue Mar 3, 2015 11:05 AM
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