I didn’t actually know this type of relationship existed until a few weeks ago when I came across this article from the New York Post. Suddenly, everything was clear and it explained why my relationship with my current BFF was the way it was. In my opinion- although this type of relationship is possible- the challenging part is finding the perfect balance.
By Danica Lo
JAY was the perfect boyfriend handsome, charming, called me every night, took interest in my interests, remembered all the little things I’d said.
Except he wasn’t. My boyfriend, that is.
In a city teeming with emotionally unavailable men, he was a rare specimen of amazing but when I caved in and fell for his smile, clockwork reliability and the comfort of our easy rapport, I got punked.
Meet Mr. Fromance.
The “fromance,” a term coined by Glamour.com “Slaves to Fashion” blogger Tracey Lomrantz (Reader’s Dilemma: “I’m in a Fromance!”), is a friendship-romance with a guy a unique relationship that’s comfortable, consistent, easy, full of the possibilities of “What if,” and, ultimately, sexless.
It’s the “When Harry Met Sally” of 2009. “We’ve known each other for nearly 12 years and have shared countless laughs and bottles of wine,” writes Lomrantz about her fromance partner, Eric.
“We’re friends. But we go on ice-skating dates together. And for long, late dinners at French restaurants. He almost always comes home with me afterward to have a scotch and hang out in my living room.
“Of course, my thoughts have wandered to the ‘but what if . . .’ place,” she writes. “We’re in our late 20s, he’s attractive and well-educated and one of the most kind and giving people I know . . . It would just be so easy!”
Easier said than done, that is. Almost every woman we know has experienced a fromance. Signs: He never talks about other women in front of you, and everyone else thinks you are (or should be) a couple.
Having a successful fromance isn’t just a question of whether men and women can be “just friends.”
Some relationships, like Lomrantz’s, thrive on both parties being pleased with the status quo.
“We’ve both expressed on multiple occasions that we’re happy no, elated with the current state of our non-relationship relationship,” Lomrantz says.
But, she admits it’s holding her back from meeting other guys, “The truth is, if Eric and I weren’t involved in this little fromance, I’d probably be dating a lot more.”Other fromances fizzle ending in breakups, of sorts.
“A friend of mine introduced me to her guy friend, who shared my taste in music,” says Michelle, 28.
“In no time, we were hitting three concerts a week he’d walk me home, and we’d stand around talking outside my building for hours. Within a few months, I’d met all of his best friends, his ex-girlfriend and his sister. He offered to dye my hair punk-rock style, told me about his new silk sheets . . . ewww . . . and offered to let me crash at his pad. People kept asking us if we were dating, and we’d race each other to be the first to say: ‘No. Way.’
“Somewhere around the middle of fromance year two, though, he casually mentioned he’d started seeing a girl, and it was all downhill from there,” Michelle says.
“After putting up with months of his girlfriend-induced, last-minute cancellations and random bursts of being totally incommunicado, I quit talking to him, cold turkey. Having the concert buddy ruled, but the rest of it stank worse than puke and stale beer.”
Along with new girlfriends, the omnipresent “What if” is also a total fromance-killer and the “What if” is pretty much inevitable, especially since fromantic boyfriends seem to be masters of mixed signals.
“Here’s the thing if you don’t want to be my boyfriend, don’t call me, text me, tell me you think I’m the coolest girl you’ve ever met and introduce me to a bunch of your friends,” says Tiffany, 27, about her short-lived fromance with Nick.
“Certainly don’t plan to spend the weekend at the beach with me or hang out with me solo till 4 a.m. sitting drinking beers,” she says.
“It confuses me. And makes me want to punch you. I can’t help you buy a leather jacket, I can’t hang out with you every weekend and I certainly can’t go on tour with you.”Loading ...Whether meant for more or not, ending a fromance can be confusingly heartbreaking especially when you wind up a guest at his wedding.
“I had fromance-at-first-sight with Mike, whom I met at a party in the late ’80s,” says Marie, 46. “After we danced and drank the night away, I went home alone, a pattern to continue for years.”
Mike and Marie shared a summer beach house for years, sleeping in adjoining bedrooms “I’d want to climb into his bed, but instead settled for bike rides, ocean dips and gin and tonics,” she says.
Their fromance and all the “What ifs” that came long with it went on for years.
“I’d rehearse questions such as, ‘Do you think we should go on a date?’ But I never asked,” Marie says. “I had to figure if a single kiss never happened between us affectionate hair tousling wasn’t enough then that was all the information I needed.
“I still wonder if I missed clues such as during the time when he made me dinner at his apartment but I don’t think so. All the elements of romance were there, and we had chemistry, but everything was just off enough that the reality of kissing was awkward.”