Meghna Isaac, 34, a film marketing manager, thought she had all the answers to life’s puzzles. But a year ago, Meghna felt sexually drawn to her friend, Mahesh Chauhan. The two shared many common interests and trusted each other with their secrets. One evening, the two friends became lovers. “It didn’t happen suddenly,” says Meghna. “The signals were all there. Over a period of time I had begun to notice Mahesh’s body, and felt my pulse quicken when he grew a stubble.”
Meghna often caught Mahesh admiring her body. Meghna and Mahesh could have had the fairytale. But Mahesh is a decade younger than Meghna. “His parents would have severed ties with him if he had chosen to marry me,” she says. Mahesh and Meghna had sex several times after that day until, a few months ago, they realised they could not have a future together. “I have counselled many cases where women involved in serious committed long-distance relationships feel lonely and end up having a sexual tryst with a friend,” says relationship counsellor Dr Nishi Shukla. Is there a rule book that could be followed in such situations? Dr Shukla says there isn’t, but here are some hard questions you’ll need to confront.
Why do you want it?
Sex begins with a series of signals. Before you respond to them, ask yourself if it’s just a physical urge or a need for deeper emotional reassurance. Sometimes, it could be just insecurity. You see married friends enjoy a certain intimacy, and want that too. Also, ask yourself if you are rational enough to steer clear of emotional repercussions. A sexual relationship without any commitment gives you no right to be possessive when he chooses to date someone else later.
Why does he want it?
When he flirts uncharacteristically, ask him candidly how far he wants to take the mating game. Often, men find it easier to compartmentalise sex and emotions. He may cherish you and care for you, but may not be ready to have you as his steady girlfriend. Get him to confront the truth and weigh the consequences.
What if he is not who you think he is?
Be fully sure of your friend’s integrity. There have been cases where men have blackmailed women after sex.
What will you do when things fall apart?
If you both feel comfortable about taking the relationship to a physical level, despite not wanting to be long-term partners, discuss how you will help each other out if either of you starts investing your emotions into the new equation. Do not jump into bed hoping that things might just change and you may have a future together. One romp does not a relationship make.