Can Proximity Be A Problem When It Comes to Being Friends With Benefits?

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I recently met someone who lives in my apartment building. I was out with friends one night and started talking to him and we ended up hitting it off and hooking up. He’s a great guy but he made it clear that he doesn’t want a relationship and is just open to friends with benefits. He told me he knows he isn’t ready for marriage and doesn’t date any one woman exclusively. He also mentioned that living in the same building could be “problematic.” Even though I want a serious relationship, I think I am open to fun for now.  I really don’t see a problem with living so close. Do you think proximity is a problem in this situation?

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To help clarify things, list the qualities you seek in a potential mate and weigh them against what you’re gaining from this.

While your living situation might present amenities not typically found in most apartment buildings such as quick accessibility to a lover, the likelihood for awkward circumstances exists. That said, proximity may not be as big of an issue as your attraction to someone who clearly is not interested in a relationship. You must decide: continue with this situation which has already been identified as potentially “problematic” or forego the hook-up convenience and stick to what you really want: a relationship.

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Have you truly accepted his stance on dating and relationships, or are you privately hoping that he changes his mind? If the latter, then don’t waste your time. If the former, then keep in mind, you’ll likely see him around you’re building with other women. To help clarify things, list the qualities you seek in a potential mate and weigh them against what you’re gaining from this seemingly short-term arrangement. Which holds more weight? Ultimately you must reconcile your long term needs with getting your short-term needs met. Sticking with what you truly want will most likely yield better results than settling for second best.

Jonathan Alpert is a Manhattan psychotherapist and author.  He appears on national TV commenting on sex and relationship issues as well as lifestyle, mental health, and hot-button issues. Get more of Jonathan’s great advice in his new book, Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days.

And you can follow Jonathan on Twitter at @JonathanAlpert and on Facebook at, and visit his website at