There may come a time when the bottom of the barrel starts to look pretty good. Nothing has worked, including the first ploy in the overtly manipulative stage, the moving on illusion, but now it’s time to pull out the big guns and get your lover back in your arms, and we do mean literally. Because when all else fails, you can actually just sleep your way back into the heart and bedroom of your ex-lover.
This is called the let’s be friends ploy, known among hipper elements of the Match.com crowd as friends with benefits. Three factors must be in play for this to work: your sex life must not have been the cause of your downfall… you need to have parted on speaking terms… and your ex should not – and this one is a flexible guideline – be involved with someone else when you launch this offensive. The degree to which you bend that last one is a measurement of how deep into that barrel you are willing to go.
The upside is obvious, and exists on multiple levels. It’s hard to have sex without spending time together, and given the context of your relationship and where you’ve been together, it’s impossible to spend that time without communicating. The odds are high that the nature and quality of your past communications reside at the root of the cause of your breakup, so right away you’re back in the game. And if the sex itself is perhaps hotter than ever – a very good possibility, again given the context of this slightly twisted liaison – you may earn your way back into the starting lineup on this alone. And if you play this right, with a dash of aloofness (see Part 1 on this issue), you’ll be messing with your lover’s head in a way that serves your oh-so-barely-hidden agenda.
As with any high-stakes game, the risks here are significant. Remember, this is a stealth maneuver to win him or her back, and orgasms aside, you are playing with your heart here. Dump you once, shame on him/her. What were they thinking? Dump you twice, shame on you. And it could happen. The underlying assumption that your partner is worth the risk here is of paramount importance, because if they’re just using you – remember, it was you who suggested this friends with benefits thing – or even just took your offer literally, without biting down on the bait, you may just be delaying the inevitable.
So, as they say in the advice columns, screw ‘em. Hey, it just might work.