Today… what’s on my mind is Friends with Benefits. Honestly, this isn’t on my mind today, January 28, 2014 but it is what I am going to publish today because relationships in general are on my mind and I happened to have seen the movie again last night. It was cute. Very predictable though. And misleading. Most “friends with benefits” situations don’t quite work out as well as theirs did. Most times entering into such an arrangement is much more risky and grievous than what the movie portrays and than some of you who are involved in such dealings would like to admit to yourselves.
Let me not get ahead of myself.
If you are reading this blog I can only assume that you are a young 20- 30 something, hip to today’s culture, and familiar with this friends with benefits concept. However, if you are a little older and do not know what this whole friends with benefits thing might be let me explain:
A friend with benefits is a person with whom one enjoys random sexual encounters on an agreed to or on an as-needed basis.
This person can be any of the following:
– An actual friend with whom one day, after a couple of drinks or when the two of you were at your lowest and most curious point you crossed the line. And, now hooking up is the new “hanging out”.
– an Ex, whom you now say you are “just friends” with. But you still hang out and hook up from time to time; enjoying the benefits of your former relationship with no strings attached and no responsibility or accountability to each other.
– someone that a) you like and want to be in a relationship with but he/she does not want to get in a relationship right now so you settle for what you can get
– someone you like, yet you don’t want the responsibilities that come with being in a relationship with that person. You just want the benefits they offer.
And there are several other possibilities of how two people become friends with benefits, however, for now we will stick with these because they are the most popular.
No matter what your situation is or how you got into that situation and no matter how much you may think and say you are “OK” with it, you aren’t and you won’t be. Truth is, when you agree to be friends with benefits there will be serious consequences.
Merriam-Webster defines consequences as 1) after-effects; 2) penalties; 3) costs. And all of these definitions apply here.
A friends with benefits arrangement can have the after-effect on one similar to that of a tornado hitting a small town. Do you see it? Still need further explanation? Ok. If you insist. Being in a friend with benefits situation may for some people have an advantage- no commitment, no heartbreak, they can enjoy all the aspects of this really cool friendship and the sex part is kind of like icing on the cake. They can literally have their cake and eat it too. For a while.
Those temporary benefits have costs– and as we see in the movie, SOMEONE becomes more invested. Someone starts to desire more than the sex or the friendship. Someone gets hurt. The person who wants more begins to struggle with rejection- why am I good enough for this but not that? And the most important aspect of the friendship- open and honest communication- will start to no longer exist. Why is that? Because let’s be real, you can always tell when someone is more into you than you are them. And vice versa. So, if Tim knows that Kelly wants to be his girl and no longer his friend with benefits (FWB) then he is not going to tell her how he met some hot chick at this party, as he would have when they were just friends. And that won’t be the only thing he will start to keep from Kelly. Before you know it, the lack of communication will create a wall and put space between them that otherwise would not have been there. In addition, the person who wants more will start to ACT like there is more- like the situation is more than it is. This is not only destructive but painful for both people.
Are you willing to pay the penalties for such an arrangement? Is it really worth it?
I mean, there is a lot I can say here. Having a FWB is not something I would ever consider for various reasons. But honestly, FWB’s are right up there with a lot of other (in my opinion, bad) choices that people make when it comes to love and relationships. A lot of the hurt we experience in relationships stems from being in the wrong TYPE of relationship with the wrong person. We set ourselves up sometimes rushing to put labels and titles on people before ever really finding out WHO they are and what category they really fit in. Everyone you meet (and may like) is not meant to be your friend. And sure you may like that dude/shorty and y’all may have a good time but he or she is not really boyfriend/girlfriend material… And yes ladies, you may be able to check off on all the boxes with that man you’ve been dating for 5 ½ years and he may make a GREAT husband one day but you know what, he is not EVER going to be YOUR husband.
You may not be in FWB relationship, but what kind of relationship are you in that’s doing more harm than good? We all need to examine our relationships.
This is a topic that is heavy on my brain lately so expect more posts this week. Until then….