Once upon a time, there were only real relationships – holding hands, walks in the park, kissing, romance and commitment. But people have lost the ability to make meaningful connections.
A risk-free system has now replaced them with what is known as “friends with benefits.”
It is like a convenient place between a serious relationship and simple friendship, but it’s really just someone who does not want a relationship with you, enjoys having sex with you and knows they can call your phone number at 2 a.m. without a problem.
There are no labels, obligations, or strings attached. The advantage about being a “friend with benefits” is sex that’s just a phone call away.
There isn’t the worry of going through the whole process of flirting, dating or buying drinks. It makes sense to people who supposedly don’t have time for a relationship, but still want to get some action.
What they don’t realize is that being in a “friends with benefits” situation is having a relationship, just not a good one. It’s one-sided because only one person gets all the “benefits.”
The only purpose is to satisfy the physical needs and desires of someone. That’s why being involved in situations like this gets confusing. Eventually an attachment starts.
People can’t honestly say that they have slept with their friend for whatever time period without developing feelings for him or her. Sooner or later, those feelings are expected to be returned and demonstrated through exclusive affection. However, this rarely happens.
It’s not the sex that makes “friends with benefits” a bad agreement; it’s the nature of the deal and lack of equal emotional involvement of the people involved. On the whole, “friends with benefits” boils down to a combination of greed and laziness. It is an attempt to have it all without sacrificing yourself. You can hide your feelings and avoid dealing with those irritating things like commitment, hard work, trust and respect.
A lot of people want to enjoy physical intimacy without strings attached because friendship seems a lot easier than maintaining a romantic relationship. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Whether or not people acknowledge it, or even like it for that matter, sex creates a bond. Both friendship and sex are devalued when the boundaries between the two become blurred. So why not tie that bond to love? We all know love is important, so why not just get a girlfriend or a boyfriend to share it with?
I know some would say that variety is the spice to life and that it’s good to explore all our options because, after all, we’re still young. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. These benefits do have hidden costs. Costs such as feeling used, disappointment and heartbreak. Don’t enjoy the ride when you know the wreck is coming.
A FWB relationship will never be as fulfilling as true, romantic love. Sex is just not as meaningful if there is no real love behind the physical actions. We should pursue valuable friendships and avoid complicating relationships with sexual issues. It’s so worth it to be in a loving and monogamous relationship. What sounds better?
“Mom, this is my boyfriend/girlfriend” or “Mom, this is my friend with benefits”? She’d probably give you a blank stare.
Kenyatta Joseph can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.