Who really are the “beneficiaries” of this little ploy?
At one point in your life, a boy or girlfriend has asked you to be his/her friend but with certain ‘benefits’. This usually happens after the two parties have agreed that a relationship will not work for them. It’s more like a contract, only without a piece of writing to authenticate the agreement. But I’m normally confused with the ‘benefits’ part. For one, that will mean you are a friend, but more than a friend and of course the benefits part will mean that you have to be physically involved with the person, but isn’t that some sort of a relationship? You do have to agree that physical contact with someone you are attracted to will lead to some form of emotional attachment…true? So I write down my opinions hoping that somewhere along the line I will get to one solid conclusion.
Let’s begin with why two people who are obviously attracted to one another should settle for something less like ‘friends with benefits’. It should be natural that they want to be more than friends…right? Wrong! In my way, I think that its either one person in the relationship who is not ready to make a serious commitment to the other or both of them are afraid to confront their emotions. Either way, that is an obstacle to their happiness or maybe even freedom.
What really amazes me is the way people react to commitment. It is the real issue behind this ‘benefits’ saga. I do confess I have been in such a situation and not just once, that’s why it’s such a concern to me to understand the concept. Commitment is a serious thing between two people. It’s a solemn if not strict agreement that the two will stay true to each other no matter what temptation comes their way. “Friends with benefits” however means that it’s just a casual hook up for sex or otherwise and if something better comes your way, you are free to mingle. But does that not include putting all your emotions on the line and also in the long run risk your health? You might not know how many partners the other person has mingled or even “been” with casually and are in the same position as you.
Little by little one of you might also start getting attached to each other and forget about the ‘contract’ they had earlier agreed on. Then trouble starts brewing in paradise. What was once seen as a casual hook-up might start evolving into a series of insecure and hurtful emotions. It gets old and emotionally drenching to have what you don’t own so to speak. It’s like renting a movie that you know you have to return to the store. You might love it, but it still will never be yours. And what happens when you spoil it? Simple; you have to pay.
Same goes for such ‘arrangements’, you might think that you are ready to deal with such issues but what you are doing is just postponing the inevitable. You cannot expect to treat a relationship like a contract and get away with it scot free. You cannot do friends with benefits and still expect that it will lead to something more serious. Why buy time being friends and what you do is basically what people in a relationship do? Why the cover name and pretense? Does it make it sexier that you are not lovers but friendly lovers? I’m not condemning anything here, just giving a few pointers that one should be careful in such matters.
The solution, I think, is to explore your emotions about the other person without rushing into any unnecessary agreements. If what you feel is truly genuine, then it won’t be hard to settle for a relationship. But under no circumstance should you agree to use and test the other person in your quest to see if things will work out. Chances are that deep down you know they won’t and you are probably a coward for not telling the other person how you truly feel about them.