Two friends that have a physical attraction to each other but are not in an official emotional relationship. The benefits (sex, hugging, kissing, holding hands) are not exclusive. If you're a girl you know that it's impossible to have a sexual relationship without getting your emotions involved. Usually you end up being afraid to tell the person that you want serious commitment because you don't want to be rejected. You keep your friends with benefits relationship because you are afraid of losing the person all together but it hurts you because you want more. You know you should tell the person how you really feel but you can't because you love them and you're afraid of losing them. Friends with benefits rules that make a difference: • #1 don’t fall in love. This is the biggest rule and the easiest one to remember. Don’t fall in love. • #2 have emotional maturity. Understand what kind of a relationship you’re getting into right from the start. There isn’t supposed to be a happy ending. Be satisfied with a satisfying ending. • #3 Set ground rules. How often should both of you call each other and how often should you meet? These rules aren’t set in stone, but both of you must make a conscious effort to follow it. • #4 don’t get clingy for attention. Your friend with benefits isn’t your lover. Don’t constantly call them or try to make a conversation when you have nothing better to do. • #5 keep it a secret. Don’t talk to your friends about it. Gossip has a funny way of spreading within minutes after you tell a friend about it. You’ll end up pissing off your friend with benefits or getting a bad reputation. • #6 don’t sleep with two friends from the same group. It’s too risky and you may get caught, especially if both of them are trying to exchange sly smiles and sneaky glances with you, or worse, trying to reach out to your crotch from under the table at the same time. • #7 don’t be overenthusiastic. Yes, you get to have a no strings relationship with someone. Keep that libido and enthusiasm down or you’ll end up getting bored or scaring your screw buddy away. • #8 don’t go on a date. You may be intimate with each other, but that’s no excuse to see each other in any place other than a bed. You’ll ruin the relationship. • #9 Distract yourself. Get interested in someone else as soon as you start having sex with your friend with benefits. It’ll take the option of falling for them out as long as you’re infatuated by someone else. • #10 don’t stay in touch too often. Don’t try to find out about their personal life or have conversations about life and its problems. You’re into each other for sex and you really should avoid involving anything else. Call for one reason and one reason alone. • #11 Avoid sleeping with a good friend. As sexually attracted as you may be, avoid having sex with a good friend that’s good looking. You will lose that friend or both of you will hate each other within a few months. • #12 Remember how it ends. Both of you will almost always stray apart. Or end up having an affair when one of you is in another relationship and that can get really messy. • #13 avoid anyone who’s seeing someone else. It may sound sexy and wicked and even give you an ego boost, but you’ll get caught or one of you will have to deal with a heavy bag of guilt that will ultimately be shared in the open. • #14 mentally date someone else. Don’t talk about your personal lives with each other. But convince yourselves that the other person is actually dating someone else. It’ll help avoid falling for each other. • #15 be honest. If you’re falling in love with your friend with benefits or feel like things are slipping out of hand, you owe it to your friend to at least let them know the truth so both of you can decide the course of the relationship. • #16 You can’t fall in love. You lose the chance of falling in love with someone who may be perfect for you. You may take a while to realize it, but even if you think your sex friend is the most charming person in the whole world, you really can’t do anything about it because it’s too late to retrace your steps. • #17 you may lose a great friend. If one of you have been hasty or made a few wrong decisions, both of you can’t do anything but walk away forever. Can you handle that? • #18 you could end up jealous or unhappy. As much as you may try to pretend like you don’t care, you may be upset if your friend dates someone else. And all this even though you know the ground rules. • #19 there may be a disease involved so use a condom. No one likes talking about this part. But it’s something to be wary about, especially if your friend has a lot of active friends with benefits. And of course, you’re not going to talk about it because *you don’t care*, right? • #20 Romantic feelings will find a way. Romance always finds a way to crop up for one of you if the relationship lasts more than a few months. And trust me, both of you aren’t going to like where that road goes. • #21 Are you slipping? If one of you finds yourselves slipping or falling for the other person, end it at the first doubt. You really have no choice. Almost all the time, love is not an option. • #22 Poke into the details. You may not like it, but get to know about your friend with benefit’s sexual partners at least by numbers instead of names so you know how active they are. Get a medical checkup now and then too, if there’s some suspicion in the air. It’s better to be safe than sorry. • #23 all good things come to an end. Firstly, a friends with benefits relationship isn’t a good thing. It’s a dangerous excuse to avoid commitment. But yeah, it’s a lot of fun though! At the end of it all, as fancy as it sounds, a friends with benefits relationship is almost always too good to be true. • #24 there will always be doubts in the air. Even if both of you mutually fall in love with each other, would you be happy in the long term? Trust me, I’ve been there. You’d always doubt your friend’s fidelity. If you could get your friend to have sex with you so easily, can’t they have sex with someone else even though both of you are in a relationship? • #25 the bad ending. If you end it, you may infuriate your friend who may even want revenge. Unless you end the relationship nicely, there’s really never going to be a happy ending, for you or for your reputation. Disadvantages of a friends with benefits relationship: • Friends with benefits do not last. A relationship built on a shallow foundation is doomed to end because of shallow reasons. Once everything ends, guess what? Both parties are back to square one! Surely, this type of arrangement is counter-productive and frankly, is a waste of time. After the initial thrill is gone, it leaves both partners feeling used and empty in the end. Not really healthy for one’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth, is it? For people in a cross cultural relationship, even doubly so because options are more limited and time is extremely valuable. Don’t waste it on a dead-end relationship or you’ll find yourself single after 40! • Friends with benefits are a poor substitute for the real thing. You know what they say about junk food: it tastes great at first but ultimately, it’s not filling and it’s definitely not good for you. Friends with benefits are like junk food for the soul: it’s convenient and may feel good at first but ultimately carries no “nutrition” for the soul whatsoever. Also, just like when eating junk food, being in a friends with benefits type of relationship is usually a sign of a need or “hunger” that is being satisfied through less than ideal means. More often than not, this hunger is a gnawing sense of loneliness and emptiness in one’s life. The false sense of security that is provided by a friends with benefits relationship only becomes a temporary solution (I dare say it can only be a distraction and a diversion, to be perfectly honest.) which fails to address the real root cause of these feelings of loneliness. Consequently, since the hunger has been prematurely satisfied, the root cause remains buried, only to resurface once more when the relationship has run its course. And just like junk food, this type of situation only leaves a person more “hungry” afterwards, leading that person to seek yet another pointless friends with benefits relationship and further perpetuating the unhealthy cycle. • Friends with benefits rob you of the opportunity to grow and develop as a person. Following the train of thought discussed in item #2, because the soul receives no “nutrition” whatsoever, friends with benefits relationships actually deny a person from ever answering the question, “How do I find true love?” It may even be harmful for one’s prospects of finding a soul mate because you end up cheating yourself from maturing as an individual and skipping out on many learning opportunities which can allow you to learn and grow as a person. Only within a genuine relationship can important concepts such as responsibility, the art of compromise and adaptation (very important in a cross cultural relationship) ever be learned. The emotional involvement required by a genuine relationship – with its joy and pain, its triumph and anguish – is like a fire that can forge a person into becoming the absolute best that they can be. By missing out on these opportunities, having a friends with benefits relationship can actually be harmful for your personal growth and keep you single after 40! • Health issues. More often than not, people looking for a “friends with benefits” type of relationship have “been around the block,” if you know what I mean. Given the casual nature of these encounters, there is no guarantee that you would be able to know the full romantic history of a prospective partner. To use an analogy, would you eat something without knowing what it’s made from or where it’s been? It’s the same thing with romantic partners. Going for casual flings is like playing Russian roulette: you’re taking a shot in the dark with your health with what amounts basically to a total stranger. With the growing reality of HIV and AIDS looming in today’s society, would the cheap thrill really be worth all the risk? • True love takes time. This statement right here should address the ultimate question, “How do I find true love?” As the classic song goes, “You can’t hurry love, no you’ll just have to wait. Love don’t come easy, it’s a game of give and take.” A lot of points made in those two lines of lyrics still ring true to this very day. A real relationship should be like fine wine, getting better with age. Only through a genuine sharing of each other’s deepest thoughts, feelings and dreams can true love take seed, and the bonds of trust and respect be established – things that a friends with benefits relationship cannot provide. And yes, this rings doubly true for a cross cultural relationship where both parties need to know each other well enough first. Even all the trials and tribulations, the hurt and sorrow serve a purpose because it is when a couple overcomes these together that a relationship builds a strong foundation. After all, finding a soul mate involves taking risks which sometimes means getting hurt and getting back up on one’s feet. These are things that people who go for a friends with benefits relationship try to avoid. But isn’t it true that a relationship can be more appreciated when it is worked for, and not an easy quick-fix arrangement only? When it comes down to it is it really what you want? Will you really be happy? Are you sure that your “friend” is safe? How many other people is he/ she “friends” with? This kind of friendship can take its toll on a person mentally, emotionally and physically. What would happen if a pregnancy accidentally happened? Think it through thoroughly before jumping into this because you may find out that it’s harder than you think. Be safe.
June 26, 2014