How My First Friends With Benefits Relationship Taught Me There Really Aren’t Any Benefits

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Friends Without Benefits2

A few months ago my friends and I were just relaxing, watching movies, eating junk food and reading magazines. I was reading through Glamour and stumbled upon an article that explained the ten rules of being friends with benefits. I read the article and I thought to myself, “This sounds awesome! Sex, fun, but no commitment. It’s exactly what I need!”

Throughout my college career, I’ve largely remained single. I’ve never had a college love like all my other friends, I had my fair share of douche bags, crushes and plain old weirdos, but never a loving relationship. When I was reading the article, I was fed up with being alone and just wanted a part of the whole I couldn’t have — meaning hooking up with someone was better then not having anyone at all.

I mentioned it to some of my friends and a few of them told me it was a terrible idea. Because I’m such a hyper emotional person, they had a feeling I would get hurt. Then the rest of my friends thought it was just what I needed, they thought I just needed something with no strings, free of emotion and something I could just have fun with.

Luckily few days before my 21st first birthday this year I met a guy; we’ll call him Paul. Paul was super hot, really smart and really nice. He had a sexy accent, and he was interested. I decided, though, that since I didn’t want a full on relationship, I would make it a FWB situation. So beginning in May, and ending just a few weeks ago, I had my first FWB relationship.

It was really fun for a few months, but I never really felt truly comfortable through it all. Though I’ve never been in love, I have dated people I cared deeply about, and having sex with someone you really care about is amazing. Being able to connect with someone on a mental level and to attain a deeper connection by making it physical is something hard to explain, but a truly beautiful thing.

On the other hand, having sex with someone who you don’t really care about gets weird. I don’t know about you, but I personally feel uncomfortable because it’s not like you actually know this person. I mean sure you know their name, and a few random things, but you don’t know them like you would someone you have real feelings for.

So I read all the Glamour rules online, I asked for advice from my friends who had been in similar situations…but even still things never really clicked for me. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s fun hooking up with someone; its nice to have someone to hang out with when you’re drunk. But I feel like FWB relationships kind of ruin people’s perspective on what love and sex really should be.

Love and sex should be something sacred, it should be a shared experience between two people who truly want to be with each other and no one else. One of the most important parts of a relationship is sex. Of course there are other factors that make a huge difference, but sex is the one thing in a relationship that isn’t shared with anyone else. While you may have emotional connections with other people, a physical one should be between only the person who you love and see a future with.

All summer I coasted with my FWB. I was never worried about meeting people because I knew that I had someone I could call, that I could feel wanted with, even if only for that night. Then in the mornings, a harsh sense of reality would kick in, and I would realize things weren’t as great as they seemed in the haze of the night before. Of course those few hours when you’re with someone you feel great, you feel wanted, you feel satisfied and you feel like things are all okay. Honestly though, all you’re doing is feeding into a false sense of security, and at the end of the day the reality of it all will just crush you.

That false hope and security is probably the worst thing you could ever give yourself, and I will tell you why — another article actually brought me to this conclusion. My best friend sent me this explaining why chivalry is dead and it made a lot of sense. You can read it here and tell me what you think.

Basically this author explained why guys don’t do the whole, pick you up from the door, take you to dinner thing, and why so many don’t even attempt a kiss on the first date. And the answer was because woman allow for this treatment. The author explained that, as of late, women don’t expect the whole pony show. They just go for it and hop in the sack with any and every guy they meet, and sometimes it does turn into a relationship…but for the most part it never becomes anything serious.

I read the article and my first reaction was to call bull on it. I said that there was no excuse for guys to act like jerks, or for them to not treat a woman with the utmost respect. I found the article almost insulting because of how it depicted women. Then I talked to my mom about it and she laughed at me.

She told me the story of how she and my father met, a story I had heard a million times before, but then she told me that they didn’t sleep together until they had been dating for about five months, like almost half a year. I don’t even know many people with full relationships as long as that. She told me that she agreed with the article, that there are certain things that women should keep sacred and we no longer do. We talked about one night stands, hook ups, and FWB, she said of course it happened when she was young, but that it wasn’t as common or as publicized.

After all of this I started thinking about my situation and what message I was sending to Paul and to every other guy, and even to myself. I have been thinking about this quite a bit recently, and I find myself conflicted. Personally, I’m all about the empowerment of women — sexually and physically — but I sometimes think that things get taken too far and out of context. Then on the flip side, I wonder who am I to decide what the boundaries are?

At the end of the day, what I think about the FWB situation is similar to how I feel about woman and sex in general. Sex should be thought about, not something you just jump into. At the end of the day sex is something sacred, and I think we should consider what message we are sending to men and to the younger generations.

What are your thoughts on FWB and woman and sexuality? Do you think we should backpedal a bit, or am I over-thinking all of this?

[Lead image via Deklofenak/Shutterstock]

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