My Mom Knows What a Friend with Benefits Is

Usually when I need some info on friends with benefits, I turn to my friends who have been there, or those brilliant people behind the screens (get it? Computer screen?! HA) at College Candy. I usually don’t turn to the New York Times.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I was surfing the Times today looking for some good opinion pieces when I found an article titled Friends with Benefits, and Stress Too.

At first I thought it was a joke. I mean, I know the Times is a liberal publication, but even they wouldn’t discuss the not-so-easy to explain situation we like to call Friends with Benefits.

Turns out, it was no joke. In fact, it was about a study conducted at Michigan State University where students were polled about their experiences with friends with benefits.

For anyone in college, the findings were nothing spectacular.

Basically, friends with benefits work for some, progress into a relationship for others and cause the rest to have a giant blow up fight because one person likes the other more and thought they had something special and meanwhile the other person is off hooking up with other people and stomping on their “friend’s” heart.

The only interesting thing to come from this, in fact, is the phone call I received from my mother this afternoon after she too was perusing the Times looking for opinion pieces and came across the article:

Mom: Lauren, honey, do you have any friends with benefits?

Me: Um. Excuse me? Mom, I am at work!

Mom: Sorry, but I’m reading this article and it sounds like you might be one of these people. I see you with your guy friends. Are you benefiting? Because in the end I really think they are only going to hurt you!

Me: Why would they hurt me? Why can’t I be the heartbreaker?

Mom: Oh, honey. Everyone knows how quickly you fall for people and start planning the wedding. But that’s not the point. Are you having sex with your friends? You know they won’t buy the cow when they get the milk for free.

Me: I cannot believe you just said that. And, no, I am not having sex with my friends.

Mom: Ok. Just checking. This is so interesting. We didn’t have this when I was young. I just had your father. What do I call him? My husband with benefits?

Yes. That is exactly when I hung up.

I never really thought I would discuss friends with benefits (or as the Times refers to it, F.W.B.) with my mother. Nor did I ever want to. Hopefully the Times will learn its place in this world and stick to the real reporting instead of enlightening my mother to the ways of college life.

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