May 14, 2010

The Benefits of "Friends with Benefits"

(Reprinted from True Love Direct)

Everyone has likely heard the term, “friend with benefit” (or FWB, for short). This is simply the politically-correct term for someone you sleep with, without being in an actual relationship. But are there other benefits involved with this situation? What about drawbacks?

The most obvious advantage to this situation is that you will be having some sex. Congratulations! However, this can work in your favor in more than one way. Assuming you are still actively dating and/or looking for “that special someone,” the fact that you are getting some physical relief at the same time means you will be more relaxed and less likely to appear desperate. In fact, you will be less desperate, which leads to the next positive…

Your self-esteem will be boosted. If you have been in the dating world without any luck for months or years, your confidence will likely have taken a bit of downturn. Why is no one interested?! However, with a FWB-situation, you know that at least one person finds you attractive and desirable. That may be just the boost you need to approach someone in your sights.

The third reason a friend with benefits may be desirable is this: no strings attached. You can come and go as you please. Your “friend” gives you your space and privacy. If you are not quite ready for the huge commitment a relationship entails, this sort of “relationship-lite” situation may be for you. It is a bond of convenience for both parties: you take what you need without giving anything back.

But that in itself can become a drawback. You cannot expect anything in return from your friend. You can be dumped without a moment’s notice when that friend meets someone new, or without good cause when he or she simply grows tired of the routine. They could even be sleeping with other people on the side; but, as per your agreement, you cannot stop this. This can be not only bothersome to your state of mind, but also potentially dangerous to your health.

That superficiality of the relationship can extend to your emotions, as well. What if you develop romantic feelings for this person (as many people might, when sex is involved)…but the feelings are not reciprocated? Or, suppose you are not the one suddenly experiencing these feelings. After sleeping with a woman for weeks or months, she could get attached to you and feel very upset if you “break up”. Imagine trying to explain that to your new girlfriend!

Even if neither person feels romantically-inclined, it can still be a lonely situation. You never share your dreams or hopes with this person. You don’t introduce this person to your parents at Christmas. Heck, you may not even spend time with him or her outside of the bedroom. You may feel you’re back at square-one: looking for a relationship that fulfills what you want and need. You may find that this convenient setup is so convenient that it loses the appeal altogether.

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