You can’t have your cake and eat it too… or can you?
More commonly known as “friends with benefits (FWB),” it’s a phenomenon that’s been defined by Puentes, Knox and Zusman as sex in a non-romantic friendship. Seems pretty straightforward, but if that doesn’t do it for you, perhaps a more “urban” definition will suffice.
For the purposes of this article, there are a couple other things to establish:
- You have to actually be friends with the person before hooking up in order for it to count as a FWB relationship. It’s really not the same thing to hook up with someone and then become friends. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but there’s gotta be a prior friendship between the two parties.
- Speaking of the two parties involved (for our purposes let’s just stick to two), FWB relationships aren’t only limited to heterosexual relationships. It’s important that these conversations aren’t limited to one type of sexual orientation.
With all that stated, let’s look at the pros and cons of a FWB relationship.
PRO: You get sex without too much effort
In a FWB relationship, you can skip all the traditional mating rituals and get right to the point. Feeling lonely on a Saturday night? Call your friend over, with no need to explain why you called. Not feeling lonely on a Saturday night? Don’t call your friend over, with no need to explain why you didn’t call.
CON: “Real” feelings can emerge
There aren’t too many set rules in FWB relationships. Most often, the pair agrees that it’ll be the usual friendship with the added sexual intercourse… and nothing more. But as time passes someone may very well end up falling for the other person. If both people fall for each other, great, but if not…
PRO: The sex may be more enjoyable
Being friends may make it easier to communicate (technically, so does being in a relationship), an important component of sexual intercourse. You’re more likely to open up to a friend about your likes and dislikes in bed as opposed to someone you don’t know and trust. And maybe your friend will hold an extra shirt for you, so you can somewhat avoid the walk of shame the next day.
CON: You may very well lose a friend
It doesn’t take a genius to know that sex complicates things. And in a FWB relationship, there is a good chance of the friendship ending negatively. Before engaging in a FWB relationship, one should strongly consider life down the road without that person as a friend.
For some, a FWB relationship may be a preferable alternative to traditional monogamous relationships. While there’s not exactly a blueprint for doing a FWB relationship the “right way,” it could work in the right situation.
That said, it’s damn hard to have your cake and eat it too.