Why No One Benefits From Friends With Benefits

Friendship with benefits has become increasingly popular in the last few years. In 2011, Hollywood released two big movies that started the promotion of this new "relationship model". Quickly, all the ladies' magazines like Cosmo jumped on board and gave their reader tips on how to get all the fun they had seen on screen. Especially young people believed in the illusion and were eager to try this out. 

I've shared my story with you last week. Today, I'll talk about what I've learned and how, in the end, nobody benefits in any way from a friendship with benefits. 
I think I could write an entire encyclopedia about the disadvantages of friends with benefits, but I've narrowed it down to seven arguments. 

1. No responsibilites. Sounds great, huh?

People often claim that in such an arrangement, you get "the benefits of a relationship without the obligations and the responsibility". But what are these obligations and responsibilites?

- You need to call him/her*. 
- He wants to know if you love him. If you care about him. 
- You need to come up with fun date ideas. 
- You need to be there for your partner, listen to him and take care of him. 
- Basically, you need to invest a lot of time, love and emotions in a relationship.

Are these really negative things?

But let's look at the other side. Assuming you are in a frienship with benefits and you enjoy the freedom, does it still look like fun when your partner also...

- does not call you (back)?
- does not tell you that he loves you and cares about you?
- does not ask you out?
- isn't there for you when you need support and comfort?
- doesn't invest anything in the relationship?

2. No faithfulness

Theoretically, this falls in the category of obligations, but I want to single that point out. 

The partner is not obliged to be faithful. He will probably go out, make out and even sleep with other women. This does not only mean a higher risk of contracting STDs, but when jealousy enters the stage, it will probably make you wish for the obligations and security of a commited relationship...  Being cheated on is a horrible feeling and it's even worse when you know that you can't do anything about it because you agreed on the "no strings attached" thing. 

3. Protection and unwanted pregnancies

I've already talked about it in this post. No contraception is 100% safe. Do you really want to take the risk and let a child be born into such a relationship? How likely is it that he will take care of you and the baby?

4. Bonding

This is a point I've also talked about in a previous post. Sex causes us to bond. How long can you keep the emotions out of the picture, if you're regularly engaging in an activity that will automatically stir up the emotions in you? 

5. Baggage

A friendship with benefits, as all other past relationships and sexual experiences, adds up the bagagge you bring into a new relationship. On top of that, it will cause a lot of issues which need to be solved before you enter a new relationship! You need to switch from no-responsibilites-at-all to a lot of responsibilities. It also makes confessing your past experiences a lot harder. 

I had a rather rough transition from my friendship with benefits to my boyfriend. I told him right from the start what I had done because I didn't want to keep it as a secret and miss the right point to talk about it. I'm glad that this hasn't kept him from pursuing me! 

6. The potential to destroy a friendship

Adding a sexual dimension to a friendship has the potential to destroy the friendship. How do you deal with jealousy? How do you deal with unreturned feelings? How do you react when the sex isn't as you expected it to be? You haven't build the trust of an intimate relationship and an atmosphere where you can safely talk about your problems. Unlike a loving couple, you have no strategies how to tackle upcoming issues. 

What happens if the "benefits" part ends? Can you simply return to being friends when you have shared so much with each other?

7. Being Used

The whole friends with benefits concept is based on the assumption that it's totally okay to use another person's body for pleasure or to let yourself be used. This is promoted through our culture. Many people don't realize how dangerous and self-destructive this objectification really is. Maybe you have, just like me, believed in that lie. But do you really want to be a toy that others can play with? Treat others like a toy? 

So there you have the 7 reasons why you shouldn't start such a relationship! I know it contains a lot of questions, but I think they might help you with your decision, if you have to take one :)

* I'm writing from a female perspective, so the partner is obviously male, but of course this is also true for men! 

If you're interested in this topic, Theodora Lee, a South African youtuber, has made a video about the pros and cons of friends with benefits :) (Although there are not many pros ;) ) I can really recommend this video. 

This was the last post in a four-part series. Read the other posts here: 

Can you think of any other reasons or problems in a friendship with benefits?

Which point is the most important one for you? 

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