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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What is Friends with benefits?

Friends with benefits:
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
'Friends with benefits' is the term often used to describe two people being in somewhat of a relationship without an official commitment. In other words you’re not officially dating or a couple but you’re having some degree of an intimate relationship (intimate referring to kissing, making-out, sleeping together, etc.).
There are pros and cons to this particular relationship and people undergo it for various reasons.
Being friends with benefits is convenient
Sometimes you may not want to be in a serious relationship because you just got out of one, aren’t ready for one, don’t have the need to settle down or any other reason. This relationship can be acceptable when it’s to the advantage of both parties and is mutually agreed upon. This means if you and your partner both decide you’d just like to be in a 'friends with benefits' relationship either indefinitely or for the now being and it seems to work fine for the both of you then that’s great. The problem comes though when one of the parties would like more out of the relationship (like a serious commitment).
Friends with benefits can be to the benefit of only one person involved
This is where the disadvantages to this type of relationship appear. In some cases one party will choose to be in a “friends with benefits” relationship because it may be convenient to them. Maybe one person is ready to settle down or looking towards a serious commitment but the other person would preffer to stay in this kind of relationship because they get to keep their freedom. They are able to see other people and do their own thing without having to answer to the other person because they’re not officially in a relationship.
Being Friends with benefits can be dangerous
Another disadvantage (whether mutually agreed upon or not) is the fact that looking at the world today with HIV and all other STDs and illnesses (some also transmitted through kissing) it is extremely dangerous to have multiple intimate partners. Mutually agreeing upon being in a nonexclusive relationship is basically giving your approval to be in a relationship where your partner is having relations with other people (and you might be too) which is unhealthy.
By looking at the advantages and disadvantages it is important to decide why you’re considering being in friends with benefits relationship. You need to make sure that it is not only to you or your partners profit but that it positively impacts and affects both of you. Keeping in mind the risks involved (such as the diseases briefly discussed) it is important to set limits for yourself of what would and would not be acceptable in the relationship. Make sure that you won’t regret any decisions you may make

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  1. I met this guy back in the begining of march through a friend. We instantly hit it off and were just drawn toward each other. He lived in LA and I went to visit him a couple times, and when he was in town he'd stay the night with me. His job transferred him here before he went on the road for a few months to shoot a documentary film, but hes coming back here for six months, and not only that, I live two hours from where he will be when hes done with the film. When he is stationed here, he stays at my house three times a week at least. Sounds all great right...well the problem comes in where he got out of a serious relationship a year ago and had his heart completely broken. He says hes crazy about me and really likes me, but is not ready for a relationship. That he wants to focus on his new career and wants to become comfortbale being a single adult. He says its not about wanting to be with other people, and says that he thinks were a great match but he's scared to get in to another relationship with the first girl after his ex. He also disclosed that I am the only girl he has slept with besides his ex. Now we've been talking for about five months now. And at first I was ok with things being casual how they were, I had just gotten out of a very serious engagement and wasnt quite ready for anybody either. But as time has gone on, I've started to have feelings for this guy, and at times this situation makes me feel bad about myself, like its something about me that makes him not want to be with me. How can you not take something like that personal?? He warned me that when he left on the road he wasnt sure how much we'd talk but since he's been gone we talk almsot every day and have pretty long conversations. Ive tried to cut it off with him, telling him Im afraid he'll be here for six months and thatll be almost a year we've been talking then he'll take off back to LA and itll drop off you know...he says hes sorry but he just cant do the boyfriend thing right now and cant promise anything. Im not sure how to handle this situation. Im a very nice girl, a little too nice I think, and I really like this guy. What is the liklihood over time it could turn in to something? Or what is the liklihood I will get hurt? What should I do??

    1. Hey!
      Thanks for the comment:)

      It is a really complex situation which you're in. I know that deep feelings can develop in a really short space of time and a few months are definitely not that little a space of time.

      You should DEFINITELY NOT take it personally or start feeling bad about yourself. The way this guy feels or how he deals with things has absolutely nothing to do with you. I'm not sure what happened in his previous relationship or why it ended but the fact that he might not want to get into another relationship at the moment might have more to do with that relationship and him as a person then it does with you and you as a person.

      I think the best thing to do is to look after yourself. Put yourself first. If you feel like this guy is getting all the benefits of you and your time (company, intimacy, etc.) without you having the security of a relationship, then take a little step back. Allow him to see that the same way you respect the fact that he doesn't want to get into a relationship with you right now for his own reasons, you don't want to sleep with someone you're not in a relationship with (for example, I really don't know how you may feel about this). This will allow you to have some time to think about where you are and see how much he cares about you - If he's just with you for intimacy (or any other) reasons then he would step back at the idea of this.

      Please read how to know whether or not you made the right decision as it highlights an important technique of weighing out advantages and disadvantages of being with someone or in a certain relationship - this might be able to help you greatly.

      Remember to put yourself first and do what works for you. If you don't feel comfortable being in a 'semi-relationship' then tell him that and take the chance that if he really cares enough for you he will do whatever it takes to make you happy too. After all, the relationship shouldn't only be about his happiness and what he's comfortable with; it should cater to you too.

      Good luck!


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