There is a certain relationship — between a male and female — that breaks the social norm that a man and woman can only be friends or lovers, not both. From a guy’s perspective, this seems like a dream. “You’re telling me I can consistently hook up with a girl without dating her? Sign me up,” replied my friend when I told him about this peculiar situation.
While friends with benefits sounds like the perfect set-up for a guy, I’m here to walk you through the reality of the journey.
The conception: All tragic endings must have a beginning. This usually starts as a casual hook-up at a party. You both have been drinking, it’s been a long week and you just need to swap spit with another human being. Dancing commences and one thing leads to another before it’s the next morning and you’re lying next to each other wondering what exactly happened.
If you can get to this point without wanting to never talk to the other person again, you stand a fair chance of continuing to a “friends with benefits” relationship.
The during: This is the good part. You realize the one night spent with each other wasn’t so bad, and next time you get drunk you text her to come over. Once is just a one-night stand, but two times is something serious (at least in today’s terms) — if she so graciously accepts, you are pretty much at the friends with benefits stage.
Every morning after, you discuss how this is nothing more than casually hooking up — you simply do not want more. You think this feeling is mutual and that it cannot get any better. What could go wrong?
The falling-out: One morning as you drop her off at her apartment after a nice “stress-releasing session,” you accidentally kiss goodbye. You don’t realize what happened at the time, but about 45 seconds later you replay what happened and simultaneously say, “Oh no.”
You are mad at yourself, as she now thinks you have feelings for her and she thinks the same thing about you. You realize, “This must end now.”
The aftermath: You now try to formulate the text message to end what you started. Typing it out and erasing again — nothing seems to sound right. Finally you muster up something about how you don’t think you should see each other again due to miscellaneous reasons. It’s over right? If only.
Now that you wish to never see this person again, you will see them more than ever. Lunches at West End become awkward when you see they are at the table next to you. Your friend asks you who they are and you make up some story to explain your complicated history. Sheepish smiles are shared as you walk past each other on the Drillfield.
In reality, “friends with benefits” never works out in the long run. Feelings often develop on only one side of the relationship, which only leads to poor endings. Us guys can only thank Ashton Kutcher in the “No Strings Attached” movie for giving girls a perceptive that all friends-with-benefits relationships will lead to love.
Sorry optimists, but this is often not the reality.
To avoid the mal-effects of this situation, just stay away from it all together. As Dave Matthews said, “A guy and a girl can be just friends, but at one point or another, they will fall for each other — maybe temporarily, maybe at the wrong time, maybe too late or maybe forever.” A “friends with benefits” relationship may knock out the forever in that equation.
Someone always gets hurt. Call me old fashioned, but maybe the best way to get with a girl isn’t to get her drunk but instead take her out to a nice dinner. While a $20 meal for two may be a more expensive means of winning a girl over, a $9 rail will certainly lead to a more unhealthy and troublesome relationship.