Can men and women ever just be friends ‘with benefits’?
In the movie starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher ‘No Strings Attached’ this is the exact question they plan to answer. For the sake of women’s brains not exploding, I’m pretty sure we find out that the answer is No, that the man inevitably falls madly in love with you and you live happily ever after on his finance, consultant, lawyer, pretentious job salary but I haven’t seen the movie so I could be wrong.
I’m quite the fan of ‘benefits’. I’m sure we all have our own hang-ups, beliefs and preconceived notions about sex but most will agree that its like oxygen; you don’t realize its importance until your not getting any.
This leads to the predicament that is the premise of the movie, (a total assumption). What is a young, healthy, attractive and horny person supposed to do when sex isn’t readily available? Find someone trustworthy and work out an arrangement known as ‘friends with benefits’.
When you’re a young adult, no one warns that you will have bad sex with people that you like and good sex with people that you marginally can’t stand. Erroneously one believes that chemistry with your clothes on can easily translate into great sex with effort and practice. Not true.
As most adults get older, we realize that good sex isn’t always easy to come by and sometimes you have to concede that it’s all you want. Don’t be ashamed, it is a completely natural need. There must be some understanding formed however, when embarking on a friends with benefits relationship.
If you haven’t yet developed restrictions for yourself listed below are a few of my own that you might consider adopting. The fact being it is a benefit. It can not stand alone as its own entity. It comes with conditions, the following are a few to consider.
You don’t have to actually be ‘friends’
You must protect your body
I know this should be number one but you know what they say, first is the worst and second’s the best. It is imperative that you protect yourself and others but mainly yourself. Don’t be sure that you know someone is safe, clean or responsible.
You should protect your heart
If you’re the type likely to catch feelings after some good loving maybe this isn’t the arrangement for you. Don’t engage with anyone you would actually consider dating. Or who has 9 out of the 10 qualities of your perfect mate. Don’t accept a snack, when you’re looking for a full course meal. If you want a commitment, don’t have sex.
Don’t get jealous
Benefits are community property (hopefully not too many communities) so you must always assume that they are dating other people. Especially if you’re not. They don’t owe you anything more than the few hours you spend together. What they do in their spare time is none of your business. Get a life.
Observe the shelf life
Nothing lasts forever except maybe a good diamond. When you embark on friends with benefits understand it’s a gift that expires. Even if it could last forever why would you want it to? Rest assured, you need to get on with your own dating life.
Don’t smash an Ex
If you insist on being friends with your benefits make sure to choose from your selection of actual friends and not ex’s. Unless you like messy drama and heartache. By all means, continue to sleep with an ex but if you value your sanity and belongings I would not recommend a relationship 2.0 with a former flame.
Know your role
Or slow your roll. Some people become all too comfortable with their situation. They try to play slick and transfer the ‘benefits’ into a relationship by accidentally leaving items at the house. Some people go as far as to invite the other person over to their house not to have sex but to hang out. That is a quick way to get your feelings hurt or worse have your benefits taken away. Always be real(istic) about what the situation is never try to make a dollar out of fifteen cents.
I’m certainly no expert, well actually… every man I’ve tried to have a responsible ‘friends with benefits’ relationship with has fallen in love with me, so maybe the movie isn’t completely unlikely. I’m sure there are some rules I’m missing.