Friends with benefits. Good idea? Bad idea? Well, that really depends on what you are looking for. Let’s be real – the temptation is there, it is palpable. You have a great guy friend, you are both single, you are both looking for a fun time… but the repercussions of sleeping with your best boy are just as real, and they are definitely something you should think about before you hop in the sack with him.
I have definitely been in this situation before; rather recently in fact. A guy friend of mine – one of my best friends on campus – suggested that we give it a try. We have both been single a while and we always hang out and make silly sexual innuendos out of just about anything; it seems like it would/could be a totally natural progression to hook up with him. But having been “propositioned” as such, I have really had to think about my own personal feelings on the friends with benefits dilemma.
Having sex with someone comes with strings. Always. Those strings do not necessarily mean you are entirely emotionally attached or need to be in a relationship with that person, but that you have shared a bond, you have been as close as any two people can physically be. I think that when that person is a friend, whoever, those strings can become really tangled and complicated. Fairly inevitably, one person will develop feelings for the other; sometimes those feelings are mutual, and this can lead to a really healthy relationship built on a strong friendship. If you have seen “Friends with Benefits” starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake (or really almost any other romantic comedy) you are familiar with this scenario.
Unfortunately, outside of Hollywood I think it is far more common that romantic feelings are primarily one-sided, which puts you in the uncomfortable position of either having your heart broken, or having to break his. There is also the issue of exclusiveness in a friends with benefits situation. Are you allowed to hook up with other people? Do you tell each other if you hook up with other people? You are not dating or in a committed relationship, but that doesn’t mean that feelings won’t get hurt or jealousy won’t arise between lovers.
The chances of losing a friend can be quite high when FWB goes awry. For this reason, it is super important to weigh the worth of the friendship against that of the short term, mutually-beneficial hook up. Some friendships can withstand it – if that is you, more power to you, I think it’s great! In my case, however, I decided it was not worth it to risk my friendship for a little nookie every now and then. If you are interested in reading any more about this topic, Psychology Today had a great article that touches on many of the struggles and nuances that are a part of sleeping with your best friend.
As always, I would love any comments from you, my lovely readers. Have friends with benefits success stories? Failures? Let me know!
Stay sexy, St. Olaf, H.