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No Strings Attached?

For the majority of you, this isn’t going to be a surprise; but for the rest of you, hold onto your seats: ‘friends with benefits’ relationships do indeed exist and continue to be very prominent in our society, particularly on college campuses.
The topic of FWB relationships raises many questions that have been recently sparked by the debut of the movie No Strings Attached starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. Aside from getting to watch Ashton onscreen for a straight hour and 50 minutes, you see a guy and girl (who is in much healthier shape since Black Swan, I must say) try to keep their relationship strictly physical, but it’s not long before they learn that they want something more. Sound familiar?

A model relationship equipped with romantic dates and handholding seems far-fetched, but maybe that’s not what you want right now anyway. Even if it turns into a relationship later, that’s acceptable, right? Caution: whatever the case may be, never settle less for than you deserve. Spoiler alert for those of you who haven’t seen No Strings Attached, Love and Other Drugs, just one episode of Gossip Girl or even heard about the upcoming movie Friends with Benefits: all of the couples not-so-surprisingly end up together and live happily ever after. Shocked, right? Even Dave Matthews says, “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.”
Although in reality our lives are certainly not the plots of multi-million dollar movies or fairytale love songs, the topic is so talked about that FWB relationships were a trending topic on Twitter filed under #bootycallrules. Needless to say with such a negative hash tag, most tweeters made even the possibility of a real relationship seem unrealistic. For example:

#bootycallrules it’s a friendship not a relationship
#bootycallrules if you’re my booty call, don’t text me to say happy valentine’s day. it’s not like that.
#bootycallrules no you’re not invited to the family cookout tomorrow
You get the picture. Entertaining, but degrading nonetheless. I just wonder how many FWB relationships last. Just think — are the people involved really friends? The use of the word ‘friend’ may depend on the case, but if used incorrectly, someone may be misguided into believing that there is a meaningful relationship.
The bigger question highlighted by No Strings Attached: can two people actually be friends with benefits without becoming emotionally involved? To acquire some insight, I conducted an anonymous survey that received nearly 100 responses. Of the answers gathered, 53.2 percent saidit is not possible to be FWB without emotional attachment, 89 percent have been in a FWB relationship and 60.8 percent involved in a FWB relationship became emotionally involved. I also asked for any opinions about FWB relationships and whether or not the movie portrayed these relationships accurately. The responses ranged:

“It never works, someone always gets attached.”

“I think it’s possible; it depends on the people involved. I know I personally could never do it though, and would not want to.”

“Biggest mistake of my life.”

“Someone always has feelings even if they’re hiding them.”

“Especially for girls, who are biologically wired to be more emotionally attached, physical relationships will inevitably lead to some kind of attachment.”

“It can be fun, but be careful with the friend you choose.”

“People who spend time together, share memories, are friends and are physically attracted for each other will naturally start to become attached.”
How interesting. Everyone seems to understand the dangers of being friends with benefits, yet the majority continues to be involved in this type of relationship. So what’s the appeal? Maybe it’s the convenience; maybe it’s the lack of pressure or even the idea of no strings attached. As the 60 percent of those surveyed who became emotionally involved could attest, the FWB relationship is not always that simple. There is always the risk of being set up for heartache, jealousy or even losing a perfectly good friendship.
So, why settle? After all, you should never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be his or her option. It’s time to turn off “Can’t Be Friends” and turn up some Beyoncé. With that said, back to Ashton Kutcher. I wonder how Demi feels about his FWB relationship with a much younger, award-winning starlet turned ballet dancer.

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