Kayla's Korner: All Perks, No Promises: Being Friends with Benefits

Some of you may have gushed over Justin Timberlake serenading Mila Kunis with a flash mob in Grand Central Station in the hit movie, Friends With Benefits. Maybe you even made your own “period mix” after hearing the one that Ashton Kutcher made Natalie Portman in the blockbuster hit, No Strings Attached. The media morphs people’s minds into thinking that being friends-with-benefits will always end with a blissful couple living happily ever after.

Sure it’s good to be hopeful, but we collegiettes also have to be realistic- situations like this don’t always play out as well as they do in the movies. But if it is done right, being friends with benefits can be fun and carefree for all involved. To help our readers out, I have compiled some tips on how to approach and achieve the “no strings attached” status without anyone getting hurt.

Before going any further, we should be clear on what the term “friends-with-benefits” means, so I asked around campus and here are a few answers:

“Friends with benefits is like being in a relationship without having the responsibilities and commitment, it’s strictly physical not emotional.”
-Melissa, freshman

“I think it’s meaningless sex with someone you’re comfortable with… great, fun, meaningless sex.”
-Heidi, sophomore

“Uncommitted sex with someone who you are friends with and flirt with but don’t like as more than a friend.”
- Emily, Sophomore

Basically, friends-with-benefits offers the best of both worlds- you have a friend you are comfortable with and you get the benefits without any commitment. That is, as long as you handle it the right way. However, be careful when messing around with this. Often times, things can end badly (especially when unwanted emotions start to arise). To be clear, there are no definite rules on how to be friends-with-benefits, but here are just a few suggestions to consider before jumping into it.

Get them:

It’s not just men; many women are also looking for someone to have a good time with without getting emotionally attached. They could be looking for a way to let out frustration or stress, or they could just be looking for something less serious than a committed relationship. Who better to turn to than a friend? It can be someone you’ve known forever or someone you have recently met, and maybe you suddenly have the urge to get a little more physical with him. If you find yourself alone with “just a friend” who you are interested in hooking up with, just go for it.

As scary as being rejected seems, you aren’t asking for his commitment, just his friendship with added “perks.” What guy would turn that down? If he is single and not interested in anyone, you most likely have a pretty good shot. Make sure to be clear with each other that you are not looking for anything serious. Once you are on the same page, you can continue on as friends but also have those perks for an uncommitted, free cost.

Keep them:

Friends-with-benefits aren’t strictly for hooking up; if you want someone to go make a Wal-mart run with, ask him to go with you. If you see something funny that you know will make him crack up send him a text. Basically, act like normal friends would (it’s called FRIENDS with benefits for that reason!). No one needs to know you are getting the perks on the side if you don’t want them to. Communication is key to keeping a healthy friends-with-benefits relationship, when people start to get on different pages it starts to get messy. So don’t neglect the communication!

Treating each other like normal friends will help keep things stable. One of the perks of having friends with benefits is being able do things such as Wal-mart runs and text jokes, but also being entitled to your own space. It’s okay if you don’t want to see him- you don’t have to. The point is to not feel like you are in a committed relationship, so hang out with all your other friends too! If you dedicate all your time to hanging out with him, it could start to send mixed signals, which will be confusing for everyone.

Lose them:

If things don’t feel right, you just aren’t that into it, or even if you just found someone else you’d rather hook up with, it’s time to end things. But how? It is pretty simple actually; just tell him. Going into it, you both knew there were no emotions or commitment. It was inevitable that it would probably end somehow, so there should be no disappointment. A major flag that you should stop things before they get too complicated is if you start to get feelings for him. This doesn’t mean it can’t work out in the future, but you both need to be on the same page.

And if he is still only in it for the sex while you are starting to get into it emotionally, it is a recipe for disaster. Avoid the tears and confusion by ending things temporarily until you talk about it with him. Maybe the feelings will be mutual, but if not it is in both of your best interests to stop things for good. If you were good friends before, things should be able to go back to normal without too much awkwardness.

In the end, you know what is right for yourself. Being friends with benefits shouldn’t make you feel stressed and tied down. As long as you are both happy and having fun, there is no need to rock the boat. Always remember to be safe and enjoy your time together. If things have to end, look at it as experience. There are plenty of fish in the sea, so don’t be afraid to test the waters!

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