Why are Friends with Benefits the New Black… in Hollywood?

6 07 2011

Lately, I’ve noticed a trend in many of the movies Hollywood has put out in the past year or so – the glorification of the” friend with benefits” situation. Who decided this was a good thing? I mean folks tend to get up in arms about the glorification of other things, like drugs and violence, but as far as I’m concerned, this new trend could be just as detrimental. Too dramatic? Okay, maybe not as detrimental, but damaging enough lol.

Well anyway, whoever decided it, it has clearly permeated the Hollywood culture.

The funny thing is that the FWB is not a new phenomenon, by any means. So why have I seen at least 4 recent trailers for movies that involve a guy and a girl having chex as friends and then eventually falling for each other and forming a healthy, loving relationship? Did we forget the fact that 98% of these relationships don’t actually end up that way? Or are we too busy trying to push another form of the Disney fantasy onto the women in America?

Let’s discuss and remember the tenets of the Friend with Benefits situation first, you know, just in case, we’ve forgotten… there are a few specific details that occur in a majority of these relationships:

1. The two of you are already friends – because of this first fact, there will be a higher chance for emotions to enter the situation than one where you’ve simply decided to enter into a Cut Buddy contract with someone. The biggest and least talked about difference between those two relationships is that in the FWB situation, it’s already been proven that you like each other. Maybe not in a boyfriend/girlfriend way at first, but in order to be friends with someone, you have to already like them and care about them. (What, you don’t like your friends?)

2. You’re attracted to each other – if not for this first fact, then the friend would stay nothing but a friend. Yes, there are times when we’ve all slipped up and had chex with someone who you wouldn’t exactly put on a magazine cover next to David Oliver or Darren Sharper, but that’s a slip-up, not something that happens consistently… so it doesn’t count. In order to have consistent chex with someone, you must be attracted to them.Which leads me to…

3. It’s consistent and not just about the chex– an FWB situation is not something that occurs once every 2 months or so. Nah nah nah, there’s potential to see this person a lot. After all, you’re friends as well, so chances are you’re not just having chex and you’re seeing each other often. You might talk on the phone still or eat out with each other. You may do things like watch movies together at each other’s places or even talk about your desires in your careers, etc… all before then having chex with them. And this is all with the premise that no strings are attached and no one is supposed to fall for the other person, right? Right.

4. Lastly, a main tenet of the FWB is that eventually someone will fall for the other person and chances are the feelings will not be returned – now, listen, please note that I said someone and not “the woman.” Contrary to popular belief, it is not always the woman who ends up catching feelings. Either way, though, unlike in these movies, the possibility that both people will decide that this person should be my legitimate man or woman is highly unlikely.

And that’s where my problem with the recent influx of movies on the subject comes in… we’re not telling the real story. It’s like how in the movie, “He’s Just Not That Into You,” they pointed out women tend to all tell the story of this one couple where it worked out and then everyone envisions it working out for them – we’re not showing that this is the exception and not the rule.

The real FWB story would show the guy starting to keep track of the woman’s condom stash in her place and getting jealous of other guys calling her and the woman deciding his ish may be good, but it’s not good enough to deal with this bs anymore. Or it would show the woman starting to dissect everything the guy does now to see if he really wants this to be something more and the guy saying something like, “but I thought we both understood this was never supposed to be anything more.”

I haven’t seen these new movies, but I’m willing to bet they’re not telling those stories. I mean, these are romantic comedies – you can’t tell reality in a romantic comedy, right? Anyway, for my folks who’ve had at least one FWB in the past (or maybe present), what do you think? Is the boyfriend/girlfriend probability more likely than I’m letting on? And what are some experiences you’ve had in your situations? One thing I have learned is that they tend to make for funny moments when it’s all said and done. So share a funny moment with us, why don’t you? I won’t judge.

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6 responses

13 07 2011
S Dot Lyphe

Ok, I DIED laughing every time you said “chex.”

I’ve had a FWB situation turn into a full-fledged relationship, but only because I was young and stupid and I caved instead of saying what you said here: “r it would show the woman starting to dissect everything the guy does now to see if he really wants this to be something more and the guy saying something like, “but I thought we both understood this was never supposed to be anything more.”

Obviously that didn’t end in Happily Ever After lol.

Otherwise, what I would probably call my FWB situations either ended one of the two ways you discussed, or they don’t met your accurate description of a FWB situation. I don’t think I’d ever made a delineation between FWB & cut buddies, but I probably should have.

19 07 2011
dbaham

re: Chex – I’ve got to keep it PGish so folks can read the blog at work lol.

but yeah, I don’t think I know very many people who have succeeded in the whole FWB thing. Hollywood portrays nothing but lies, I tell ya. LIES lol

10 04 2012
apato

hey your article is really good, i am in a FWB situation right now
I wanna beleive i dont like the guy but it is kinda hard, I hope won’t fall for himunless he falls for me. I think this relationships are fun and I would like to have a relationship like this in the future that could actually evolve into a real relationship, there are no flaws in it. You know everytihng about this person and this person knows everything about you you help each other even at their weakest or hardest moments, they support each other and eventhough i feel the same way about this really fake movies i beleive in people developing feelings for each other in this kind of relationship
and FINALY I AM SORRY ALL OF MY MISTAKES WHILE WRITING BUT ENGLISH IS NOT MY FIRST LANGUAGE, I HOPE THAT WHAT I WROTE WAS UNDERSTANDABLE!
I LOVE THE WAY YOU WRITE!!

11 04 2012
dbaham

@apato – I can only speak from my experiences, but I’ve never had an FWB situation end well. There’s been times when the guy fell for me and times when I fell for the guy, but NEVER was there a time when we both fell for each other and it became this great relationship. Those situations might happen, but I think largely they are the exception. BUT I always say that no one knows your relationship like you and the other person it, so ultimately you have to decide if it makes you happy or not. If it doesn’t, then the real question is “why are you still in it?” If it does make you happy – then go for it!

And thanks for the compliment on my writing, by the way! I really appreciate it 🙂

30 07 2012
11 09 2013
The Elements of a Flirtationship | Choices, Voices, and Sole

[…] 4: A flirtationship can lead to other relationships, but it shouldn’t be used as a stepping stone. Look, I’ve found that if you enjoy flirting with someone and you do it often enough, eventually at least one person is going to consider seeing where this can go beyond just flirting. Usually, though, it’s not very far. Unless you’re aiming for friends with benefits status… and then that’s a whole nother conversation. […]

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