Why We Sometimes Gravitate to FWBs and Where We All Eventually Go Wrong

30 07 2012

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile now, I think my sentiments on the Friends with Benefits classification has been made pretty clear. But for those who are new, two quotes from posts I wrote in 2008 and in 2009 , pretty much sum it up: it’s very ambiguous. This person will most likely lead to someone getting hurt in the end, but the basic premise in the beginning is to have someone that you do all the relationship things with but not commit to a title with that person (supposedly relieving some of the stress that goes along with that).

And then…

I don’t believe in the FWB category. Don’t get me wrong, I believe it exists, but I don’t believe you should ever engage in it. It’s too gray… it’s too confusing. You’re not just having sex, but you’re not dating.

Put another way: I’m not a fan.

Now, this is not because I haven’t engaged in an FWB situation before. On the contrary, I’ve found myself with more than a few Friends with Benefits in my past, but it’s because of those experiences that I’ve come to realize they are an act of failure from the very beginning. Eventually, no matter what you do – someone WILL catch feelings. And when I say someone, I don’t always mean women. I’ve had just as many experiences where the man was the one who ended up wanting more.

Regardless of all that and regardless of the fact that we all pretty much know this is the case to begin with, many of us still actively enter into Friends with Benefits situations. Why is this? Do we like torturing ourselves?

I think I finally realized one answer to this question. The other day, I was talking to a good friend of mine about a dating situation I was in that looked like it was nearing its expiration date. In the course of this conversation, I said something like, “I just want to hang out and date a guy or two, enjoy the time we have together, and not worry about all the drama… just have fun and you know, maybe have fun as well.”

Ahhhhh haaaaa!!! Ahhhh haaaa!!!

There it was. In that one statement, I’d inadvertently realized why some people willingly enter into FWB situations – on the surface, they come off as a realistic opportunity to enjoy someone’s company who you like without having to worry about the responsibility of committing to them.

The problem with that idea, however – is that it’s on the surface. It doesn’t take into account the time you spend with someone, the potential emotional attachments that can occur from that time spent and let’s be real – constant chexing, or the doubts that come into play when one of you realizes that feelings have developed even though you know that most people don’t go from FWB to boyfriend/girlfriend.

The minute we act like those factors aren’t important to consider is the very minute we go wrong in thinking that a Friend with Benefits is the best option for us. Maybe you don’t want a committed relationship right now. I get that. But I also think we’ve screwed up the definition of dating so much that people flee from that as a proper alternative because they think it means more than what it does. Some people date to marry, yes. But most people (I think) date because they’ve found someone they want to get to know better and/ or they like seeing their face and they want to see their face more often.

Isn’t that in the end what we all want at the end of the day? So why have we turned it into something else? What do you all think?




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