Friends with Benefits

23 Jul

In light of the two movies released this year, “No Strings Attached” and “Friends With Benefits”, everyone has been forced, if not already entertaining, the possibility of whether engaging in such a relationship is plausible, for them.
Is it possible?
Sure for the noncommittal types who shy away from relationships due to fear, because who wants to willingly be hurt?
What are the risks?
You could possibly cheapen some interactions that have the potential to be deeper and of more value, while promoting others to a level of credibility that they don’t deserve.
Also the heart often ends up tangled in a mess that you couldn’t have prepared for even if you tried. Even if you claim no emotional attachment, you still remember their face, what they may have felt, smelled, sounded, or even tasted like. We can’t erase memories. You could potentially be filling up your memory bank with meaningless memories of people that aren’t even an active part of your life. This may not appear to be an issue at first, until you need or want the companionship and cannot reach out to the individuals who you’ve shared some of the most intimate parts of yourself with.
Okay, so are there any benefits?
Perhaps. Depending on you and the state of your “maturity”. I say this because I believe that monogamous, committed relationships between two actually require a level of maturity that most can only imagine possessing. So, if you’re not ready to be faithful and in some ways responsible and accountable for another person’s feelings, then maybe friends with benefits is the way to go.
Also as I’ve heard it phrased, maybe you just need a thorough cobweb dusting and don’t want to have to commit in order to indulge in the luxury of such.
Here’s the real deal though: the operative word in the arrangement is “FRIENDS” with said benefits. It seems like by even the way people discuss entertaining the idea, people are getting it twisted with a one night stand or “booty call”, and subsequently discard an imperative dynamic in the “arrangement”.
Friendship is rooted in mutual respect and love for a person. Think about who you call your friends. You wouldn’t knowingly hurt them or disregard their feelings to maintain your own. Would you use your friend for momentary satisfaction and then put them on the shelf until the need arose again? Probably not. So the definition of the relationship itself isn’t really set up to meet what your expectations of such a relationship can turn out to be.
So therein lies the rub (simply put, the catch 22). Friends with benefits is not the same as a one night stand. The potential risk and subsequent loss is in fact greater. You can cheapen a friendship by reducing them to means for physical gratification and risk losing a relationship of actual value. You must ask yourself: why would I pursue something cheap and of limited value when I deserve and may (even if it’s truly deep down) desire a relationship that is so much more?

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