Is “Friends with Benefits” really beneficial?


This phrase is used often today. But is it worth it?

Here is something I came across recently on Psychology Today Magazine website.

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Friends With Benefits
Hara Estroff Marano gives advice on hooking up, clingy moms, and annoying mother-in-laws.

By: Hara Estroff Marano

I have been really good friends with a guy, and although we’ve both talked about having a relationship, we’re not ready. I don’t want to remain just “friends with benefits.” He talks to other girls, which bothers me because he acts as if there is nothing between us, and there is. Sometimes I’m really pissy with him on the phone because I see him hug other girls, but I can’t tell him, “I don’t want you to talk to other girls,” because I’m not his girlfriend. What should I do?

Dahlink, you are already having a relationship, just not a good one. It’s one-sided, without any investment of attention on his part. The thing about friends with benefits is that, often, only one person gets all the benefits. Among the young, who typically do not yet know how to establish equality or mutuality in relationships, friends with benefits frequently functions to service the physical needs of boys while overlooking the more subtle emotional needs of girls. Women are pretty much wired to form emotional attachments to men they are intimate with. That’s why having friends with benefits can get confusing. You feel attached to him, expect him to feel the same about you and so you want him to demonstrate some caring, certainly by not being overly affectionate with other girls. But he won’t even recognize a relationship. Result: You’re distressed. It’s not the sex that makes friends with benefits a bad bargain for young women; it’s the nature of the deal—lack of equal emotional involvement of the partners. At least you’ll salvage your self-respect if you stop the flow of benefits to him completely. Maybe then he will begin to pay you more attention, maybe not. But you will have learned something important: It’s best for your own soul to reserve sexual intimacy for relationships where there are clear signs of affection both ways. Otherwise, you’re just going to keep going down the same one-way street named disappointment.

You can read more of this article with different scenarios at http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/pto-20060719-000006.html

Credit goes to Psychology Today Magazine
Copyright Sussex Publishers, LLC

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