Being Friends with “Benefits” is Not Really Beneficial

Dear Dr. O,

I recently got back together with an old flame. He just got out of a relationship a while back and is not looking to start something up with someone else right now. But that’s not where I’m at! I’m ready, willing and able so I told him we could be “friends with benefits”. It’s been three years since we initially broke things off and to be honest, I’m afraid that I’ll catch feelings for him again even though I know, he’s not looking for anything serious right now. I want to tell him that I don’t think it will work out but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I figured, that I’d just ride it out until the wheels fall off. What do you think?

-Sandra Dean.

Dear Sandra,

I would advise you not to do this. You said that you were ready for a real relationship, so why would you settle on just having a “friend with benefits”? Since you’re the one that’s ready to be serious, I also anticipate you being the one hurt the most when it doesn’t go as you had hoped. This may seem like a good idea at first and it may even work out for a few months but what will you do if/when yo start to fall for him as you anticipate?

Here’s how I see it. In the beginning, the relationship may be classified as mutual. Both of you have agreed that this is what you want to do and the both of you are going to make it work. You’re not going to indulge too many feelings, you’re not going to sleep over each others houses and you won’t really hang out much. You’ve both agreed that this is strictly physical. None of that touchy, feely, mushy “I love you” stuff, just a wam, bam thank you ma’am and you’re out the door until next time.

Well, after a few months or less of this, one of you (probably you Sandra) will start to feel something more. When he comes over you’ll want him to stay. When he makes that “call” you’ll want to have a conversation instead and when you’re with him you won’t want to be with anyone else. Now the relationship is parasitic, one person is benefiting( with sex), while the other is being harmed by not being able show their true feelings and bottling everything up inside. See why I said “friends with benefits” are not really beneficial? Convenient maybe, but not all that beneficial. Just a quick fix is all.

Sandra, again I would strongly discourage you from pursuing this but should you choose to give it the green light anyway, here a few things that may prolong the inevitable not- really- a- break up– because- we- arn’t- really- together break up.

As reported by Psychology Today:

  1. “Don’t mix your social circles”– this is just too messy. There’s already enough going on between the two of you with out letting your friends know that you’re just “bed buddies”, especially if one of is sleeping with multiple partners.
  2. “Don’t share too much emotionally unless you want things to get more serious”- you’re in too deep if this is you
  3. “Be realistic about the future you have together”-either accept it for what it is (sex outlet) and deal with consequences of back out before it even starts.
  4. “Manage inevitable jealousy when it arises”- if you’ve signed up to be a side chick, then stay in that lane. Don’t come out the box acting like the “main” chick when he starts talking/flirting with other women. You’ve chosen not to be a priority so deal with it.

How many of my readers have had experience with a FWB? How did it work out for you?

Don’t forget to purchase my new book, “Am I in a Bad Relationship?”

Dr. O

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