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Friends with benefits

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Friends with benefits

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Cold, unsatisfying experiences. Catching an STI. One-sided feelings. “Catching feelings.” Emotional drama. Gaining a bad reputation. Moments of intense loneliness.

Misconceptions

These are only some of the negative associations of a friends with benefits, AKA “FWB,” relationship. Having a non-committal, sexual relationship sounds exhausting, emotionally-draining, and nearly impossible for some. But with the rise of dating apps, exerting all energy towards school and careers, or simply not being ready for a serious relationship are all valid reasons to wonder what the FWB parameters are. With guidance from both professors and students, we will explore ways to have fulfilling, positive FWB relationships, how to maintain them, and if they’re right for you.

A Professional’s Perspective

“I would say being open with your communication is key. Also going over what the rules for the relationship will be: are they allowed to sleep with other people? Are they keeping it a secret?” said Lindsey Ayotte, Skyline’s interpersonal communications professor. “If someone’s feelings change i.e. they want to commit and make the relationship a closed one they should communicate with the other person even if there is fear of the friends-with-benefits relationship coming to an end.”

When asking students whether or not they would engage (or have had) a FWB, there were a range of answers.

Sophia Trigonis, a Skyline student in a committed closed relationship said, “Probably not, because I feel like I expect a certain level of commitment that would be more easy to discuss in a [closed] relationship. Friends with benefits can lead to blurred lines on commitment, jealousy and possessiveness. It wouldn’t work for me personally but I can see how it could for others.”

Sometimes, the lines do get blurred and emotional involvement comes into play. “I never got closure … because I never quite knew if that person shared the same feelings as me. I found out later on that he liked me more…and we never announced how much we liked each other and I don’t know how it would have turned out if we were more serious than friends with benefits,” Christina Green, a Skyline student who is now happily married, said. “I would say go for it because why not? You never know where things could lead with somebody. Some relationships start slower while others move faster.”

An Alternative Perspective

The male perspective was a direct and open one. “Having a connection with someone without the pressure and attachment issues of a real relationship. Often, we assume that we need to be in a relationship to be whole but this isn’t necessarily true,” Allen Enriquez, a Skyline student who has had multiple FWBs and has a FWB currently said. “[FWBs] can give you the sexual desire you think you need and at the same time can remind you what you really want in a relationship. It can help you find out who you really are showing how relationships don’t have to revolve around sex. That’s why most of these relationships with benefits don’t usually last long. The con? The possibility of someone getting attached.”

Keeping an open mind

Mature relationships. Friendly, freeing experiences. Open communication. Easily satisfied sexual needs. Low pressure. Straight-forward. These are only some positive associations to take into account when figuring out if a friends-with-benefits relationship is right for you.

 

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The student news site of Skyline College.
Friends with benefits