The Singular Man
The Perils of Friends with Benefits
A FWB relationship may seem like a good idea when you’re in between girlfriends, but what do you do when it’s time to move on?
Image credit: vgstudio / 123RF Stock Photo
Here’s the plain truth: most “friends with benefits” arrangements do not culminate with a private performance from a flash mob at Grand Central Station for you and whomever you’re hooking up with. In fact, none do.
They usually end with 1) heartbreak, which is where Mila and Justin would have ended up had the movie continued; 2) awkward, obsessive, stalker-like behavior (“Don’t you think the six text messages and 3 missed calls I had in the middle of the night were a bit excessive?”), and 3) a friend who is now an enemy.
Let’s face it, the FWB arrangement that we constructed while inebriated and lonely was not thought through with all our pistons firing. Next time you wander into the land of “I can make this work” here are three situations to ponder before you seal the deal.
One of you wants to hook up elsewhere
The true test of fire for a “friends with benefits” arrangement is when one pursues an outsider in the other’s presence. Let me set the scene:
You’re at a buddy’s pregame party and a smoking hot, just-your-type, Melanie Iglesias-looking chick is focused on every word you say. She laughs at your terrible jokes and things couldn’t be working out any better, but then, you remember how just that morning, you woke up to a quickie with your FWB.
Is it okay to pick up a stranger on the same day you had sex with your friend? If both parties in the FWB relationship can truly sit there and watch the other pursue and conquer another without the slightest twinge of resentment, maybe you really can pull it off — but how likely is that?
And don’t put yourself in a situation that will provoke biological warfare. Sure the friends with benefits game is exciting, but when you both start dipping into the body fluids pool, don’t be surprised if you live the rest of your life in VD quarantine.
One of you simply wants to stop
So the oil well of hot sex is all dried up. You’ve noticed your FWB has a handful of mannerisms that annoy the sh*t out of you. In fact, they do things that kind of gross you out, things that make you want to go in the shower and scrape off your skin with a stone like Ethan Hawke in Gattaca.
It’s time to end this whole sex-capade, but you’ve realized your FWB will not go away peacefully. In fact, that may be a bit of an understatement. Your ex-FWB begins texting and emailing constantly. It’s as if they’ve gone bipolar, one minute sending you heartfelt goodbyes and reminiscing about the good old times and the next minute, attempting to coax you into making an amateur porno movie.
The obvious solution is to cut-out of this “friendship” immediately, disappear, or hope that your friend regains his/her sanity. Good sex can really do a number on people. Try to give him/her some perspective and make them realize they’re acting crazy.
You know that idiom, “crazy people don’t actually know they’re crazy”? Well make it known. If not, you may need to consider changing your phone number and personal e-mail address, and deleting all of your social networking accounts. Do this before your ex-FWB begins their campaign of defamation against you.
One of you wants to settle down – with someone else
This situation is seriously tricky. You’ve been friends with your FWB for years, great friends actually, but keeping the dirty details from your new boyfriend/girlfriend feels a bit deceitful. From the first time you introduce your ex-FWB to your new romantic interest, to the night the two of them are sitting next to each other at a backyard barbecue, the guilt of not revealing all becomes unbearable.
Reveal your ex-FWB’s true identity to the one you’ve decided to focus on from the get-go or else the secrets will tear you and the relationship apart —from the inside out. Besides, it’s only a matter of time before the truth will surface.
You’re going to have to make the choice between suspending the FWB relationship or completely ending it. My advice is to make that decision early on. You don’t want to compromise the trust in your new relationship because, take it from me, once that mirror breaks, the cracks will always be there.
Take it or leave it.
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