Contrary To Popular Belief, Friends With Benefits Can Work—But Only If You’re Willing To Take 'Friends' Out Of The Equation

Contrary To Popular Belief, Friends With Benefits Can Work—But Only If You’re Willing To Take 'Friends' Out Of The Equation

The beauty of being friends with benefits is that if you find someone you trust, you can have that intimacy, without any expectations or jealousy.

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I was involved in a very toxic, controlling and jealousy-fueled relationship a few years back which was why, upon breaking off from it, I swore to myself that I will never ever commit into another relationship until I truly found The One.

After all, I'll be the one to admit—the college dating scene sucks. Every time I convince myself to try going out more and to start dating again, I end up instead going on one god-awful first date after another, relying on friends to set me up with guys, and being stampeded by that anxiety-inducing responsibility of having to text, call and snapchat a boy around the clock just to convince him that I'm into him.

I never actually considered having casual relationships or god forbid—even a friends with benefits situation with any guy I met. Maybe it's just my conservative upbringing in which my parents constantly drilled it into my head that I definitely shouldn't go around messing around with a different guy each week. Or maybe it was my reluctance to give it up to some random guy I just met and consequently come off as “easy."

But then this guy came along. And he completely transformed me, and how I viewed casual relationships.

Let's just call him "John."

But John is someone who I hit it off with from the moment we met and he's probably the only guy I've met who I had a physical attraction to, but not an emotional attraction to.

I have to admit that although he portrays this “bad boy" persona on the exterior, he does truly have a kind soul on the inside which I'm usually able to see right through. But this “bad boy" image is probably why I wouldn't consider dating him in a serious relationship. I mean, because if I brought a guy like him home, my dad would most likely flip shit and my mom would throw a plant at him.

On top of that, our interests and career paths are so different from each other that it's hard to find things to relate to or build mutual respect for each other. He's graduating in a few months, heading off to grad school or perhaps even starting a entry level corporate job, and I don't ever see myself trying to commit to someone like that when I'm still stuck in school with a gazillion responsibilities to keep track of.

But well I'll put it this way—we were extremely attracted to each other, and one thing led to another and we hooked up. And as we sat next to each other talking unanimously for probably an hour after doing the deed, we both decided that we weren't looking for a relationship but that we definitely didn't want this to be some kind of one-night stand.

So we decided to be friends with benefits.

Now, I think the reason why friends with benefits is so looked down upon in our generation is that it defines everything that's wrong with dating culture today. It takes away the conventional method of wooing someone, going on a few dates and then using intimacy as a way to express your love for one another. And also, many people don't like it because it's easy to catch feelings for someone, and that's it's nearly impossible for it to actually work out.

But contrary to popular belief, it actually works.

But here's the catch: friends with benefits is NOT a balancing act of being friends and being sex partners. Rather, you have to be willing to give up one side of the equation in order to successfully obtain the other.

And in the case between me and John, we gave up trying to be “friends" in order to maintain the “benefits" and as a result, it works out perfectly.

The beauty of being "friends with benefits" is that if you find someone you trust, you can have that intimacy, without any expectations or jealousy. And if you stop considering them to be your “friend," then you don't constantly have to think about them or try to make time to see them and you don't even need to freak out if you haven't heard from them for a few days.

But when you do get to see them and get to hang out, it's just this beautiful time you both can savor and really be in the moment without having to express all your emotional thoughts and feelings. Everything is stress-free between me and John, because of the lack of expectation of trying to either make this into an intimate relationship or trying to still be “friends" on top of it.

So here's my main piece of advice to anyone who wants friends with benefits without catching feelings: do not start texting each other all the time or try seeing each other too much. Because if you do, that's when you start catching feelings and try developing something more in the relationship.

If I had the choice, I probably wouldn't have followed John on Instagram (and I encourage you not to), just so I don't ever have to have that thought of whether he was watching my Insta Story or not, or who that girl was in his picture.

My other advice is to take try to take the notion of "friends" out of the equation. As mentioned above, I feel as if most of the time when "friends with benefits" doesn't work out, it's because you both are trying so hard to keep up the "friends" part of it that it begins to blur the lines together, which leads to confusion and heartbreak.

And if you find yourself still wanting to be his "friend" after enjoying the "benefits", I would recommend you to STOP what you're doing and have a conversation with him ASAP.

Be honest, be upfront and don't impose.

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

Hello, I'm 24, And Yes, I'm A Virgin — And Yes, I'll Answer All Of Your Redundant Questions At Once

You read that correctly.

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"What? Are you serious?"

"Wait a minute, there is no way you are telling me the truth."

"How are you still a virgin? Are you religious? Are you waiting for marriage? Why haven't you had sex yet? That's just so crazy..."

Welcome to my world.

First, let me introduce myself again. Hi there, my name is Reanna, I'm a 24-year-old writer and also a virgin, how do you do? The first thing in that sentence is the V word, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Now that isn't something I start going and telling people, trust me it's the last thing I want to do. I get bombarded with almost every single question up above and I hate answering it every time. The only time I decide to share it is if someone asks me something along the lines of sex or when I can't offer my opinion.

It's a little-known fact that I tend to hide from people but not anymore. Let the world know, is it's any of their business but guess what? I'm not the only one out there. It's nothing to be ashamed of, I'm certainly not. What bothers me most is when people start questioning it and looking at me like I'm crazy.

Fine, I'll answer your simple questions above.

Yes, I said I was a virgin. Yes, again, I'm dead serious. I'm telling you the truth, why lie? I'm still a virgin because I choose to be. No, I'm not religious. I don't want to ever get married so I'm not waiting for marriage. Again, I just haven't found the guy to have sex with and it is still my choice. Think it's crazy, just don't judge me.

Sex is sex, what's the big problem here?

If I choose not to sleep with a guy, I have the right to it. I have the right to be a virgin until I decide it is the best time not to be anymore. I already know I shocked you by the title but why should you be so shocked? Is it because most people lose their virginity in high school? Is it usually to their first boyfriend?

Nothing separates me from you.

You don't need to laugh or really comment on the sentence. If I'm a virgin, I'm a virgin. If you are not, then you're not. If you are, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It's a strange situation to be in when people look at you like you are an alien from a different planet. People get so surprised as if you just said you came from Mars.

Maybe this is my experience but I'm in no rush to have sex.

There comes a day when it may happen but I'm not rushing to find the one so to speak. Until then, I'm glad this is off my chest and I'm glad for you to know that. You know why? Because any guy you tell that to is desperate to change your mind, trust me. If you can't respect it, why should I be the one you sleep with?

So guys here is a complete tip: If a girl tells you she is a virgin, don't act so shocked, don't act so surprised.

Nod your head, respect the choice and move on. It's as simple as that.

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What It's Like Being A 20-Year-Old Virgin In The 21st Century

For now, I wait. And that is perfectly okay.
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Sex. The topic we only spoke of in hushed tones in the past has quickly become a part of our everyday interactions. It seems to be the center of our motivations, thoughts, actions, and feelings. This is the reason I don't feel uncomfortable dedicating this week's article to the subject. Now, mom and dad, if you're reading this, I won't be offended if you stop. I'd actually be quite happy. Everybody else, do me a favor and ask yourself this:

What does it mean to be a virgin in today's society?

There is a social stigma associated with being a virgin. We're all prudes, are mega-religious, and have never even thought about what it would be like to share a night with Ryan Gosling. Right? Wrong. I promise you the majority of virgins you'll meet are virgins by choice - not because their moms have them chained to a metal post with their legs strapped shut. I've been racking my brain about questions and concerns and the million-dollar-question I have for y'all is: If it's no big deal to have sex, then why is it a big deal not to have sex? I mean really, whose business is it anyway?

I feel the criticism from my own doctor at times. She'd ask, "Are you sexually active?" I'd respond with a lightening fast "No", which she'd follow with a quick sigh and an even quicker response, "Have you ever been sexually active?" Unreal.

In a culture so consumed by "Netflix and chill" and the infamous right swipe, it's hard not to constantly wonder when (and with who) my time will come. It's almost like we're racing against the clock of chastity. I wonder if Marie Curie, Rosa Parks, or Amelia Earhart worried about who'd swipe their V-card as much as I do? Probably not, they were too busy making the world a better place.

I can't go a day without hearing about sex, talking about sex, or honestly... thinking about sex (sorry, dad). I remember a time when it was "shocking" to discover anybody was having sex and now it's "shocking" to discover anybody isn't. The reactions I get when people discover I still hold the key to my innocence aren't only mildly insulting but sad. When did it become shameful to be a virgin? I'm only 20 years old. I've only lived 1/4 of my life and in no means do I feel rushed to get down and dirty.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't plan for my life to go this way. Shocker, but my Magic 8-Ball didn't prepare me for this. I am a huge supporter of doing what you want, when you want, and with whom you want to do it with. Hell, half of my friends aren't virgins and I'm happy for them. They were with someone they loved (or at least liked) and made a choice. I've made a choice too. I am evolving with the world around me and taking life one wine bottle at a time. I don't want to settle for less than I deserve. I want somebody who loves me, respects me, and understands where I'm coming from.

I'm prepared to deal with the douchebags and the nobody losers who can't deal with the decision I've made equally as much as I'm prepared to meet the guy who can.

For now, I wait. And that is perfectly okay.

Cover Image Credit: Bustle

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