The benefits of friends with benefits
Friends with benefits is a surprisingly common occurrence these days with over 64% of people (at least according to a survey run by an American university) having at some time or other been involved in a friends with benefits relationship/arrangement. Some of you might be wondering what would draw people towards a friends with benefits (FWB) relationship, or might be considering whether this kind of relationship might be beneficial for us, and so we thought we would address the subject by examining the benefits these kinds of relationships can have.
The most common benefit of FWB relationships is sex. This might seem rather shallow but sex is and will always remain an integral part of human relationships. Sex has the capacity to make us feel better about life and everything thanks to the huge rush of endorphins sexual intimacy creates. Sex is something we all desire and in a very real sense require. If you are not currently in a serious or potentially serious relationship FWB intimacy can act as a temporary replacement for commitment. Sex with a friend rather than a date or a stranger means you will be able to feel relaxed and comfortable with a sexual partner – there shouldn’t be any pressure or any awkwardness as, after all, this is someone you know, love (in the platonic sense) and trust. This can allow FWB relationships to remain about sexual pleasure without the worries of intimacy. If this is all you are currently “looking for” then a FWB relationship can be one of the easiest ways to satisfy these needs.
Of course sex is only one aspect of FWB relationships, though for many it is the biggest benefit, so it is worth analysing the other benefits as well. Firstly, FWB relationships are safe and this is increasingly something we should all be aware of in our dating and particularly when it comes to casual sex. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s) are still incredibly common – especially amongst those of a youthful persuasion – and we should all protect ourselves as best we can. When it comes to a friend you will know their sexual history and you can always ask them to take a test to ensure they are “clean.” This might seem overly protective but it is much easier to ask a friend this in advance than a stranger you meet on a night out. We also have the other risks that the media frequently draws to our attention to consider. These risks are less common of course but they still are real risks and sleeping with a friend over a stranger mitigates these risks.
Secondly a FWB relationship allows us to share intimacy with someone we already know and like. This means that we can get a lot of the benefits of a more serious relationship without having to worry about the future, commitment or what might happen. We all love to feel cared for and care ourselves so FWB relationships serve as a fantastic conduit for our caring sides. A FWB relationship therefore allows us to have many of the benefits of a relationship without having to commit. This can do wonders for our internal happiness whilst giving ourselves the necessary room we need to move towards a more long term commitment.
Finally FWB can be great as we have discussed but you will need to ensure that you and your chosen friend remember to treat each other respectfully and to discuss your relationship. Otherwise you may damage your friendship. Providing you are comfortable with each other and talk to each other you should reap the benefits for as long as you desire.