This is a rather peculiar post for my blog because I tend to never post things about my “love” life on the internet. Frankly, because I know nobody really cares about hearing someones rant of emotions and also because I am such an open book when it comes to my cyber life that there are a few things I would actually like to keep personal, but for some reason I have been seeing a lot of posts recently about relationships, lack there of, or the big grey area that some call the ‘friends with benefits’ zone. I don’t know if this is because of Valentine’s day being around the corner or what but it really has stirred up a lot of thoughts in my head.
Even though, I have never been the “committed” type I would have to say this has lead me to deal with all types of men…unfortunately and fortunately. Like the saying goes, “you can’t live with ’em and you can’t live without ’em”, right. What really made me inspired to write this post is after reading several articles about whether the whole “No Strings Attached” thing is actually possible or not. I started to notice that the conclusion to these articles had a pattern. This pattern was that being FWB with somebody was not possible because someone always catches feelings…and that usually is the female.
This actually kind of made me irritated the more I read this. Speaking from first hand experience as a female who has been in one of these so called “relationships” for almost a year now, I want to say this is possible. Not only is it possible, but I think it is one of the best things you could do for yourself in your 20s. Being in your 20s is a time period in you’re life for self beautification, to immerse yourself in your career, personal growth, etc. When else in your life can you be more selfish than in your 20s? This is when you have the freedom to make your own decisions and you shouldn’t have to always worry about what another person is going to say or feel about it.
Yet, I will be the first to say it is nice to have someone that you know you can always text when something exciting happens to you and you know that person will be genuinely happy for you or it is nice to have someone to cuddle with and watch movies on those more lonely nights. This is where the beauty of Friends with Benefits comes into play. It is a nice cushion as long as you are fully aware that, that is exactly what it is. Making sure that I held myself accountable to just staying friends with this person made me less desperate for a relationship. It has given me time to figure out who I am and has really taught me what I am looking for in a man and how I want to be treated when I do decide to fully commit to someone someday. Going to a school that is 85 percent female, it has made me more content with not having male company because I know that I always will have the special brand of friendship that I have with this one person.
But, this is more easily said than done. I have so many friends that question it. After all, (like Ella from Literally, Darling blog) asked, how could you possibly commit to something that is seemingly commitment-less? Is it possible to take on a relationship that is supposedly anything and everything but a relationship? What happens if/when these “stringless strings” were cut off? Could they leave you feeling more tied up than you would have ever wanted in the first place? My answer to this is bottom-line: You have to know exactly what both of you want. This means major communication. The only times that I would ever go through a roller coaster of a ride with this type of friendship is when one of us would get confused and start thinking we wanted something else from it. We both had to be mature enough to realize that at this point in time, a full on relationship wasn’t practical for either one of us yet we both still wanted each other in our lives.
Also, this type of relationship works with my friend and I only because we are both fully confident enough in ourselves. The absolute biggest thing with this is that there is absolutely NO jealousy. If you are the insecure or jealous type, FWB will not work for you. And finally a huge component is that there is no lying. When there is no jealousy this leaves room for both of us to really be open to each other because we know that the other person won’t act irrationally to something we want to say and do. I can tell him about my night out and if I gave my number to another guy and he can do the same to me. I can say that being FWB has really brought a best friend into my life because we both can be our true selves and not worry if the other will judge. But I think a crucial point that I haven’t mentioned is that the both of you must be benefitting from this. It is not FWB if one of you is being taken advantage of, that is not any type of relationship at all.
I think the reason that the girl is stereotyped as the one to be at fault for why this relationship can never truly be achievable is because admittedly we do get in our emotions and feelings a lot and sometimes females feel like FWB is too casual or they could just be taken advantage of. The reason it works so well for my friend and I is because he reciprocates too. I make sure that I am not settling or that I am never pushing my needs aside too. Ultimately, as long as you do not complicate things or take yourself too seriously being No Strings Attached is one of the most liberating things that a person can do in their 20s and hey, you may just get a best friend out of it!