Friends With Benefits Is The Worst Idea Ever, Confirms Science

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Does Friends With Benefits Work Out? No — And Here's Why

One of the most difficult relationships of my life was a friends with benefits situation. For all the awesomeness it brought to my life, the pain and sorrow it caused continued to outweigh the good stuff every time. 

It was dramatic and messy, complicated and argumentative, and toward the end, it was just cruel and depressing. We were no longer on the same page and we both knew it: I was in love with him and he didn't love me back.

When all was said and done, I was destroyed.

It took far longer to recover from that relationship than any other legitimate relationship I have ever had where the love was mutual. I'm still a long way off from being the person I was before that whole debacle.

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Does friends with benefits work out? Well, the only thing that came out of my friends with benefits situation was the realization that such relationships are nearly impossible to keep alive and there is no flash mob dancing to "Closing Time" at the end of it all, with Justin Timberlake being the one who takes you home. And if there's anything I can impart upon those in friends with benefits relationships, it's that you should walk away now. 

Listen, you are not Mila Kunis. You just aren't.

A recent study about friends with benefits (or FWBR, as they call them in the scientific world) showed that — wait for it — FWBRs are bad, bad, bad.

How bad? So bad that it took Kendra Knight, a communications professor at DePaul University, into the dark, seedy world of 25 college friends with benefits relationships in the hopes of finally figuring out what the problem is with these things, and how — if at all — we can beat the messy demise to the punch. Her study was, well... a vicious circle.

According to Knight, when it comes to FWBR, both parties agree that communication about boundaries is key, but despite this acknowledgment, neither party ever makes a move to open the communication lines. For the FWBR crowd, such an open line of communication sort of defeats the purpose of the "all play, no work" relationship and could also result in one of the players being dubbed "crazy," because OMG, what kind of psycho gets emotionally attached when all that banging is going on? I mean, are you human or what? No? Maybe an alien, perhaps?

Another reason FWBR people steer away from talking about things is because they don't want to reveal too much or set up the possibility of being deemed not just "crazy," but jealous, which, of course, would lead to their F-buddy completely shutting off or finding someone else who might be less, well, you know... crazy.

Does friends with benefits work out? Consider this takeaway: These relationships can't work without communication, and no one is willing to make that communication part of the equation, so FWBR are doomed, doomed, doomed.

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Not that this is going to stop anyone who's mid-FWBR from going forward with their dastardly deeds, or cease all the hundreds of thousands of FWBR that are just another beer pong game away. But to Knight’s credit, it's great that she brought all of this to light and gave us something over which to ponder, even if none of us will be taking it seriously into consideration, because, you know, why ruin what you think is a good thing by admitting it's the worst?

Still think a friends with benefits relationship is something you want? Check out the rules you need to set to keep things casual:


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Amanda Chatel is a writer who divides her time between NYC and Paris. She's a regular contributor to Bustle and Glamour, with bylines at Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Livingly, Mic, The Bolde, Huffington Post and others. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, or her website