Friends With Benefits or a Match Made in Heaven

Can your non-committed relationship lead you to happily ever after? Not without a little pillow talk

You leave the emotional garbage at the door and he knows how to get you all hot and bothered. You don’t insist on post-coital pillow talk and he doesn’t expect you to cook breakfast the morning after. You have mind-blowing sex and could care less how each other’s day was at the office. This isn’t that kind of relationship.

This is a needs-based relationship of sorts. One that focuses on that which is most instinctual and primal. Getting it on is the order of business, along with maintaining some sense of emotional detachment, of course. It sounds like the perfect relationship for those who love the act of sex but hate the emotional responsibility of all things love-related. Perfect, that is, until one of you starts wanting something more substantial. But can friends with benefits ever evolve into a love that lasts forever? Perhaps, but not without a drastic change of heart.

Typically, friends begin benefiting from one another in unconventional ways. Maybe it was a drunken house party that led to an accidental kiss. Or perhaps your longtime business partner has unexpectedly morphed into your secret taboo. No matter its origins, there is usually an initial conversation or agreement precluding the relationship from going beyond a romp in the sack. Perhaps he’s otherwise occupied. Maybe you used to date his best friend. Whatever the reason, you don’t feel compelled to adorn this liaison with a cute little label. On top of that, you’ve agreed that doing so would just kill its luster. Besides, you like not having to pick up his underwear and he loves not having to reassure you that you don’t look fat in whatever you’re trying to stuff yourself into these days. Yes, this non-relationship works. Well, sort of. . .

It works until something changes. That moment when you wish that he could stay the night or when he wants to hold you in his arms a little while longer. That moment when you become annoyed that he must take yet another phone call from his betrothed. When you are reminded every freakin’ holiday that singlehood is for losers and you are nothing without a +1. Yep, the game has changed, my friend. At some point, this friends with benefits crap turns sour because you begin to want what you swore you never would. You want more.

You’re tired of the lonely nights at home and vacationing with your buddies. You begin to want “the everyday” with someone and who better than the one that you’ve shared so much with physically. In theory, this may seem like a good idea. The problem resides in the fact that you’ve yet to become emotionally intimate. This type of closeness is key to a budding relationship but it’s the cold-blooded killer of a beneficial friendship. If both parties aren’t in agreement that they want to move beyond emotionless sex, then what may come next is a recipe for disaster. It may also result in your losing your sex buddy for good.

Next: Friends with benefits tend to unravel...

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