Nov 292010
 
Authors: Anna Baldwin and Eugene Daniels

Anna Baldwin

If all you’re looking for is a good time, then yes. Skip the formalities of dinner and a movie, and you’ve got it.

But this isn’t the rule –– it’s the exception. Because the ever-growing trend of friends with benefits is a complete and utter disaster for everyone involved. Or more likely, with one of the people involved.

All it takes is one person in the pair to develop feelings for the other. When this occurs, you might as well prepare for the impending firestorm.
The truth is, there’s always the factor of one of the two people being selfish in every way possible. This means that he does not care about your needs, your feelings or wellbeing. Thus, he won’t feel bad about dropping you in a second, regardless of your new feelings. Conclusion: disaster.

But let’s go in a new direction because debating whether or not friends with benefits is ever successful is stupid. I’ll just say it: It’s never successful.

Instead, let’s talk about whether it’s a good idea. Okay, so this might seem stupid as well, because honestly, is casual intimate relationships ever a good idea?

Nevertheless, let’s proceed. Let’s just say that if you are an emotional wreck, then you should never commit yourself to casual sex or relationships. 

See how I used the word “commit” there? See how that’s extremely funny? It’s funny because I was talking about committing to a non-commitment and that’s just not logical.

Anyways, moving on. An interchangeable phrase for friends with benefits is “emotional rollercoaster.” 

There are always the concerns of whether he is interested? Should I be interested? Should I pretend to be interested? Oh wait, now I’m interested, so should I tell him I’m interested? But what if he’s interested and I’m not, should I wait until I’m interested? 

Too much work involved to decode this one, so stay away from friends with benefits like the plague, is what I say. Don’t give yourself a headache.

Another thing with friends with benefits is that there’s supposed to be no expectations. This is agreed upon by both parties, and this is another reasons why being a “friend” is not a good idea. 

Little expectations always creep into the agreements that aren’t supposed to be there, but there’s also the issue of how some expectation should be in the agreement.

Examples of expectations that aren’t acceptable with the agreement, includes a relationship, any hanging out other than to fulfill the initial purpose of the agreement, and unfortunately, any respect. 

Again, respect isn’t usually part of the setup. Because you aren’t his significant other, he feels like he doesn’t have to give you any respect. This isn’t good for obvious reasons.

I’m not quite sure how to end this column, other than advocating “don’t do it!”

Eugene Daniels

We’re in college. (Yes, I know this may be a shock to some of you but, alas, we are.) The college years are very busy; we’re trying to balance school, work, maybe athletics and sometimes a social life (unless you play Humans vs. Zombies. I’m joking, don’t shoot me).

And some of us feel like we don’t have time to start a full-fledged relationship. You have to go on dates and then get to know each other and most of our generation would much rather have instant satisfaction. That’s why we have the Internet and iPads and text messaging. We like stuff where and when we want it.

So instead of one-night stands, some of us find ourselves having a fun buddy. (If you don’t know what to substitute for fun, you probably aren’t having any anyway so it’s OK.) A friend with benefits. Someone we hang out with, do homework with and have benefits with. This type of relationship isn’t for everyone (including me) but it happens more than we think.

In my opinion, this type of “beneficial” relationship is dangerous. One of the individuals will end up falling for the other. And this is exactly what you didn’t want right? Right. But if you are going to start a friends-with-benefits type of relationship, there are some important things to remember.

To start with, both people have to be on the same page. Communication is key. There needs to be a real conversation before the next step is taken. If there is any doubt in your mind that this won’t move to something else, don’t do it. If both parties aren’t DTP (down to participate), then there is no reason to even start.

You want to be clear as to what you are doing. Otherwise both of you can get hurt in the process and no one wants that.

To be honest, I have never seen a relationship like this stay that way. Either the two participants stopped talking to each other and lost their friendship forever, or they’re now dating. So you have to be certain that this is a path you want to take.

Ask yourself how important is your friendship? If you’re afraid of having the person never talk to you again, then stop being lazy and go date him or her. If you don’t care about your friendship, then by all means, take the friendship to whatever level you so please.

Anna Baldwin is a senior journalism major, and Eugene Daniels is a senior journalism major. ‘Venus vs. Mars’ appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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