There are relationships and then there are friends with benefits. Once a man or woman is not in a relationship, chances are there’s an FWB lurking somewhere. What is this fad that has gained so much popularity in recent? For some people, it is a prelude to a commitment, for others it is a way to avoid commitment altogether and yet for some, it is their way of sitting on the fence.
The Urban Dictionary defines friends with benefits in the most simplistic way; ‘Friends by day, sex partners by night’. Day and night may not necessarily be in relation to the sun but more in a social sense. Day meaning when you can be observed and night representing whatever goes on behind closed doors. With the permissive society we live in, it is unsurprising to hear people publicly announce their friends with benefits status.
Now if the parties involved are not careful, this escape route can become a path with treachery and heartbreak along its way. So here are the 10 COMMANDMENTS OF BEING FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS. I like to call them the ‘Rules of engagement’, after all, if you are gonna play ball, you have to abide by the rules!
COMMANDMENT NUMBER ONE: Thou shalt be honest! Do not start a friends with benefits secretly hoping for more. Be honest from the start about what your needs and expectations are. Remember that being dishonest can lead to future disappointments and jeopardize your friendship.
COMMANDMENT NUMBER TWO: Thou shalt not be friends with benefits with a friend who is in a relationship! There are a lot of other names to describe getting involved with a person who has a commitment with someone else and none of them are pretty. If you go ahead in this kinda situation, you risk the feelings of jealousy, insecurity, low self- esteem and guilt that come with most affairs especially when you can clearly see your friend has genuine feelings for his/her lover and you are just a sexy distraction.
COMMANDMENT NUMBER THREE: Thou shalt not spread the word! Being friends with benefits is a mutual agreement and should be embarked upon discreetly. You don’t wanna put your other friends in an awkward position or have people mistake you both for a couple. You are first and foremost, friends!
COMMANDMENT NUMBER FOUR: Thou shalt not expose the other person to risk! Sexually transmitted diseases are real and they no dey show for face. If you cannot abstain, you owe it to your friend to be faithful and if that is not possible, use protection. Remember that regardless of whether you have a commitment with this person or not, it is your duty to protect him/her and yourself! AIDS is real!
COMMANDMENT NUMBER FIVE: Thou shalt not act ‘daddy and mummy’! No playing house, no acting like a boyfriend or a girlfriend. That’s the fastest way to bring on trouble! Don’t expect him to call more or check up on you more. Your emotions and disposition towards each other remain that of friends. If you cannot handle this, you have no business being in an FWB in the first place!
COMMANDMENT NUMBER SIX: Thou shalt not get too attached! Getting all romantic or mushy is a big minus unless it is mutual but statistics show only 1 out of 10 FWBs progress to a relationship so don’t count on it. If spooning, sleep overs and mushiness will get you too attached, desist from it. Try to hangout with other people when you are not getting down and dirty to reduce the ‘us’ time.
COMMANDMENT NUMBER SEVEN: Thou shalt not close the door to real relationships! Don’t get it twisted, friends with benefits can never substitute for a wholesome relationship, neither can you build a future on it. Doing so would be like building castles in the air! Remember it is a temporary arrangement.
COMMANDMENT NUMBER EIGHT: Thou shalt not become territorial! If you are a possessive person by nature, resist the urge. If you don’t really wanna date her/him, you may feel on some level that you don’t want other guys/chicks to date her/him either and this is unfair. If you are a jealous person, it is better to avoid the whole FWB idea because the slogan for this business is NO STRINGS ATTACHED!
COMMANDMENT NUMBER NINE: Thou shalt not be FWBs with close friends only acquaintances! More often than not, FWBs never develop into anything more. The parties slowly drift apart and life continues. Secondly, a future girl/boyfriend who learns that you used to be intimate with one of your close friends will instantly feel threatened and want the friendship over and done with. In the worst case scenarios, FWBs can ruin close friendships because once you’ve seen your friend naked, the easy air you guys once shared may be gone forever. If you wanna keep a friendship, don’t complicate it!
COMMANDMENT NUMBER TEN: Thou shalt cut loose as soon as both parties stop being on the same page! If you notice your friend is falling in love with you or getting too attached or getting involved in a serious relationship, call it quits before someone gets hurt. You are first of all friends and friends look out for each other. Don’t let sex override your loyalty.
A friend with benefit implies that you are actually friends and should not be used for scenarios where strangers decide to be together without any form of commitment. Very rarely, true love blossoms and it becomes a story worth telling. If the love is one-sided, it ain’t true and if you know you haven’t the strength of mind to carry out an FWB, wait patiently and prayerfully till your authentic-genuine article-limited edition-one of a kind-lover walks into your life and you’ll be glad you still have a friend to gist about your new found happiness!
Writer: Anita Umebese or Miz Chutzpah as she is fondly called is a medical doctor who loves to think outside the box. She’s an award-winning blogger and is currently working on her first novel. You can visit her blog at www.chocolatechutzpah.wordpress.com or follow her on twitter (@neetahblaq).