Where do we even start? The friendship? The benefits? Oh I know, let's start with how we even get here in the first place.
So picture this, one day, you and a "friend", after knowing each other for a while, or maybe you and a new friend somehow find yourselves mutually stumbled upon rumble in the sheets. It was great! No regrets from either of you. But through discussion, or assumption, both come to the conclusion that 1) you don't want to ruin your "friendship" by entering a committed relationship, 2) somebody states they are not ready for a relationship and you go along with it or 3) prefer to keep things on the down-low. All is going great, having the time of your lives, the sex is beyond fantastic and all is fun and games. Fast forward a year, two years, maybe even three; things remain steady. Maybe the two of you have shared some moments together outside of the bedroom. You've attended each other's events, communicate regularly via phone or text, discussed personal situations offering support to each other, done each other favors, and maybe even shared a meal with each other. It's clear by this time you two are "just friends". Or is it?
Remember that timeline we discussed? Here it is front and center. Time has passed and you now find yourself wanting a serious relationship. Maybe you even want to date other people. Or maybe your "friend" is the one dating. You've always understood that this is nothing serious and that neither is the cliche statement of "ready for a relationship". But somehow in this scenario, you find yourself considering your "friendship" as dating options come your way, or get "in your feelings" when you discover your "friend" is newly attached. But didn't you know what you were getting yourself into? You somehow find yourself wanting more with this "friend" than planned. Or maybe you just don't want to give up your benefits or anyone else to experience the same benefits as you. But remember, this is the agreement you entered into.
So now what? When did this "friendship" become so much more? Can we honestly loan ourselves to a regular physical encounter with the same person and never once have feelings be involved? Are friends with benefits actually what it sounds like? Or are we fooling ourselves to think it is nothing more, nothing less? So, what's it going to be? Friends or an untitled relationship? You decide.
Okay, maybe choosing is a bit of a challenge. So here are my two cents. I mean, this is a blog right? I think the truth is feelings will always be a factor in one or both parts. Maybe not love, but a mutual like or show of concern for one another. Think about it, don't you love or have a love for your friends? You have intimate, not sexual, but intimate encounters with them. Over the years you have shared space, time, energy, and intimate information and experiences with them. You genuinely care for them the more you encounter them. So, what makes one think the same won't happen when you have regular sexual intimate encounters with a person? These "friendships" we find ourselves in are still an investment of space, time, energy, and intimacy just like that of our friends. Only there are extra perks. If you've never found yourself further interested in the comings, goings, doings, and not doings of this benefitted friendship, then maybe you are an exception to the rule. But over time, there is bound to be some exchange of feelings. No, it doesn't mean you are looking to be exclusive with this person, or as they say, all Boo'ed up. But let's be real, somewhere, deep down inside, you care. You care what they do. You care who they do. So to answer the question, there's more to these "friendships" than actually defined. Enjoy yourself, judgment-free, but guard your heart!
Written by Jeronica Cain ~ Social Worker and Woman of this World