For a long time, there has been an issue that has boggled my mind in terms of male/female inter-relations. Well, plenty of things boggle my mind in terms of male/female inter-relations, but this particular one, even more so. I genuinely find it discombobulating that people are still of the idea that “Friends with Benefits” is a notion that actually works for both people involved. I am seriously confused. Are people just delusional, or do they genuinely believe that men and women who are friends, can regularly bump uglies, without there being uglier consequences?
Taye Diggs and Saana Lathan in “Brown Sugar”.They played childhood friends whose relationship got severely complicated when sex was thrown into the mix. Also, incidentally one of my favourite films.
Of course, I am still trying to figure out if men and women can simply just be best friends, but now whoever controls the realm of male/female relations (Cupid? Hollywood?) has decided to throw a spanner in the works, by inferring that it is possible to have a physical relationship with friends whilst detaching all romantic emotion. Like I said- my mind is rather boggled.
Now, as alluded to before, in “Do It Like A Brotha”, it is a fact that men and women are wired differently. We just are. Of course it doesn’t make us any less equal, and neither sex is better or worse than the other, but I presume that it is a universally known fact that woman and men, generally handle emotions differently from one another.
Men on one hand (I have discovered after conversations with male friends that have leaved me nonplussed and befuddled) are generally quite spiffy at removing emotion from physical attachment if they want to. Obviously they’re capable of coupling both (I mean they’re not robots..although if they were that would explain a lot) but they do possess the ability to remove love/affection/like/a slight fondness from the “Doing It”/ “Doing Stuff” equation. This is a handy ability for the “Friends with Benefits” thing, for reasons I think are clear.
However…The fairer sex, the breasted-ones…yeah.. we’re not so good at this. For us, anything physical equals intimacy, and intimacy equals affection, and affection can somehow mutate to romantic emotions, and VOILA, we have what can be commonly called, as “catching feelings”. It might be the lurve bug, or the “Deep affection” infection, but either way, it happens more easily for us.
It might not happen immediately, but if the “benefiting” occurs for long enough, it’s almost inevitable. This of course, is an extremely crude generalisation, and obviously the roles can be reversed, something which happened in the film “No Strings Attached”, (Which I will only recommend if the beauty of Ashton Kutcher-or Natalie Portman I suppose- appeals to you. If not..don’t. Too cheesy even for a seasoned chedder-rom-com loving nut like me.)
Either way it happens however- whether it’s the boy or the girl who develops those feelings that were presumably forbidden in the rules stipulated at the beginning of the arrangement- the agreement, is severely messed up for the other person who has managed to keep the benefitting “friendly” rather than romantic.
This can be rather messy, and I, naturally, took the liberty of throwing together some typical messy scenarios. For your benefit.
1. The other person suppresses their emotions so as to not seem like a pathetic and continues with the fascade, whilst the emotionless person is oblivious to the feelings of their… benefiting buddy. The emotionless person then terminates the physical relationship due to boredom/finding someone he or she has romantic feelings for. This can ruin the friendship, and cause severe emotional damage for the person who has “caught feelings”.
2. After the above, the person feels “used.” The person voices the fact that they feel used to their emotionally-detatched counterpart, but the emotionally detatched counterpart is says; a) “Used?? You’re the one who breached the terms of the agreement! Why am I the bad guy/girl yo?? If anything I am the victim! You duped me!”
b) ” So wait, it’s MY fault I’m such a sexy mofo and easy to fall in love with?” which will most likely cause a big ‘ol argument that will no doubt serve to destroy your friendship.
3. You tell the person you have feelings as soon as you get them. A similar argument to the above ensues, and again you are emotionally damaged and have ruined your friendship.
Notice a theme? I am aware that both people could have developed feelings for each other-these are the stuff of romcoms- however, is the risk of enduring the above worth it? I mean wouldn’t you rather just date regularly?
Without any judgement,is it really even worth all the stress and headache? Like I said, it all just seems incredibly messy to me. However, now that I’ve categorised the scenarios that can arise from it, I think it’s only fair that I distinguish that there are two classification of “Benefitting Buddies.”
1.Benefitting, but with Friendship Thrown In for Convenience
Emotionally,this is the relatively safer version. This is when you’ve met someone, proceeded to engage in a relationship that is purely physical, and have become acquaintances- perhaps friends along the way. This most likely occurs for convenience, because it’s makes things easier if you’re cordial with the person you’re..um..swapping various bodily fluids with , but it should be noted that, a genuine affection can be fostered. It’s obviously a little dangerous, because developing feelings, is always a risk, however, you met under those terms, so the “rules” should be clearer.However, in regards to this we must question if it is even possible to put “rules” in place to restrict emotions, in the context of relationships that physicality? Something to ponder upon.
2. Benefiting Your Friend
Now, this is a monumentally risky decision. If you value your friendship, this should not even be contemplated-especially if this person is an integral part of your life. You must be prepared to lose your friendship with this person if worst comes to worst. This scenario, usually occurs, when good friends develop a mutual attraction for each other. For instance this may be realised when a spark is generated when your hands brush each other’s after reaching into the popcorn at the same time whilst utilising your Orange Wednesdays.
Your eyes meet, and kaboom!Thus begins the journey into something potentially perilous, within which your heart could be collateral damage.
The cases shown above (i.e the ones involving emotional damage and the ruination of friendships) could happen in both scenarios, however, in the first one, it is likely the only person who gets hurt is the person who develops romantic feelings. In the second case? Both of you are likely to get hurt, because both of you were presumably good friends in the first place. In that case, it’s either you’ve lost a good friend, or are left nursing a broken heart..either way, it’s clear that nothing will ever be the same between the two of you.
It goes without saying, that it is each to their own. Personally, I would end up singing JoJo’s version of “Marvin’s Room” down the phone if I was in such a scenario with Justin Timberlake and it ended badly. Sobbing down the phone with a drink in my hand- it would not be a cute look.
Have a FAB Friday!
awwh, good read