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Is it a good idea to be friends with benefits with someone? Let’s find out

Published on:21 January 2021, 11:08am IST
The situation called ‘friend with benefits’ can only be a joy ride, if you tackle it right.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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The key is to know all about being friends with benefits, before you actually hook up. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
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Friends with benefits – well, it was a popular flick of its time, and Mila Kunis and Justin Timeberlake instantly became our biggest crushes. The duo, as a couple or should we say “friends”, gave us major couple goals. And we are sure you must have also tried your hands at something like that!

But do you feel a situation like this can really work in reality? Frankly, yes it can. The millennials and the GenZs of the world are very ambivalent about the ‘friends with benefits’ situation. And its success is totally dependent on how emotionally, mentally, and sexually invested you are in it. 

Before we give you a lowdown on being ‘friend with benefits’, let’s read what renowned psychiatrist, Dr Rahul Khemani has to say. 

“At its core, friends with benefits is an integration of friendship and physical intimacy, typically without the commitments of an exclusive romantic relationship. Contrary to the notions of popular media, most of these do not transition into fulfilling, long-term, meaningful relationships,” he explains.

relationship tips
Communication is the key. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Now the question arises why people opt to become friends with benefits  

Well, there can be multiple reasons like:

  1. They are commitment-phobic and this situation requires no kind of promise.
  2. They find it comfortable to engage sexually with a friend, rather than some random person.
  3. They can relate to their friends much more. This can work both emotionally as well as mentally.
  4. They don’t want all that drama, which a normal relationship brings, because there are no strings attached in being friends with benefits.
  5. The friends know each other, so the chances of getting STIs and STDs is low.
friendship and relationship
Friendship is what keeps a romantic relationship going. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
But the friends with benefits situation is defined to be messy. Is it really so?

Now, this totally depends on both the partners. You see ‘friends with benefits’ is a “no questions asked” situation, unlike a regular relationship. There are very well-defined boundaries. If you play by the rules, then you can totally enjoy being in one, but if you step over, then it can be an emotional turmoil for you. Just, like what happened in the movie with Mila Kunis’s character Jamie.  

“If the bond in friendship with benefits is good, it is likely that one or both participants will want to upgrade it to a profound, committed romance.
When only one partner falls in love with the other, a major difficulty arises. In such a case, this person might cross the boundaries of friendship with benefits, and begin to behave like a lover. The lack of reciprocity can then be painful and destructive,” explains Dr Khemani.

Here are some rules to avoid awkward moments when being friends with benefits:

  • Keep things clear between you and your friend. Tell them what you are looking for in this relationship. Just like any other relationship, communication is the key.
  • Respond to each other’s emotions and try to understand them.
  • Respect each other’s private space, and do not try to invade that until the other person is comfortable.
  • Don’t start expecting. 

“Past research has shown that communication is the key to maintaining a healthy FWB relationship. The reality is quite different; as we are aware substantive communication is rare. FWBRs tend to go smoother when both participants are on the same page, and everybody realizes this, but not enough people have these conversations, since they can be a bit fraught and awkward,” concludes Dr Khemani.

So now that the ball is in your court, it’s up to you to decide if you want to be ‘friends with benefits’ or not.

Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.