I recently read an article arguing against friends with benefits, written by Simcha Whitehill at The Frisky. As everyone who reads H&L regularly knows, I’m pro FWB and pro fuck buddy, and I’m also con bad dating advice. Of course, her article is her opinion and if FWB’s don’t work for her, that’s cool too.
First off, she references this article in the Michigan State News, where a study was conducted on 165 MSU students and their dating habits. It was found that 60% of the students had FWB-type relationships. Well, no shit Sherlock, we’re talking about college students at a party school in Michigan! If you’ve never been to a big state school with a large student population in a small city (in cold weather), all they do is drink and f*ck at those places. MSU probably invented the FWB relationship.
Anyway, drunken college students are notorious for being loosey-goosey with their relationships, and in fact, it’s pretty much a college tradition. I would throw that study right out the window and focus on what 20- and 30-something professionals are doing. BTW, I went to a huge state school (Florida) and I’d say 95% of the student population maintained FWB relationships at some point during their college careers…the remaining 5% were virgins and God help them for graduating from UF without getting laid.
Okay, moving right along. Simcha breaks down her argument into three sections:
- When Friend Is A Four Letter Word
- Whatever Happened To Wining And Dining
- Riding The Highs And Lows.
When Friend Is A Four Letter Word
The argument here is that the sex devalues the friendship or stunts the growth of a budding relationship. This is a legit argument, because it does happen, but my take is that there are solid reasons why you or your partner are doing the FWB and not doing the LTR thing. Let’s examine a few of them:
- Lack of attraction – Your friend is doable, but she’s not hot or cool enough to be your gf.
- Too busy – She’s a busy career woman, possibly with a kid, and simply doesn’t have the time to get embroiled in a relationship. She can only meet up once per week, maybe once every two weeks. The FWB model fits her calendar.
- Poor Geography – He lives in area devoid of suitable LTR partners, so instead he establishes a casual sexual relationship with a friend until his situation improves. Could be years.
Those are just three big reasons, but for anyone who’s single, working, and dating post-college, you’ve probably been hit with one of them. Have you ever been too busy to go out and date for long stretches? I know I have, so meeting with my FB to get laid once every few weeks worked out great. Did I expect or even desire this arrangement to go on forever? No, but it was perfect for my life situation. The alternative is not getting laid, which is silly.
Whatever Happened to Wining and Dining
Barrf! Here we’re talking about wining, dining, and wooing. Long courtships and romantic candlelit dinners are anathema to my very existance. Seriously, romance is freakin’ 19th century. If you want to get to know me, let’s go out for drinks, and if you want to have some fun, we can hit the club afterwards and go dancing. Courtships are dead as dog poo.
Putting aside AFC-style courtship, I do want to point out a FWB mistake that a lot of people make: many fuck buddies meet for sex and little else…which is actually a booty call in my book. I think that sucks, and I always insist on going out and having fun first. You’re just being lazy if you go straight to the house and screw all the time.
Riding The Highs And Lows
This is the oxytocin argument, that is, women are enslaved to oxytocin and will automatically start pair bonding uncontrollably after sex. Dude, seriously? We’re not in high school, where we can’t control our hormones. I have yet to meet a late 20’s or early 30’s woman who started pair bonding after sex unless she made that conscious decision.
The FWB is a legit relationship type and works for hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of people who are operating under certain circumstances. We all can’t be so lucky to find our soul mates and LTR partners all the time. Just follow the rules, treat your buddy well, and you’ll be alright. I wrote a post where I discussed some rules and takeaways on establishing and maintaining a healthy fuck buddy relationship, check it out.