Friends With Benefits—Is It All That Beneficial?

Team Interns , 18 Apr 2019

We’re in 2019 and even now when we hear the phrase ‘friends with benefits’, it immediately puts us in a spot where we ask ourselves—how is it humanly possible to not fall in love and still indulge in sex. Repeatedly. With the same person? Like we said, it’s 2019, and for most of us “there’s just no time or effort for commitment”, stat. Although it still baffles a few, a friend + benefits combo is somewhat like a new middle ground found to maintain people’s sanity for the sake of their hectic lifestyle.

It’s Ascending Popularity

Thinking of why ‘friends with benefits’ has gained so much momentum lies in its über simple concept: physical indulgence with someone you’ve known for a good amount of time, without any room for feelings or emotional turmoil. It’s a given that communication is the key to any successful relationship. But what’s more about friends with benefits is that honest and open communication is more of a demand than a requirement. The primary rule of an FWB relationship is pretty elementary—ask and you shall get (or not). But you get our point!

To understand a little more about how the concept came into being, its pros and cons, we have an expert opinion by reputed psychologist Dr. Harsheen Arora.

Dr. Harsheen Arora
Dr. Harsheen Arora

Upon its birth:

 There is a difference in the biology of men and women; women are pre-wired to be more selective when it comes to sexual encounters as they invest more in terms of childbirth making them focus more on the ‘friends’ aspect of the FWB relationship. As opposed to men, who benefit from short-term sexual encounters, hence focusing more on the ‘benefits’ aspect of the FWB relationship. The purpose of any label is to define the relationship. FWB is a label that might appeal to both the sexes when they find themselves in a situation where their physical and psychological needs are met without investing too much emotionally.”

Upon its legitimacy:

Owing to its rising popularity, the answer to whether or not this relationship is healthy varies largely. As an age of internet hacks and social media, this situation-ship may seem like a go-to solution for emotional problems. Contrary to popular belief, here is what Dr. Arora had to say:

Friends with benefits is a complicated relationship to maintain. Unlike friendship it comes with uncertainty of the future goal—of either going back to being just friends or ending the relationship. This ambiguity might bring a certain amount of tension and stress to the involved individuals. On the other hand, friendship and sexual intimacy both add positive value to a person’s life. Just like any other relationship it is up to the people involved in it to make it healthy. It is most important to first be a healthy individual because only then can one contribute anything to the relationship.”

Breaking down the phrase: ‘No time for commitment’

Committed relationships are widely perceived as something that exhaust one mentally. And that’s the root cause of why an increasing number of people seem to seek solace from this interim relationship. Dr. Arora explains what people really mean when they say they have no time or room for commitments:

Any form of commitment means that you are promising to assume responsibility for something and that you will dedicatedly give it your best—be this achieving a goal in life or committing to a healthy relationship. This requires one to have patience and perseverance. In order to do this, one needs to first be able to trust their own self, to be sure of what they want. However, if one is unsure of what they want they are unable to be decisive about it. Hence, they are unable to extend trust to the other person as well.

Being single is becoming a more popular choice these days as the current generation believes that commitment solely means being tied down. A relationship is essentially a contract that involves certain dos and don’ts—be this a romantic relationship, or a professional one. Any relationship requires that both parties give it time—it is hard work! In today’s world where there are multiple options that we are bombarded with constantly, as we are connected with the whole world at our fingertips, everything is fast moving, and the attention span is on the decline; people find it difficult to be sure of what they want and hence shy away from committing to it.”

On that note, we hope to have decoded what ‘Friends with Benefits’ really means. Let us know what you think about it in the comments below!

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