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Friends with Benefits: is it a good idea?

As I was sipping my grande skinny vanilla latte one mild afternoon, I noticed all the happy, flirtatious couples around me. So, I couldn’t help but wonder; are they in a relationship or are they actually just friends with benefits? I started thinking about the infamous “friends with benefits” term. Countless books and movies often illustrate the same stereotype: Two friends, who are physically attracted to one and other, decide to engage in a merely physical relationship. But, I ask, is a friend with benefits sustainable?

The advantages of having a friend with benefit are quite obvious. Having a trustworthy friend that you can fool around with is much easier than a monogamous relationship since no emotions are involved – it’s fun, more exciting, and essentially no commitment is required. It is the perfect solution for those who are afraid of commitment or those who are simply too busy to commit to a relationship.

Moreover, unlike monogamous relationships, it doesn’t involve love but rather, powerful lust. Contrary to popular belief, lust is a strong emotional feeling with admiration of control and power. Lust is purely the desire to truly want something, and when we really want something or in this case someone, we will go out of our way to get it but, when we finally do, we often don’t want it as much anymore. Consequently, in many cases, the pursuit of lust won’t end as happily as it started. For example, think about yourself or someone you know that had a “friend with benefits”, now think about how it ended.. Most of the time, one’s feeling of lust grows to love and the other’s continues to thrive on power and control. In other words, one always ends up wanting more than lust while the other simply wants out.

So, do friends with benefits truly work? It’s hard to say. It could go either way, the physical relationship can turn into to romance or, it could cost you a friend. But, in the words of Carrie Bradshaw, “eventually all the pieces fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment, and know that everything happens for a reason.”