Should you be friends with benefits?

Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to take your friendship with someone to the next level, but because they were not ready, you had to settle with being their friend with benefits? If you have, you probably know that a situation like that can get really complicated. If you’re still considering being friends with benefits, here are a few things to consider.  

Are you being honest about your feelings?  

This kind of relationship is basically a sexual relationship with no emotions involved. You’re also not likely to be exclusive with this person which means that they could essentially date whoever they want to (unless you have a different arrangement). What makes this type of relationship difficult is that you might end up developing feelings for this person (if you haven’t already) with the risk of these feelings never being returned.  So you have to be honest about whether this type of relationship is something your heart can really withstand.  

Are you the jealous type? 

Again Choma, deep emotions and exclusivity are not usually part of the deal when it comes to friends with benefits. If you really like this person and you find out that they’re with someone else, jealousy is bound to spring up. This type of relationship is not for you if you know that you might get jealous.

Are you willing to risk contracting STIs?  

Let’s be honest Choma, no exclusivity means a higher chance of your friend with benefits sleeping with other people and therefore a higher chance of them contracting and spreading Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). Your role as a friend with benefits means you don’t have a say with what the other person could be doing with other people – which increases your chance of contracting STIs; including HIV.  

Can your friendship survive?

There’s no guarantee that being friends with benefits will last. The situation can always change, even when you least expect it. Ask yourself this, should the “situationship” come to an end -because one of you decided to get in a serious relationship, for instance, would the friendship survive?

 Not everyone wants to be in an exclusive relationship and it’s okay, as long as you’re being responsible and protecting your health and your heart. As much as a “no strings attached” situation can seem appealing, it’s not ideal for everyone. Before you agree to this kind of set up, make sure you’re aware of the advantages and disadvantages, and have strict boundaries – like consent, safe sex and respect  – that both parties should adhere to.  

Remember if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).