Do friends with benefits relationships ever work?
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Your question is brief and seems simple and straight forward. However, I suspect that there is more to the question than meets the eye. In the end, the answer may be a matter of opinion.
It is assumed that, “friends with benefits” refers to a friendship in which there is casual sex but with no “strings attached,” or with no commitments or complications. Some friends may be able to enter into this kind of arrangement and with good intentions but, in my experience as a therapist, people’s emotions get involved and things become very complicated.
The complication is that, if only one person in the sexual friendship develops strong romantic feelings toward their partner but the other does not, hurt, rejection and insecurity soon manifest themselves. In other words, one of the two people starts to want more and becomes jealous when a new individual appears on the horizon.
This is not meant to imply that this happens to every frienship couple who becomes sexual, but, it happens enough so that people should be aware of the emotional dangers that lie ahead if they decided to do this.
I guess what it comes down to is that, by and large, it’s not just sex. What begins as casual can quickly turn into, “But, do you love me; Am I as good as your past partners; Do you think about me the rest of the time?” These and other questions begin to arise because of the emotional needs that lie within all human beings.
So, my answer to your question is, 1) There is no such thing as something will never work, and 2) By and large, they do not work and that leads to the end of the frienship or the beginning of a real romance.
Best of luck