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Friends-with-benefits?

February 18, 2018
  • Yes, please!
  • It’s not for me, but I have nothing against it
  • It should be outlawed or banned

Friends-with-benefits (FWB) – it’s a term that’s made its rounds in Hollywood movies, magazine articles, and often, late-night conversations among friends. As modern relationships evolve, the concept of FWB takes on new forms and meanings. So, what do Americans think about it? Is it a casual thumbs-up, a careful tread, or an absolute no-no?

Let’s dive in.

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1. “Yes, please!” – The Freedom of Modern Relationships

A chunk of Americans cheerily says, “Yes, please!” when asked about FWB. The reasons? Here’s a look:

  • Variety is the Spice of Life: Not being tied down means exploring different personalities and life experiences.
  • Commitment Can Wait: Some believe in sampling the “relationship menu” before settling for the main course.
  • Life’s Too Busy: Between careers, hobbies, and personal growth, some don’t have the bandwidth for a full-blown relationship.
Cheerful young people dancing and drinking

“Love is complicated; why complicate it further?” remarks relationship expert Dr. Rebecca Hayes. She points out that while traditional relationships have their charm, FWB provides a practical solution for those navigating the treacherous waters of modern dating.

Did you know? According to a study by the Kinsey Institute, approximately 60% of college students have had a FWB relationship at some point. That’s more than half!

2. “It’s not for me, but I have nothing against it” – The Middle Road

Then there’s the segment that doesn’t opt for FWB but understands its appeal.

  • Been There, Done That: Some have tried and concluded it’s not their cup of tea.
  • Traditional Values: Personal or cultural values might make some prefer committed relationships over FWB.
  • Emotional Safety: Emotional entanglements can sometimes blur the lines, leading some to steer clear.

Jane Morrison, a psychologist from New York, says, “While FWB isn’t everyone’s choice, it’s essential to respect individual choices without judgment.” It’s about walking in another’s shoes before forming an opinion.

Curious Fact: A research piece from the Journal of Sex Research indicates that while many start FWB relationships with hopes of it turning romantic, only a fraction actually does. Talk about keeping hopes alive!

3. “It should be outlawed or banned” – The Firm No-Stance

Though it might raise eyebrows, there are those who believe FWB should be altogether scrapped.

  • Moral Grounds: Some see FWB as a detour from traditional relationships, questioning its moral fabric.
  • Emotional Health Concerns: The fear that FWB might lead to emotional distress or complications.
  • Potential Confusion: The lines between friendship and romance blur, making definitions tricky.
silhouette of two people trying to reach out to each other but separated by a transparent barrier

Sarah Thompson, an advocate for healthy relationships, notes, “As much as it’s about individual choices, it’s also about being informed. Knowing potential risks helps in making conscious decisions.”

Eye-Opener: A survey from Public Health Reports revealed that FWB relationships often lack clarity about boundaries, with partners sometimes unsure of how to navigate the dynamic.

Laughter Spot: FWB in Hollywood

Movies like ‘No Strings Attached’ and ‘Friends with Benefits’ – yes, that’s the movie’s title – have delved into this very subject. While they do end (spoiler alert) in the typical fairy-tale manner, they shed light on the ups and downs of such relationships. As Justin Timberlake’s character says in the latter, “Why do relationships always start with fun and end with marriage?” Well, that’s a conversation for another day!

Concluding Thoughts

The world of FWB is as diverse as the people involved in it. It’s a spectrum, not a one-size-fits-all. Whether you’re cheering from the sidelines, sitting on the fence, or firmly on the other side, it’s essential to remember one thing: respect.

A mosaic of diverse people of various ages, backgrounds, and orientations coming together to form the shape of a heart

In the famous words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” With FWB or any relationship, understanding and empathy will always be key.

Remember, no matter where you stand, every relationship, traditional or not, is about mutual respect, understanding, and ensuring that it adds value to your life.

Till next time, America, keep loving and living on your own terms!

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Best comments
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