See, I’ve got nothing against the whole notion of a casual, purely sexual relationship. We’re sexy beings, designed by Mother Nature to seek out sexual partners and deeply enjoy what happens next. Able to detect signs of fertility so subtle we can’t even consciously acknowledge them, we’re driven to find each other and get it on.
And let’s face it, sex feels good when done right, doesn’t it? Plus it creates all these chemicals that create amazingness, both in our bodies and minds. Oxytocin fills us with warm fuzzies when we touch, making us forget personal pains for a while. (This is why it’s so important to hug it out after a fight.) Then, the dopamine blasting through our brains with each smile boosts our reward center with a winning jolt we loooove to experience, and all the endorphins released during our physical exertion adds another level of goodness to the whole experience. Plus, all those chemicals coursing through our bodies smooth out our emotions, like a good anti-depressant but without negative side effects.
No wonder we seek out sex.
It’s just plain good. Good for our bodies, good for our minds, good for our wellbeing and sense of connection to each other. So what could possibly be wrong with having friends with benefits?
Well… I always say, life begins when you ask the right question. So let me ask you this: What’s your motivation for the FWB relationship you’re pursuing?
Are you scratching an itch? Or are you hoping this will turn into something more?
Let me rephrase that.
Are you separating sex from love and are able to enjoy a purely sexual relationship, and leave it at that?
Are you using sexuality in an attempt to win love?
I once said to a woman “winning a man over with your vagina is a shallow reward, too easily accomplished to be considered a victory.” The thing is, if you’re a woman offering a FWB relationship because your initial desire, an actual relationship, was turned down, the only one really winning is him. He’s getting what he wants without having to give what you want – a loving, stable, and lasting relationship.
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Look, I’ve rarely seen the kinds of relationships where people give everything the other person wants in hope for love in return, turn into what they’re actually pursuing. On the other hand, I’ve seen a lot of men and women work hard at convincing themselves that this was enough for them, for now.
But let me tell the women out there why tossing him a FWB line doesn’t always work in your favour.
Men and women don’t actually share the same sexual world. As women, our fertility cycles turns off every month, while a mans runs full steam 24/7. His high sex drive is designed to help us make babies, planting seeds till something take holds. Conversely, women’s sex drive, with its pause button, is supposed to give them a better opportunity to choose the kinds of seed planter who’s going to stay around and help them raise the baby they’ll make together.
Because of this, sex has a high bonding quality for most women right off the bat, initiated by a powerful chain reaction after that first kiss is exchanged (don’t you wonder why you’ll turn down other men asking for dates, even if the one you kissed is someone you’ve known for only two dates? You’ll want to read my blog about kissing for more on that one!).
But for men, choosing a partner to emotionally bond with, versus just sex, is a decision that’s usually unaffected by sexuality (I’m speaking generally here, there are always exceptions to rules and you might well be one of them). How many women have you heard complain that the guy they’re “seeing” (AKA having sex with) isn’t committing, versus the number of men saying the same thing? Ladies, our biggest mistake is thinking our male counterparts view sex the same way we do, and bond through it just like we do. They don’t.
So let’s look at this whole question again. What’s your motivation? If it’s to scratch that itch and nothing more, have at er’! I’ve been down that road before and it’s fun fun fun. I had my rules and standards, and I had a great exploratory year of getting more in tune with my body while opening my mind to experiencing sex on a whole new level.
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And I’ve been on the flip side too, laying sex down at someone’s feet with no strings attached, while silently hoping the physicality we shared would weave me into his love channels and turn his heart towards me.
But it never worked.
So when I sit in bookstores, signing books and answering questions, I’ll inevitably find a male in front of me asking, “Is it okay to have a friends with benefits relationship with my ex?” Because he wants to feel good about saying “Okay!” to her offer of a no-strings-attached arrangement in lieu of actual commitment. But my question back to them always is this; “Are you keeping her from moving on, and finding someone who’s going to be right for her?” And right here, right now, that’s my question to you.
If you pursue this kind of relationship with someone, are you making yourself unavailable for the man who’s looking for you? Are you blocking those opportunities because you’re on a one-way street and aren’t looking to see who else is around, actually wanting to lean in and give you what you want?
When we turn a tunnel-vision line of sight on the wrong person, focussing on winning someone who isn’t interested in winning us back, we’re keeping good men (generous, long term thinkers) at bay while chasing after guys (selfish, short term thinkers). In other words, we’re overlooking amazing, hard-working men looking for a relationship because we’re pre-occupied with chasing after the wrong type.
Remember, if you just want fun you want a guy. Here today, gone tomorrow is just fine if you’re scratching itches, and long term isn’t on your mind because for now you just want something uncomplicated. But if deep down you’re seeking someone that’ll give you lasting love my advice is this: Stay open, stay available, and fine-tune your antennae. Write down everything you want in your next relationship and let the Universe know you’re not going to settle.
You get what you know you deserve, and when you know you deserve more, you’ll get more. Just have patience, have faith, and have a good vetting process in place so you don’t get caught up with Mr. Wrong, ultimately leaving Mr. Right in the dust.
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Chantal Heide is an Author and Motivational Speaker, focusing on dating and relationship building. Her books Dating 101, Comeback Queen, Fake Love Need Not Apply, No More Assholes, After The First Kiss, Fix That Shit, Say Yes To Goodness, and Custom Made (available on this website, Amazon, and your favorite online book retailer) help her readers attract the love they're looking for, regardless of their starting point . View her BOOKS page for more information. Be sure to check out more free advice on Facebook, YouTube, and Itunes, as well as fun tidbits about her life on Instagram and Twitter.