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Another Perspective on Friends with Benefits

Up until now we discussed the ends and outs of friends with benefits.

We’ve learned how in some ways many of us live friends with benefits lifestyle without really intending to.

We’ve learned how easy it is to fall in love with someone you are physical with and end up getting hurt.

We’ve learned how perhaps the idea isn’t so bad for some because it helps remove expectation.

And we’ve learned that the friendship is what the real benefit to any relationship is. In fact, the “benefits” pale in comparison to any real deep friendship. But they are important. They do draw us closer and are essential to a healthy romantic long-term relationship.

Which leads me to introducing a revolutionary idea. What if marriage was more like friends with benefits? What if the expectations were removed and replaced with a deep close friendship? What if people looked to marry their best friend instead of someone who met a check list?

What if marriage was essentially a really close friendship? With benefits?

This wouldn’t leave out the romance. In fact, the romance could be increased because friends often feel more free to be open about the silly romantic things they like, because they aren’t trying to impress anyone. They just are.

You see so many of us hype up relationships. We watch Hollywood and read Christian marriage material that cause us to think that we need to have this magical falling in love with someone who will be our soul mate for life and meet all our needs. Happily ever after.

I’m not downplaying romance. I’m not trying to suggest that chemistry isn’t important. I’m not saying you can’t fall in love with someone.

But in the long run those things are a part of the relationship but should they define it? Some days you won’t feel romantic. Some days you just won’t have that spark. Sometimes you will find that person annoying.

At the end of the day they can still be your best friend. Regardless of the feelings or lack thereof. And that should be at the core of a successful long term relationship. And yes the benefits are important. They are a part of what makes the relationship work because they require us to be vulnerable and intimate with our partner.

I think it’s time we rethink friends with benefits in a new light. Maybe we could call it:

Best friends. With benefits. For life.


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Posted by on November 12, 2012 in James


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Why we get hurt by Friends with Benefits

Casey and Brandon were best friends with Angie and Chris. They used to go out together the four of them and dance the sunset over the mountains and drink the night away at their favorite bars. They had the inside jokes and the same group of friends.

Casey and Angie used to giggle to each other about their men. What are you going to use your boy toy for tonight? You think he’ll try that?

Chris used to nudge Brandon and ask him how his mistress was treating him. Brandon would laugh and say better than his girlfriend.

Brandon was popular. Everyone knew him and loved his personality. But he was a genuinely nice guy and knew how to charm a lady with more than his body. He was a natural. Likable. Driven. Funny.

Casey had honestly never really liked him. She knew he had the reputation of a player and in fact had once sworn she would never make out with him. He’ll probably give you something, her friends had warned.

The idea of a commitment free relationship blossomed out of their friendship. She was the girl he couldn’t get. He was the guy she couldn’t be attached to. All seemed fair in the world.

But sometimes we spend time together. We go on trips together. We see new sites together. We write a significant part of our life story together. And all the sudden feelings can change. And that touch that once only stimulated your hormones can start tugging at your heart strings.

And it feels weird at first like it shouldn’t be happening. But then . . .

Casey fell for Brandon. She couldn’t help it. He was a genuinely nice guy honestly. And she thought, he really hasn’t been with any (or many) other girls since me. Maybe he feels the same way and is just too shy to admit it. After all he has the reputation of being that guy that will never settle down.

She didn’t blame him for keeping his feelings inside. They went to the beach with a large group and she got sick. He stayed home from the clubs to take care of her. She loved it. He must love her.

He never told her that he was interested. He never changed who he was. He never stopped being who he was. He even flirted with other girls right in front of her. But she grew blind to it and thought for sure the change in her feelings must be mutual.


We get hurt by friends with benefits because of two reasons. One is the benefits. This usually happens quickly. If you are easily attached emotionally by being attached physically than you will sooner rather than later find yourself liking your partner. This happens to guys too. Now if the feelings are mutual that can be good. Although it often results in a physical attraction based relationship.

The other reason is the friend’s part. This takes longer to develop. But if you have a solid relationship and you become even close friends by adding benefits to it, you may begin to fall for the other person.

The benefits don’t necessarily make the change in this case. It’s the friendship which was the original benefit of the relationship. See there is this false notion that the benefits in a relationship are all physical. But this is ridiculous, for then what other benefit would there be to marriage?

The benefits of a deep friendship go way beyond physical. And if they are allowed to flourish, one can fall in love. Which can be quite healthy if both people do. Sadly this is rare.

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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in James


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Honesty and Friends with Benefits

You think you can be tricked into a friends with benefits relationship without your consent? You’d be surprised.

See friends with benefits aren’t always called by that name. Some people call it an open relationships or causal dating. But these names both convey the same basic meaning: we are here for the physical benefits of the relationship without the commitment.

However, what about  “talking” or “getting to know you” or “see where this goes” or “I like you but I want to take it slow”? See many of us engage in friends with benefits relationships without being honest to ourselves or the other person about what it really is.

Now many times you really do want to just get to know the other person and sometimes the physical outpaces the mental and emotional. So telling your girl “I really like you and I’m attracted to you as you can see, but I need to get to know all of you better” can be an extremely honest statement.

But what if you know that isn’t quite true. What if you know that ultimately she will not satisfy you as a girlfriend or wife? You know it’s going to be over as soon as the right one comes along. Is that really honest to tell her, to keep her holding on to hope?

I’m an advocate of honesty. It seems to be the best way to live even when there are occasionally some negative consequences to being straight forward with people. And by honesty I do not mean telling everyone everything. Some people are not on the level of friendship where they even have the right to know about some personal business of yours.

And girls you are not off the hook. How many girls have that buddy whom they know really like them but for some reason in their heart it doesn’t click? It’s like being stuck in the friend’s zone with a few benefits thrown in there. Unfortunately sometimes some really good guys get suckered into these relationships because they are actually into the girl beyond a friendship.

My advice is this:

Should you consider friends with benefits to hold real benefit for both you and your friend be honest. Tell them how you feel now. Tell them when your feelings change. Tell them if you fall for them. Tell them if you are sure it’s not going any further or long term.

If they stick around without the hope of there being more than that is their decision. You’ve done the right thing by being honest.

If you tell them you are interested it is up to you to protect your heart. If they express no desire to commit, than you run the risk of being heart broken when a new flavor excites their taste buds more than you do.

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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in James


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Avoiding the Friend Zone using Friends with Benefits

Ever heard of the friend zone? The friend zone is a place where you put people of the opposite sex who you are sure you would never have sex with. They are the good friends whom you can openly talk about your pursuits with others of the opposite sex without worrying that it might hurt your chances with them because . . .

Well mostly because you just aren’t attracted to them. Or even if you are for some reason they have been relegated to the friend zone.

Oddly enough guys don’t tend to do this very often. Sure there are certain girls who would just never work and a guy knows this. But most of the time guys don’t have deep friend ships with girls who they aren’t at least open to the idea of having their mind changed. In other words, I’m not interested now but I’m not so closed to the idea that it has become a line I could never cross.

Girls seem to be more rigid in their friend zones. That’s why you have guys complaining of being put there and trying to get out, more than you would perhaps girls.

Why they do this is perhaps another topic, but my guess is particularly beautiful girls have many suitors and know that since they can have what they want they might as well take someone who is at least 75% of their dream guy. Anyone else makes a great friend or connection but isn’t really an option. Ever.

Guys are forever trying to stay out of the friend zone with hot women. There are books written and stories told of the methods guy’s use. But ultimately the straight and simple of it is: the more sexual and physical you are with a woman the less likely you are to be placed in that dead zone.

Granted, I know from experience it is possible to be an amazingly charming flirt and still find yourself stuck there. When a girl makes up her mind about you it usually sticks.

This is why a lot of guys enjoy the friends with benefits approach. The benefits ensure that the girl is a least physically attracted and will have a harder time leaving the guy in the friend’s zone. Of course if the girl is strong she may be able to be physical without any emotional connection. But honestly this is rare.

The problem is many guys fail to be honest. They simply assume the girl is on the same page. This is fun and I want to keep you as an option but I’m in no way committed right now.

I’m not going to be your conscience on this issue or attempt to solve a moral dilemma. I agree the friend zone is unfair and hard to get out of. And I also agree that sometimes even when you do manage to get out of it, things just become awkward.

But realize that both parties have feelings and if you are a real friend these should matter. So don’t take things so far that you would hurt a real friend.

The friend zone is a tricky situation. One that I don’t have a perfect answer for. Friends with benefits may not be your best solution.

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Posted by on October 22, 2012 in James


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Are There Benefits to Friends with Benefits?

Those who wait till marriage for sex are faced with one incredible problem: what if the hormones drive the relationship? What if you’re pent up sex drive is blinding you from seeing clearly enough to avoid marrying this girl with whom you may have incredible chemistry but no real life connection or compatibility?

Friends with benefits often allows chemistry laden friends to see each other in a new light. And it doesn’t have to involve going “all the way” if that is something you are saving for marriage.

Once the sex drive is satisfied perspectives change. You can think more clearly and see if you are still interested in that person when you are not interested in them sexually.

This could certainly be a benefit for friends with benefits. If you find that the physical benefits are the only benefits you enjoy in the friendship you are probably not looking at marriage material. If you find that the physical benefits are maybe 10% of the perceived benefit of being friends with this girl: well maybe she is the one!

There are numerous times in life when we find ourselves single without a good option. And surprise, surprise there are people of the opposite sex all around us in the same situation. For whatever reason there is not a good reason for us to be in a committed relationship at the time.

Enter friends with benefits. The need for a cuddle buddy or however far you are comfortable taking it may be safely fulfilled without looking like a whore. Who doesn’t want to watch a movie with a girl snuggled up against you from time to time? And if you can maintain a good friendship afterward who’s the worse for the ware?

Now benefits beyond some cuddling and perhaps making out get more risky. Experienced or naïve, virgin or player, girls tend to get emotionally attached with various sexual encounters. More so than guys. And particularly with someone they consider a good friend or have multiple encounters with.

Friends with benefits allows you to separate the physical from relationships. In other words it allows you to think about relationships in more than just a “she’s hot, she’s not” sort of way.

Friends with benefits can also occasionally turn into excellent relationships. I think it may be because the couple begins off on the right foot, without ANY expectations, which we know tend to kill good relationships. This allows them to grow naturally, excepting each other for who they really are. Naturally.

Some people are just not ready to be married. They just are not. And to push them into it because of physical passions is a scary thing. It often ends in abuse, divorce, separation, miserable existence, guilt, condemnation, and broken hearts.

I’m not saying friends with benefits is right in all situations and to all extents. Neither am I saying it’s always wrong. What do you think?

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Posted by on October 18, 2012 in James


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Should I spend the night with my boyfriend?

“It’s getting late. We just started the movie. I’m getting comfortable. I feel really connected to him tonight. I’m honestly not looking forward to that fifteen minute drive home. Would it be ok for me to spend the night just this once?”

This is a popular question among Christian couple: is it ok to have a sleep over? In fact, I’ve gotten it a few times from friends. Inevitable someone hears of some other Christian who presumably spent the night with the opposite sex, or at least at their home. And so they ask: “is that ok? What do you think?”

First, like most things, when it comes to relationships there is rarely a one right answer. It’s better to start by thinking through your personal goals in life and in the relationship and then match those with your personal moral standards. Also there are two big distinctions to make:

  • spending the night on your boyfriends couch (or kicking him to the couch and taking his bed) is one thing
  • spending the night with him in his closed bedroom is another.

Some people tend to be overly worried about moral issues and temptation in relationships. My response to the first situation (spending the night in the home of someone of the opposite sex without sleeping in their bed) is this: if you can’t have self-control on your boyfriend’s couch you are not ready to think about a long term relationship.

Why? When you are married you will inevitably go through times of disagreement. You may go through a time when your man is emotionally distant and not really meeting your needs. It happens in most marriages. Meet nice, charming, understanding man at work. He recognizes those needs your husband is not realizing right now. If you haven’t built a pattern of self-control and boundaries in tempting situations, you will not be able to resist when this happens. People who say they would never cheat, who judge those who do, who think they are incapable of falling, these are the ones who fall.

The second situation requires some thought on your part. First you need to decide you goals. Many girls love the idea of being a virgin. It sounds appealing in Christian circles, almost mandatory, that you be in some way a virgin. But not many girls think about what staying a virgin actually means for their lifestyle choices. In other words, it’s a nice theory, but they don’t have clear picture of what a virgin really is and how to stay/be one.

In my opinion, many women can be very strong physically until you get them to a certain point. From that point on the guy has basically complete control of where they go physically. If you are one of these women and there are certain physical boundaries you don’t want to cross, your safest bet is don’t get close.

If you are one of these kinds of girls know this: guys love girls like you. Especially respectful guys. Because they know when the time comes you will be as crazy about them as they are about you. And this will make for a great relationship.

A couple areas you should be careful about: does your boyfriend have the same standards as you? Does he respect that your standards are stricter than his? Does he value a virgin? Does he think you are too uptight and need to let loose? If not, be honest with him how you feel. Don’t break up necessarily, but maybe you shouldn’t spend the night either. Don’t drink wine late at night if it turns you on. Don’t stay so late that you’re too tired to hold your own.

Other girls have a very strong sense of their boundaries. They could make out all night long with a guy and yet as soon as the physical starts going too far they stop immediately. These girls either have a stronger self-control of their sex drive or a stronger sense of who they are and their standards than others. If you know you are one of these girls, don’t think you can’t fall. Make sure you stop at your boundary every time. But in general I wouldn’t be concerned morally about you spending the night with your boyfriend.

If you are one of these girls stay strong. But remember, if you get married sex is an important part of your relationship. So mentally, emotionally, and physically begin preparing yourself to totally let loose when you are married. Just as you would be harming your relationship to let loose now, so you will hurt your marriage to hold back later.

Also remember to be reasonable. If you get your boyfreind turned on while making out with him on his bed, don’t consider it wrong or perverted that he wants you to stay.

Remember, making good decisions about spending tonight involes three things:

  1. Know your boundaries physically
  2. Know your weak points
  3. Have a plan and stick with it

Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Uncategorized


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