Saturday, 16 July 2011

Friends with benefits – Part 1 rationalisation

I’ve got a very conservative friend that thinks I am still a very conservative woman (hehe)! Anyway – I suspect he has a friend with benefits – a very nice lady who I’ve talked to and like. A number of other male friends have confessed to FWB.

I know people of all ages do the FWB thing, but I feel that the FWB model is probably becoming more appropriate for me as I age.  As a young woman I really wanted a capable and loving man that would be a real partner and work with me to found a family and build a nice home and life. I made a bad choice and got neither family nor nice home, but accrued a continuing obligation to care for another person.  Hello Candice – one woman welfare system! 

….anyway …. there is no doubt my needs and opportunities as a mature woman have changed…..

My marriage experience has somewhat put me off live-in commitment to another person. I also value my independence and I think the biological drivers for live-in commitment have lessened. Another matter to take into consideration is that pregnancy is totally unlikely.  I can therefore understand why someone would go with FWB rather than waiting in noble suffering for a traditional long term relationship.       

Realistically speaking it takes a very long time to find a soul mate – if every 1 in 400 is a soul mate, then that is a lot of dates! I’ve seen my male mates search for years. Meantime, there is a need for closeness, affection and support. It is a very lonely experience being single!

Having a friend with benefits however could have some downsides – you could pair bond with a person that did not do the same with you and therefore become unable to commit to another person. Also, intimate contact could lead to contracting a non treatable STD such as herpes (HSV) or HPV.

Overall, I am in favour of this friendship model …     
A different perspective ...


  1. I wish you great success with this, Candice. I think that FWBs are another way to think about relationships, and a way that can offer some very positive opportunities if one has the necessary emotional resilience. When I was much younger I had a couple of FWB relationships that were wonderful and which enriched my life greatly. Contrary to what a lot of people think, it is not just about the sex. It also about respecting and caring about someone enough to give them space and let them life their own life in their own way, without trying to fix their problems or trying to make them into the perfect romantic partner. Of course it is about the sex as well, but often the FWB sex can be especially joyful because it is experienced in freedom, without ulterior motives and without each partner making a claim of ownership on the other.

  2. Thank you Eric - I do appreciate your perspective and the sharing of your experience!

    I am currently examining the concept of FWB - initially I thought it was just about the sex (lite on the friendship) - while I can understand, this model of FWB seemed empty for me.

    Now I am starting to see added dimensions and benefits from FWB, especially as I grow to understand the complexity and contingencies of life as a mature single. I hope to write a post soon that examines the range of possible benefits.

    Please feel very free to comment in the future!

    Thanks C :-)

  3. Meh. I think Friends with benefits is not unreasonable as you get older. The reason is at least for me and I suspect for others, finding someone who really turns you on sexually and who is a decent person at the same time becomes next to impossible. There are plenty of decent people out there, for sure, but most are obese where I live.

    The best many of us can do is to find a nice person who isnt that super duper hot. So I dont see anything wrong with a good friendship and an infrequent bang. Sorry ladies, but men are turned on by looks, so you got to be in good shape for us to fall in love, or at least in better shape than we are; sorta of like the ladies expecting the men to be higher status than you. Dont need matricies to understand that.

  4. NMH - Thank you for your comment and sorry for the delay in responding – pressing menopause angst has had me off centre for a few days.

    Your observation that many of the nice and decent ladies you meet fall short on being attractive for you is interesting. Another friend mentioned something similar – describing the ladies he met as ‘frumpy’. He is attracted to tall, curvy ladies, so I am imagining the ladies may have lacked presentation. It’s sad to think of people being lonely when being fit, right weight for body structure and well presented is win-win and perhaps desired by most people irrespective of gender.

    I’ve not got much experience, but noticed that when in a flourishing long term relationship men tend not to see the negative aspects of a lady’s body. Awesome is pretty picky with respect to grooming and clothing, but is very forgiving towards me over some other matters. I wonder if there is some magic rose coloured glasses that some how appear as a relationship progresses?

    It’s actually encouraging that you assert ladies need to be more attractive than the man, not necessarily competitively attractive in an absolute sense. It’s easy enough to pay attention to grooming and choose a man that is a tad less ahead in that area. After all, attraction is about perception of a basket of characteristics and thus the man may perceive himself to be slightly less attractive than the lady while being totally handsome and perfect in her opinion!

    Please continue to comment – your perspective is valued! :-) C

  5. A note - it appears that some people are getting long term relationships mixed up with FWB, so please discuss your intentions (in detail)with your intended friend or partner. Just recently I realised a male friend is mismatched with a lady who it seems perceives him more as a FWB/sugar daddy!