Friends with Benefits
“Friends with benefits” might be a good idea before the age of 25. Research shows that women are most promiscuous under the age of 25. Men are most promiscous before the age of 20.
When I was 24, I remember having a new haircut like Cindy Lauper that boys liked. Men invited me into their convertibles in Los Angeles, I even had a male model that looked like a cowboy, sweet talking me.
I remember the feeling of variety for variety’s sake at that age, flirting with all the boys, being free to discover new options. This is probably what men feel before they want to settle down.
Friends with benefits is great when you don’t want to settle down. You can tell everyone you’re not interested in committing. You don’t have to hurt their feelings.
There are different categories relationships can be in: one night stand, friends with benefits, friend zone, girlfriend, wife. Hollywood actor and relationship pundit Chazz discusses these categories. He posits that “friends with benefits” rarely makes it to wife.
Lately I have to agree. Now in my 50s, I recently had the “friends with benefits” conversation with someone I considered a partner. She was excited about the idea of being friends with benefits, when she had just pronounced that we were “together” weeks earlier on a vacation. I much rather be in the friend zone. Chazz says you have a better chance of becoming someone’s wife if you are in the friend zone. I like his philosophies and he has a point — a friend has a better chance for respect than a friends with benefits. That is because friends with benefits often means that you fall short of a person’s romantic expectations, while friends means you are valued for who you are, and meet expectations.
I say this after noticing that my partner’s true romance was with her cell phone. Every Saturday night she would dance with the phone like it was the real source of excitement in the room. Although she let peek across her shoulder at times while she checked her phone, she would sometimes grow a “spaghetti arm” so long that I cannot see the phone’s contents.
While I don’t think this behavior was deliberate, I think that there’s times when a woman can feel “gaslighting,” a subtle and ambient form of abuse from her partner. So for example, not only was my partner’s fascination with her phone a bit rude, previous conversations about her checking her phone often during our dates definitely highlighted that at the very least, putting her phone away would have pleased me. And that she had fair warning about. She continued the behavior and this created some subtle sabotage for my self-esteem and for our connection.
This brings me to my next point which is that friends with benefits is often a category you are in because you do not fit your partners physical or emotional requirements. There is often not much that you can do about this.
Everyone is the perfect match for someone, but not being the perfect match can cause problems because in some cases, the man (or person) that wants to be friends with benefits also has a tendency to place a low value on you because you are not meeting their requirements long-term. They will demonstrate this low value they place on you with their behavior — in my case, my gal checking her phone on our dates, or “looking tres bored” at times.
I have a theory that a man (or woman) that wants to place a high value on you, can want to do so just because they want to do so when they tend to do so. So you can be treated like a goddess no matter whether you are that person’s match for a long-term partner or not. In this society, we don’t tend to teach how to treat women like a goddess. And also, those that place low value on you because you are not their match, can eventually show it through their behavior or speech.
I had hopes my friend with benefits would treat me well or honor me. Eventually, a friends with benefits will behave like they are doing you a favor. And if they are a person of quality, they may know how to provide an environment of honoring for you. But then, if they are a person of quality, they might find occasion to honor themselves by finding a perfect match.
Not everyone wants to be married, and I sometimes wonder myself if relationships suit me. But as I grow older, I find that I can enjoy someone’s company enough to commit, and this person that I liked was my favorite.
Nowadays, my conclusion is, friends with benefits must include honoring. (For me that means putting your phone away). Honoring can’t be defined easily, but you will know if you feel honored are not. And you can probably tell if a man or woman knows how to honor a woman. You’ll know it from the way you feel. And chances are, a person that knows how to honor will find a commitment. Otherwise the benefits in friends with benefits is just B.S.– it’s a man’s or woman’s self-loathing turned outward, where they are procrastinating their life and you are paying the price. You’re the one they don’t need, so now you both get to suffer. Perhaps they haven’t learned how to do anything else except subconsciously prey on the weak, substituting playboy glory for actual self-esteem.
How about let’s make a rule: no friends with benefits after the age of 25, except for that rare exception — a man that loves a woman, that makes her feel like the only one, unless your compersion (permission for a person to love other people) is so high that you can let him be free. So high honoring for the man and high conpersion for the woman, otherwise no friends with benefits, capiche? It’s back to finding a monogamous commitment, and probably the less benefits the better for a little while!
Oh and there’s just one other thing about friends with benefits: usually when someone asks you to be friends with benefits after you’ve been dating, it means that they have someone else in the wings. Otherwise why would they let you go free?
Listen to your spirit — my spirit told me I couldn’t trust this person I was with even though I loved her dearly. A few days later, and a lot of “phone checking” later, she said she wanted friends with benefits.
She’s a darling as a friend, with a whole lot of reasons I haven’t gone into here, so let’s just say I chose the friend zone.
Enjoy mating season this year.
Noelani Rodriguez is a Intuitive and Author featured on Women’s Radio and global Para-X Radio, discussing “friends with benefits” and relationships with clients around the world.