Friends with Benefits: Proceed with Caution and Communication

During my freshman year of college, I made guy friends about one month into the school year. 

I loved hanging out with them, but there was one guy I particularly vibed with. We’ll call him Brandon. 

Brandon and I would constantly flirt with each other, and ultimately we hooked up after one month of being friends. And then again. 

But since I appreciated our friendship and did not want to lose that bond, I decided we should stop.

The next semester, Brandon fell head over heels for my roommate. It lowkey pissed me off since I wasn’t receiving attention from him anymore, but I accepted it and, to be a good friend, gave him advice about her.

Fast forward to my first semester of sophomore year. My roommate had transferred, and Brandon and I started hooking up again. 

But this time things got more serious.

We would hang out often, and I started to enjoy my time around him. I’d go over to his fraternity house late at night, where we’d watch a movie and then hookup.

The only problem was that I began developing feelings during this time while he did not.

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He took a random girl he was set up with to his date party after we had been hooking up regularly for weeks.

He would send me home at 4 a.m. rather than letting me sleepover, even though I lived far.

It was messy.

I ultimately exploded on him, and we did not speak for the last two months of the semester.

But when we came back from winter break, we started secretly hooking up again. 

And again the next semester.

Each time, one person was always more into it than the other. It went back and forth each semester.

My second semester junior year, we came to a nonverbal agreement that we were better off as just friends– without the benefits.

Hooking up was fun, but ultimately destroyed our friendship all of those semesters when we would fight about one person caring more than the other. 

Brandon and I are very close now, but we lost so much time to resenting each other throughout our college experience for our on and off hookups. 

To be fair, there is value in hooking up casually with a friend. You have consistent sex whenever you want without the stress of being in a relationship. However, there is never a point in time when two people are having sex and both are equally indifferent about it. 

One person’s feelings are always being slighted, whether or not this is vocalized. 

My advice: proceed with caution.

If you’re looking to have a friends with benefits relationship with someone, be prepared to have an open and honest conversation with your partner. Clearly set expectations and open the door for communication.

The biggest issue in a friends with benefits relationship is the lack of communication.

When one involved person is feeling a certain way, he or she will usually bottle up those feelings to prevent ruining the dynamic of the relationship… leading to even more resentment that could have been avoided. 

If you’re willing to follow this advice, then you are ready to take on this kind of relationship.

Just remember to be mindful of your own feelings, as well as your partner’s. 

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