QUESTION 1: “My question is when a friend asks you out for having a sexual relationship simply nothing emotional, which is what I do accept his proposal or simply ignore it as it is wrong for a woman to leave just for fun with a man with no a relationship” - Alejandra, Age not given
QUESTION 2: “I just got out of a three-year relationship. Shortly after, I reconnected with a guy friend who I have known on and off for 13 years. He told me upfront that he does not want a relationship, marriage, or kids. We have been intimate and talk frequently throughout the week by IM/texting. Recently, I started casually dating another man and told him. He flipped out. What’s the deal? Can a guy develop feelings in a friends with benefits situation?” - Julie, Age 36, Single
Ok. The past week has provided a bunch of “friends with benefits” type of questions. We have taken the main two angles most women have been asking to take to the men. The first question is really about acceptance of “FWB”: are men really OK with having a FWB and the second question is about can men get emotionally involved after a FWB relationship has begun.
You know the drill.
We took your questions to 1,000 men from our panel and here are the results:
Ok. So we know you’re thinking, “of course they approve, it’s classic male getting the milk for free concept.” And yes, men did overwhelmingly say that they approve. But and this is a big but, most of the men commented that they think a true FWB situation is near impossible. Why? Here’s a sampling of the most common feedback:
“Didn’t ‘Seinfeld’ prove that this cannot happen? Seriously though, it would be wonderful, in fact in most men’s minds, its called dating. But women cannot have a friends with benefits relationship for very long. They get too tied into the guy and fall for him and it’s over.” – Lawrence, 37
“Can’t happen. Won’t happen. Women cannot handle FWB for more than 2-3 sex encounters at the most. Then it’s relationship city for them and we’re stuck.” – Jeff, 34
“It’s actually my dream. My best female friends with benefits. Problem is it never will happen. Ever. Not even if I ask the gods or Santa. Won’t happen. Women can’t let themselves be the FWB girl and it’s so unfortunate for them and men.” – Shelby, 38
“Yes, men would want this but it won’t happen. Girls are just emotional and can’t separate love from sex no matter what the relationship is. They [women] cannot ever be at fault and being the friend giving benefits puts them in a fault situation where they look powerless, dumb, etc to their friends/family so they don’t do it. Again, it would be great, but its a fantasy. At least in my experience.” – Paul, 40
Alright so men feel like it would be great and they’re all for it but they think women can’t cope with being in a FWB so it’s more fantasy than reality at least from the experiences of most men. But what about men and their emotional ties to it? Can men separate sex from emotion like they claim? To Julie’s question above, her FWB counterpart freaked out at the thought of her dating someone else. But isn’t a man in a FWB situation supposed to be able to handle that?
We asked another panel of 1,000 men and here is their take on this question:
Well, well, well. Seems like men can also get involved in a FWB entanglement. The majority say they can separate. But we were surprised at the honesty of 46% of men saying that they could. The comments men provided give some insight into why:
“It can happen. I mean, if you are in a FWB for more than 6-9 months, guess what…you’re dating and in a ‘normal’ relationship.” – Randy, 33
“I could, yes. Because in this day and age, I don’t want even my FWB to sleep around. Too many diseases out there. So is that emotional, I guess so.” – Andrew, 31
“I did. I was in a situation similar to that of Julie here. I didn’t think I cared as much until I heard about other men that were her FWB like me. Then I got pissed. I guess I thought I was the only FWB but that was stupid.” – Will, 38
WTF is the takeaway?
It seems as though men obviously like the idea and concept of having friends with benefits. You get the female companionship, good times, sex but no strings, hangups, fights, etc. But given what men say here, that appears to be more of a dream (or reality for a lucky few) than the norm. Also, it isn’t so easy for all men to handle the FWB relationship either. Whether its due to disease prevention, ego in that they thought they were the only one or that they develop deeper feelings over time, not all men can be a FWB either. Seems like you really need to know the other party’s expectations about being a FWB and almost literally have to set some sort of ground rules before commencing and even then it’s iffy.
Could it work and be great? Sure.
Could it backfire and cause more problems than it’s worth? Sure.
But everyone’s situation is different. Proceed, but with caution based on all of this.
Leave a comment with your FWB experiences here. Your mileage may vary. We’d love to see what you have to say.