Friends with Benefits

It happens all the time in the movies. Some Kind of Wonderful, Brown Sugar, Love and Basketball, and probably more than a hundred other movie storylines center on the progression of a friendship towards a romantic relationship. Most often, in the movies, one character has had feelings for his/her opposite sex friend forever, but the friend’s interest has lied elsewhere. Then, one day, the friend experiences an epiphany and realizes that the other character is his/her soul mate. The two of them profess their love for each other and then ride off into the sunset together.

These stories are often emotion filled, heartwarming, and at times, funny, as is the point and purpose of entertainment. Unfortunately, while art does imitate life, real life stories are tweaked so that nice guys do finish first and good girls get the guy in the end. Therefore, life does not always imitate art.

After years of building the level of trust that it takes to call someone a friend instinctively, many people yield to temptation and loneliness, jeopardizing the strength of the bond between friends. While it is true that friendship has laid the groundwork for some amazingly long-lived romances, it has to be noted that sometimes friends of opposite sexes are just friends for a reason.

There are some factors that one might consider before making the transition from friends to lovers. They are listed below.

1. Fallen or Failing? Have you really fallen in love with your friend? Or are you on some sort of mission to prove to yourself, four family, and your friends that you you are not failing in the romance section of your life? It is unfair to you, your friend, and your soul mate for you to use your friend as a last resort.

2. Who Really Benefits? Many times, men and women want different things from a relationship. Ladies, if a man is not ready for a romantic relationship, but insists on having sex, the fact that you’ve been his friend since the two of you watched Saturday morning cartoons together will not change his focus. And if he gets what he wants (sex), and you don’t get what you want (a relationship), who really benefits? If only one of you benefits, then the correct term is “one friend with benefits and one without”.

3. What Is Your Friend’s Role In Your Life? Is your opposite sex friend the person that you go to for comfort when things don’t work out in your romantic relationship? Is your friend your opposite sex expert? Does he/she give you advice about his/her species. If so, you might consider the fact that if a romantic relationship between the two of you fizzles, you’ll take a double blow. Not only will you have boyfriend/girlfriend problems, you’ve also lost your confidant.

4. What Is Your Friend’s Track Record? You probably know what kind of boyfriend/girlfriend your friend is. If he/she is the opposite of everything you’re looking for in a mate, why even try? Sure. You’re attracted to him/her now. But when he/she does what he/she did to his/her last mate to you, then what? Don’t act surprised.

5. Who’s Idea Was This? Had you ever thought about the possibility of a romantic relationship with your friend before he/she approached you? Don’t allow yourself to be persuaded, coerced, convinced, or, in any other way, pressured to pursue a relationship with which you are not comfortable.

If you ask the above questions and still come to the conclusion that it is okay to date your friend, then good luck and may you live happily ever after!

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