4 Reasons Friends With Benefits Is a Really Bad Idea

Why nobody really benefits from a friendship with benefits.

We live in a culture with a high tolerance for ambiguity. From our fear of calling things right and wrong, to our inability to see things as black-and-white, we’ve become a society that’s comfortable living in the gray.

While that may be good and acceptable in some aspects of life, this lack of certainty has seeped into the way we do relationships. And it’s causing some major damage.

One specific way we see this ambiguity played out is within the context of our “friendships” with the opposite sex. I hear from so many people who are broken, confused and paralyzed in their ability to trust simply due to the confusion they’ve experienced as a result of the friends with benefits epidemic.

Friends by day, and make out partners by night. No clear direction of where the relationship is headed, or if there’s even really a relationship at all. Free to call themselves “single,” yet completely attached to a relationship that sometimes feels like an addiction.

Lust, sex, and physical passion—masked behind the normalcy and innocence of a “friendship.” And believe it or not, it’s a culture that’s quickly seeping into our churches. According to a recent Gallup poll, 80 percent of young, unmarried Christians have had sex.

It’s a problem that’s hurting the body of Christ by severing community and hindering true friendship. By straddling the fence, the friends with benefits relationship destroys our ability to experience true intimacy within the context of a friendship and robs us of the joy of engaging in a healthy romantic relationship.

If you find yourself in a friends with benefits relationship, maybe it’s time to ask yourself who this relationship is actually benefiting.

If you ever find yourself caught in the ambiguity of a friends with benefits relationship, maybe it’s time to ask yourself who this relationship is actually benefiting. Here are some things to consider:

1. When you start a relationship with no boundaries–you usually stay there.

One thing that defines a friends with benefits relationship is the fact that it’s lacking boundaries. The ambiguity and unknowns guarantee that there’s no title, no rules and no commitment—so everything goes. You can make out today, “sext” tomorrow and be out on a date with someone else the next day.

The problem in relationships like this is that they don’t magically turn into healthy relationships along the way. When you start a game with no rules, it’s really hard to go back and play by the rules.

God calls us to engage in relationships that are healthy, edifying and uplifting. All throughout Scripture we’re challenged to honor one another and honor Him by setting limits with each and every interaction.

2. When you don't expect commitment, you sell your own value short.

A huge problem in the friends with benefits culture is that you learn to give, and give, and give with no expectation or understanding of what you’ll get in return.

You give of yourself, your body, your time and your emotions without requiring a commitment. When it comes to relationships, commitment is the price to pay—the more you give, the more you should receive.

We are all highly valued–and that value has been determined by God. But friends with benefits encourages you to give for free and creates an atmosphere that fuels selfishness, disrespect and zero responsibility.

Healthy relationships require you to take ownership of your choices—and that always starts with clear commitment.

3. The physical has the power to impact the emotional and skew the rational.

We’re made to bond during physical intimacy. Whether it be a hug, a kiss or sex, our bodies are wired to release chemicals during physical intimacy that make us feel connected to the person we’re with.

That’s a really amazing thing, but it can be a really confusing thing when your mind is telling you you’re friends and your emotions are telling you something far different.

When you create a relationship that’s built on the physical, your emotions will always follow suit. But the thing is, emotions can’t always be trusted.

If you’ve decided to be just “friends” with someone, or they’ve chosen to be “friends” with you, there’s probably a good reason. Bringing in the physical will only introduce confusion and cause you to second-guess your rational thinking. That physical and emotional connection will cause you to keep coming back for more—until you find yourself in an extremely unhealthy and dangerous cycle that can leave you feeling paralyzed, stuck, and unable to move forward.

God calls us to guard our sexual interactions for a reason—because He knows how powerful those physical interactions can be.

4. Ambiguity sets you up for heartbreak.

No matter how you do it, when it comes to friends with benefits, someone will always leave hurt.

The very nature of giving without knowing what you will receive sets you up for some major disappointment.

When you engage in a relationship where you give with no commitment in return, you’re setting yourself up for some major hurt and frustration.

By our very nature as humans we are wired for the experience of “give-and-take.” Go to any store, purchase any item, or interact with any human being and you’ll notice a pattern: I give something, and I get something else in return. There’s a healthy balance in that kind of interaction that leaves us feeling satisfied.

But when you engage in a relationship where you give with no commitment in return, you’re setting yourself up for some major hurt and frustration, because you’re setting yourself up to lose in the end.

No matter who you are or what you’ve been through, you’re worth far more than the pain of a one-way relationship. You owe it to yourself to embrace your God-given value, to ask for more, and to expect great things in your life and relationships.

Take ownership of the choices you make. And don’t ever blur the lines in a relationship—because the shades of gray will always disappoint.

This article was originally posted at truelovedates.com

Top Comments

Nancy Valentin

1

Nancy Valentin commented…

As usual, I find gems like this a little too late. But nonetheless they empower my now better decisions.

Bruce Keller

8

Bruce Keller commented…

How about just "flee from sexual immorality" (I Cor. 6:18)? This issue isn't complicated, nor are the reasons for it. Articles like these leave the impression that Scripture is unclear on this matter and requires further justification.

19 Comments

Bruce Keller

8

Bruce Keller commented…

How about just "flee from sexual immorality" (I Cor. 6:18)? This issue isn't complicated, nor are the reasons for it. Articles like these leave the impression that Scripture is unclear on this matter and requires further justification.

Royce E. Van Blaricome

48

Royce E. Van Blaricome replied to Bruce Keller's comment

Amen! I said somewhat the same thing below. If God saying "Don't do it!" isn't enough, then none of that other stuff matters anyways.

Isak Wilson

1

Isak Wilson replied to Bruce Keller's comment

Define "sexual immorality". That is where the issue gets complicated.

Millie Anderson

23

Millie Anderson commented…

This is a great article. Situations like this are devastating. It's so hard to come back from them, to learn to trust people again and to not constantly be afraid. I need to learn and use this advice! Thank you!

RosieMCarter

2

RosieMCarter commented…

great article, i also wrote an article about friends with benefits and it has some differences, if you are interested you can read it https://kovla.com/blog/whats-friends-benefits-real/ here, enjoy!

Royce E. Van Blaricome

48

Royce E. Van Blaricome commented…

Here's exactly why I don't like these articles. Not one single time is God's Word Referenced!! NONE of those four reasons are why FWB should not be engaged in!!

Let me help you:

1) God says it is Fornication and SIN!!!
2) God says the wages of sin is Death. (Rom. 6:23)
3) God says those who practice Fornication will NOT inherit the Kingdom (1st Cor. 6:9-10 & Rev. 21:8
4) God is ALWAYS right regardless of what you think and you do NOT want to spend ALL Eternity in the torment of the Lake of Fire because you lived in disobedience/rebellion and rejected God.

Now, isn't that much better?

Ms. Fileta says, "It’s a problem that’s hurting the body of Christ by..."

NO, it's a problem that's hurting the Body of Christ by bringing a cancer upon it. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole loaf? Purge the leaven from among you!

Ms. Fileta says, "If you ever find yourself caught in the ambiguity of a friends with benefits relationship, maybe it’s time to ask yourself who this relationship is actually benefiting."

Uh, if you ever find yourself caught in the ambiguity of a friends with benefits relationship, maybe it’s time to ask yourself why in God's holy name do you even think you are a Christian?????

Charles Spurgeon perhaps said it best when he said, “Do not suppose that the Gospel is magnified or God glorified by going to the worldlings and telling them that they may be saved at this moment by simply accepting Christ as their Savior, while they are wedded to their idols, and their hearts are still in love with sin. IF I DO SO I TELL THEM A LIE, PERVERT THE GOSPEL , INSULT CHRIST, AND TURN THE GRACE OF GOD INTO LASCIVIOUSNESS.”

”There MUST also be a WILLINGNESS to obey the Lord in all His commandments. It is a shameful thing for a man to profess discipleship and yet refuse to learn his Lord's will upon certain points, or even dare to decline obedience when that will is known. How can a man be a disciple of Christ when he openly lives in disobedience to Him?”

“If the professed convert distinctly and deliberately declares that he knows his Lord's will but does not mean to attend to it, you are not to pamper his presumption, but it is your duty to assure him that he is not saved. Has not the Lord said, "He that taketh not up his cross, and cometh after Me, cannot be My disciple"? Mistakes as to what the Lord's will may be are to be tenderly corrected, but anything like willful disobedience is fatal; to tolerate it would be treason to Him that sent us. Jesus MUST be received as King as well as Priest; and where there is any hesitancy about this, the foundation of godliness is not yet laid.” (emphasis mine)

Here's the bottom line for the article that Ms. Fileta appears to have missed. If "God says don't do it!" isn't enough, then it's pretty unlikely all her other reasons won't matter and even if they do, the person still ain't right with God because what God says isn't enough.

Terri Ayanna Wright

1

Terri Ayanna Wright commented…

Thank you so much for this article. It is exactly what I needed to hear.

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