Friday, June 10, 2011

A Lot of No String Benefits

DISCLAIMER: I have never been, nor will I ever find myself in this scenario. This idea was borne out of countless talks about hypothetical relationship scenarios with my good friends. Everything stated here was also concocted in my brain and any similarity to somewhere else is pure coincidence or cliche.

A Lot Like Love, No Strings Attached, Friends With Benefits. We've all seen the films, read the books; we know how it plays out. Guy meets girl, guy hits on girl, guy is met by a scathing but hilarious retort, guy realizes girl would make a funny friend, 7 years down the line, after a lonely night spent with your couple friends talking about relationships, you and your single girl bud decide to get pissed ass drunk and rag about the hassles of being in a committed relationship. You then start to say that you don't even want a serious relationship, that sometimes, all you really want is a warm body next to yours. She, being the free-thinking, independent woman of this age, agrees with you. You're healthy, intelligent, young, and not bad looking people and you have wants and needs. This is okay, this is normal. This is also a segue into dangerous territories.

Being as close as you are and not wanting to taint this already beautiful friendship with complications and messy emotions, you state stipulations: Booty call starts at so and so, you're allowed to date other people, this is just pure sex and nothing more, one cannot expect the other to perform boyfriendly/ girlfriendly duties, you don't go on dates; you just "hang out", this person can't know anything about the two of you, et al. You are, after all, essentially just using this person's body as a means to an end. You both enter this arrangement willingly and with your eyes open. There are no illusions and you can just as easily go on a double date with said benefiting friend.

The first time is gonna be awkward, for sure. How can it not? This person has never even considered what you look like naked, let alone what sort of things you enjoy doing in bed. The same can be said about he/ she with regards to you. Do you dim the lights, put on some mood music, bring out the candle, do the works? You both laugh absurdly as you realize you don't need any of those. You're comfortable around each other and nothing you ever do will pass judgment. As you reach the first rush of pleasure, your adrenaline kicks up and you just want to enjoy each other's presence at all times. This is, considering the parallels, the "honeymoon" stage of every relationship. It's fresh, it's new, you're experimenting. You're familiarizing yourself with their patterns, with the contours of their body, you want to know how every flesh stretches and clings to each bone, how their skeleton slices through their skin and muscles. God, this is fun. Why didn't you ever consider it before?

Days, weeks, months pass and you settle into this routine of substituting sex with love. You're both content. You'd even go so far as to say you were happy. Once you reach this conclusion, and I kid you not it's ALWAYS as you reach this conclusion, one of two things happen:

1.) One of you realizes that neither of you are dating. Who knows how this piece of information reaches said person's brain -- someone could have pointed it out, you could have come into it on your own, whatever. Point is, you completely misunderstand this as falling into a relationship that neither of you wanted to begin with and you pull away. As far away from the other person as possible. With your fast disappearance without so much as a goodbye, you leave that other person hurt and baffled and confused.

2.) One of you realizes they're madly in love with the other. Again, this can be triggered by anything: a need to be present in every nook and cranny of the other's life, you get uncomfortable when you see the person flirting with someone who is not y-o-u, or, and this is the worst possible way of realizing the depth of your emotions, you fear losing them when someone who is willing to give them something better appears in their life. Of course, at one point, someone is going to find a partner sooner than the other. The world thinks it's funny that way.

Either way, you're screwed. You can't go back to being just friends but you certainly cannot move on to something better. Once things go awry, the last thing you want to do is set off another bomb, so you think that just keeping your distance would be the lesser evil. Coming to terms with the failure of this endeavor is almost as difficult and painful as realizing that it was an idiotic idea to begin with.

In the end, all you're left with is one, if not two, broken hearts with no idea where to begin to mend. Is it with the loss of a grand friendship? Is it the loss of a promise of a wonderful love? Is it with the loss of the person per se? Or is it the acceptance of your failing as a friend?

After days of denial and unbearable pain, you look at the rubble of the mansion you both destroyed and you take one lesson with you: It is never a good idea to enter a sexual relationship with your friend.

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