Friends or “Dates” With Benefits



Most people in my generation might think FWB means a friend with a condo in Maui. People in their 30’s however grew up with a different point of view about having sex with someone you “like” . 


Though generational points of view may differ, I am here to tell you some things never change. I recently had a conversation with a friend who met a man a few months ago and thought he was as cute as a new puppy. They had a couple of drinks in a plush trendy San Francisco bar one evening. Funny thing how when we first meet someone we feel comfortable sharing some of our deepest thoughts and feelings. Maybe it is because we aren’t emotionally invested yet, so we have nothing to lose? As we share our lives, we begin to feel close and it is lovely.


Back to that cute puppy….

He shared with her his disappointments and heartaches from relationships that didn’t pan out. It was time, he believed, to just “take life as it comes” and “be in the moment” aka “I want to be free to do whatever and whomever I want right now.” His honesty buys him the “Get Out of Jail Free” card. 


She listened attentively while beginning to lose herself to the martini and those dark Middle Eastern eyes. Yes, she heard him. He didn’t mumble even after two martinis. It was just that her brain began to hear only the words she wanted to hear…“right now”. It wasn’t forever. He would come around soon and especially because she was different than those other women. The story she was writing was much more beautiful than what he was saying anyway.


The next morning he was up early and just had time for a cup of coffee before he had to go. Her story included brunch and a walk to the beach. Feeling her heart sink as he put on his jacket, she could feel it moving in…regret and sadness.


It seems to me that what hasn’t changed through the generations is this dynamic. Women think they can sleep with their friends or someone they have just met and come out of it unscathed. I don’t think it is possible for the vast majority of us. Why? It is not about morality but more about ancient survival responses.  It is still in our DNA. We find our mate, have sex, produce offspring and know that we are all safe because he will stay and provide for us. Though women no longer “need” a man to provide for them, that leftover lizard brain function is still very much alive.


The next time a man tells you he is not into commitment, not ready to settle down, not great relationship material, or really likes you as a friend BELIEVE HIM. Real love and beautiful sex will come when you find someone who A. Wants a relationship in the present and B. Wants you to be in that relationship with him as much as you want to be his one and only. 


The urge to jump into bed will be there when we are alone. Our” writer “will want to edit  his script because we want what we want. Resist the urge by listening carefully and asking yourself how you might feel after you hear the door close. And if you decide to jump, forgive yourself, learn from the experience and perhaps next time you will decide it is better to BUY a puppy!

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