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Testing the Water

Dating in 2017: why people are opting for FWB and what happens before, during and after.

With so many people opting out of commitment,  I’ve started to notice a trend: Friends with Benefits. Some of you may or may not have found yourselves in this predicament before, as well. So let’s take a look into it further.

For starters,  obviously this occurs when there’s a mutual attraction. People all have their own reasons for agreeing to willingly enter into this sort of situation,  but its not always black and white. No two sitiations are the same here. So I find it amusing to read relationship advice columns that treat it as though they are all the same, since people are all different with different histories, lifestyles, personalities and most importantly, intentions. 

Friends with benefits occurs for a number of reasons,  so lets look at the basics. 

Sexual needs being met. Companionship and cuddling. Fear of commitment because of one’s past. Or maybe this is the new way to allegedly “take things slow,” or just test the waters. 

Or maybe, the person doesnt really like or respect you at all aside from meeting their own selfish interests.  And if youre willing to agree to be in this situation, youve basically agreed to whatever comes along with that. I just hope the person youve chosen to be with respects you and treats you kindly, because FWB isnt a free card to treat people like theyre disposable. 

I’ve seen people post things like “how can I turn my FWB into a boyfriend/girlfriend?” Or “how can I tell if they like me for more than a FWB?” Well, here it is. 

You cant physically change someone’s intentions to match what you want. Generally speaking, people are pretty clear about their expectations going into things, so why would you expect to just psychologically trick someone into changing what they may or may not want…just to be with you?  Isnt that a tad selfish, to not think about whats going on with that person’s feelings? Have you even stopped to think about why the person wants what they do?

Either it is going to happen organically or it isnt. 

Sure, there are probably plenty of mind games people regularly play to try and “trick” the other person into developing feelings for them but think about it this way. But honestly, do you really want to have to trick someone into feeling something for you?Wouldn’t  you just rather have it happen on its own? Think about it.

If you know that at the end of the day, you eventually may want more for yourself, you have two basic choices. 1.) Be upfront about it and see what happens or 2.) Dont enter into a FWB situation at all. Because heres whats likely to happen. 

Either things possibly develop into a dating type situation if both people start developing feelings or they dont, and then you end up hurt, angry and/or embarrassed. And at the end of the day, you have only yourself to blame for that because you accepted and agreed to it. I hate to be blunt, but we’re all adults here.  

I’d like to say that things will end pleasantly for you and maybe the other person will fall for you. But most of the time, it doesnt work that way. Especially when games are involved because now the other person was lied to while you misrepresented yourself/your intentions. Doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t end up turning into more, but be realistic. Optimistic is fine, but know that it might just be…physical. Especially if you don’t know what that person’s past is or don’t know them very well.

So if you think you might want more, you might want to just be honest from the get go. Maybe the other person is willing to be open minded about it and be considerate of your feelings. Maybe they do like you to an extent but want to get to know you more and see if you mesh well together as a potential couple. It can and does happen…not a lot, but sometimes.

People dont like being forced to do things or rushed. Those are two incredibly annoying things that will gradually push someone away or get under their skin, forcing them to distance themselves further and if you actually like them isnt that what you’re trying to avoid? 

Its kind of like in the summer when its really hot out and you know you wanna go swimming but you aren’t ready to jump in the pool bc you know its going to feel  really, really cold. So you dip your toes and feet in gradually preparing yourself to go in but not really rushing it. Even though its hot out and you’re a little uncomfortable,  you’re also used to it and have been making the best of it, working on your tan or maybe even applying sunscreen so you don’t get burnt.

Eventually you know you’ll  want to get in, but maybe not right away. Doesnt matter if all your friends are in already or not. You still might wanna just lay out or sit on the side. And you probably wouldnt appreciate it very much if someone just snuck up behind you and pushed you in before you were ready, right? 

This is the new pre-dating or pseudodating: Testing the waters. Like it or not, its what our society has learned to accept and endorse, and therefore expect. Why make a commitment before we know what were getting ourselves into? Why not see the good before the bad? Why spend all that time getting attached to someone who might be terrible in bed or have some sort of crazy personality or baggage you want no part of? If you can get the benefits of a relationship without all the bad stuff, why would anyone want to commit? (There are many good things about relationships people tend to forget or ignore because of bad pasts.)

We as a society  have learned that its ok to eat dessert first or snack before our entree arrives, sometimes being temporarily satisfied with junk or empty calories as opposed to what is going to actually satisfy us long term.  But remember,  we all have different preferences and tastes…and diets. And once youve been sick and had food poisoning from something,  chances are you won’t want that food for a long time if ever at all.

So all im saying is… 

People ought to spend more time getting to know themselves and what it is they want and why before merely jumping into something that may not align with that. Be clear about your intentions. FWB is not something that’s for everyone. Not everyone can handle it. But it seems to be the new “normal” in the US. Because everyone is afraid to get hurt and just wants to have fun. And many of us lie about our feelings and hide behind walls when deep down, love is not a bad thing. That’s usually the light at the end of the tunnel that makes everything better for many of us.  It’s getting there that often is scary. Its like being lost in darkness for a really long time waiting for the sun to come up. 

But you can still get hurt from this, and still hurt the other person.  And anyone with integrity should try to avoid that because at the end of the day, it just makes things worse and the cycle never stops. 

I believe at the end of the day, we all eventually  want to be loved and belong to something or someone . I think we all could agree that its wrong  to be wreckless and hurt people. 

But people are inherantly selfish while their basic needs are being met. And until those basic needs are met,  you cant move forward and grow. 

Just try to make sure while you’re  meeting your needs, youre not trampling all over someone else’s.    Nobody deserves that…

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