The Ugly Truth About Wanting A Real Relationship With Your ‘Friends With Benefits’

Unsplash / Toa Heftiba

You tell yourself that it will all be fine. That you want the kisses. That you want the sex. That you can handle this. 

Your friends might warn you about what a bad idea it is, about how you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into, but you ignore their worries. You go with your gut — and your gut tells you this is going to be good for you.

You convince yourself that you need a break from dating. That a casual relationship is exactly what you need.

Then, somewhere down the line, it becomes more than that. You both cross the line. You’re both guilty of breaking the rules of your agreement.

Maybe you decided to stay a little later than you should have one night and ended up cuddling. Maybe you ran into his parents in the hall and they invited you to stay for dinner. Maybe you ended up hanging out one afternoon during your period without having sex at all. 

Then something in the air shifts. It stops feeling like a FWB arrangement and starts feeling like a relationship.

After all, they make you laugh. They listen to your stories. You look forward to texts from them and count down the days until you’re going to see them again.

When they’re not around, you wish they were. You wish they were always around. 

When it comes down to it, you’re close friends who are sleeping together. And isn’t that exactly what a relationship is? Best friends who like having sex?

For a while, you pretend that those new feelings aren’t there. And when you finally admit them to yourself, you freak out. You hate yourself for ruining something that was going so well.

But you still try your hardest to act natural around them, because the last thing you want is for them to realize you would rather have a serious relationship.

If they knew that keeping it casual was killing you inside, then they would leave. They would end the arrangement. They wouldn’t want to hurt you by prolonging it.

That’s why you keep your mouth shut. You don’t let on that you have strong feelings for them. Because you would rather suffer through being their sex toy than be a stranger they no longer speak to.

Of course, now that your emotions are thrown into the mix, the relationship is no longer an escape for you. It’s torture.

You so badly want to believe that they have feelings for you too that you start to read into everything that they say and do.

Did they call you pretty instead of hot? Did they send you a morning text instead of a 2 AM text? Did they look at you a certain way when you walked through the door?

You analyze everything that they do in search of signs that they feel the same way.

It doesn’t matter that they’ve told you multiple times they aren’t ready for a relationship. It doesn’t matter that you agreed to keep things casual.

You still have hope. You still pretend that the way he kisses you means something. You still kill yourself by sleeping with someone who’s never fully going to be yours. TC mark

Holly Riordan is the author of Lifeless Souls, available here.

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