The old friends with benefits gig. It always seems like one of the parties is settling for what they can get at the time. Maybe my emotions just aren't Y2K compatible, because I view it as potentially insulting. "You're cool in small doses, and I'll even grant you the privilege of having sex with me on occasion, but don't expect anything else." Okay, maybe that's sort of extreme, but there are FWBers that think just that way.
You may ask what's the problem with that if the individuals have a mutual understanding. If both individuals feel that way, I have no problem whatsoever with FWBs. I say to them, do you. The actuality is that more times than not, the relationship is slanted with one person's feeling being slightly more invested than the other's. In the alternative, if one person is seemingly attentive, it could make the other reason in his/her mind that the situation is becoming a relationship. Unless "rules" are followed, you run the risk of endless misunderstandings. You have to balance when you're not calling enough, when you're calling too much, where you can go, where you can't go, what days are off days, how he/she will/should react if they see you on a date, how you should react if you see him/her on a date, what happens when I/he/she meet(s) the person I/he/she REALLY want(s) to be with...The list is never ending. That sounds like a lot of emotional work for a non-relationship.
And that's sort of puzzled me...What happens when the more relationship oriented (and damn what you heard, most of the times at least one of the parties is) person meets someone ready to give them what they want - a relationship? Or maybe even more potentially heartrending, what happens when the presumably non-relationship oriented person meets "the one" and it's time for the buddy to go? "Whew, this was fun, but I'm on to better things. Well...holla!" Is that how friends treat one another?
I guess it's evident that I'm just not feeling this line of thinking. I've been on both sides of the FWB fence, and to be honest, neither one is that great. In situation #1, you've got the person that you're digging that isn't ready for a relationship, at least "not right now." However, they are not adverse to a no-holds-barred sexual free for all. Not the greatest feeling in the world. In situation #2, you've got the person that you think is nice, in fact too nice to say no to, but you're just not "feeling" them. Whether the reason is deep, superficial or in between, you know that nothing deep will ever transpire between the two of you - on your part, at least. That person is temporary and you know it. Unfortunately, THEY don't know it. Who wants to be the one to say "Remember when I said it's not you it's me? Strike and reverse"? Unless you're a cold hearted person, that's not an enviable position either. It could also make you question your past unrequited feelings.
FWBs are basically an easy out for the emotionally scarred, the irresponsible, the playas and folks who already have SOs. It's for those that want the comfort of being with someone familiar, without the responsibility. If they forget an important date, birthday, significant event, so what, they're not your man/woman. Sort of a hetero DL subculture. However, they are becoming more mainstream than traditional relationships. Somebody decided that labels aren't cool and the public has run with it. And in a sense, I'll agree that labels are meaningless. Lauryn Hill said it best "Father you saved me and showed me that life Was much more than being some foolish man's wife." I feel that so deeply, because I was in a completely meaningless marriage and it sucked. I had the label of "wife," but my "husband" was a cheater, an alcoholic and an abuser. He didn't have enough love for me to stand up and do the right thing, whether it was to clean himself up or walk away with at least a fragment of the person I was. It seemed to be his mission to make my life as difficult as possible as often as possible. So much for "to have and to hold." If the shit ain't sincere, the label is meaningless.
If you do care about a person though, to say that a label is unnecessary is a copout. If my dad ever described me as "this chick that grew up in my house", I'd faint. If my son or daughter were to ever call me "the broad that feeds me", I'd die. Why? Because I've developed a connection with them. Society at large acknowledges that connection. Why then, is it deemed unreasonable to desire the relationship label. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying relationships should be rushed into, because that's not the thing at all. I just think that where one puts their genitals should be given the same consideration as where one puts their labels.
Life is about change, especially this techno age that we live in. But damn...Let me hold on to something. I've switched from floppies to CD ROMs, upgraded my cell phone no less than 4 times, buy DVD's rather than VHS cassettes now and upgrade my computer regularly. At this point, I'm not interested in upgrading my heart.