Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Relationships vs. Friends With Benefits

“Hello, I’d like you to meet my...”

A twenty-one year old college senior should have plenty of experience about dating by now. But as I try to sit and give advice about dating, I discovered the shocking fact that I never truly dated. I’ve hung out with guys, went to parties, and even went to movies with guys, but each time, they stressed how it was NEVER a date. I told myself time and time again that these guys were interested, but these “outings” were never dates because dating is, well, out-dated. It simply does not exist anymore. People just hang and make-out, right? Yet, my friends in relationships confessed they went on actual dates before getting seriously involved with their partners. None of my “outings” lasted, and each guy eventually gave me the boot. Flash to my ground-breaking, earth-shattering realization: If he claims it’s not a date, wake up because you just fell into the “friends with benefits” category.

Dating still exists, especially for young people. If you go to a movie on a Friday night, you are bound to see a guy pay for a girl’s ticket and popcorn, and then put his arm around her shoulders while they watch the movie. Does this seem like a foreign concept to you? Then, like me, you’ve probably never been on an actual date. You’ve only “dated” guys who used you for company, whether physically or emotionally. More and more naïve women get manipulated into being a “friend with benefits.” What does this category entail? Basically, he gets all of the perks of having a girlfriend, such as physical needs or emotional support, without ever having to be a boyfriend. What does that mean for us, ladies? Well, it means we get sucked into a “relationship” without ever being in an actual relationship. Make sense yet? Honestly, it’s very easy to get manipulated into this sort of relationship. The only thing to do after falling victim is to catch the signs early enough to get out.

Ladies, if you are going to take away one thing from this article, let it be this: The Signs of Being a Friend with Benefits. A red flag should pop up in any of these following circumstances. First, he never wants to take you out. He claims that it’s easier and cheaper to stay in and watch a movie. FALSE. He really just does not want people to ask questions about you if you are seen in public and watching a movie in your basement can easily turn into making-out. Second, if by chance he does take you out in public, he makes you pay for yourself. Why should he pay for you? It’s not like he’s trying to impress you. Third, and most importantly, he tells you he cares for you, but he does not believe in committed relationships. RED FLAG, LADIES! It’s not that he had his heart broken before and is scared. He honestly just cares about you as a friend. As long as he tells you he cares, he knows you will most likely stick around, and he will inevitably continue to reap the benefits you give.

Do I want to scare other women from getting involved with men? Not at all. Do I want to help women realize if they are being tossed around and used for fun? Absolutely. I wasted a year and a half of my life in what I thought was a relationship to then find out one day that he was getting involved with someone else. How can he get away with that? Because we were never a couple. Trust me, it makes the “break-up” that much harder when you realize you were fooled the entire time.

Take my advice and run with it. Don’t trick yourself into believing dating doesn’t exist anymore because honestly, it does. When you finally have a guy treat you the way you see women treated in the movies, you will know he means more than just a hook-up. Don’t let yourself settle for anything less than what you deserve. The more credit and respect you give yourself, the more credit he will give you in return.

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