Friends with benefits is a ridiculous concept. It is often just an excuse for poor behavior. The vast majority of men and women agree that making love in a committed, loving relationship is far superior to just having sex.
Recently, a man told me that having sex with someone who is "just a booty call" is like having sex with an escort — the only difference is that he did not have to pay the "booty call" woman.
Sometimes, two people will verbally agree that their relationship is only friends with benefits. But there are more women who say they are OK with being friends with benefits than women who actually are OK with being friends with benefits.
Usually, the woman is lying to herself or to the man while secretly hoping that the relationship will become more serious.
Other times, it is less clear and a woman wonders if the man sees her as a girlfriend or as a friend with benefits. If what a man says and what he does don't match, pay more attention to what he does.
Men are creatures of action, and actions speak louder than words. So what are the signs he only sees you as a friend with benefits?
1. He is MIA on holidays.
On Valentine’s Day, your birthday, and Christmas he is someplace else. If thinks you're relationship material, he will acknowledge those days and make an effort to do something special.
If he has other plans or does not remember to acknowledge the special days, you are definitely not in the girlfriend camp.
2. There are no check-in calls.
He seldom calls to see how you are or just to check in. There are few texts just to say "have a good day" or "good night".
If you don't feel well, he's not interested in getting together to provide comfort and he rarely remembers to check back in to see if you are feeling better unless it's to arrange to have sex.
3. You only get together to "hang out."
If he's looking at you as relationship material, he wants to be seen in public with you. He wants you to meet his friends and family and go to work parties with you.
If you're just friends with benefits, he doesn't want to involve you with other important people in his life. The main event is having sex, not getting to know each other and being a part of each other’s life.
If he's looking at you as relationship material, he will want to do other things with you besides having sex. He will want to join in activities you enjoy and share his hobbies with you. If you have a project to do and he wants a relationship, he will offer to help.
He will want to make your life easier and participate so that he can spend time with you.
4. You spend no time together in the daylight.
If time together is unlikely to lead to sex, he's not interested in getting together. When you have sex, it is likely that he will leave before morning or want you to go if you are at his place.
He will not leave you at his place when he has to go to work. You'll be leaving when he leaves or before.
5. There is no agreement to be exclusive.
If you have not had a specific talk about being exclusive, DO NOT ASSUME the relationship is exclusive. Even if you have had the talk, do his actions match his words? If not, refer to his actions; they speak louder than words.
6. He's not ready for a relationship.
If he indicates that he's not in a place to have a serious relationship for any reason, take him at his word. This is the one instance in which words matter more than actions.
DO NOT read into his actions that he really wants a relationship with you when he has said he does not. There are many reasons a man may not be ready to have a relationship. Two common reasons are:
He does not want to be tied down geographically. Maybe he is anticipating a job change or planning to go to graduate school and he wants to maintain the flexibility to move for his career.
It may be that he has just gotten out of a serious relationship and needs a break.
7. He shows minimal effort.
If the man is putting in minimal effort, he thinks about you as only a friend with benefits.
Minimal effort looks different in different situations. It may be that you're doing the bulk of initiating contact. It may be that he only calls you at the end of a night out with the guys. If you're honest with yourself, you feel it.
You know you're towards the bottom of his priority list. If he sees you as someone to have a relationship with, he will put in the effort to spend time with you and do things you enjoy. He will notice what pleases you and do little things like give you a card or flowers occasionally.
The bottom line is that you teach people how to treat you. If you don't want to only be a friend with benefits, stop participating in the arrangement. Often, the same man will treat different women completely differently.
Each woman is treated the way that she feels worthy of being treated. Decide what you want in a relationship and stop settling for less than you want. It is great to have friends (and benefits), but if you seek a loving relationship and a strong bond with a partner, keep looking.
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