Friends with benefits

In short, friends with benefits means someone who is not your significant other whom you get the benefits of an exclusive relationship with. To some this means something more than it does to others. In many cases it means a person to make out with when you want some, to others it may mean sex. In any case, it is a relationship with the physical gratifications (to whatever level you are comfortable with), without any commitment other than friendship, and often even lacks that.

So, is friends with benefits a good idea? Never!

This is why: Nine times out of ten, one of the two people involved has real feelings for the other person, and it is not just about sating physical urges to them. They may agree to friends with benefits because they do not think they will ever be able to get more from the relationship with the other person, or their feelings may not develop until after they are already into the friends with benefits relationship. So, because one person almost always wants more, it almost inevitably ends with someone getting hurt, and a “friendship” getting ruined.

It is pretty fair to say that the person who gets hurt is usually the girl. She decides after a while of being friends with benefits that she wants more. If she is going to be “benefiting” the other person, she wants some of the commitment that you get in a real relationship. Often in a friends with benefits situation, the people only communicate when they want to hook up, and have little relationship outside of that. For many guys, this is fine, but for many girls, it leaves them feeling like there is a void, or something lacking. They want conversation, someone to rely on, call, hang out with. However, if a girl is willing to be “friends with benefits” what incentive is there for a guy to commit to more?

The only way a friends with benefits situation is not going to end badly is if neither person likes the other person, which sort of defeats the purpose as it is, as sating physical urges is not nearly enjoyable if you do not like the person, or at the very least are not attracted to the person. The intimacies of physical contact should be reserved for relationships, as they are meant to help those grow, and to provide a bond or connection that will help your relationship improve. When you try to stay only friends, but have that too, you go against the laws of nature in a way. So, friends with benefits doesn’t really work. Eventually one person, or maybe both, will want to be not just friends, but boyfriend-girlfriend.

So, what should you do? Date, kiss, hold hands, and enjoy each other, but when or if it becomes evident that a relationship won’t work, move on. Do not try to institute an only physical relationship.

Why being just friends is almost never enough

In the ideal world, if you were just friends with someone, you would never want more from the relationship, but such is not the case. It seems that being just friends is almost never enough, and here is why:
•    Chemistry. Let’s face it, we have natural inclinations to be attracted to and drawn to members of the opposite sex. This may be why you initially became just friends in the first place. However, the longer you are friends, the more nature takes over. The hormones you have, the feelings, etc. will lead you to want more than just a friendship. Even if the attraction is not physical, you start to have a larger attraction.
•    Time. When you spend a lot of time with someone, which is what happens when you are just friends with someone, then you start to really get to know them, and they start to really get to know you. It is totally normal to want a deeper, more meaningful relationship with someone when they know your inner workings, your secrets, your strengths, your fears, your insecurities etc. So, almost by default, as your friendship grows, so will your desire to be more than just friends. And who can help it?
•    Appreciation. You want to be with someone who appreciates you for you. And, when you are friends with someone of the opposite gender, you show your true side, not some masqueraded side that you put on when you are around someone you like. Your guard is down, and they get insight into who you really are. While this makes you vulnerable, it also makes you comfortable. If they like you back, you know it is because of who you are, not because of some show you put on to impress them.
•    Fun. For most, a relationship is something they would like to be in, and the logical side of them says that they have more fun with this guy that they are just friends with, so why not have them as their boyfriend. They are more fun than anyone else, plus you get all of the above mentioned benefits.
•    Companionship. You can’t kiss, cuddle, or hold hands with guys that are just your friends, and let’s face it, sometimes we just want someone to lay under the blanket with and watch the show. However, when you start doing this with your just friends guy friend, you can’t help but start feeling more for them. It is hormones, but those hormones lead to other feelings, and pretty soon you start to realize that dating someone who is such a good friend could be great because it takes you companionship to the next level.
•    The risk. People like taking risks, and you can’t help but wonder if he does, or could, like you as more than a friend. So, while you know that a more serious relationship than a friendship could potentially ruin the friendship, it is almost the excitement of it. You push limits, and you go for him because you have established that you are just friends, and thus he is off limits, which makes him more attractive.
•    Not everyone is honest. Often times being just friends is not going to be enough because initially one of the two of you wanted more than that. When more than that is not an option initially, being just friends is the next best thing. So, instead of being honest, they or you, get into a relationship where you will always want more.  You can’t fool yourself into thinking just friends is enough when it wasn’t at first.

Why your parents should get to know your friends

As a teenager it can be tempting to keep your life private and your friends private from your parents. However, there are times when it can really benefit you to have your friends get to know your parents, and your parents get to know your friends. The following is a look at why your parents should get to know your friends.

  1. Parents have a tendency to blame your friends for things you do. When you come home in a bad mood, and you are rude to your parents, they immediately assume that you are hanging out with people who are a bad influence. Sometimes, a parent struggles to accept that their child may simply be moody, or rebellious, all on their own, and that their friends have little to do with it. If your parents get to know your friends, they are less likely to blame them for your choices. This is good for you because it means they aren’t going to hound you about your friends when you make a poor choice.
  2. Gets your parents off your back. If your parents know they people who you spend time with, and they have a relationship of sorts with them, they are not going to be as strict or critical with you. They are going to be more laid back about letting you go out and do things with them, without having to check in every few hours, or outline your whole plans. They have a tendency to feel far more comfortable if they know your friends, and will not hound you about what you did, who you saw, how much money you spent, etc.
  3. They will trust you more. When your parents know your friends, and are comfortable with whom your friends are, and the values your friends have, they trust you more. It is like they know you are not likely to get into trouble if the people you hang out with are less likely to get into trouble. It eases their mind, and helps them feel more comfortable, and in return they extend more trust to you. Of course, if you break that trust, or if your friends prove to be people they do not approve of, it might have the opposite affect, but generally if the parents feel like they know they people you spend your time with, they will trust you more when you are with them.
  4. Your friends will likely be better friends. Let’s face it, some times you do not want your friends to meet your parents not because you are worried about what your parents will think of your friends, but because you are worried about what your friends will think of your parents. Parents can sometimes be embarrassing. However, if your friends meet your parents, their quirks and all, and are still your friends, you can rest assured that they are probably pretty true friends.
  5. You get more privileged. When a parent knows the kid whose house you want to sleep over, they say yes. If they have seen the way the kid drives, they are more likely to let you go with them. If they know the kid’s family, they are likely to let you vacation with them, be at their house more, etc. The more they know the person, the more comfortable they are, and the more you benefit.

When your friends ditch you

As a teenager your friends are likely to change several times over the course of high school. However, knowing that your friendships are likely to change does not make it any easier when someone you care about as a friend decides that they no longer value your friendship. When you friends ditch you, or find other friends, it hurts. However, you have to remember that it is not the end of the world, and that you are probably better off. The following is a look at how to deal with the loss of friends during your teenage years, and how to make new friends:

  1. Acknowledge that you grew apart. The teen years are formulative years, and you often change during this time. Your goals, objectives, focuses, and interests change. One may care about college, and studies, while another may care more about boys/girls, sports, or pep rallies. The fact is that often times your friendships end, and friends ditch you because your interests are no longer aligned. You care more about one thing, and less about what they care about, so they naturally realign themselves with people who have the same interests, problems, goals, and focuses.
  2. Recognize that changing is not a personal failure. You have changed, and so have your friends, so if that means you are no longer a good match as friends, this is not a personal failure. It can feel that way, it can feel like you are the reason they do not want to be friends any more. You are not cool enough, funny enough, pretty enough, athletic enough, etc. However, this is simply not true. Despite how it feels, the fact that you grew apart because you changed is just natural, and does not reflect anything on you. Being ditched by friends is not a personal failure it is a rite of passage in the teen years. If it doesn’t happen you may want to ask yourself why you are not progressing.
  3. Find new friends. Just like the best way to get over a love interest is to get interested in someone else, the best way to get over the loss of a friend is to find new friends that you enjoy spending time with. You may still feel a void for a time, as you won’t have the memories and long forged bonds to inspire the intimacy you had with your other friends, but with time you will find that, and often it will be even more rewarding.

If your old friendships matter so much to you that you are deeply distressed by the loss, do what you can to reforge the bonds. However, you have to realize that there are two people in every relationship, and if they simply aren’t interested in being your friend any more, then do not waste your time on them, find someone else that will appreciate the things you have to offer in a friendship.

What to do if your parents don’t like your friends

One of the things that plagues many teens is the problem of their parents not liking their choice of friends. As a teen you feel like it is your life, and you should be able to choose whom you spend it with. As a parent, you feel like your child may not see the long term ramifications of choosing friends poorly. The following is what to do if your parent’s don’t like your friends:

First, listen to what your parents have to say. Do your best to not listen with an open mind. It is difficult at times not to put up a bias, but it is worth listening to what they have to say. Usually a parent is going to have your best interest at heart. Sometimes they are mistaken, but if you do not listen to why they object to a friend, you never have a chance to put their objections to rest. Sometimes parents think that a friend may be a bad influence on you. They may have observed things you haven’t because you are too close to the situation. For example, they might see your friend manipulating or using you, when all you see is the attention and time they give you. Listen to their concerns with an open mind, and if you disagree with what they have to say, move on to the following steps.

Second, talk to your parents. Your parents likely have valid concerns, but you have to reassure them that your friends are not a bad influence on you. After hearing what they have to say, take the time to reflect and consider it. Then give them some things to think about. Help them see why you chose the person as your friend. Often times parents only see one side, just as you only see one side. So, help them see why you are friends with that person.

Third, spend time at your house with the friends your parents do not like. Often times a parent pre-judges the people who their kids hang out with. They may judge them based on their appearance. They may judge them based on what they know of their family, etc. They may see you hang out with a certain person, and then come home and give them an attitude, or dress less modestly, or use bad words more, etc. They want to think the best of their child, so they place the blame on your friends. You have to give your parents a chance to get to know your friends so that they can see they are not a poor influence, that you are responsible for your own choices. So, have your friends over at your house once in a while so your parents will have a chance to observe them, and form an opinion based off more than what they look like, or how you act.

If your parents don’t like your friends, don’t sneak around with them, or let it become a fight. If you feel that their dislike is unjustified, try to help them see it, and enjoy your friendship while still respecting your parents and their authority.

What to do if your friends do things you don’t

A lot of times the teen years are years of experimentation. Teens are busy forming their identities, and they have to determine who they are, what they believe, what their values are, etc. It means that you try new things, you push the limits of style, morality, etc. You experiment with sexuality, drugs, alcohol, etc. Of course everyone does this in different ways. For one girl it might mean wearing short shorts or testing their flirting ability, whereas another girl may try drinking. This is not to say that either is okay or better than the other, but the point is that sometimes friendships get strained because your friends are doing things you don’t, or you do not like what they are doing. There are a million examples of what this could be, it might be stealing, cheating at school, drugs, alcohol, drag racing, messing around, etc. So, what can you do if you like your friends, but not what they are doing? Consider the following:

One: Define your personal values.

Sometimes when your friends start to do things that make you uncomfortable, it can be a difficult situation simply because you are not sure where you stand on the issue yet. For example, you may have had a beer or two at a party, but you have never gotten smashed, and you do not drink often. So, when you friend starts drinking excessively you feel uncomfortable, but don’t want to judge, after all you are not perfect either. So, instead you just feel uncomfortable and you find your relationship strained. A better solution is that when you friends start to do something that makes you feel awkward or uncomfortable, you have to define for yourself what your personal value is on that issue. Sometimes you already know, and it is simply uncomfortable because you thought they shared the same value with you, and don’t. Regardless, make sure you know where you stand.

Two: Make sure they know where you stand on the issue.

A lot of the discomfort when your friends do something you do not like stems from the confusing feelings of telling them where you stand. Will they reject you because you have different values than them? You have to know where you stand, and then let them know where you stand. They will either accept it or not. If they do accept it, then hopefully they will refrain from doing those things that make you uncomfortable when in your presence, and you can still have a relationship. If they don’t, you have a clear illustration of how much they respect your choices.

Three; If they pressure you, you have to make a decision.

Even if you have been friends for years, if your friends start to do things like using drugs, drinking, or stealing, it can mean an end of a friendship. They may or may not pressure you to join them. However, if you start to feel a pressure to join in, even if it is not directly from them, you may want to consider limiting the amount of time you spend with them. You may go to the mall, and they shop lift, and while they never tell you to do it, you start to feel like if you don’t do it too, you may not fit in. So, you either need to stop going to the mall with them, or start shop lifting yourself. When it boils down to it, there really is not much middle ground with these kind of issues.

The social circles of high school

In high school there are all kinds of social circles. Some are more popular than others, some attract more people, and others are very exclusive. The social circles of high school play a large role in many teen’s lives. Where they are in the hierarchy of sociality matters. How many circles they can openly associate with is critical. Which circles they avoid is part of their identity. The following is a look at some of the social circles of high school:

Popularity:

This is the social circle most people are the most familiar. People with the same popularity level tend to stick together. The ultra-populars, nick named the “plastics” in a popular movie, stick together and associate very little in other groups. You have the regular levels of popularity, the people who are known and know people, but are not exactly popular. You then have the “un-populars.” These are the people who tend to be considered strange, weird, etc. often it is people who play magic games, or dress up like medieval warriors, or who do theater, or are nerdy.

Commonality:

The next social circle is that of common interests. A lot of your “group” is going to be determined by the things you have in common. For example, if you are in the running for valedictorian you may hang out with the other people in the running, as you have common academic interests. A lot of time, the commonality circle goes hand in hand with the popularity circle. Things that you have in common may characterize you as cool, nerdy, funny, fun, etc. The popular group may have money, partying, etc. in common. The nerdy group may have World of Warcraft, and Sudoku in common.

Sports:

This is a social circle that often crosses the boundary lines of other social circles. If you do a sport you typically have friendships within the team you are a part of, and some of those people may fall in the really popular groups, while others may be average, or nerdy. Sports usually require you to put your personal differences aside and just be friends.

Religion:

Often times in school social circles are formed by your personal values. People who value the same things in life often congregate together. This is why religion tends to create social circles. Within the same religion, you typically hold the same values and beliefs. So, all of the mormon kids in a predominantly non-mormon community might hang out together. All of the Jewish kids may sit together at lunch, or the Catholics, etc. In addition to holding similar values, you spend time with each other outside of school attending worship services, in youth programs, etc.

History:

Sometimes friendships and social circles are formed because of your family history or standing in the town. The kids the grew up next to each other will be in the same social circle at times simply because of their history of friendship and proximity to one another.

Keeping friends even if you grow apart

During the teenage years your interests seem to change frequently, and with them, your friendships. As your interests change, the things that bound you to one another change, and so some friendships will come and go. However, sometimes you want to keep a friendship alive even though the two of you have grow apart. The following is a look at some of the things you can do to try and keep friends as friends, and to not let your friendships end or grow stale despite changes in interests, hobbies, etc.

The following is a brief answer to the question: What can I do to try to keep a friendship alive?

First, you have to talk to your friend. You have to let your friends know how you feel, and that their friendship is an important matter to you. You can try to talk to your friend about your feelings, help them understand where you are coming from. You need to help them see that even though your interests are changing, and you no longer have the same bond you used to that they are still important to you and you value their friendship. This will help both of you make a conscious effort to keep the friendship going, and to find common ground as your commonalities from the past no longer exist.

Second, you have to try and keep some similar interests. If neither of you are the same person you once were, it can be hard to stay friends. So, one of the things you can do to keep friends, even as you grow apart is to try and develop interests in the same things. If your friend has developed an interest in skating, you can try it out to see if you can have a shared interest in it. If they love music, you can try and share in that interest with them. Or, you can invite them to share in your new interests. Maybe you can get them to try out for the soccer team, or go to a concert with you, or attend an art exhibit.

Third, hold to the ties you do still have. If you are growing apart from your friends, there is likely a few things you still both enjoy doing. It might be shopping, swimming, going to the beach, playing cards, or some other activity. If you both have things in common still, and want to keep the friendship alive, one thing you can do is make plans to get together on occasion to do that thing you enjoy together. So, you may still spend a great deal apart, but you have something that keeps you bonded and your friendship flame alight, even if it is not a raging inferno.

Losing friends can be difficult, but it is good to recognize that as you grow up and your interests change, as well as your priorities, your friend’s do too, and you can’t force a friendship. So, hang on to the ones you can, and let go of the ones you can’t. Also take advantage of the time to form new bonds of friendship.

Jealousy among friends

Why teens suffer from jealousy in their relationships:

How jealousy affects friendships:

Types of jealousy typical in teen relationships and friendships:

Jealousy over other friendships.

Jealousy over possessions

Jealousy over the opposite gender

Jealousy over intelligence

Jealousy over athleticism

How many friends should you have as a teen?

As a teenager, friends are a big part of your life. They are constantly around you, with you, on the phone with you, or at the very least in your thoughts. The fact is, a huge majority of a teen’s life has to do with their social interactions. So, because friends are a big part of the life of a teen, it begs the question, how many friends should you have?

The answer to this question really depends on who you are, how many relationships you can handle without problem, and the kind of friendships you want to have, close, or just lose? The following are some tips for determining how many friends you should have as a teen:

Tip one: Quality is key. The teen years require a lot of emotional support from friends, so it is important to find friends that are good friends, people you can trust, lean on for support, and rely on when in need. Thus, with friends, especially as a teen, it’s quality over quantity that should matter to you. Most teens find that one or two best friends is enough, and then a group of acquaintances to hang out with helps keep things interesting and fun.

Tip two: Influence is important to consider. You are a teenager, there is a lot of drama in your life. You are experiencing hormones, make decisions about school, etc. that affect your future, and are developing the attributes and characteristics that are likely to define you the rest of your life. Thus, you want to choose friends that will help you to become the person you want to be. If you have too many friends, the pressure to be so many different things grows. The fact is that you do not want to introduce more influences for who you are going to grow to be than is necessary. So, having a few select friends that inspire you to be the kind of person you want to be is best.

Tip three: What is your personality like? This is going to influence how many friends you should have as a teen. If you are super outgoing, you can probably handle more friends than someone who is shy. The fact is you have to have the energy and personality to juggle friendships, bring people together that may not have connected without you, etc. The more outgoing you are, the more friends you can have, but not that you necessarily should have.

Tip four: How true of friends do you want to have? Having a friendship takes work, time, and effort. Friendships do not last if you do not talk, hang out, and confide in one another. So, having too many friends means having no real friends. So, what kind of friendships do you want? For better friendships, have fewer friends.