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.

Can I really be “one of the guys”?

The balance in friendships between teen boys and teen girls can be a difficult one to find. Platonic friendships are not always possible, and often times they leave one person or another in limbo wondering where they stand. This is often the case when it comes to the girl who hangs out with all the boys. Is it really possible for this girl to be “one of the guys?”

The answer is no. Girls and boys are biologically different, so when it comes right down to it, a girl will never really just be one of the guys, however, there are times when she fits in so well she might as well be. The following is a look at how to be “one of the guys” so that you can enjoy your friendship with boys without the hassle of love triangles, etc.:

1. You can’t be interested in any of the guys. You will not be one of the guys if you like one of the guys. If you like one of them it will create a slight tension. Even if it is not evident, or you never say anything, you will not be able to interact with them the same way another guy would, and thus you aren’t truly “one of the guys”. So, if you want to be part of a group of guys, you have to keep feelings under control.

2. The guys can’t be interested in you. If a boy likes you, he is not going to treat you like one of the guys, as that would be frustrating and confusing to him. If he likes you, he wants you to be a girl, and so he would not treat you like a guy, or at least there would be an underlying tension to it.

3. You have to share common interests. The term “one of the guys” is usually applied to the girl who can hold their own in the sport of choice, the activity of choice, or the male conversation. So, if you want to be “one of the guys” you have to be able to hold your own in whatever it is that they are interested in. If they play video games like a champ, you have to be interested in playing video games, and play as well as they do, especially because boys thrive from competition. If you are not competitive, it will not work to be “one of the guys.”

4. You have to be comfortable with them being guys. You will never be one of the guys if they can’t burp, fart, comment on females, and make suggestive comments around you with out you being offended. Guys interact with one another in ways they do not interact with girls. Generally in front of a girl, their more gentlemanly side comes out, they restrain themselves from being overly gassy, and they do not comment on other female’s anatomy when in the company of a female. So, if you are one of the guys you have to put up with that.

5. You can’t expect them to share in your feminine interests. If you want to be one of the guys, you can’t expect the guys to want to play “girl” with you when you are in the mood to shop, primp, or whatever else it is you might do. Those friendships almost have to stay exclusively male in nature in order for them to continue. If you try to include “the guys” in your feminine pursuits, they will get a mixed signal, and you won’t truly be seen as “one of the guys” any longer. So, paint your toes on your own time, and talk boys to other girls, not to the guys.

If you can do this, you have a shot at being “one of the guys”, but do you really want to compartmentalize your life like that?

Why your friends change when you are a teen

Many teens ask themselves: Why do all of my friendships seem to be changing?

The answer is simple, and yet complex at the same time. Your friendships change because you change. In fact, your friendships are changing because you AND all of your friends are changing. The teenage years are a time of physical, emotional, and social growth and change. These changes don’t happen at the same time, or at the same speed, from one person to the next. The changes are not the same. This means that you may start to value school more, and your one-time best friend might start to value the party life more. These are natural changes, and they lead to growing apart, or drifting apart of friendships. There is a good chance your friends will change, and this is why statistically, most people’s friends from college are the friends they stay with for life. By the college years you have pretty much defined who you are, and your views, values, and opinions are not likely to change much or be as easily influenced, thus the people you associate with and have common interests with at that stage will share those interests with you for years to come. When you are a teen it is just not the case.

What you can do about it:

The first thing you can do is recognize change as normal and vital, and not try to fight it too hard. It is a part of growing up.

The second thing you can do is look for new friends that have common interests. If your friendships change it is because the people in them are changing, so it might be smart to simply find friendships with people like who you have changed to.

Lastly, you can try to keep some connection with the people whose friendships matter to you the most. They will never be the same, but that does not mean they have to disappear completely.

How to accept it and find peace in it:

Change can be difficult, this is especially true if it leaves you feeling friendless for a time. So, to accept it and find peace in it, you may want to anticipate it some, and start developing other friendships. This does not mean you should ignore your current friendships, but recognize the transient nature of teen friendships, and be open to making new ones, you never know where you will find someone who is so completely on the same wavelength as you.

You also need to find ways to keep the friendships that you currently have alive as much as you can. This means that if you have things in common still make a concerted effort to spend time together doing those things. It is your responsibility to keep your friendship alive.

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.

Finding friends in unexpected places

As a teenager, friends, and the drama attached can sometimes be a little overwhelming. Friends change, life progresses, you change, etc. Sometimes friends, and the work it takes to make friends can seem like more hassle than it is worth.

Why you should have friends:

As a teenager life can be full of changes, friends help you stay sane, and often act as an anchor during that hectic time. They can guide and direct you, support you, and be someone to have fun with. Without friends, life would be boring, lonely and much too school focuses. So, having some friends is always wise, but this does not mean you need a million friends. A few close friends are often better than twenty okay friends.

Who your friends are:

Friends is a term that many teenagers use liberally. However, when it comes to finding friends in unexpected places, it is important to understand what it means to be a friend. A friend is not someone who is going to back-stab you, gossip about you, or treat you unkindly. In fact, they are the opposite. A friend is going to be there for you when you need them. They are going to be trustworthy, and someone who protects your secrets. Friends are sensitive to your feelings, and would never intentionally hurt you.

So, when talking about finding friends in unexpected places, it is important to recognize this is not about finding acquaintances, or people to hang out with, but friends.

Tips for finding friends in unexpected places:

Never prejudge people. You never know when someone you run into has the potential to be a close friend. If you base your friend selection off clothes, hair, social status, etc. yours will be a lonely life.

Be open to making friendships. Sometimes you miss signals given by people that want to be friends because you have your exclusive group. The fact is, you should always be willing to make new friends, especially if they will be true friends.

Be approachable. You will not find friends in unexpected places if you are a snob, if you do not allow people to approach you. If you are short with people, rude, or stand-offish, no one is going to take the risk to be your friend who you wouldn’t normally befriend. So, be open and inviting.

Examples of unexpected places:

It is amazing where you can find friends. For example, you may get a job, and initially think that the people you work with are all weird. However, you may find you have more in common than you think, and that they end up being some of your favorite people to spend time with. The following are a few of the unexpected places that as a teen you can find friends:

  1. Your job. If you want to make any money and have fun during the time at work, get to know the people you work with.
  2. Your church. You already have a common interest, and somewhere you can spend time together on a regular basis.
  3. Your classes. You may not have classes with your existing friends, but you will be spending an hour a day with the people in your classes, you might as well search out some friendships
  4. In your locker section. You visit your locker regularly, you might as well spark up a conversation and get to know the others who locker in your section.
  5. Your bus. You live close, and you are going to have to be together for at least a few minutes each day, talk and get to know each other.

Do platonic friendships work for teens?

As a teenager you interact with people of the same gender, and people of the opposite gender. This can be fun and exciting, but it can also be problematic, especially when you do not have the same level of feelings for someone as they have for you. The following is a look at whether or not platonic friendships really work for teens:

What is a platonic friendship?

A platonic friendship means a friendship between members of the opposite sex that is strictly friendly. In essence it is a way of saying that a boy and girl are friends and that there are no romantic feelings involved whatsoever. Many people try for platonic friendships, and they want them to work, but that does not mean that they do work.

Do they actually work?

This is the question for the ages, and the reason it is still a question is because there is not way to truly know if anyone has ever been successful at having a strictly platonic friendship. Some people claim that their feelings are purely friendship motivated, but there is no way to know the truth, especially when people often bury it. It seems however, that in most cases, one or the other parties harbors some sort of deeper feelings for the other member, making it not really a platonic friendship, but a friendship fueled by unrequited love.

So, what happens?

Typically if a boy and a girl are friends, and neither are homosexual, one or the other has hidden feelings of some kind for the other. Usually they will try to convince themselves that they are just friends, and that friendship is all they want, but eventually it will become too much for one or the other, and the problem will come to a head, and the two will either start dating, or they will see a strain in their relationship, or and end of the friendship.

How can you try and get them to work?

Just because history shows that platonic friendships are rare, and hardly ever last test of time does not mean you should not strive to be friends with people of the opposite gender. Here are a few tips for how to try and get them to work:

  1. State your objectives clearly. When you become friends with someone you have to know, and they have to know if you have any sort of feelings beyond friendship. You have to be honest with yourself. “I like you, and I know the feelings are not returned, so I would rather be friends than nothing.” Or “I only have friendly feelings for you, and will not return deeper affection.” That puts it out there.
  2. Never send mixed signals. One of the reasons platonic friendships rarely work is that at some point a mixed signal is sent. Someone initiates a cuddle during a movie, or hugs too tightly, or calls too often, etc. If you are going to be “just friends” then be that. Don’t hold hands, don’t cuddle, etc.
  3. Develop friendship. Platonic friendships only last if there is a true base of a friendship. So, trust each other, share secrets, spend time together, have fun together, and do it without the flirting and mechanisms of dating.