Not just friends. Not in a relationship. In bliss, somewhere in between.
She loves receiving flowers and neatly folded love notes hidden in her books or her purse. He likes sleeping on the couch sometimes after the night is over. She likes to talk after having some delightfully amazing sex. He likes it when she dresses up for him without a reason. She is disapproving of his work hours and feels like his sex-bitch at times. He can’t stand her constant nagging and shouting orders. She is tired of waiting by a candle-lit table as he rambles on into his phone. He is out of explanations to offer. Yet, she is so in love with the idea of love. And he is so used to having her in his life. But she is told she is too demanding and difficult to live with. He has been told that he is a control freak and sick in the head.
Yes, it is a predictable story of two friends who inevitably fell in love and decided to commit to each other (What were they? Crazy?!). But it was their choice anyway since they get to call the shots here (Rolls eyes!).
These days the feeling of love is always in the air. This is perhaps, the most wanted emotion in the world. The shelves of every shop are decked with scented cards to the sweet smelling perfumes – anything and everything that would express this emotion (Yes! You can actually buy love off a shelf in a shop now, or so they claim). A relationship seems to follow naturally for two people who are in love or are brave enough to admit it to each other anyway. It is later when this relationship starts to become a defining feature of their lives that they really start to consider the responsibilities and paraphernalia that a relationship brings along with it. Yes, you love each other and the sex is great! But sometimes that is not enough to be ready for something as big and as serious as a relationship. (Don’t worry. This is not a sermonizing article to tell you how to handle your relationship.)
Recently an arrangement between friends has gained immense popularity – ‘the no strings attached sex’ or ‘the friends with benefits relationships’. According to research, among Michigan State University students, 60% of college-going students engage in this arrangement at least once during their college life. It has been described as a convenient arrangement – you get to sit around in your sweats, you don’t even have to look good all the time, you don’t have to be conscious about yourself, you can skip the foreplay, the fifth date or the tenth-date rule is not required, you don’t even have to bother to flirt. You have the whole experience of a relationship without being in one and the comfort level shared by friends. There are no rules involved. It is shorter than a relationship yet longer than a meaningless one-night stand. It somehow is better than a one-night stand because you are involved in a casual arrangement with a friend rather than a stranger. But it has one condition: You can’t enter this hoping to turn it into something more serious, because seriously no matter how many romcoms you have seen or how big a romantic you are, by now you know that that does not happen. The same research concluded that only 10% of these arrangements result in an actual romantic relationship (No don’t even think about it. It is NOT a convincing number) and about 26% of these arrangements resulted in broken friendships because of one partner developing feelings for the other. So yes, this arrangement seems great too but only till the time you agree not to violate the only condition it has because it might just cost you your friendship.
Now being the assumptions reader that you are, I am sure you must have automatically assumed that the little figure of 26% appeared because the female in the relationship developed feelings for her male partner. But to correct you, it turns out that females are actually happier with this arrangement than men are (Whoa! Big Surprise there!)
Falling in love is beautiful. It is magical. But it will happen when it has to happen. Don’t rush into it. Let it happen, don’t make it happen. Yes, I am going to sermonize you a little here. Your life is about the choices you make. So if a harmless fling or a ‘friends with benefits’ relationship is what you want, then go for it. Go for that guy or go for that girl! Don’t let the five hundred pairs of raised eyebrows stop you from doing that. And pay no heed to anyone who tells you how immoral it is or how you are ruining your life (seriously, there is no connection between the two). Because towards the end all that matters is if you are happy with your life or not. So go out. Have a little fun. You deserve it! Don’t let what someone else thinks to define the choices you make. Be a little spontaneous and experience life as it comes. Because who knows what is waiting around the corner?
You will know when you are ready for a serious relationship. And when you get into one, DO NOT SCREW IT UP. Make it work. Because like I said, falling in love is magical.
To all of you out there and whoever took out time to read this article, no matter which relationship you are in, I hope that things are going great for you anyway. Because to each his own. So good luck!