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I posted this on the INTJ part of personality cafe, but I didn't get much of a response. I was thinking because the ENFP board and its members are a bit more active, so to speak, that I might get a better answer here.

I have trouble with the distinction between friends with benefits and sexual relationships. As I understand it a relationship is when 2 ( lets stick with 2) individuals enjoy each others company, spend time together, and get romantic. A friend with benefits is someone who is a friend, whom you get romantic with. A hook-up is just a one night thing so I am not really asking about hook-ups.

I thought being friends was the same thing as enjoying each others company and spending time together. In addition, either a relationship or a friends with benefits situation can be monogamous or polyamorous so I don't see why the number of people involved in that sense would matter.

Am I the only one a little confused here? If you are friends with someone and get romantic with them, how (or why) are you not just dating? Is friends with benefits just a label for people who are acquaintances (friends lite), who get horney and/or drunk and hook-up to absolve themselves of any emotional or personal responsibility?

I am obviously not somebody who is into casual encounters, and people's personal decisions are their own business, but I am awfully curious how about people reconcile what appears to be this discrepancy. I am guessing everyone defines these things a little differently, but maybe not. I really am clueless on this one, maybe its because I'm an Aspie (and INTJ) so have the emotional sophistication of an 8 year old. Nonetheless, I was hoping for a logical explanation of this.


thanks
 

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I posted this on the INTJ part of personality cafe, but I didn't get much of a response. I was thinking because the ENFP board and its members are a bit more active, so to speak, that I might get a better answer here.

I have trouble with the distinction between friends with benefits and sexual relationships. As I understand it a relationship is when 2 ( lets stick with 2) individuals enjoy each others company, spend time together, and get romantic. A friend with benefits is someone who is a friend, whom you get romantic with. A hook-up is just a one night thing so I am not really asking about hook-ups.

I thought being friends was the same thing as enjoying each others company and spending time together. In addition, either a relationship or a friends with benefits situation can be monogamous or polyamorous so I don't see why the number of people involved in that sense would matter.

Am I the only one a little confused here? If you are friends with someone and get romantic with them, how (or why) are you not just dating? Is friends with benefits just a label for people who are acquaintances (friends lite), who get horney and/or drunk and hook-up to absolve themselves of any emotional or personal responsibility?

I am obviously not somebody who is into casual encounters, and people's personal decisions are their own business, but I am awfully curious how about people reconcile what appears to be this discrepancy. I am guessing everyone defines these things a little differently, but maybe not. I really am clueless on this one, maybe its because I'm an Aspie (and INTJ) so have the emotional sophistication of an 8 year old. Nonetheless, I was hoping for a logical explanation of this.


thanks
Oh, I've had to do my own thinking on this too.

Hate to say it, but there's no simple answer for your examples. Everyone is going to have their own opinion on the matter. It's up to you and the girl to communicate/barter it out if you can't intuitively read each other accurately.

That said, I think the popular way to look at it is that friends w/ benefits is, by nature, attempting to escape societal classification. And, that said, it won't be looked at as a traditional step before the societally accepted bonds (marriage, dating, maybe one-night-stand (depending on your society), etc...). So, then, for some it's like an extra set of training wheels. For others it's a romantic idea that's more "true", more "indie", than the alternatives (I'm speaking from experience on this one). For others still, it's bound to mean something that I can't even conceive of.

So that's the thing: You've got to either ask the individual you're concerned with, or cross your fingers. *shrug*
 
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Discussion Starter #3
I actually don't have a friends with benefits dilemma, I am just curious.


I guess it might be easier to ask if someone has had or knows someone who has had a friends with benefits situation. Maybe they could explain how/why it worked? Why they didn't just date? Or maybe it is dating where 1 partner is not very into the other (but is horney) and the other is longing for a closer relationship?


Or maybe this is a dumb question? Where should I go for the answer(s)?
 

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Am I the only one a little confused here? If you are friends with someone and get romantic with them, how (or why) are you not just dating? Is friends with benefits just a label for people who are acquaintances (friends lite), who get horney and/or drunk and hook-up to absolve themselves of any emotional or personal responsibility?
here's where you're misguided about the kind of people you are trying to figure out. you used the word romantic.

I've been in what some people would call a FwB relationship. There was no actual sex involved but we definitely did everything else. Romantic is the last word I would use to describe it. The word I would use is a sexually charged relationship. Though some people automatically affiliate the word sex with commitment or romance.

The thing is that a FwB relationship is akin to that of a brotherly relationship. You see each other as equals and most of the time you're just helping each other to have a little fun when no other sexual gratification is available to that person in the form of a more committed relationship. Some people don't see the point in reserving theirselves and not having fun while they search for that certain special person. Some people love the freedom in having a sexual partner that does not limit you. In a sense, it is a very P type behavior.

Being able to form a FwB relationship depends on how a person views sex. Some people view it as involving romance and emotion by default and some people view it as something you add emotion to but that it does not include it by default.

As for why those people don't just date, well the obvious reason is that usually FwB are not in love with each other. They have certain requirements for who would make a good long term partner and another set of requirements for who would make a shorter term sexual partner. The motivations behind someone dating another person is different than the motivation behind someone starting a FwB relationship.

In the end, sex is just sex to someone like me. I can increase the importance of it and the experience of it depending on the person I do it with, but if there is no emotion involved it's STILL SEX and it's still enjoyable even if it's not appealing to all of the forms of pleasure I would like it to.
 

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The thing is that a FwB ]relationship] is akin to that of a brotherly relationship. You see each other as equals and most of the time you're just helping each other to have a little fun when no other sexual gratification is available to that person in the form of a more committed relationship. Some people don't see the point in reserving theirselves and not having fun while they search for that certain special person. Some people love the freedom in having a sexual partner that does not limit you. In a sense, it is a very P type behavior.
Intellectually speaking I understand the concept. Personally speaking, I couldn't do a friends with benefits relationship. Sex is physically enjoyable but it's got a very definitely emotional attachement. The emotional connectioin is the major draw. The physical enjoyment is a side benefit as far as I'm concerned. Friends with benefits is as appealing to me as having sex with my brother. :confused:
 

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I would like to chime in....I'm not great at explaining myself, but I'll try. ;)
I have friends that I sleep with that I have no interest in dating. It sounds awful typing that out. I am a weird complex creature. I have been in deep passionate love a few times in my life, I dont know if it will happen again. If I am not in deep passionate love with a guy, I would not be exclusive with him. I have resigned myself to the fact that I may be single for the rest of my life because I am so picky. I won't settle for anything less then deep passion and intrigue. The problem is...I love sex, need it, cannot live without it. I have a few guy friends, we hang out, I like them as friends, they aren't in love with me..but I know they care for me. I am not in love with them, so it works. There was a time in my life that I thought I couldn't detach emotionally, but I find that is not true anymore.
The reason FWB stays FWB and not dating in my life is because, well I just don't think they are my soulmates and I dont want to take it to the next level.
Sex with someone I am not in love with is not, and will not, ever be mind blowing. I am at a baseline level of operating.
When I am in love..it is passionate, crazy cosmically divine.....soulful
Until then....
Hope that makes sense and is not a jumbled mess of an explanation..:cool:
 

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Golly, I've been hoping someone would post this topic! :mellow:

I think Essay said what I'd wanna get at. It's up to the people involved how they wanna define it. It's relative to the individuals' personal perspectives.
FwB has always been a complicated thing for me to define personally tho. Generally, I think genuine relationship-relationship just exudes a vibe of more commitment and mutual consideration & respect.
Not saying FwB is incapable of that, but i think it's easier for the term to imply anything from an excuse to easily use someone, an actual friend you just get intimite with, a special arrangement for people who aren't ready to devote completely, or anything you could imagine.

My experience with fwb's...
I fell hard for a boy, we hit it off, and we dated for liek...a month (ESTP, first/last boyfriend ever; a really happy month too, he'd say i love you, you're beautiful, asked me to prom with a poster, all that) until one day he just out-of-the-blue said,
"I'm just not a committed sort of guy, and I've had all these urges to hook up and flirt with other girls which hasn't gone away since we've gone out."
So we split, decided to be civil and friendly, and somehow just kept hooking up and got way too physically comfortable with each other.
But as time went by, everything he approached me with came back to sex. And now he's in a different girl's bed every weekend. And I still care about him/can't stay angry with him and I feel personally hurt when literally every single person who knows us both pulls me aside to say:
"I don't mean to bag on him, but he is not the kind of person to have as a friend. He doesn't make friends, he makes hangout buddies. He's a shameless flirting manwhore and the way he treats and considers people is kind of ridiculous...you're like everyone's sweetheart and frankly, we've all collectively agreed that you going out with him at all won the 'Wtf Moment of the Year' award."

I had a thing for him since high school, even when he had negative game. And then he got a job, car, cool hair, and money.
Unleash the gold-digging whores! D:<
I guess I'm the longest time he's ever stayed talking to any one girl :confused:
And we're still doing what we do...and I ended up losing all my firsts to him. Which I don't regret or blame against him at all, since that was my decision. But I do wonder what's happening a lot of times. Which makes Happi confused and crave cakes :sad:

On the other hand, I know a friend who is fwb's with his ex and they have a complete mutual respect and they're just friendly :D They get along swell and date other people. No pressure. And they can still get physical and not freak out about it.

I've heard of a bunch of other accounts too. One couple just wasn't ready to devote a whole lot of time, another was literally like a booty-call, no history, casual, somewhat friendly something-or-rather. So yup yup.

To answer yur questions:
1. How did it work/not work? It works for now cause we both have sex drives that rival that of porn stars and we have a lot of sexual chemistry, but there's always tension between us cause he's a shag-it-and-go kind of guy and I'd rather at least respect the person i'm with and want the same back. When I have sex, I need to at least want to make the guy feel good. Otherwise it just feels like a creepy doctor's appointment. Whenever it is that we cut off what it is we're doing, it'll probably be coz our lives and the way we regard others are just so different. If you're in it with a good understanding tho, it shud work out just swell :D

2. Why aren't we dating? Different goals. We're both pretty sporadic & everywhere in terms of life, but he's just not the type to stay tied down when it comes to anything. I'm not much either, but if I really fell hard for the guy, then i'd wanna love him to pieces :D He just doens't stay around people for too long. Against his policy.

3. One is horny and one is looking for something more permanent? In a way. I'd be scared and foolish to get back in a relationship-relationship with him, but honestly i'd probably do it anyway. I know he doesn't want that. And I don't think he's the type to ever really settle down. Not the way he is. But I immaturely don't wanna believe that that's all there really is to him. Hearing myself say it out loud sounds horrible, but when I fall for a guy, all my sense of logic goes out the door D:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
HappiLie. Your post was pretty sad. I'm sorry to hear that.

I think your case is one that pretty clearly shows a FWB relationship that isn't exactly healthy or working. I hope you don't mind me saying that. I really do understand where you are coming from.


The other posters described their FWBs as basically masturbation tools. Just like porn or a sex toy, they want to get off and it feels better with a real person. In these cases sex is just an act, the emotion doesn't need to be at all involved, right?


Well, then do those who use FWBs as "tools" care about monogamy or cheating? If sex doesn't have to matter, why is cheating a big deal? Why doesn't everyone (or you guys specifically) have sex with many people at a time whether you are dating or not? Or date a bunch of people and have sex with them all? If your dating one person, you could be having emotional sex with them and non emotional sex with others.


Lets pretend there is no risk of STDs (or pregnancy or other health problems) here and all parties are consenting adults.
 

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Aw thankchu Inquirey...*huggle* no yu are more than welcome to say that and I know you mean well C:
I like hearing things from other views. It's refreshing. And I'm thinking you're right on the mark, since this unhealthy thing doesn't make me feel very good :sad: But I'm trying.

Maybe...the whole concept of monogamy and cheating brings up negativity and complications that they'd rather avoid, so they take the route of "I am a free untied single-person and you don't have an excuse to get upset at me when i'm around with other people cause I admitted i'm not committed to you" to avoid it altogether.
I'm not quite sure. I wish I had a moar concrete answer to give to you :sad:

I do think lots of it is how the individual views sex tho, and also how that ties into how they see commitment.

The concepts of sex, healthy honest relationships, and commitment are so complicated and simple at the same time, and it's hard to really define them when yur not involved in a particular situation that entails them. If any more interpersonal relationships involving such things come to mind, I'll gladly post about them and see if we can crack down to the craziness surrounding them all. But I surely definitely wish yu luck in finding out more, mah dear :D

All I can say tho is from experience, being fwb's can be very touchy and yu have to look out for yourself. And if you're in it with someone, make sure you at least respect them enough to want to make them feel good as well as fix your own personal little hormonal surges C:
 

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This is all really fascinating, cause I must admit, I've never had a good idea of what separates "friend with benefits" and an actually relationship. HappiLie, your response was definitely the most informative. Friends with benefits sounds like a crappy deal, honestly. :(

I dunno, maybe I've naive, but I would like the guy I'm sleeping with to be the only guy I'm sleeping with and vice versa. I guess I feel like, if I were hooking up with him and he was hooking up with other women, it would be a little like I was hooking up with those women, too. I know it's not, really, but I'd feel weird. And I'd feel unspecial. I like to feel special. :tongue:
 

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Intellectually speaking I understand the concept. Personally speaking, I couldn't do a friends with benefits relationship. Sex is physically enjoyable but it's got a very definitely emotional attachement. The emotional connectioin is the major draw. The physical enjoyment is a side benefit as far as I'm concerned. Friends with benefits is as appealing to me as having sex with my brother. :confused:
lol although the brotherly categorization is not meant to be taken literally, im sure you knew that.

some people require physical pleasure in or out of a relationship more than other people and therefore they value it more and don't set up plans of waiting for the right person in order to make it more special.
 

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If you are friends with someone and get romantic with them, how (or why) are you not just dating?
because of commitment. you want to keeps things nice and easy and opportunities open. even if friends with benefits is monogamous at the moment, you still have an idea in mind that the doors are still open and you can guilt-free somewhat see somebody else. i'm at this stage right now because ive been through 2 long term relationship where i lost myself in the relationship, felt overly committed and wasn't satisfied at all, and the commitment was pressing on me. also i've been through a quarter life crisis where i realized that i need to fild a partner for life soon and i haven't been dating enough people and my true solemate is probably still outhere, which i realize is not necessarily true, but i'm definately happy with the possibility to explore...

so recently i started getting involved in not serious relationships, where we don't even talk about where we are, we just hang out, have a good time ;) and keep in touch and see each other some time when we have time, that's something i'm comfortable with right now. i still wanna be single for some time.
 

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I hate to be so blunt and curt and on this, but the answer in my experience is very simple.

Either person X likes person Y enough to enter a committed relationship with them, or they don't. Person X might be dealing with personal issues, emotional stress, or past romantic trauma, but ultimately it manifests itself in a reluctance to fully engage in an active relationship. More than likely though, they are just in it to satisfy their carnal desires; they find person Y attractive enough for their needs, but unable to either fix or fulfill their issues or emotional desires.

Now Person Y might also be in the same boat...but usually happy endings like that do not exist. Person Y likes person X enough to mutually participate in sexual activity with them, but probably would jump at the chance for a conventional relationship with that person. They may deny this vehemently to their friends and even to themselves, but ultimately if presented with the chance, Person Y would commit while Person X would not. They could also be aware of their desire and be playing the waiting game - how long until lust turns to love.

Ultimately, someone either likes and respects you enough to date you or they don't. I'm not usually so binary on an issue, but when it comes to matters of the heart, you have to let your head guide you to avoid emotional pitfalls. That, is my HUMBLE opinion. :wink:
 

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ENFP sevens would be more likely to have this relationship. And that's the irony. It's still a relationship. Someone always gets hurt in these relationships. I have an ENFP friend that's doing this, and has feelings for the dude. She'll get hurt. Nothing I can do about it :/
 

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I understand easily the flare and boredom that brings on FwB, but honestly it's just no good for me without the extreme connections. But I'm extremely picky.... I have had the whole FwB but it was so dull and i was in total limp turtle mode. But I've only ever cared for one person and clearly... i didn't want a relationship so I walked out of his life. But I'm weird like that.. Honestly its a matter of what one wants in his life at the time... and your either "it" for them or your not. though sometimes the only attraction is sexual and then you hook up and continue to do so depending on your comfort levels. That was probably ore confusing than helpful though, sorry... the actions are hard to describe... though if you aren't comfortable with the thought, I don't recommend the practice...
 

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I posted this on the INTJ part of personality cafe, but I didn't get much of a response. I was thinking because the ENFP board and its members are a bit more active, so to speak, that I might get a better answer here.
I like how you worded that. ;)

PS: And if there are any beautiful ENFP girls out there who are up for some "hot lesbian action" with an INTP feel free to contact me haha (I'm only half joking ...). :D
 
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