By: Melissa Howard (University of Delaware)
It’s college! We move away from home and are out of our comfort zone. The first thing we want to do is become best friends with everyone in our dorms. I know my freshman floor was absolutely obsessed with each other, at least for the first two weeks. Then a few girls started hooking up with their new guy friends. Big problem! When two friends start hooking up, they mutually agree to just be friends who hook up once in a while. Sounds like the perfect arrangement, and it is for a minute.
At first, friends with benefits seems great because it’s like being in a relationship without any of the stress or strings. Friends know so much about each other, so there is not any awkward morning-after talking. Two friends starting to hook up have a comfort and trust level that others do not have. Its natural to start to be drawn to someone you can trust.
The problems start to arise when one of the friends benefiting begins to act like they are in a relationship, and one person ALWAYS does. One person begins to want more and the other person does not.
There are two ways this could end. Either, start a relationship or stop everything, including being just friends. Usually it’s the latter one because the person that does not want to be in a relationship will pull away. And you cannot go back to being just friends because hooking up changes things. The two benefiting friends will always resent each other and get into fights about new flings. The original trust and comfort that started it all is completely lost.