Friends With Benefits

The journey to true love is, like the original Prince of Persia, full of snares, pitfalls, and the occasional clever skeleton. As such, it can weigh heavily on the soul of even the most modern romantic, ergo a pleasant distraction is sometimes apropos. Such distractions could include traveling alone in a foreign country, adding a wingsuit to your base-jumping toolkit, learning to draw your own naked body in charcoal, or finding a friend with benefits.

WARNING: Though more common than Robots with Benefits, such as the cats that benefit into Voltron, Friends with Benefits is still a relatively rare arrangement.

Friends with Benefits can commence shortly after benefits have made their way into the relationship. You might be with a new friend, a romantic interest met online, or even a persona grata from years past. The only real requirement for a “Friend with Clear Knowledge of Boundaries, Discretion, and Yoga ” or “F.C.K.B.D.Y.,” is that you have a phlegmatic approach to their long-term happiness. It helps that being “meh” about things in general is very chic these days.

WARNING: A F.C.K.B.D.Y. must be clear on the assumption that you like them but are not ready for a committed relationship. Much like your boss at the job you’re about to quit, they cannot be aware that you might just be waiting it out until something better comes along.

WARNING WARNING: The above warning, handled haphazardly, will result in a stalker.

It’s important to remember that what’s being discussed here is Friends with Benefits, not benefits with friend. “Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?” is a stupid question and not relevant here or anywhere outside of farm country. Just remember that if you have a F.C.K.B.D.Y., always place the friendship first, and don’t call them a cow. Don’t call anyone who isn’t a cow a cow, actually.

WARNING: Should benefits arise with someone you have just met tonight, the most you’ll get out of that is strained pillow-talk, because there is no friendship there. Also…kinda gross.

Clearly, discretion plays a critical role in a Friends with Benefits engagement. People, particularly your nosy sister, are guaranteed to notice the increased level of familiarity between you and your F.C.K.B.D.Y. When someone asks, “Are you two dating?” the proper response is, “No,” not, “No. We’re just benefiting.”

Never leave a social foray at the same time or be seen having morning coffee together at Ground Wire, Ground Zero, Higher Grounds, The Bean Bag, The Coffee-Tea-Rhea, Bean There Done That, The Fair Ground, Java the Hut, Bump n Grind, Sacred Grounds, The Coffee Shop, Lucid Beaning, James Bean and Marilyn Monroast, The Groundhog, or whatever cleverly named coffee shop you frequent.

WARNING: Coffee shops with overtly witty names usually have bad coffee, worse pastries, and pretentious baristas.

A Friends with Benefits partnership must always come to an end; and it’s up to you to end it. You are the true romantic; and although this has been fun, you have no choice but to once again spread the wings of your open heart and sail the skyseas of love in search of your true soul mate. Explaining this to your F.C.K.B.D.Y. in an elaborate bird costume will help smooth the transition.

WARNING: Should your F.C.K.B.D.Y. end it, you will feel curiously lugubrious. This is not because you were invested, but because the better person always leaves first. Should they dress up as Toucan Sam before breaking the news to you, you’re dealing with a pro; immediately consult all of TLMRIS.

Exception: It is quite possible to turn your friend with benefits into a long-term, serious partner. This is encouraged, specifically if benefits include a lake house (with wave runners) or a steady infusion of free concert tickets.