Imagine it’s a typical Thursday night on your college campus. It’s almost midnight, and you and pretty much everyone around you is at the peak of their drunkenness for the night. There’s a dumb freshman doing something only a dumb freshman would do, some girl crying over something that doesn’t matter, and two guys trying to fight each other for no reason whatsoever. You and your friend of the opposite sex are laughing hysterically about something that probably isn’t very funny. The guy that sits behind you in that class didn’t text you back, and your friend just ended things with his girlfriend. He’s going on a mixture of cheap beer and premium whiskey, and you’ve been drinking tequila all night. Somehow, someway, you guys end up in bed together the next morning in disbelief. And you don’t hate it. So it’s a little weird, but the next night you go out, it happens again. And again. And again. And before you know it, you’ve got yourself a friend with benefits.
At first you’re like “Ok. I can do this. He’s hot, we’re friends; whatever. I know that usually FWBs never work out, but if Taylor Swift could stop being a whiny loser over boys, I can too, right? I’m not gonna catch feelings. I’ve listened to Blank Space too many times for that.” Oh, you poor delusional soul. Bless your heart.
Then, as you continue hooking up, you notice that he’s left a few things in your dorm. He calls you baby a lot when he’s drunk. And he looks so damn cute when he wakes up. You start to think, “Maybe this could actually be something. You’re supposed to start off as friends anyway, so honestly we’re on the right track. I mean, look at Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt! Look at Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher! Look at every Katherine Heigl movie ever! We were meant to be- better yet meant to bae- and that’s going to be my caption on the first insta of us I put up once we’re actually official.”
In all fairness, you’re not a complete idiot for getting yourself in this situation or expecting a relationship out of it. It happens. But how many times do you have to rewatch He’s Just Not That Into You to get it through your skull? You’re the rule, not the exception.
There’s a chance that you and this friend of yours will have a happily ever after straight out of a rom com, but there’s an exponentially greater chance of this ending in flames. You’re going to get to a weird place where you aren’t technically exclusive, but it’s implied that some kind of conversation is coming up about it. You’re going to hope for him to see the girlfriend potential in you on his own, and make it social media official. But boys are morons, and most of them view college as a challenge of sleeping with as many girls as possible while catching as few STDs as possible. So you’ll be a little more aggressive in trying to make your intentions clear, and more likely than not, he’ll get freaked out and start distancing himself from you. If you actually do ever have the conversation, it will be something along the lines of “not needing a label” or “going with the flow.”
One of you is either going to get serious about someone else, get tired of banging the other one, or catch unrequited feelings. And statistically speaking, you’re going to be the one with the short end of the stick.
Maybe you’re part of the small percent of women that genuinely enjoy casual, emotionless sex. But every self proclaimed feminist I know that likes to ramble on about how women have the same sexual impulses as men, but have been societally conditioned to resist them, feels slighted and offended when they are treated the way they ask to be treated. When they aren’t called, or texted, or spooned, or taken on dates after the fact, they’re unhappy. As much as I love Samantha Jones, she is a very rare woman to find in real life, and even her character was insecure in herself and her choices sometimes.
So instead of kidding yourself into thinking you’re someone that you aren’t, that wants something that you don’t, be honest with yourself. Stop getting in confusing, pseudo-relationships that leave you feeling empty and discarded a few months down the line. Believe it or not, you have every right to reject the college hookup culture. Dates are still a thing, and if you stop accepting Netflix and chill, you might get a real one.