Closer Than Most:Friends With Benefits

Can men and women, be just friends? This is a question that has plagued many, and in the 1989 hit film, When Harry Met Sally, Billy Crystal’s character tells Meg Ryan that men and women cannot be friends, because men will always want to have sex with the woman. Meg Ryan didn’t believe this to be true, but we all know how that ended. They became friends, they had sex, and then things got complicated. However, only in Hollywood is there always a guaranteed happy ending. At the end of the movie, Billy Crystal runs, from what I could tell, several miles to a New Year’s Eve party to tell Meg Ryan that he loves her and wants to spend the rest of his life with her. She then gets what most women desire; the man that she gave her all too, gave her his all in return.  But all too often, this is not how the scenario ends in the real world.

Cuddle buddies, care free lover, and the bed warmer. These are all terms that can be used to describe a no strings attached, sexual relationship with a “friend”. But the most common term used is FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS. Somehow, women have convinced themselves that we can have sex like men, without any emotional repercussions. But so often we find out the hard way that this is not true.

I will be honest, in the moment, it often sounds like a good idea. You’re already friends, and you both have needs, why not cross that line with a close friend? We’re all adults and can make our own decisions, right? Women are some of the strongest creatures on this earth. We bear children for goodness sake, why can’t we have sex, and leave our emotions out of it?

So you decide to take it there, and at first things are going great. You get the friend and the lover all rolled into one. Until he meets someone else who he wants to commit to, who isn’t you, and that’s when s*** hits the fan. I think Musiq Soulchild said it best in his song, Half Crazy. Because now you’re walking around losing your mind, because you can’t leave that person alone, but you can’t go back to how things used to be, so what do you do? It’s a no win situation. Not only do you lose your lover, you lose your sanity, and also someone who you once considered to be a good friend. I don’t care what anyone says, sex changes things. It always does and always will. May it be for the better or worse, please know that your friendship will forever be changed.

What we fail to understand and often fail to admit to ourselves is that when we have sex with someone, we are giving them a piece of us, and vice versa. We then turn around and wonder why it feels as though we are walking around with a hole in our heart, waiting for our “friend” to realize what he has in us; not understanding how he can share himself with someone else who can’t possibly love him better than we can. Please know that I am in no way pointing fingers, just sharing what I’ve learned from my past experiences, and hoping to save someone a little bit of heartache.

So to wrap things up, my answer to the question can men and women be just friends…is yes. I’m not saying that it will always be easy, but next time you think about taking your friendship to the next level, really take your time and look at the big picture. And save that piece of yourself for someone who really deserves it, and will be willing to give you their all in return. Besides, believe me when I say this, you are worth it.

Last 5 posts by aedriskell2


  1. Marie says:

    I use to think men and women could be friends but I’ve changed my opinion as I got older. I think the friendship could be going great but at some point, someone catches feelings. I speak from experience and more often than not, it’s the guy that wants to take it to the next level. All of my male friends, at some point has either said we should be “bed buddies” or wanted to get in a relationship. I never did have the experience of having the “bed buddy” but I did try a relationship with a friend and we didn’t even make it past a month of dating. We quickly found out that we are great friends but we get on each other’s nerves as anything more. We almost lost the friendship which would’ve been a great lost because I always knew we would have a long lasting friendship. We’ve been friends for 18 years now and I’m glad we were able to keep our friendship but it took a lot of work to get over the awkwardness, especially when he started dating again. I do think you risk losing a friend when you get involved physically. Every now and then, it works out and you get a best friend and a boyfriend/husband but it’s up to the individual to decide if it’s a risk they’re willing to take.

  2. I agree with everything you said Marie. It’s important to weigh the risk when thinking about crossing that line. I also feel that if you are hoping to enter a successful relationship with that person, events should happen in a certain order, sex not being the first or second step lol. Everyone wants to marry someone they consider to be their best friend. You should definitely be friends first, and if you to choose to start dating and things are going well, then consider all of the consequences of bringing sex into the mix. It really sucks to lose a friend because things got complicated once the friendship turned physical. The few moments of pleasure never really seem to out last the pain of losing a good friend.

  3. Shannon says:

    Well said Ariel. It’s been my experience that the relationship is never the same and the line should only be crossed if it’s going to lead to more than just “friends with benefits”. I think most people long to be with someone they consider their best friend. Most just cross the line without really considering the consequences.

  4. Loretta says:

    I may be the lone voice. I believe it is possible.

  5. Hi Loretta,

    Thank you for taking the time to comment, but I would love for you to elaborate more on what you feel is possible. Do you think it’s possible for men and women to be just friends, or that it’s possible to remain friends after having sex? I think both of these are possible, but that sex ultimately changes the dynamic of the friendship.

  6. Leslie says:

    Hi all! I’ve been on both sides of the fence when it comes to this subject: Being the girl who’s in love with her close guy friend in hopes that the friendship can mix with the “lover” status and getting burned in the end, and being the girl who has to turn down the guy best friend who’s in love with her in order to save what’s left of the friendship but has to part ways….. I definitely think that it’s possible to be friends if you and your guy friend are on the same page and levels of thinking, have really gotten to know each other well, and can be fully honest about your attraction levels to where you can control the ebb and flow of the energy around you. I agree that sex blurs that line to the point of erasure, and some people have survived and able to draw that line again…I thought that i could bring that initial friendship back, but things and times have changed (Hell, I’ve changed!) and it’s looking pretty bleak…it’s hard to admit, but i’ll have to move on and love him from a distance. Good Luck ladies, trust your heart and your first mind!

  7. Tracy says:

    I have a few male friends. One of my best friends, besided my husband, is a male. He’s more like a brother now, but used to have a crush on me back in the day. We have managed, me, his wife, and kids (his son is my godson) through the years to become family. Most men however, after speaking with quite a few, to include my three brothers, will tell you that “no”, it’s probably not a practical thing to think that you can be friends with a male, really true friends maybe…after a long and “interesting” and everchanging relationship…maybe. It’s a fine and delicate line to walk. Is it possible, yes. Easy, no. Rewarding, perhaps. Worth it…could be. You have to be your own judge as individual cases may vary.

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