You really like someone. Then you date them. Now you’re in love. Then you’re madly in love. You get attached. Then you break up. So what’s the next logical thing to do? Obviously keep sleeping with them.
Most of us know this as friends with benefits, hereon referred to as FWB. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, people will be looking for love—or lust—in all the wrong places.
Granted, I know the college scene is all about hook-ups. You go to a party, meet a handsome guy and say “why not.” Though I’m not a proponent of this culture either, that’s not what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about people who have a continual pattern of hooking-up with a member of the opposite sex strictly as friends, with no “emotional” involvement or commitment attached. Especially when they have dated them already and are now broken up, supposedly for good. Sounds great, right? Free from the stress of maintaining a relationship but reaping all the benefits of a sex life? Here’s the hold up.
There is bound to be attachment. Here’s why: It’s a little thing called human physiology. When you have sex, your pituitary gland releases a hormone called oxytocin. This is the same hormone that stimulates labor contractions. It also stimulates lactation and helps in maternal infant bonding.
But back to you and your friend. When you have sex, oxytocin works like a type of invisible emotional super glue. Your intentions were never to get attached. Well, that’s good and fine, but your intentions don’t matter when your emotions and hormones say “hit the road.” And the men out there who say this won’t happen to them? Yes, by the stereotype men are more about sex and women are more about emotion and women get so attached and so on and so forth. But you’re not immune from the powerful hold of oxytocin either, boys.
Specifically in regard to the FWB practitioners who have just broken up from a relationship with each other, just don’t do it. There are already probably a lot of feelings there no matter how much you convince yourself and others you don’t care anymore.
I don’t believe it’s possible to be devoid of all emotion for someone simply because you formally end things. Being sexually involved is just putting you on the road to further heartbreak, confusion and the possibility that you could lose any chance of a positive relationship together—friendly or romantic.
So save yourself the trouble, ladies and gents. Don’t fool yourself into thinking sleeping with the same person over and over with “no strings attached” is a ticket to endless, uncomplicated pleasure. Don’t give yourself the stress.
If oxytocin’s power in causing emotional compromise isn’t enough to deter you from FWB, maybe its power to induce labor contractions in delivery of your FWB baby will do the trick.