Saturday, May 19, 2012

Friends with Benefits or Cuddles with Consequences

The movie "Friends with Benefits" was free on a subscription channel and being a semi-fan of Justin Timberlake we gave it a view.  It was a better story than anticipated and more of a cautionary tale than expected.

As the title suggests this is a story of two people who become friends, who openly admit their non-romantic attraction to each other and therefore believe they can meet each other's physical needs with honesty, forthrightness and no complications.  Attributes that they believe can not be accomplished when dealing with more 'romantic' involvements.  As the story opened with each of them ending a romantic relationship very badly this would appear to be a sound and logical idea.

The ideology of meeting our physical needs without emotional entanglements is an idea many would like to embrace, at multiple levels.  Alas, we cannot participate in; groups, societies, communities or gathering of individuals without engaging in emotional interactions.  Getting our food in a restaurant requires interaction generally with patience, politeness and manners on the part of all parties involved.  Even when we try to stay anonymous, such as sitting in an airplane shoulder to shoulder with strangers.  We signal our intentions with body language; earphones, eye masks, books, closing our eyes, pretending we are sleeping.  Yet, this situation too, requires emotional involvement with others.

Believing we can interact with another human being, especially intimately, and leave all emotional entanglements behind is wishful and naive.  "Friends with Benefits" proves that point in the end when they both try to date others and jealousy ensues, hurt feelings are put on display and the age old problems associated with relationships emerge.

A better approach is to be honest and forthright in all relationships.  Speak truthfully, respectfully and in love.  Treat others as you would like to be treated.  Respect a would-be romantic partner as you would want them to respect you.  Respect yourself and adhere to a personal moral code.  The relationships you start on these foundations will be genuine, satisfying and lasting.

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  1. Well said, Sally. I didn't see the movie, but you summed the issues up very well.

  2. Good post...I haven't seen the movie but thought it would end that can it not...we weren't made to not connect emotionally.

  3. I really hope to teach my kids to understand society/the media's lie that you can have physical intimacy without emotional attachment. I think that perception is dangerous for both men and women.

  4. Excellent post! All our relationships involve emotions!