In Friends Vs. Girlfriends — As Men See It — Part 1, we differentiated between the two categories that men put the woman in their life into (that was obviously, friends and girlfriends, for those who missed it). Well, I got all kinds of responses from both ends of the spectrum. Most of the men agreed, some didn’t; same with the women. But one response in particular got me thinking: a friend asked me, “who should feel more honored between the ‘girlfriend’ and the ‘friend with benefits’ when they exist simultaneously in a guy’s life?”

The first question to answer is can a man simultaneously have a girlfriend and a FWB (or friend with benefits) at the same time. The answer: yes, they definitely can. This depends mainly on the man, and more often than not, because they serve the same purpose, they rarely exist at the same time. That’s not to say that it never happens, that’s just to say that their benefits would depend heavily on the relationships (but we’ll discuss that later). If they did simultaneously exist, the girlfriend could probably make a decent case for her man cheating on her — something I’m sure she would do.

The FWB (friend with benefits) primarily exists because nether party wants a real, committed (or monogamous) relationship — or perhaps because what they have in their “committed” relationship isn’t meeting all their needs — but they do want some sort of companionship. The “to-be-met” needs I mentioned before could be physical, sexual, or emotional or strictly recreational. Normally, a recreational FWB will also include one or more of the other needs being met, but everyone is different.

Since they can exist at the same time, we can move on to the next question of “who should feel more honored?” Is it the girlfriend because she is the one that probably has more history, and perhaps more intimacy with the man — and more of a future as well. Or is it the FWB because she is special enough to risk the relationship for, the man must see something valuable in her, right? At the end of the day, if the man has both a girlfriend and a FWB, neither of them are truly honored because the man isn’t devoting 100% of his time to either one. The each certainly fill their own roles, but clearly if they were both meeting 100% of the man’s needs/wants/desires, he wouldn’t need them both.

The FWB, however, is more likely to accept this reality because there’s no real commitment in the relationship. That’s part of the nature of a FWB relationship — you can still have whatever on the side, front, or back burner and the FWB is ok (or at least pretending to be ok) with that. This is also the reason they have the appeal that they do.

That’s my opinion and you’re certainly entitled to your own. What are your thoughts? How would you answer the question of ““who should feel more honored between the ‘girlfriend’ and the ‘friend with benefits’ when they exist simultaneously in a guy’s life?”

[For more from Stuart McDonald, check out his personal blog and follow him on Twitter]

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