"Boyfriend Benefits" and The Only Dating Advice You'll Ever Need
As a 20-something year old woman, the topic of dating often comes up in conversation with my friends. To be candid for a moment, we're always discussing the latest prospects. I was discussing one particular guy with a friend of mine (Hey, if either of you are reading) and she suggested that I show my 'caring' side. Now, whether I really have such a caring/nurturing side is up for debate (kidding) but essentially what she was suggesting was that I offer "boyfriend benefits" in the hope that said guy will eventually become bae.
Initially, I was on board with the idea. "I better show that I can be caring, supporting and nurturing otherwise he may just vanish into thin air!" I thought. However, after some reflection I realised that was possibly the worst dating advice I could ever take. Here's where my friend (as well as my mother and 70% of her generation for that matter) and I differ. These "boyfriend benefits" should not be doled out to any Tom, Dick or Harrison, some may even argue that these should be saved for marriage - I won't go that far. I feel like this line of advice assumes that you need to prove your "wifey potential" in the early stages to even be considered for the semi-final round. This line of advice also assumes you should prove your worth to a guy that has only hinted that he might be interested in such a relationship. I just don't buy that.
It's not that I want to get on my feminist high-horse and bang on about being an independent woman who needs no man; no, the issue is a little more nuanced. Offering "boyfriend benefits" in the hope that said man will make you his girlfriend, traditionally assumes that such benefits - typically sustenance and a dependable shoulder to cry on - are all you bring to the table. What about the power to inspire and motivate with your ambition, lust for life and intellect?
Furthermore, it doesn't really ensure that said guy is worth all the effort. Does he even fit into your life? Does he even want the same things as you? Does he already have a girl he's lining up to be wifey making you the fallback or placeholder (this happens all too often)? Is the fact that he makes your heart flutter with his smile and he's 6 foot something enough to have you baking fresh cookies when he says he's coming over? Imagine you do all sorts of typical "wifey" things only to find out he doesn't even want kids or something!
Don't play yourself darling.
Do you ever notice how when you're shining and, for lack of a better phrase, living your best life all those old flames and new flames start trying to re-ignite? That's not because you are a dependable duvet that will always provide heat, that's because you become a stunning diamond that's rare, exciting and a little out of reach all at the same time.
The only piece of dating advice you'll ever need: focus on being the best version of you, living out your dreams and smashing your goals and don't hand out "boyfriend benefits" to guys that aren't even sure they're going to commit to a date let alone a relationship with you.