Seeking True and Committed Love


^@^ina (Irina Patrascu)

Whether you are dating someone or not, many people watch chick flicks on Valentine’s Day. I recently watched the movie Friends with Benefits—twice actually—as if the first go around wasn’t painful enough. Perhaps it was painful because it was an accurate reveal of our culture’s lack of understanding regarding love, relationships, and sexuality. It reflects how too many people go about relationships all the wrong way.

Analogous to many other chick flicks, Friends with Benefits will not teach you about true love, but about how to settle for a cheap counterfeit that disappoints.

In Friends with Benefits, the main character Jamie states that she desires true love and a faithfully, committed relationship. Doesn’t any normal woman?  Sadly though, Jamie compromises her desire for true love by settling for a bogus imitation hook-up relationship with a man named Dylan. Ironically, she is convicted of this counterfeit by her pathetic 49-year-old mother, a sex craving hippie who is single and has done everything wrong.

Fearing that she will end up like her failure of a mother, Jamie is shocked into the reality that her hook-up relationship isn’t really what she desires in her heart of hearts. Being convicted of this, she makes the decision to stop hooking up with Dylan, to start dating again, and to start looking for a more committed relationship. Way to go Jamie!

Naturally, she has no problem finding a man to date, and the first one seems promising. In her search for a more committed relationship, Jamie informs her new beau that she now has a five day rule before having sex. Five dates? Really? Is that the price of your body, your mind, heart and emotions?

Naturally, the man plays the part, as men can play so well. He waits five days, gets the sex he desires, and then leaves Jamie lonely and heartbroken. Sadly, nobody told Jamie she was worth more than five dates, that her body, heart and emotions are priceless. The only price high enough is the complete self-donation and commitment of a man who gives everything he has in Holy Marriage. Too bad no one ever told her that a guy will be as much of a gentleman as she requires and that she needs to raise her standards out of the gutter, and have more respect for her body.

Though hurt and angry, Jamie still desires love in her heart. However, she always hijacks that pursuit by continuing to hook up with Dylan, by settling for a cheap and shallow counterfeit. Worse, she hooks up with a guy who doesn’t even have the capacity to love her or to commit to her as she desires. How many women date emotionally distant men who aren’t capable of giving them the love they need? And why? Needless to say, Jamie, eventually ends up fighting with Dylan and leaving him.

Both Jamie and Dylan separate and end up doing some real soul searching. Jamie wants true, committed love. Dylan wants Jamie back. He realizes that he needs to fight for her and win her heart “in some sappy way” (which he does). He comprehends the need to develop a relationship with her. It all sounds incredibly promising, like the beginning of a relationship that could mature and grow into something beautiful. If only the movie had followed this path, showing us how to create a successful relationship! But alas, like the simple flip of a switch, both characters flushed it all down the toilet and returned to the very things that caused them to “break up” in the first place. In the end it was a sad story with no-redemption.

People who hook up knowingly, or unknowingly, view their sexuality as a rusty van, where the interior is falling in and the mirrors are falling off. They don’t think this van is special and they don’t even bother to lock up. Others view their sexuality more like a beautiful sports car, clean inside and out, something that is special to them and worth a lot of money. They lock it, own a strong alarm for it, and not because it’s bad, but because it’s good and worth so much! These people are saving the passenger seat for their soulmate, for their spouse who will ride with them to happily-ever-after. These people realize that relationships aren’t cheap but beautiful, not arbitrary but meaningful, and all based on trust, kindness, selflessness, commitment, sacrifice, and love!






10 Comments

  1. Lori-1020607 February 14, 2014 Reply

    Like your article, so true. I couldn’t even watch the end of the movie, just wasn’t real.

  2. Michelle-989480 February 14, 2014 Reply

    Great post! Thank you.

  3. Caroline-1059950 February 14, 2014 Reply

    Liked your post. Great to see a man with standards.

  4. Rita-770372 February 14, 2014 Reply

    Great article!

  5. Sharon-942543 February 15, 2014 Reply

    Great article, enjoyed reading it, don’t think I’ll bother to watch the film!!

  6. Andrew-1040810 February 15, 2014 Reply

    Bryan, I have not watched the film and probably will not to demonstrate my displeasure, but I think the underlying problem is far deeper and far more insidious than casual sex or human sexuality. In my opinion, the problem is that we live in a culture that actively promotes instant gratification–which sexual relations quickly provide, and casual relationships that deliberately avoid any consideration of the core issues in life…such as the definition and demanding requirements of true friendship. The more movies like Friends With Benefits are made and people watch them, the more this kind of superficial, meaningless living becomes the accepted and even expected norm….a so called “fact of life”. .Are these people friends? Of course not… but that is precisely what the title labels their relationship. Are there benefits to these kinds of “friendships”? Of course there are….the inexpensive, instant gratification of casual sex. that is often promoted as “healthy” .Undoubtedly, with the 60’s anthem “if it feels good, do it” mantra running silently in the background, the people suffer greatly in these kinds of “friendships”–that’s precisely what the movie depicts!— but that suffering has now become the accepted norm and price you pay for the allegedly desirable and admittedly very pleasurable affect of casual sex, Cohabitation and sexual intercourse before marriage is now socially acceptable, very common and widely practiced. What was a hushed up, licentious affair 50 years ago–with receiving holy communion totally unacceptable, is now boldly acclaimed as a rite of passage in the social media. It is now common knowledge, for both men and women, that you can get all the milk you want without buying any cows. Nowadays, it is a fact that a man doesn’t have to marry a woman to have sexual relations with her–you see it in our movie theaters every day Welcome to the reality of institutionalized secular humanism and moral relativism. You’re now living in a totally amoral society screaming “instant gratification”, with all kinds of “friends” providing all kinds of “benefits”. At the rate our society is going, with Hollywood churning out scurrilous movies one a day, not only will the institution of marriage silently disappear, people seeking them will be considered “abnormal”—dinosaurs from ancient history! No wonder Bibles have been taken out of courtrooms and reference to God ignored.

    • Therese-632256 February 15, 2014 Reply

      How right you are Andrew – “instant gratification” seems to be the norm these days. How sad. Thank you for the article Bryan!

  7. Matthew-1036555 February 18, 2014 Reply

    At the risk of coming across as being rude and blunt, here’s my two cents:

    1. Bryan, great great article; I take my hat off to you as I could never write anything so well written!

    2. With a title like “Friends with Benefits”, maybe its a movie that shouldn’t be watched by Catholics full stop.

    Just sayin’

  8. Matt-1063989 February 19, 2014 Reply

    Men are chivalrous and are sensitive. We are in charge of starting a great foundation at home with the kids and woman of said home. Because men dont open doors for ladies around Bryan it just means that a lot of men around him werent raised with good manners and respect for women. I really dislike generalizations for men because some other man hasn’t witnessed other men respecting the woman , or the husbands “Queen” .., Yes Bryan, there’s a large amount of people who just don’t show propper respect for their mate, does get tiresome and makes some wonder how the man has a woman so beautiful, outside and in , to stay around. As far as the pre-marital sex, well it goes both ways and the answer is prayer and asking for the intercession from angels and Saints along with Mary and God, our Holy Trinity can help squelch the fires burning in our loins until marriage is blessed and. Then we both as partners can release un-thought of pleasures towards eachother exploring the gifts weve been blessed with of physically showing the other mate complete ecstasy in love making.

  9. Michael-369664 March 27, 2014 Reply

    It’s sad that movies like this only reinforce bad behavior for so many young people. I saw many ads on Craigslist with the heading Friends with Benefits. I wonder if anyone comes out of that deal with anything in the end.

    Since divorce is such a strong part of our culture, I wonder how many young people ever really see a good
    marriage at work. If that is not role modeled for them growing up, how will they be able to build a good marriage for themselves ? You live what you learn, or even what you don’t learn, and our culture has done a great job of ruining marriage and family life.

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