A love affair can be a marvelous thing when two people who know they have no long-term potential hook up for a moment or string of moments in time.

These types of relationships have the potential to teach people about themselves and others, but unfortunately, friends with benefits relationships are the opposite of romantic affairs.

So why are they so popular?

Along with organized religion and politics, our generation has shunned traditional marriages for better or worse. Many have blamed this on hookup culture, and sure hooking up can be toxic, but the real culprit here is friends with benefits. These types of agreements always start the same and if you still do the following past 30 and desire traditional marriage and children, you must stop immediately.

Peep the scenario: girl meets guy at a bar or club. Days later, they hook up for a  “Netflix and chill” session. Note: if it ends here, no harm no foul. The problem occurs when subsequent hook ups ensue and eventually, someone catches feelings, usually the normal one, since, why repeatedly hook up with somebody, (who doesn’t sleep with people for money), if you don’t see long term potential?  That was a rhetorical.

Once again, I’m reiterating the fact that if the two people are both cool with a fling or affair, by all means, carry on as you were. The main issue when it comes to friends with benefits, is that usually one half of the pair wants something more, whether from that person, or in life in general.

When you’re in a friends with benefits situation, typically a relationship ensues. You like this person, you like sleeping with them, but somehow they don’t quite fit the bill for what you want in a mate. The difference between this and an affair however, is that one person typically has feelings, while the other is biding their time until something better comes along. Therein lies the problem with the business of friends with benefits.  This set up is especially detrimental for cis women in their childbearing years. Ladies, stop wasting your eggs on these no good men.

We should never take for granted the fact that everyone isn’t for everybody. Some people weren’t meant to be together long-term. However, past a certain age, spending your time with Mr. or Mrs.  “would be right except for XYZ reason,” only prolongs the inevitable: a friend, true mate, or both friends closing themselves off to the potential of something real.

If you know somebody is not long-term potential, you shouldn’t f*** them for a long period of time. You are taking up space where the right person can fit in. If you know you view somebody as long-term potential, but they don’t feel the same, run, because you’re letting them take up the space that should be filled by a potential real partner.

Most of the time in friends with benefits scenarios, two people would actually make a great team. Compatibility is typically high, and so is the chemistry. This is why they are so addicting.

Many times the sole reason these situations don’t work out is because one partner feels like they deserve better. In the past, men and women would work together to become better versions of themselves through partnership and commitment. Because we’ve been given unprecedented amounts of freedom in modern first world courtiers, we feel we can afford to wait on a partner we perceive as “perfect” and keep sex only buddies in the meantime. Reality check, perfect doesn’t exist, and if that’s what you’re waiting for, you’ll be waiting forever.

Many women will keep men in the friend with benefit zone because they aren’t perfect on paper. Just as often, guys will pass up potential mates based on what their friends think is hot. While there’s a myriad of reasons why people deem others not dateable, if you are in a sex only situationship, it’s best to s*** or get off the pot.

Elizabeth Aguirre is a digital writer and project manager living and working in Chicago, Il. When she’s not tweeting about social justice issues, she can be found meditating or blogging at cultureofthechi.com.