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Terry Kennedy: ‘Friends With Benefits,’ Aren’t That Beneficial

By Shirea L. Carroll on Nov 3rd 2010 3:00PM

“…Let me explain

A buddy is an equal beneficial arrangement

A buddy is a buddy that don’t be complaining

When his or her buddy buddy ain’t the buddy they came with.”– Musiq Soulchild, ‘Buddy’

Although the 2007 song ‘Buddy’ was a huge hit, the actual idea of ‘friends with benefits,’ which entails having sex with no commitment, is often times far from successful. Whether you’re a celebrity or athlete with an endless amount of admirers and groupies or a regular person with frequent non-committal opportunities, the idea is usually better in theory than in practice.

Professional skateboarder Terry Kennedy — the newest reality star of the BET show, ‘Being Terry Kennedy’ — says he’s not a fan of the ‘buddy arrangement.’ Kennedy, 26, who was once seriously tied to Reverend Run’s youngest daughter Angela Simmons, admits that even after going through a very hard breakup with Simmons, beneficial friendships or non-committed relationships just aren’t for him.

Kennedy credits many of his beliefs to his grandmother that raised him, and says he was taught to respect women way too much to get intimately involved without having a clearly defined relationship. The ‘Being Terry Kennedy’ star took time to chat with Black Voices about why he feels beneficial friendships never work, and his formula for a healthy relationship.

Beneficial friend requests must come at you as often as Facebook friend requests….

(Laughs) No I don’t do that, but you know who recently tried to come at me? Kim Whitfield. She’s like, “Wow you’re a black skateboarder.” I was nervous (laughs). When I tell a female what I do, her response is always, “But look at you, you don’t look like you would skate.”

Not only do you skate, but you also have a sneaker line, music in the works, a television show, and that charming smile. Wouldn’t it be easy to snag a beneficial friend?

No, I wouldn’t do that. It’s going to cause pain, explosions, and then a headache. At the end of the day, someone is catching feelings in that situation. Essentially when you’re friends with someone your feelings shouldn’t be the kind of feelings you have when you’re laying down with someone. I learned that you can’t be vague. You always have to state where you are with a person, especially when you’re not in a relationship.

What makes being in a beneficial friendship so detrimental?

You are selling a person a dream. That’s not fair and I definitely don’t want that done to me. With beneficial friends, someone ends up liking someone. I’m telling y somebody is catching feelings regardless.

But isn’t a beneficial friendship a mutual decision?

You can say to a person everyday, “We are just friends,” or ” We have a special and unique relationship,” but the relationship is still going to grow more serious. I think it’s just human nature; the more you spend time with a person the more you are going to either like a person or find reasons to like them. You start saying things to yourself like, ‘I know I just wanted to be friends but this person isn’t so bad because I like this, or that.’ And that’s when you start selling yourself a dream.

Maybe people turn to these beneficial friendships because committed relationships can be so difficult. What are your tips to having a successful relationship?

Happiness in a relationship starts with you being happy with yourself. Second, don’t forget who you are as an individual, and lastly, have fun. Laughter can really alleviate a great deal of pressure in a relationship.

Shirea L. Carroll, is a published journalist who has written for Essence, VIBE, Washington Post’s Theroot.com, XXL’s Juicy, and AOL. Reporting on everything from music and entertainment to celebrity and love, she’s interviewed some of today’s biggest celebrity names. Find the NJ native on her blog Invite Only, or follow her on Twitter @InviteOnly to find out “who is and isn’t invited.”

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