Now that I’m a few months down the road of life, I’m inclined to agree with you. There may be a few isolated cases of true “friends with benefits” in the world (I think I’ve seen them), but it seems to me that far more of the cases are proto-romances.
I agree with you about calling shit out. I’ve been in a situation with someone who used the words “friends with benefits” and “fuckbuddy” when in reality he was dating me, and it caused me a great deal of pain. He could call me a fuckbuddy all he wanted, but when you text someone sweet nothings, you are dating them. Telling his friends I was a “fuckbuddy” didn’t make it so, it just made him a liar to them. But I think in a lot of cases, people are not lying to others as much as they are lying to themselves, and propogating the lie.
As for people with mixed messages… wouldn’t you want to drop someone doing that? No one wants to be with someone who can’t sort their shit out. (Speaking as someone whose shit is most definitely not sorted).