Successful FWB relationships can be amazing; you can have your sexual needs fulfilled with no strings attached. It’s the perfect solution for those who are looking for a sexual partner without a romantic commitment.
Of course there’s always the option of a random hookup (again, a lot of fun) but sometimes it’s just easier to have an understanding with the right person, a bed buddy, so to speak.
There are several things that could go wrong in a FWB relationship, such as one person catching feelings, or even just a matter of crossed wires and miscommunication. Remember, you’re not looking for a full blown romantic relationship, you’re looking for a bit of fun with someone who you can trust.
So, in order to keep it that way, there are certain friends with benefits rules that should be followed in order to maintain a successful FWB relationship; it’s important that you’re always on the same page and that you treat each other with equal respect.
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I’m sure a lot of us have watched Friends with Benefits with the gorgeous Mila Kunis and Justin Timerlake, and although it’s a great film, they don’t exactly lead by example; spoiler alert, they get together in the end.
So, what does friends with benefits mean? And how is it different from romantic relationships? It’s important to understand the difference in order to have successful friends with benefits relationships, without the worry of entering a full blown relationship in the end.
Friends with benefits is where you enter an agreement with a friend to have casual sex without any emotional attachment. It’s a relationship that only consists of sexual chemistry, and not emotional intimacy like you would experience when dating or in a relationship.
It differs from having casual sex occasionally with other people, because of the said agreement. You will have both had a conversation, and agreed that the two of you will continue to have a sexual relationship with no prospect to develop feelings for one another.
Each FWB relationship will be different, as everyone has different boundaries and expectations. For example, you might both have multiple partners but agree to keep each other on standby to scratch your sexual itch when needed. Others might only have the one sexual partner, to save the effort of having to date or meet other people in order to have sex.
It’s super important that you are both on the same page before entering an FWB relationship. You want to make it known that neither one of you intends to catch feelings for the other, and that you’re just looking for physical intimacy without the added strings attached of having to date.
Naturally you want to make sure that the two of you have sexual chemistry, and that you both have the emotional maturity to not get emotionally attached.
The conversation before you get into the FWB relationship will be vital because it sets an open and honest tone that will follow through the whole duration of the relationship you are about to embark on together.
Also, it prevents the both of you from getting hurt further down the line by clarifying your intentions, expectations and boundaries.
You will probably want to figure out if you are going to be monogamous or polyamorous. You might also want to think about how you will maintain your friendship together, and if you decide to tell anyone or keep it between the two of you.
There really isn’t anything more freeing and exhilarating than having a purely physical relationship with someone. Some people would say that it’s the perfect scenario, and it can be, as long as you follow some guidelines.
“Friends” being the key word.
If you want to have a successful FWB relationship, it’s important that you choose your partner wisely.
This agreement isn’t a long-term commitment, as eventually you will both move on with your lives or decide to date other people. However, if you want this casual relationship of sexual pleasure to last for a good while, then you want to choose the right person.
Just because there is no emotional connection, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get to enjoy each other's company.
I’m not saying that this person should be your best friend, but you definitely want to have a good friendship together in order for you to both feel comfortable enough to have regular sex without the emotional investment, and without it impacting your friendship too.
It also helps if they’re easy on the eyes. You want to besexually attracted to this person.
Setting expectations and boundaries is extremely important.
You need to be able to speak openly and plainly about what you are both looking for from this relationship.
You can figure out how often you’d like to meet up, how to avoid impacting your individual social lives, agree that this will be a non-exclusive FWB relationship, discuss who needs to know, and like in any sexual scenario, you want to discuss safe sex, safe words, and limits.
Consistent communication is key in any relationship, but it’s especially crucial in this particular situation.
You need to both be on the same page for this to work out how you want it to.
It might be a good idea to voice your sexual expectations, and if you want to experiment sexually.
Being in a friends with benefits relationship means that you can be really sexually experimental, as when you take out the romantic element you can speak plainly about your desires without feeling judged.
It’s also a great opportunity to add more people to your sex lives, as some couples want to have a threesome but worry about how it will affect their relationship; something that is no cause for concern in an FWB relationship.
Introducing physical intimacy shouldn’t mean that you have to spend time working on your friendship. Nothing has to change, apart from the fact that you will have sex regularly.
If you wouldn’t usually text all day everyday, then you’ve got no reason to start now.
Nothing has changed between you except for the fact that you have seen each other naked and liked it. You can’t open the barriers of communication too much, or you might start to find each other attractive in a more romantic way.
If you talk more and reveal personal details about yourself, you then become vulnerable to the other person. This isn’t a bad thing normally, but you aren’t in a normal relationship – this is strictly sexual.
If you open up too much to them, it might be harder to stop yourself from developing feelings for them, and it will definitely make it harder to shut them out when things inevitably come to an end between the two of you.
In friends with benefits relationships, you should never stay the night. Once you’ve had your fun, it’s time to put your clothes back on, get your things and get out that door, until the next time you see each other.
Sleeping next to someone is a particularly intimate thing, especially when it’s someone that you have just had sex with. If you want to keep everything as purely sexual as an FWB situation should be, don’t stay the night.
Always consider taking precautions when having sex with anybody, whether it’s birth control, or protection against STIs.
As you will become sexual partners, it’s important to discuss your sexual health history and to be honest about your sex life outside of your friends with benefits situation together.
You can consider birth control, for example, the contraceptive pill or the IUD. However, birth control doesn’t protect you from STDs. It’s never a bad idea to have your friend wear a condom. You can make sure that you always have some handy by both having a packet of condoms at your place.
In addition to this, I would highly recommend both of you getting a sexual health check before you sleep together. I would also encourage having regular checks.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend ”all sexually active women younger than 25 years should be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year. Women 25 years and older with risk factors such as new or multiple sex partners or a sex partner who has an STD should also be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year.”
The probability that you might contract an STI from your friend will be increased if the relationship between the two of you is polyamorous. So take extra caution if this is the situation you are in.
Be safe and stay protected.
It’s important that you’re honest about your sex life outside of your friends with benefits relationship for two reasons: the first, to be respectful to your friend, and the second, because it’s important to be honest about your sexual history for the sake of your sexual health.
If you start to casually date somebody, you will most likely keep up your friends with benefits relationship until you decide to become exclusive with your new partner, however, it would be considerate to let them know when you start casually dating just so they can gauge when your situation together might end.
Being jealous in a friend with benefits relationship simply won’t work.
Remember, you’ve entered this arrangement so you didn’t have to deal with the extra stress and commitment of a relationship… you’re looking for fun only.
If your FWB partner starts dating, you have to be okay with that. This is why it’s so important to set expectations early on. The two of you didn’t want a relationship together, you just wanted sex.
Yes, it might feel a bit sad when the situation has to end, but only because you were fond of the experience, not because you’re jealous of him with other people.
If jealousy is something that you anticipate further down the line, then perhaps you’re not ready to enter a friends with benefits relationship.
One of the most important rules that you need to set out together is that if one person catches feelings for the other, they need to be honest about it and speak up. You both need to agree that if you are even getting a hint of a romantic connection or feeling for the other person, you address it with them straight away.
If the situation does arise where someone has feelings for the other person, the two of you need to discuss it to see how the other person feels. Unfortunately, a lot of the time these kinds of feelings are unrequited, and even though this can be really painful, you need to move past it.
When you do speak about one of you having feelings for the other, you might actually find out that it is reciprocated. This is a really positive thing, and it’s amazing that your relationship can develop from being purely sexual to romantic. But, it’s important that this isn’t your end goal when entering an FWB relationship.
If it happens, it happens, and if it doesn’t, well it wasn’t your intention anyway.
Neither of you should shut down the idea of someone else walking into your life during the time you are in your FWB relationship together. If you do this, then you might realize that you were wasting so many good opportunities to get to know people, and you might have even met the love of your life.
So, during your relationship, you should both still make yourself available to other people and you should still date other people.
If things then get more serious with someone else, it’s time for you to stop the FWB relationship between you both and go back to being just friends.
Dating your friends with benefits partner will only complicate the situation.
You both decided to enter this relationship knowing that it would just be for sex. If you want to hang out as friends, then of course that’s absolutely fine, but this should be no more than before you started to sleep together.
You don’t want to start hanging out with this person too much, because that’s when feelings can start to develop.
A good thing to avoid complications, is to make sure that if you are going to be spending time with this person just as a friend, that you don’t have sex with them after or before. If you want some real friend time, schedule it on a day where you won’t be having sex with them.
In order to be successful, you don’t want to lose sight of what you each wanted to get out of entering a friends with benefits relationship.
It’s always handy to remind yourself of the actual benefits.
Some of us thrive being single, some of us naturally gravitate towards relationships. So friends with benefits relationships allow you the freedom and lack of commitment, but then also give you a sense of slight security and consistency.
If you start to have romantic thoughts, it’s always a good idea to remind yourself of why you wanted a friend with benefits and remember that complicating the situation may ruin it entirely.
If you feel as though you’re now ready for a relationship, the best thing to do is to end your friends with benefits relationship and start dating. If then you start to miss them, ask them out on a date, the same way you would anybody else.
It’s important to always keep the two separate, and to always remind yourself of what it is you actually want. We all know how easy it can be to lose sight of what’s good for us.
Finally, I just want to say that you should have fun in your friends with benefits relationship. The whole point of the relationship is so you can both benefit from great sex without having to enter a relationship, or go through the effort of dating or hookups.
Enjoy it, embrace it and go with the flow.
Experiment sexually, because this is your perfect opportunity! If you’ve always wanted to have a threesome, or if there’s a particular toy you’ve always wanted to try, or maybe you want to try role playing.
Whatever you desire, or even if something intrigues you but you’re not sure you’ll like it, give it a go. Make the most of your friends with benefits relationship, it could help you discover a lot about yourself.
If you’ve seen the film Friends with Benefits, then you’ll know that it can absolutely turn into a relationship. Actually, it can form a great foundation to start dating as having frequent casual sex together will make you feel entirely comfortable around one another. Even more so because you don’t have the stress of a relationship looming over you.
However, this is not something that should ever be anticipated when entering a friends with benefits relationship. If it does turn into a relationship then that’s great, and if not, you weren’t looking for a relationship anyway.
If you follow healthy friends with benefits rules it can last for a long time. In the best case scenario, you will both mutually decide when you’re ready to move on and to look for an emotional relationship, not just a sexual relationship.
In most cases, an FWB relationship will end early if one partner ends up catching feelings that aren’t reciprocated, and although there are many things you can do to avoid this, ultimately, you can’t help who you fall for.
It would be a good idea to talk about a supposed time-frame of how long you are each looking to partake in the FWB relationship before you enter it. That way, you’re setting clear expectations for the future and have a general guideline to follow.
You should talk face-to-face, and be completely honest about your reasoning for moving on. The only difference is, as there is no emotional attachment, this is something that should be relatively easy for the two of you to accept.
I suppose it would be just like ending any relationship.
Some do and some don’t. Everybody is different.
As a general rule, you should continue with the same level of interaction as you did when you were just friends. If that was everyday, then there should be no reason for that to stop. And if it wasn’t everyday, then there should be no reason for you to start.
You should just try to go with the flow and do what feels right. If you both feel as though you want to talk everyday, then it would be silly not to, so long as the feeling is mutual and you’re not overcomplicating things. Don’t overthink it, and do what feels natural to you both.
Friends with benefits rules aren’t set in stone, but there’s a lot you can do in order to make sure that you don’t over-complicate the situation.
Every relationship is different, and where some things might work for somebody else, it might not work for you. It’s all about trial and error, and communicating with your sexual partner along the way.
If you do find that you’ve developed feelings for your friend with benefits, then the right thing to do is to address the situation and be honest about how you feel. I can’t promise that those feelings will be reciprocated, although it is a possibility, but it wouldn’t be right for you to carry on like everything was normal.
It will hurt more in the long run.
If you both enter the relationship feeling confident that you want the same thing, then not much can go wrong. That’s why clarity and communication is so important.
You’ll also find that things are a lot easier when you just lay everything out on the table, honesty will play a big part in what makes your friends with benefits relationship successful.
If you’ve ever had a friend with benefits, please comment any advice for those looking to enter a friends with benefits relationship. As always, share with a friend in need.