Despite casual being the very core of friends with benefits relationships, there’s still a lot riding on how you start things off. You can set the tone for a quality FWB arrangement right from the jump or just as easily doom it to go the other way.
Now, I know FWB situations aren’t exactly the epitome of conventional relationships, and as a girl, you’re even more likely to be clueless about initiating one. After all, guys are historically known to openly seek out casual sex a lot more than we do.
Nevertheless, thanks to the increasingly progressive shift in attitude toward no-strings hookups, women are more proactive than ever about who/what they want. So, you’ve narrowed it down to a handful of guys you think might make the perfect FWB but are struggling a little bit with how to broach the subject? Say no more.
From what to expect to how to pick and ask the guy, basic ground rules to set, and more, below are helpful tips for initiating your very own friends with benefits situation.
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Yes, the sex part is obvious, but have you considered what other reason is there behind you wanting to be friends with benefits with this guy? It doesn’t even have to be about the specific person you are trying to do it with, but why you’re choosing this arrangement in particular.
Are you going into it for practical reasons like convenience or looking to fill a void beyond just your sexual needs? If, for instance, you want or are hoping this materializes into something more, it might be better to gun for a relationship instead. If it’s strictly sex you want, a fuck buddy arrangement might be more appropriate, which brings us to the next tip.
In case the name didn’t already give it away, FWBs are friends who fuck. While the lines may or may not get blurred as things progress, leading to the potential complications regular sex often does, it’s important for both parties to deepen that definition.
You don’t suddenly become lovers because of the added benefits, neither should your existing relationship necessarily deteriorate due to the sex. You may discuss the specific details of what the dynamic of your non-relationship will entail, but at least start off knowing you agree on what it means to be friends with benefits.
If you have to decide between multiple guys and aren’t sure what metrics to deem them eligible, here is an idea, go for the one that promises the least drama. How to tell? Start by skipping the exes and the lifelong crushes. You don’t want to start an FWB relationship with someone you are or have been emotionally involved with, that’s how you get attached and complicate things.
It would help to consider the person’s availability, too. Is he single? Does it matter? If it doesn’t, how involved or uninvolved is he at the moment? Is it something you can work around or not? Since you’re not exactly looking for a serious relationship, I’d flag anything that may ruin the fun or bring about unnecessary sacrifices down the line.
If you believe in sexual compatibility, this probably goes without saying for you. If you are not already bumping uglies with this guy, let there at least be undeniable proof you both want to. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend asking someone you’ve only flirted with to be your FWB because spark doesn’t always translate to good sex.
Instead, go off of actual experience by establishing and exploring your sexual chemistry first. There is no emotional cushion to fall back on, or at least there shouldn’t be, so you need the physical attraction between you to be tried and true.
As much as everyone seems to stan no-strings sex these days, the truth is not all of us can pull casual sexual relationships off, especially with the same partner. Ideally, you want someone who is emotionally mature enough to successfully compartmentalize the sex, no matter how good it gets.
This is even more necessary if you’re confident in your bedroom skills, spoiler alert: men are not that strong in the face of that gorilla grip. From what you know of this person, do you think he can still manage to stay focused as things progress? Does he know what he wants? Will he let you make a clean break, or is he likely to get carried away and make a mess of things?
Besides the obvious pros of sleeping with a seasoned partner, having successfully had FWB relationships should be an added advantage. As I said, since sex tends to get better the more often you do it, there’s always a chance of someone mixing things up and catching feelings.
Now, a non-noob would know what signs to look out for, what not to do, and to avoid the pitfalls that saw the end of the previous ones. Conversely, becoming friends with benefits with someone with a track record of dating everyone they’ve had sex with is setting yourself up for stress or an inadvertent relationship.
On the off chance that you don’t wind up among the 50% of fs that stay as close post-fling, you want to limit the potential blowback to a minimum. I’m not going to pretend there aren’t people forming FWB relationships within their most immediate friend group, but I can tell you that doesn’t always end well.
To be safe, I’d suggest staying clear of people you have to interact with every other day, like your best friend or coworkers. Picking a not-so-close friend might make it sting less if the whole thing ends in tears, and if it goes well, you can ride the novelty wave sans the risk.
Keep all and every mush out of it, remember you are not asking him to be the father of your future twins, so no commitment or picket fence talks for now. It might also help to approach this from a place of confidence, as opposed to how you might talk to someone you’re developing feelings for or planning on dating.
This tip applies throughout the non-relationship, actually, not just at the beginning. Like I said, that you’re having great sex with someone doesn’t make you a couple, so try not to get roped into acting like you’re part of one.
Unlike how you might approach asking a guy you want a real relationship with, you want to be as candid here as you can manage. Remember that sorry thing boys used to do where they pretend to have feelings for you when they really just want to get some? Don’t do that.
If you think he might be getting the wrong idea of what you are looking for, correct him. Thankfully, the “friend” tag suggests you have a rapport. And if you’re considering him as a potential FWB partner, hopefully, there’s already a sexual premise, so being straightforward shouldn’t be so odd.
The flexible nature of an FWB relationship makes it easier to complicate than a traditional romantic relationship. In the spirit of not beating around the bush, it’s a good idea to preempt disrespect and other drawbacks by establishing clear boundaries and encouraging your buddy to do the same.
These will be your guide when the fun starts and is as much to keep you in check as him. Also, these ground rules, from the soft limits to the dealbreakers, can be updated as the relationship progresses.
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FWB relationships are supposed to be fun, no one wants to start something casual on an overly serious note. More reason to pick your timing wisely and not go for a guy that’s already emotionally invested in you.
You can ask over drinks or after a good round of sex, even if they decline, it’s not as weird as, say, over a romantic dinner that started with ‘we need to talk.’ You can as well do it over texting or whatever form of communication you two use the most. The trick is to keep it light and pressure-free, so they are free to respond honestly without it being awkward.
If it seems like your guy might be onboard, in the spirit of establishing and respecting each other’s boundaries, he’s probably going to have some questions, as you would. Now, some things are entirely your prerogative whether or not to share, but generally, try to at least be transparent with him about the current goings-on in your sex life.
I, for one, would have safety concerns, so I may ask questions like whether or not you’re sleeping with someone else if you practice safe sex, and how often you get tested. If you’re actively dating, too, it’s worth mentioning to avoid stories that touch later.
Though a fair share of friends with benefits relationships ends through no fault of either party, a good percentage of such arrangements also crash and burn because partners don’t talk well enough. Even those who manage to get off on the right foot but wind up letting go find their non-relationship challenging to maintain.
No one is asking you for heart-to-hearts, but as the previous point suggests, stay open about the need-to-knows. Don’t be shy to talk about the quality of sex you are having, how to improve it, whether or not it’s still working, or whatever else needs discussing.
If you’re new to a friend-with-benefits arrangement or enter one with a partner you’re emotionally invested in (against my recommendation), I suggest you manage your expectations. And by that, I mean don’t expect anything beyond the basics, both in and out of the sack.
An FWB situation is not potential dating, so expecting serenades and flowers just because he says he enjoys the WAP is how you break your own heart. Don’t hold out hope on it metamorphosing into a love story of rom-com proportions either, many have been there, and they mostly get disappointed.
Conversely, if you go in expecting nothing and something positive eventually comes of it, you can take the win without subjecting yourself to a greater chance of disappointment.
Many people avoid dating or even sleeping with friends because they don’t know how to reconcile the platonic with the erotic without sacrificing one for the other. One reliable way to get ahead of that is to put all the cards on the table before the benefits become a permanent fixture in your relationship.
While you’re still thrashing out the what-ifs, touch on whether or not you want sex to change things between you, like how often you talk and your dynamic going forward.
In cases where your special friend is part of a larger group you belong to, talk about handling the others. Do you keep things low-key or let them in on it? What happens if your partner catches feelings and you have to let them go? Do you leave the group for them or stay and suffer in silence?
If you or they are in a relationship, how do you intend to deal with the jealousy on the partner(s) side? Can you get jealous if they flirt in front of you? These concerns may not seem like a big deal, but they are worth keeping in mind as a unit, especially when setting ground rules.
In the event of green light, another ground to cover if you are a planning person is what goes into actually doing the deed, particularly if you aren’t already having steady sex. You may need to work out kinks like location, how often, who meets who, where, and how all that fits into each of your everyday lives.
There may not be strings attached to the benefits, but arrangements like this tend to be less stressful for all parties involved when there’s some structure in place.
Whether you were fuck buddies before now or just friends, giving the guy a reason or two why you want an FWB relationship with him might help your odds. Is it that you think he’s emotionally stable enough to handle it? Has he moved to you before? Is he the best casual sex you’ve ever had? Tell him, and it just might be the thing that convinces him to give it a go with you.
You can easily make something up here you think he might want to hear, although, in my experience, the truth is usually more than enough.
Take the pressure off your request by giving your friend an out he won’t feel bad about taking. Let him know he can end your arrangement anytime or in the event of so, so and so, without worrying about betraying you. He likes someone, no longer feeling it or feeling it a bit too much for comfort? He only needs to say the word.
Then check in with him regularly as the relationship progresses, so he knows it’s still on the table. If it were any other partner, they probably wouldn’t need their blessing to leave. But an existing friendship means they also stand to lose more than just a booty call if they mess up.
A significant percentage of people believe that a friends with benefits relationship often has an expiration date. Should yours end eventually, what becomes of your friendship afterward? Would you or the guy be open to going back to the way things were or not? If your other friends are initially kept out of it, does it stay that way, or do you finally tell them?
And on the off chance that you beat the odds, the same question still applies: what happens next? If you both catch feelings, for instance, do you leave your current relationship and date or part ways for good? It doesn’t have to go down that way, of course, as nothing would be set in stone, but a tentative plan is still better than none at all.
This may not be a common occurrence for you, but remember there is always a chance he may pass even if you’re an undisputed 10. If it turns out he is not interested, try not to take it personally. As already mentioned, not even a friends with benefits relationship can cut it for everyone.
Some people want it all (i.e., a true relationship) or nothing at all (hookups without labels.) Some don’t have much hope in such arrangements because they think it’s more trouble than it’s worth. Then there are those who simply can’t get it up for people they’ve friend-zoned, even if they had sex before getting close. So, hope for the best, alright, but don’t feel entitled to a yes.
Absolutely. Given the sensitive nature of friends with benefits relationships, a guy may even appreciate you asking him than him having to do it. This is because many women still take offense to men who try to hook up without the usual commitment of a romantic relationship.
Posit a no-strings-attached hookup to them, if they go for it or you’re already having sex, bring up being friends with benefits candidly and ask if they’d be down for it. They will either take it or leave it, so it’s best to lay it all on the table instead of disguising your intention as what it isn’t.
Some people have trouble separating a sexual relationship from romantic ones and may get attached easily to friends with benefits situations. This is hardly a gender thing, though girls may be more susceptible to falling than guys since the latter has more practice seeking casual hookups.
Eventually, each non-couple finds what’s best for them, but since a major part of being friends with benefits is trying not to catch feelings, it’s generally advisable to space seeing each other. Most people say once or twice a week is plenty enough for FWBs to meet, and anything more may cause one or both parties to start falling in love.
It depends on the guy you are dealing with. Some prefer it when you are direct about your intentions, some like it when you’re coy about it and just flirt instead. Though a bit higher risk than the alternative, the direct route is the only one that ensures nothing gets lost in translation as some guys truly and thoroughly suck at taking hints.
How to ask a guy to be friends with benefits? Honestly? You just do it. Remember, with transparent communication and confidence, you’ll probably get lucky every time because let’s face it, men are cheap. Most of them don’t get such offers every day, so there’s really no need to overthink.
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