As society moves to become more open and accepting sexually, empowering both men and women to act on their sexual desires, the idea of casual sex is becoming a regular part of life. People are waiting longer to find that serious relationship, commit and settle down, and even more people are choosing to steer clear of commitment entirely at this stage in their lives.
Enter the ‘Friend with Benefits’. Rather than just relying on a random string of ‘no-strings-attached’ hookups at your local bar, this allows you to find one person you can trust to have fun and keep you satisfied. While this can be a tricky situation to navigate, if it is done properly it can be great!
Here are 15 tips to help you enjoy the fun and excitement of a healthy ‘Friends with Benefits’ relationship:
- Communication, Communication, Communication
The only way that a FWB relationship will ever work is if you both keep the communication channels open at all times. This is all about sex, so why wouldn’t you share with one another what you are eager to try, what you like and what you have no desire to ever engage in. Take the opportunity to enjoy exploring and learning more about yourself sexually, but you can only do this by keeping the communication rolling.
- Stay off Social Media
There is no need to go running to his social media accounts looking for some sort of mention of your last fun night or to see who he is with in his pictures. Your arrangement means that he has a whole life outside of just having sex with you, and that’s OK! You’re not in a committed relationship, and this is only going to create feelings of jealousy or disappointment. Just stay off all his accounts!
- Draw a Clear Line Between Your Social Life and Your Sex Life
If you begin to include your FWB into your regular social life, grabbing drinks with friends or going to see a movie together, you are increasing the risk of deeper feelings developing. Don’t set yourself up to fail! Your FWB should only be in your life for your sexual needs.
- Never Spend the Night
If you want your FWB arrangement to work, you need to be sure not to give one another any mixed messages. Spending the night, cuddling, holding hands – these are all precursors to an actual relationship. When you are done having fun in bed (or the couch, or the car, or wherever you want to get busy) pack up your stuff and head home for your much-needed rest!
- Don’t Shy Away from the Serious Topics
While a FWB arrangement is all about having a good time sexually, there are some serious topics that you need to ensure that you address. To start with, make sure you are clear on expectations regarding birth control and remember the importance of safe sex! Risks like STD’s and pregnancy don’t disappear just because you are keeping it casual.
- Have Clear Rules Upfront
The biggest problem that many people face in their FWB relationships is that they leave far too much gray area. This lack of communication will ultimately lead to someone being disappointed when their expectations are not being met. If you are content with a FWB relationship and don’t want it to lead to anything more, make sure that you are both aware and in agreement before anything starts!
- Keep Your Jealousy in Check
So, you’re out on the town with your friends and there is your FWB, holding hands with another woman. It is important to remind yourself that he is NOT your boyfriend, and therefore he is not cheating if he is pursuing an actual relationship with someone else. If you can’t handle that this may happen, then you may want to reconsider whether you are ready for a FWB relationship at this time.
- Don’t Read into It
It is human nature to try to analyze and understand the meaning behind comments, compliments, text messages, and conversations. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in your head. If you start reading into every message you are bound to create some sort of emotional tie to something that has been said, and that is only going to end badly for everyone involved. Remember, you both agreed this is FWB and nothing more!
- Remember That This is a Real Person
When you start to draw clear lines between your emotions and your sexual needs, it is important to remember that this person isn’t just a sex toy – this is a real person with real needs, desires and wants. After all, the phrase FWB even includes the word ‘friend’! Make sure that you are kind and respectful to one another, and that there is a level of trust. If you find the friendship aspect failing, it may be time to reconsider the arrangement.
- Don’t Share Detailed Info with Your Friends
Sure, you may let your closest friends know that you’ve got someone, but end the communication about your FWB there. If you start sharing stories, pictures or messages then you are putting a face to a name, opening the door for feelings and connection into your life.
- Keep it Strictly Sexual
Don’t allow your relationship with your FWB to reach an emotional level as this is bound to foster some level of feelings in at least one of you! Share your sexual desires and fantasies, and feel free to explore each and every one of them together, but leave your emotions and daily life out of it. This isn’t someone you sit down and share your day with over coffee! Maintain a healthy distance.
- You Aren’t Always on Call
While you may enjoy the time you spend with your FWB, remember that you aren’t required to do anything. If you aren’t feeling it, or if you have other plans you’d rather follow through on, it is within your rights to pass up on the chance to hook up. There will be plenty of other opportunities, either with this person or with someone else if they can’t hack it.
- Choose Your Partner Wisely
Who you choose can make or break the success of a FWB relationship. If you know that a friend of yours has always had a crush on you, attempting a FWB arrangement will likely only lead to someone becoming far too attached. Find someone who is sexually open and not looking to settle down into a long-term relationship anytime soon.
- Be Prepared to Walk at the First Sign of Feelings
This is important to ensure that you can protect yourself. If you begin to develop any deeper feelings for your FWB than just sexual attraction, or if they start to show signs that they have been developing feelings, don’t try to stick it out or fix it – walk away! Continuing the relationship will only cause it to get messy, and someone will ultimately be hurt. End it on a good note and move on.
- Have Fun!
The whole point of a FWB relationship is to have a good time! When you are together, enjoy yourself! Be adventurous, experiment, and don’t be afraid to laugh a little. If you feel like this is a job, or the fun has let your relationship, it’s definitely time to get out of there.