Friends with Benefits Definition: What is a FWB and How to Have One That Works!

Friends with benefits means two friends who are casually hooking up, with no intention of entering a committed relationship at the end of their arrangement. 


It has been known that “friends with benefits” (FWB) have been around for some time and you may have come across this term from friends.

But you always wondered what exactly it is as you seem to be getting different meanings of what FWB is.

According to a research article by Jesse Owen, Frank D Fincham and Megan Manthos, FWB relationships are “formed by an integration of friendship and sexual intimacy, typically without the explicit commitments characteristic of an exclusive romantic relationship.”

In simpler terms, it is the in-between worlds of friendship and relationship.

In other words, FWB is platonic friends who engage each other in a sexual relationship, minus a committed partnership.

There is zero romance, no dates and definitely zero commitment.

However, it should not be confused with a no strings attached or a hookup despite the lack of emotions involved.

A NSA, hookup, fling or a casual encounter doesn’t begin with a friendship and in contrast, usually starts with strangers.



Top 8 Tips For a FWB Relationship to Work


So, now that has been cleared up and you’re digging the whole idea of getting into bed with a friend, but do you know where to start?

If you’re unsure on how to go about having a FWB, you’ve come to right place.

Here are some tips to make your FWB relationship work for you!


1. FWB and “no strings attached” are different.



Before starting a FWB arrangement, you have to understand the distinction between these two.

FWB is that both of you are friends but down for sex.

While the other is totally just sex and that’s it. Clear that up first before starting anything to avoid any possible misunderstandings.


2. Be picky with the “friend”.



You need to really put some thoughts into how sex in the equation of your friendship may affect or change the friendship.

Can you deal with the potential situation where both of you may not be as close as before?

This is important because you don’t want to lose a good friend, who you confide in constantly, in case things go south.

So, don’t pick those who are very important to you, who you could potentially lose.

With the existence of FWB apps, you can most certainly find a new friend who could potentially be a FWB partner.

Also, rethink the idea of having a FWB relationship with someone who you could see being in a committed relationship with you.

Feelings can easily develop from that and you want to avoid that as much as possible.


3. Communicate honestly.



This is very important in sustaining and making a FWB work!

Be very clear about what the expectations are and be realistic about it.

Talk about how often will both of you be seeing each other, will you still be seeing other people and if they are staying over.

Also, talk about what you fancy in bed and what you don’t.

And these may change over time so keep the communication going.


4. Feelings may actually develop.

Be prepared for this from either side.

It is easy agreeing to a FWB but when you start touching each other, chemistry may go flying off the charts!

So, think about what you would do if this happens.

It is always better to have a well-thought plan than to be left crumbling later.


5. Practice safe sex.



By the general definition of FWB, you are allowed to sleep with other people.

So, if both of you have agreed that it is not going to be monogamous, then make sure condoms are used.

This would give both of you a greater peace of mind.


6. Don’t bring romance into the mix.



There must be boundaries because without them, it’s easy to slip into a romantic relationship.

So, kissing and hugging them in public needs to be down to a minimum.

And don’t get lovey-dovey in private.

It only leads to trouble. Trust us on that.


7. Do activities together besides sex.



Since this is a FWB, that means you should continue doing “friendly” activities together that bonded you as friends in the beginning.

So it could be a simple lunch, going for walks or even running together.

When your FWB has run its course, this would help keep the friendship going despite not having sex.


8. If you catch feelings, talk about it.

It’s true that you should not enter a FWB with someone you would date.

But some FWB do get together in a committed relationship.

In any case, in order to know if the other person is into it, you have to open up about it.

And if the person feels the same about you, that would open up a whole new chapter for you two!

But if not, you would know where you stand, let it go and look for something that would fit you!

Also, give yourself time to recover and decide if you could still be friends with the person and tell them clearly!

Don’t leave them hanging.



(Last updated: 21 December 2020)

About the Author

Kelvin Kevin is the Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Content Editor of the World-Renowned Dating App and Dating Site. An avid writer since young, he is an Expert Dating and Relationships Coach for Casual Dating, Serious Dating and General Dating. You can follow him on Twitter (@HowToDateBetter), and also check out his personal Dating Blog, for the latest Dating Advice and Dating Tips to help Straight, Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Singles and Couples find and enjoy Fulfilling and Intimate Dating Relationships.

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