Friends with Benefits is a type of relationship where two friends mutually agree to having casual and fun sex, sans any commitments and it could last for months.
Although many critics have come down hard on Friends with Benefits (FWB), there can be a lot of benefits to a FWB arrangement when it’s between the right people who are aligned in their needs.
The frequent question people usually ask is if friends with benefits can really work?
The answer is yes.
But it is going to require a lot honesty and candid communication about our emotions and feelings.
But first things first.
Everyone has a different perception of what FWB could mean.
According to Her Way, a FWB is two friends engaging in casual sex with no strings attached.
While according to Healthyway, a friends-with-benefits relationship is “often regarded as ideal for someone who wants to have sex on the reg but isn’t in a committed partnership”.
More elaboration on the meaning of FWB and how to not catch feelings with your FWB, can be found here.
However, different people may have different perceptions of its definition so much so that some interchange it with hookups or no strings attached.
Hence, the crucial need for communication and honesty here to make sure both of you are on the same page.
It is a great way to find a FWB partner without blowing up your social circles into pieces and left picking up the pieces.
If you need more of a guide on how to kickstart a FWB, we’ve laid it out for you here.
But before paddling into dangerous waters, it is always important to set up clear guidelines and rules between you two.
This is to ensure both of you are of the same mind to avoid any miscommunication and will enjoy each other’s company.
Also, it goes a long way in making sure you get the best bits of the arrangement without stepping on each other’s toes, and potentially falling into the pitfalls of mistakes that FWB can lead to without proper understanding of each other’s expectations.
So here goes our top 4 FWB rules for both of you to have fun and not end up throwing tantrums at one another, and turning it into an overnight soap opera nightmare.
It takes two to tango. And the same came be said in a FWB relationship.
It is easy to want to give in and just go along with anything your friend wants.
But no, you shouldn’t.
Be clear with what you want and speak up on your needs and wants.
So while laying down the bricks, lay down what you want in order for it to be enjoyable for yourself too.
With a friendship tying the both of you, you need to respect one another and come to an agreement.
Talk to your friend and make sure both sides are clear about what the rules are and meet each other halfway.
Some have gone into a FWB arrangement with a hidden motive of turning it into a committed relationship.
Don’t fall into the same category.
The whole point of a FWB is being able to have sex with someone you know and connect with, minus the emotional entanglement involved in a serious relationship.
So, you need to forget about any romantic notions between you two.
If you can’t deal with it then perhaps FWB is not for you and you need to rethink about your own needs.
This is important especially if the person is someone you plan on having in your life.
Take note of any changes or vibe they give out.
FWBs can change rapidly and you need to be mindful of these changes.
If you do not acknowledge their feelings, you may end up hurting their feelings and ending the friendship when you had no intention of doing so in the first place.
If you feel like your FWB partner is showing signs of developing feelings for you or show signs that things are getting serious between you two, take action and openly talk about it.
Still unsure if your partner wants more? Try our “Are We More Than Friends Quiz” before deciding to approach the topic and avoid any awkward moments.
This is a crucial rule to avoid leaving any heartbreaks behind.
Both of you must be aware that the sex part will fizzle out eventually.
Discuss on what happens if one of you meets someone you want to be exclusive with or what happens when one of you starts catching feelings.
Is there a deadline on when things could end?
Also discuss how both of you will maintain being friends once this FWB phase is done and dusted.
Even if the friendship is not something you consider a major one, be decent on how things could end mutually rather than leaving things in the wind.
Having fun was the whole point of why you’re having a FWB in the first place.
So, focus on the amazing sex you’re having and let loose!
If the fun ends (which we all know it will), end the sex and focus on the friendship between you two!
Acknowledge that it was a good time between you two and move on!
If you want more useful rules about FWBs and how to avoid any missteps, we have more outlined here.
So, the chemistry has fizzled out and you want to go back to being just friends.
How to go about it?
It can be hard to go from sleeping with someone to transitioning back to a friendship.
Even worst is you are worried it may end the friendship altogether when you bring up the subject because the feeling could be as dreadful as a breakup.
There is no easy way of going about it but it is worth the effort, especially when you like your FWB friend and want to keep the friendship going.
Here are ways to end your FWB relationship and staying friends with them!
Just like how we emphasised on honesty from the very beginning, it doesn’t end there.
It is super important to be honest on what has been on your mind- whether you have found someone you want to get serious with or that you have different priorities now on what you want in your life.
Honesty is sacred in any friendship.
So be a friend and be genuine on your reason to end it.
This may seem nerve-wrecking but this will go a long way in showing how much the person means to you and also speaks a lot about your own character.
Do not do this part over text!
This will surely send the friendship into Sourville.
Be crystal clear on how much you appreciate the person and that you don’t want to end the friendship.
Also tell them that you’re still interested in hanging out with them despite the zero sex and discuss how both of you can move on to focusing on the friendship now.
It can be tough to see your friend breaking down and the conversation gets emotional that you may budge from your decision.
But remember why you wanted to end it in the first place despite them negotiating to keep the FWB going.
If you go back on your decision, it creates a lot of confusion and a lot of questions, which could end up in a bag of problems that you were trying to avoid in the first place.
Ending something is always hard.
Even for a FWB where you don’t have the exact emotional entanglement, as a committed relationship.
You care for your friend at the end of the day.
Change is always difficult so it is best to give each other a certain amount of time to have some space to move on to the next step.
Do agree on a certain amount of period of time on when it is okay to contact one another again.
Once the agreed period of time has expired, feel free to give them a call or a text.
Show them that you care about them enough that you still want to spend time with them even though the sex has ended.
This will save the friendship and potentially make it stronger than ever!
If you want to know more about ending a FWB, read on here.
(Last Updated: 21 December 2020)
About the Author
Kelvin Kevin is the Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Content Editor of the World-Renowned HappyMatches.com 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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