Our guide to avoiding a messy situation.
I know, I know you can leave your When Harry Met Sally quote at the door but give me a chance to change your mind. Walk with me….
Friends with benefits (or FWB) for the uninitiated, is a relationship between two people who are not in an exclusive romantic relationship, but are having sex. We all know how important romantic relationships are to most people and to society. Even the often labelled progressive Gen Z is still interested in labels and dating with intention as opposed to having multiple partners at once like our elder millennials tended to have.
Does that mean our more intentional dating choices makes us closed off to having friends with benefits? Of course not! A problem with how it’s approached is that most people do not enter the relationship with the intention of simply being friends with benefits and that alone. Lots of people enter this point and are stuck because they truly like someone and want to wait their way into a relationship.
Spoiler alert: if they don’t want a relationship now, you probably won’t be able to change their mind. Here’s how to combat that and have a more successful friends-with-benefits relationship:
Actually Be Friends
Shocker I know, but this type of relationship is more associated with a dial up hook-up than an actual relationship. Please remember there is the word friend in the term friends with benefit. Treating the person nicely and with respect and not as a free use sex doll is extremely important. Also sleeping with someone you don’t know you like or even trust is dangerous, not just because of possible STIs.
We have spoken language and written word. Please please use it. Always be willing to talk to this person and clarify what you want from your contact or relationship with them. Remember to come to agreements and compromises and be honest with what you want and need.
Not just about the state of your relationship but with schedules for your encounters. We are all busy people and planning when you will meet your FWB is not just being considerate but also maximises the time you spend when you meet for spicy fun. It’s also important to communicate your boundaries when you are into exploring different positions and kinks if you are willing to explore with an FWB.
Whoever you are FWB with is someone you should know that you don’t want to be in a more serious relationship with. If you’ve established that you will likely not date this person and remind yourself about it often, you can and will be able to have a worry free relationship. There is a difference between someone that you don’t see a future with and someone who is actively bad for you. Be discerning.
Be Mature and Know Your Feelings:
If you are someone who finds your understanding of relationships still driven by rom coms, sit this out entirely. Non-traditional relationships or ones with looser labels are for people who understand and are willing to be mature about it. Whether we like it or not, it’s not for everyone and that’s okay. Its important to do what you think is right for you.
Friends with benefits can be a great time if you are willing to be honest about your intentions and stick to them. You’ve got this!
Edited by Caitlin Hart