We all love having great friends. They’re a source of happiness and inspiration to us when we need it most, and they have the ability to turn a somewhat average day into an awesome one with just their mere presence.
But the term “friends with benefits” is a whole different dynamic that comes with a slew of very different unspoken rules, needs and wants.
What is Friends with Benefits?
Friends with benefits, or FWB for short, is the notion that two friends can be physically intimate with one another without the complexities of being in a committed and emotional relationship.
For many, this kind of relationship seems ideal. Both parties are physically satisfied sans any drama while enjoying the single life. It’s fair to say that the FWB agreement has brought immense joy to individuals worldwide.
But coming back down to earth, a large percentage of those who engage in this practice, have ended up with some unfavorable complications.
So whether you’re already in a FWB relationship or you’re planning to start one, here are a few things you should know.
What’s the Difference Between Friends with Benefits and No Strings Attached?
A FWB, as stated above, is simply two friends who have decided to add the element of sex into their friendship.
They’ve known each other for a period of time, and usually care about the wellbeing of their FWB.
No strings attached however, is two people having sex with zero expectations whatsoever. There are no obligations or commitments, and the arrangement is purely physical.
How Can the Dynamic of Friends with Benefits Get Complicated?
The name itself implies that those who are in this kind of arrangement, are friends to begin with. And friends know each other.
They know what the other is interested in, their likes and dislikes, and quite possibly their hopes and dreams. They also feel safe in each other’s company and care about one another’s wellbeing. And when these things are a factor, there’s also a big chance that one or both partners may start to feel romantic feelings.
How could this possibly complicate things? Well, say you’re the one who’s developed feelings for your FWB, but those feelings are not reciprocated. This not only leads to feelings of rejection but also compromises the “friendship” portion of your arrangement.
It also gets messy when one person starts sleeping with another. One may think that they’re not emotionally attached, but when put in such a situation, it’s common for them to feel jealous and upset.
Check this out: The Friend Zone: Another Example of Toxic Sexism
Friends with Benefits is a Misleading Label
The term “friends with benefits” is actually quite an inaccurate label because there’s a tendency to believe that a FWB relationship means cutting oneself off emotionally. This then devalues the meaning of true friendship and goes against everything having a friend is about.
Having said that, there are still many FWB that have successful sexual trysts while keeping a happy and satisfying friendship. The dynamic of FWB could work perfectly for some, and not-so-perfectly for others.
Can You Be in a Successful Friends with Benefits Relationship?
For those who seek the key to a successful friends with benefits relationship, unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all.
But, here are a few things you could take into account:
Ask yourself: How would you feel if your FWB were to enter into a monogamous and romantic relationship with someone else?
Keep in mind that the dynamic could change over time and may start to become a bit more complicated – for better or for worse.
Be sure to take your FWB’s feelings into account. Just because you’re sleeping with them, doesn’t mean that you no longer have to care about them as a person.
Choose the right kind of person to be your FWB. Having one that is compassionate and understanding, and who’ll still be your friend when you need them, is the golden ticket.
If you’re not looking for any romantic involvement, try keep physical affection to a minimum. If you find yourself constantly hugging, kissing, or cuddling, it could cause a whole new level of feelings to emerge.
Having read these tips, do you feel a FWB relationship is right for you?
You have the right to enjoy dynamic, safe and successful sexual encounters. Just remember that you’re entitled to be 100 percent open and honest because your feelings are valid and important, and you deserve the best.
Check this out: Is An Open Relationship Right For You?