I think we have all watched the romantic comedy ‘Friends with Benefits’, where Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis make this kind of relationship look very smooth.
But they forgot all the friends with benefits rules once they fell in love.
There are two possible scenarios with a friends with benefits relationship.
This is the first one, where both partners fall in love and realize they can’t continue with this type of relationship and decide to make their relationship official.
This is the one with a happy ending.
The second scenario, with a not so happy ending, is where one partner starts to catch feelings for their FWB and that makes them end their relationship before it’s too late.
This doesn’t mean that a FWB relationship can’t work. It really can but it’s almost always short-lived. You can’t be in such a relationship forever.
You can’t be with someone for pure physical pleasure for too long. After some time, one of you will fall in love with the other person or will want a more serious relationship.
You’ll want someone with whom you’ll be able to talk about your day, someone to confide in and someone you’ll be able to date without any ground rules or anything like that.
It’s so much easier for guys to follow the friends with benefits rules. They’re used to no-strings-attached hookups.
Women are a lot different. We fall in love much faster than guys and that’s why it’s much more difficult for us to maintain a relationship without any romantic feelings being involved.
17 Necessary Friends With Benefits Rules
Here are some important rules if you want to have a successful relationship with your fun buddy and not fall in love with them after some time and spoil everything.
You must be 100% ready for this kind of relationship
Before getting into this relationship, both of you have to read and be ready to follow all these rules and you have to understand their true meanings.
If you fall in love easily or catch feelings too quickly, this relationship definitely isn’t for you.
However, if you want to have fun without any commitment or if you’re looking for some random hookup, get on your Tinder profile and let the search begin.
Choose your FWB partner wisely
You must find a person who’s also willing to accept all of these rules. Before you get involved in anything, you must define your relationship and be sure that you both want the same thing.
I wouldn’t recommend for you to be involved in this type of relationship with your co-worker or best friend; actually, it would be better to choose someone you’ve just met.
If you start a FWB relationship with someone you know, it’ll just complicate the relationship between you once the affair ends.
The ‘friends’ part is really important
Don’t just pay attention to the ‘benefits’ part. You should also have a friendly relationship even before getting physically intimate.
You don’t have to be best friends who’ll share all of your secrets and keep in touch 24/7 but it’s nice to get to know them a little bit more.
You’ll then both feel more sure that it’ll positively affect your intimacy.
Have very clear expectations
So, the first thing you have to do is define your relationship.
There shouldn’t be any unrealistic expectations and you shouldn’t expect for the relationship to become official after some time, even if you do develop some feelings for your fun buddy.
The only expectation you should have is that there shouldn’t be any expectations or obligations. It’s a relationship without any commitment and that’s the way you should keep it.
Setting boundaries is a MUST
As in any other relationship, setting some clear boundaries is crucial to make this relationship work.
Defined boundaries will help you know that both of you are on the same emotional page.
Both partners must be clear about what they want from the relationship and both of you have to respect each other’s boundaries.
Check in regularly
You don’t have to be in contact all day long but you should check in regularly, at least every other day.
Texting your fun buddy only when you want to meet up with them is a little bit disrespectful and even if it’s not a real relationship, you should show them respect and appreciation.
You aren’t dating, therefore dates are off-limits
Going out for a coffee or to the cinema or preparing them dinner at your place is something you should definitely avoid because that’s a sure way you’ll catch some feelings.
This isn’t a real relationship and you aren’t dating, that’s why you shouldn’t go on dates. The only date you should have is the one in the bedroom.
Cuddling is a no-no
As this is some kind of a romantic relationship after all, many FWB couples think they should cuddle during foreplay or after being intimate.
Actually, it’s better to avoid cuddling because it produces oxytocin (the love or cuddle hormone) and your emotions will get in the way and will ruin the arrangement you have.
Remember, you aren’t dating and cuddling will probably just confuse you both and complicate your relationship.
Be open to trying new things
While you’re having fun with this kind of relationship, this may also be a perfect time to try some new things you always wanted to do in the bedroom.
Ask your fun buddy about their fantasies or whether they would like to try something new.
If they suggest something new without you even asking them, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and have a little bit more fun.
Try, but really TRY, not to catch feelings
This won’t be difficult if you both do follow these rules. Keep in touch but don’t spend too much time together.
It’s okay to become friends with them and get to know a little bit more but you shouldn’t tell them everything about your life.
Keep the relationship light and playful and try not to get into it too deep.
Respect the ‘no sleepover’ rule
Spending a night together might complicate your relationship.
You’ll see how confused you’ll be the next morning, when you wake up by their side.
You won’t know whether you should stay and wait for them to wake up or just sneak out of their place. It’s unnecessary and definitely not good if you want to keep things casual.
You’re both allowed to date other people
With all FWB arrangements and rules, both sides have the right to date other people because their relationship isn’t exclusive.
Being in a casual relationship like this doesn’t mean you’re taken.
You’re still single and in the dating game and whenever you meet someone new, someone you would like to date officially, you have the right to end the affair with your fun buddy.
Maybe this might seem unfair but these are the rules.
Jealousy is off the table
No strings attached means that there shouldn’ be jealousy either.
You’re both allowed to date other people, meet new people and go out with whomever you want.
If you start feeling jealous because your partner finds someone new and starts dating them for real, it’s a good sign that you do have some romantic feelings for them.
If you keep being emotionally unattached, you won’t probably have any problems with the other side dating someone else.
It would be better if you didn’t meet each other’s family and friends
You’ll probably want to tell someone about your little affair and you should but only one of your best friends. Be aware that the fewer people who know about it, the better it is for you.
Think about it. What would you even say to your family about your buddy? They are not just your friend and not just your lover.
Would you have the guts to tell them the truth, that he’s your fun buddy?
Meeting each other’s friends and family members would just unnecessarily complicate things.
And also, it would be more difficult for you to deal with the breakup once you end your relationship because your family or friends might ask about them frequently and you may not know what to say to them.
Don’t create unnecessary drama
If something happens, like if you disagree about something or your partner starts dating someone, don’t immediately start creating unnecessary drama.
Most people like this kind of relationship exactly because they’re completely drama-free or at least they should be.
You have to know why you are there. For the fun only, right? There is no fun in creating unnecessary drama.
Always use protection
You’re aware that this relationship is just temporary, right? You know you’re there for fun and excitement only, right?
Then stay safe and always use protection. It will keep you STD-free (as you’re in a non-monogamous relationship) and will also prevent the risk of pregnancy.
Don’t ruin all the fun and excitement there is just because you’re in a hurry or you simply forget to use protection.
That one moment of thoughtlessness, you could regret for the rest of your life.
Blindly follow all of these rules
Trust me, I know what I’m talking about. I have been there already and it didn’t end well because I thought we’d be able to function like that without any rules.
We still don’t talk, even though it was so long ago. And the worst thing is that person is my co-worker.
I have to see them every day at my workplace and there is still some tension left between us.
That’s why I would honestly advise you to follow these ground rules that will help you get a better understanding of this kind of relationship and maintain it for as long as you want.
Do Friends With Benefits Work?
A FWB relationship is really trending nowadays and it’s becoming more and more popular every day because of many reasons.
It’s popular with people who aren’t ready for a committed relationship and they are actually the ones who engage in this kind of relationship the most.
This option works best for them because they need that ‘no strings attached’ fun and they don’t really even want to think about getting into more serious relationships yet.
The other day, I read the question, “Can friends with benefits work in real life?” and it made me really laugh.
Like any other relationship, FWB can also work if both partners put an effort in to make it work.
Of course, it doesn’t require saso much effort as a more serious relationship; however, there are some very important rules that both sides must respect if they want to maintain their relationship.
Have you ever heard of a friends with benefits rules contract? Yes, that exists too.
If you feel it’ll be better for you both to make your arrangement official, this is a great solution.
You can find some templates of a contract online and then modify it in a way that would be okay for both of you.
Remember, if both sides are ready to stick to their part of the arrangement, you’ll be able to maintain your FWB relationship without getting attached for sure.
Sometimes, it can last even longer than some real relationships.
How To End A Friends With Benefits Relationship?
Ending a friends with benefits relationship almost always gets very difficult and painful for one partner.
Sometimes, one side forgets the most important FWB rule and falls in love with the other side.
Sometimes, one partner wants something different, something more serious, and it makes them end their current affair.
If you want to get out of your friends with benefits situation, here are some dos and don’ts that will help you to end it in the least painful way possible.
You must do it in person
Don’t be a coward and stand behind the decisions you make.
Don’t start avoiding your FWB partner all of a sudden just because you don’t have the guts to break up.
Don’t hide behind text messages or social media. If you make a decision to end your FWB relationship, you have to do it face-to-face.
Maybe you’re afraid of the other’s side reaction or how they’ll deal with the breakup but still, it really is the best choice to do it in person.
Also, you shouldn’t do it in public because your partner might be hurt and they might deal with it even worse if you do it this way.
They might be surprised by your decision and they won’t know how to react to it while there are other people around you.
Sit down and have an honest talk with your FWB partner
Whatever your reason is to end your little affair, you must be honest with the other side and tell them.
Even if you have no reason or you just got bored with that kind of relationship, you should tell them honestly.
Don’t leave the relationship open-ended or give them any false hope.
Even if you aren’t sure about your decision, you mustn’t lead them on until you’re completely sure or until you find someone else.
After all, you’ve spent a part of your life with that person and even though it wasn’t a committed relationship, you must be fair to them and end things in the right way.
But keep the breakup light
You’re both aware that you agreed on a casual relationship with no strings attached. That’s exactly how your breakup should be.
The other side may have started catching feelings for you and the breakup might be painful for them but you shouldn’t feel like it’s your fault.
They knew from the very first moment what they were getting into and they walked into that relationship willingly.
They made a mistake by not respecting your FWB rules so you shouldn’t feel bad if they don’t take the breakup well.
Don’t try to comfort them in the moment with some silly words like, “You’ll be fine,” “You’ll move on,” “You’ll meet someone new soon…” No, you are the last person they need in their support network right now.
Tell them you would like to stay friends with them
Don’t push it but ask them how they feel about staying in contact and hanging out as friends sometimes.
If they haven’t fallen in love with you, they’ll probably take the breakup well and they’ll be able to stay friends with you.
Of course, because of your history, you won’t be able to be best friends immediately but who knows… Maybe over time, you will become best friends and laugh at your little adventure in the past.
If they don’t take the breakup well, they probably won’t want to remain friends with you after.
They’ll know that it would be impossible to become friends with you without hurting their own feelings.
Also, when you mention how you would like to stay friends with them, don’t do it in a stupid way, like asking them, “Can we stay friends?” or just by stretching your hand out to shake hands with them and simply asking,
If you do it in such a way, you should expect them to slap you or at least to turn their back and go without saying a word to you.
Listen to what they have to say about the breakup
After you tell them the news about the breakup, sit down, as it’s now your time to listen.
Their opinions must not affect or change your decision but you must show them respect and listen to what they have to say.
If they feel like you did something wrong to them or how you didn’t respect your part of the FWB arrangement and you realize they’re right, you should apologize to them and ask for their forgiveness.
If they ask you not to call or check in with them for a while, you should agree to that and promise them that even though you would like to stay friends with them, you won’t do it until they’re ready to talk and hang out with you.
Okay, it wasn’t a serious and committed romantic relationship but it still can be painful for your buddy.
Maybe they got used to you or maybe they became attached to you even though they knew they shouldn’t. Sometimes, we can’t order our heart what to do or whom to love.
Don’t devalue them
You’re breaking up with them and it’s probably because you no longer like them or you no longer enjoy the thing you have.
However, you did spend some time with that person and they deserve your respect and appreciation.
Don’t make this FWB situation more difficult than it is already, especially if you see that they’re suffering because of your decision to split up.
They need to know how much you really appreciate them as a friend and how much it would mean to you if you could stay friends.
Tell them how you also appreciate the time you were together and everything you went through.
Also, tell them how your relationship was really fun and that you’ll always cherish those good moments and memories but now the time has come for you to move on.
Stick to your decision no matter what happens
Some people can’t deal with rejection well. Your partner may be one of those people and even if they don’t have romantic feelings for you, they might get angry after you end your affair.
However, once again, that isn’t your fault so don’t let it affect your decision.
If they start crying or begging you not to break up, that shouldn’t change your mind about ending that little affair you had.
You had your friends with benefits arrangement and they knew that your relationship would come to an end eventually.
You have your reasons for breaking up with them and you should stick to that, no matter how they take the news.
Cut all contact after the breakup for some time
It’s okay to ask them to stay friends after the breakup. However, you should give both them and you some time to process it all.
If they are emotionally attached to you, the breakup will hurt their feelings and it’ll be more difficult for them to process their emotions.
You should give them some time to grieve and to decide whether it’s really a good decision for you to stay friends or not.
There might be some tension between you after the breakup and it would probably be for the best that both of you respect the no-contact rule.
After some time, you will both probably move on and if you miss them as a friend, you can check in with them and ask them to meet over coffee or something like that.
Don’t immediately get back in the dating game
After you end your FWB relationship, don’t immediately activate your Tinder profile again and start looking for a new FWB partner.
Even if you were the one who broke up with them, you should give yourself some time just to think about your previous relationship and to reconsider whether you really want a casual relationship like that again or if you are ready for something more serious.
Also, after some time, you might realize that you caught feelings for your ex-FWB-partner and that you actually broke with them because you were afraid of what would happen next.
You might realize that the breakup was a huge mistake and you may want to reconcile with them and take your relationship to the next level.
Give yourself some time to clear your thoughts and your feelings. Give yourself some time to see whether you’re going to miss that person.
Maybe you’ll regret the breakup and be able to save the relationship before it’s too late.
See also: More Than Friends With Benefits But Not A Relationship
Just Enjoy Your FWB Relationship While It Lasts
You started this kind of relationship just because you want to have some fun without having any real obligations to each other, right?
Then don’t think too much about whether it’s going to work out or not and just enjoy it while it lasts.
However, don’t get into such a relationship if you don’t think you will be able to be with someone and spend time with them without your feelings getting involved.
This type of relationship can seem exciting and fun but it can also lead you to getting your heart broken.
Both sides must follow these friends with benefits rules and only then will you be able to maintain your relationship.
Always keep in mind why you are actually there. If you start developing any feelings for your FWB partner, get out of that relationship and try to move on as fast as possible.
How To Recognize A Serial Dater And Spot Red Flags
Sunday 20th of November 2022
[…] Serial daters avoid the commitment and responsibility that come with relationships and meaningful romances. They prefer one-night stands, parties, and all types of casual hookups, including ‘friends with benefits.’ […]