Can You Handle Being Friends With Benefits?

No-strings sex sounds great but is it great for you?

Photo by Dainis Graveris on SexualAlpha

Why do you want to do this?

There are a lot of reasons that can prompt the decision to get into a FWB relationship. You might be physically attracted to a friend but know that you’re incompatible as a couple. Maybe you want to indulge your sexual urges but you know you’re not ready to start dating after a bad breakup. Maybe you want to use it to help you heal from bad experiences in the past.

Are you secretly hoping for more?

Sometimes you like someone and want an actual relationship with them but they’re not open to the idea right now. You might be tempted to settle for a FWB relationship in the hope that one day, they’ll magically realize they’re in love with you and want the real relationship you wanted all along.

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Can you understand and identify the boundaries?

Different people handle FWB differently. Some have sex and immediately get dressed and go their separate ways while others spend the night together. Some only have sex at the other person’s house, and others prefer the neutral ground of a hotel room. Some people schedule it the same way they would a date, while others are cool with sending a “U up?” text at 2 a.m.

Can you separate sex from love?

Have you ever had a one night stand with a stranger? Slept with someone you never intended to date again? Hooked up with an ex that you couldn’t stand? If the answer to any of those is yes, were you able to enjoy it?

Are you willing to risk the friendship?

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Are you both on the same page?

You’re thinking FWB, but are they? Consent is a hot topic these days, and while we often talk about consent in the context of making sure a woman is consenting before sex, it can also matter when it comes to a FWB relationship.

Can you communicate openly about sex?

How often you’ll have sex, the acts you enjoy and the ones that are off-limits, and what you’re interested in exploring are all things you should be able to talk about openly. Without the security of a romantic relationship, some people can find it very awkward and difficult to talk openly about sex, though.

Can you avoid feeling jealous?

One of the benefits of being FWB is that there’s no commitment and no strings. But this benefit can be a drawback if you’re the jealous type. Because there are no strings and no commitment, both people are still free to date and sleep with others (although some people do agree to exclusive sex in a FWB relationship).

Can you have sex without wanting more?

Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash

Do you have a plan for protection and STD testing?

The no-strings nature of a FWB relationship means that avoiding pregnancy is a serious must. It also means that the risk of STDs could be higher, because both you and your partner could be having sex with others.

Can you be honest about your emotions?

For all that you might plan and prepare, and answer these questions confidently, you can still be surprised to discover your feelings aren’t what you thought they’d be. You might find you start falling for your FWB, that you don’t like no-strings sex, or that you thought sex with them would be better than it actually is.

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Are you willing to talk about the end before it begins?

Before you dive headlong into a FWB relationship, you should discuss it’s eventual demise. Most FWB situations aren’t meant to last forever, even if they are long-term. The intention is often to have a sexual partner between relationships with the ultimate goal of finding the relationship you truly want to be in.

Can you let it go and move on when it no longer works for you?

Whether it’s because you’ve met someone you want to date, you’re developing feelings for your FWB, the sex isn’t that good, or some other reason, at some point, one of you (or even both of you) is going to decide this situation is no longer working for you.

It might not be as simple as you think

Becoming friends with benefits can seem like a very simple solution to a frisky problem. And if you can handle it, it can be simple.

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