I love having friends with benefits!
No-strings-attached sex with someone who I’m comfortable with? Awesome!
The thing is, because so many of us were taught that committed relationships were the goal of all sex, this is new territory for a lot of folks — and that can lead to trouble.
With that in mind, I’ve put together this handy list of 5 keys to successful friends with benefits relationships to help you keep your FWB time WTF-free:
Sometimes folks get so tripped up on making sure nobody “gets the wrong idea” that they end up handling their FWBs roughly— constantly reminding them they “aren’t actually into” them.
Folks, that’s rude and insulting.
Seriously, there are few ickier things than telling someone they are lacking in your eyes while you are genitally fused.
Treat each other well.
We just talked about how people end up being rude when trying to avoid the thing where one person thinks they are heading towards couple-hood and the other thinks they’re having fun — and I can’t tell you how many bad fwb stories I hear that involve one person saying, “I can’t believe she stopped sleeping with me, I didn’t even know she was seeing anyone!”
That, along with a whole lot of other problems, can be avoided with communication.
Talk to each other about your boundaries, about what’s going on in your dating life, and generally keep everyone on the same page.
3. Actual friendship.
A lot of folks miss this one.
They stumble into being “friends” with benefits because they meet someone they find attractive, but one of them isn’t really interested in dating, so they say, “Fine, we’ll be friends with benefits” — but there’s no actual friendship.
Conventional wisdom says that once sex enters the equation you can’t really build a “friendship.”
I call shenanigans on that, and there’s even evidence to back me up! When 300 people were asked what having sex with their friends did to the friendship, about 76% of those who “went there” with a friend said the relationship got better. Better!
The reality is that about half of these folks started dating their friend after the fun, even though that wasn’t their original intention. And the other half not only remained friends, but friends who said the “quality of the friendship bond increased.”
I know this may seem counter-intuitive, as FWB situations are born when folks who are in need of sex decide to have it with each other and not take the relationship any farther, but when your bed buddy is the only thing going on in your sexual life, it’s easy for that person to become the entire embodiment of your romantic life — and then, of course, you fixate on them.
Maintaining your dating and sex life elsewhere allows you to enjoy time with your friend without relying on them for all your sexual release, validation, affection, romance, etc.
And finally …
5. Good sex.
Because, otherwise, what’s the point?
This article originally appeared on YourTango. For more like this from YourTango, try:
Photo credit: Getty Images