Let’s face it – relationships can be complicated. Sometimes, all you want is someone who will come over and keep your bed warm for a little bit while you continue rocking it at work and hunting for your true soul mate. The whole dating game can get exhausting after a while, so every now and then, it’s nice to have Mr. or Miss Right Now, a trusty acquaintance you can rely on to come over and keep you entertained. Yeah – we’re talking about friends with benefits.
Now, everyone on Earth has an opinion about the whole FWB arrangement. Some people absolutely love it, while others say it just can’t be done without someone getting hurt. It’s even a topic for countless movies – who can forget the gorgeous Mila Kunis and the dreamy Justin Timberlake entering into a FWB deal and then falling for one another in the aptly titled Friends With Benefits? It’s become a cultural phenomenon, and it’s not going away anytime soon.
So, you’ve decided to give the ol’ FWB a try? You’ve found your attractive “friend” who will comply? While this type of arrangement is designed to give you more freedom to do things you want, there are a couple rules that you need to follow in order to make sure everyone involved is happy and having a good time.
Here are 10 rules for being friends with benefits.
10. Keep It Out of Your Neighbourhood
At first, becoming friends with benefits with someone who lives on your block – or even in your building – seems super convenient. They’re literally a minute or two away, you won’t have to trek 30 minutes home after a hook up, and you can happily indulge in a few drinks while you’re hanging out without the worry of having to drive home. However, intimacy is basically the enemy of any FWB situation, and being so close forces a kind of intimacy. You very well might run into him or her on your morning coffee run, you’ll see their car parked, you’ll overhear their party and wonder why you weren’t invited. It’s just a recipe for disaster. Keep it at least a couple blocks away, for your own sanity.
9. Keep Them Separate From Other Friends
A friend with benefits is someone who is supposed to be temporary, a fun way to occupy your time for a short period before you find someone you want to actually date. So, why on earth would you bring them into your daily routine? Before you know it, friends are inviting you places together, you’re always bumping into each other at the same parties, and your lives will eventually become so entangled you’ll start to wonder why you’re not just dating already. You’re not dating because you didn’t view them as a real option for a partner at the beginning – it’s just your silly insistence on bringing them into your social circles that has clouded your vision. Keep your friend with benefits away from your regular crew.
8. Keep Things In The Bedroom
At the beginning of every FWB situation, it’s basically just a series of booty calls – someone comes over to the other person’s house for a little loving, everyone is satisfied, and everyone spends the night at his or her own apartment. You don’t want your FWB tidying up your kitchen and making you breakfast in the morning. You don’t want to meet them for coffee at that cute little café near your apartment where you take all your dates. Just say no. Once you start venturing outside of the bedroom, things start to get a lot more relationship-like, so unless that’s where you want to take things, keep it physical and between the sheets.
7. Keep Things Safe
No, we’re not talking about bizarre injuries caused by trying that weird kama sutra position one night. We’re talking about protection. Sure, your FWB probably isn’t a stranger – hence the term friends with benefits. However, they’re also usually not your best friend in the world, so you won’t know every detail of their lives. You don’t know what kind of relationships they’ve had beforehand, and how careful they are with their health, so please – make sure everyone is safe and protected. You know the old ‘90s saying – no glove, no love. Still applies today, especially in a FWB situation.
6. Tell Them What You Want
The whole point of having a FWB is to scratch that itch with incredibly sex. Yes, you should always be honest in real relationships about what you like in the bedroom, but when it comes to FWB, there should be absolutely nothing you’re holding back. They’re there to satisfy you – tell them exactly how to do that. It might hurt your potential partner’s feelings if you tell them you don’t like a particular move they do, or that their signature move doesn’t exactly accomplish what they think it does. A FWB, however, should just be relieved they’re finding out how to satisfy you more quickly. Be honest – it’s a win win.
5. Absolutely No Sleepovers
It’s the whole intimacy conundrum all over again. When you cuddle with someone you’re attracted to, that silly brain starts to release a lot of feel-good feelings and starts to bond with the warm body on the other side of that snuggle. If you’re spooning every night you’re together, you’re going to get emotionally attached to your FWB very, very quickly, simply because it’s an intimate thing generally reserved for couples. So, even if the bed seems cozy and it’s cold outside, drag your butt out of bed and march back to your own place – or send your FWB packing to his or her own place. Trust us – you don’t want to open that can of worms.
4. Check Your Jealousy
Your FWB is not your girlfriend or boyfriend. He or she is not someone you’re dating exclusively. Therefore, whatever your FWB wants to do in his or her own time is completely up to them. If he wants to be on Tinder? Fine. If she wants to friend every cute guy she meets on Facebook? Fine. If he wants to buy a girl a drink at the bar, if she wants to dance with a cute guy at the club? Fine! A FWB is entitled to do whatever they want to do, and you’re not allowed to get jealous. That emotion is reserved for significant others only.
3. Check Your Expectations
Okay, let’s just keep things real here. An FWB isn’t going to take you out to that cute French bistro you’ve been dying to try. An FWB isn’t going to buy you flowers on a random weekday just because he was thinking about you. An FWB isn’t going to buy you a present to commemorate a specific date. It’s about physical things, not thoughtful gestures. Sure, you should still feel respected by your FWB – you definitely shouldn’t put up with being treated poorly by anyone. However, don’t expect them to wine and dine you – that’s just not their job.
2. Keep Your Eyes Open
It’s easy to get a little too comfortable with your FWB. Maybe you’re tired of getting all glammed up on a series of unsuccessful first dates, and you decide to take a few months off and just satisfy any urges with your FWB. However, making your FWB the only man (or woman) in your life is basically like taking yourself off the market. At some point, you’ll want something more than a FWB, and if you haven’t been out there looking, you’ll find yourself out of luck. So keep going on those first dates, keep chatting up that cutie at your local pub, and keep your eyes open for the perfect man or woman.
1. Don’t Let Things Get Unbalanced
When it comes to FWB, it can be tricky terrain. After all, there are two people in the casual relationship, and things only work out if everyone involved is on the same page. If you discover along the way that your FWB is really perfect for you and want to turn things into a real relationship? Great – how awesome that you found your perfect partner. If you’re both happy with the casual benefits of the scenario, that’s fantastic. Problems arise when one person thinks things are casual and the other person is expecting it to turn into something more. Make sure everyone is on the same page at all times or you’ll have some heartbreak on your hands.
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