By Patrick Ogunnaike
Friends with benefits, everyone’s heard this term before but first and foremost, let’s define what we’re talking about.
A friends-with-benefits relationship is when you have a fluid, casual sexual arrangement with another person. It’s no frills sex where both people know, that although you’re attracted to each other, that a committed relationship isn’t on the table.
The benefits of this are pretty obvious (at least to most guys). You get to have some fun and relieve stress without having to put in the hard work and effort into building and maintaining a traditional relationship. That said it’s not always endless sexy-times and BJs. A friends with benefits relationship is a very tricky endeavor to manage and can easily blow up on you if you’re not careful.
So here are some rules to live by if you don’t want to end up with excess drama in your life or perhaps a nice new stalker on your hands.
Rule #1: Don’t Do This With Actual Friends
I know, this can come off counter-intuitive since the actual relationship is called “friends with benefits”, but this is key. There’s just too much at stake and in this situation. Hurt feelings aren’t just possible, they’re likely. So unless you want to lose a close friend don’t risk it.
Find someone that you’re attracted to but not super close to, maybe someone you haven’t known that long. You want a situation where if it all went bad you could live without them in your life. Trust me it’ll be better for everyone involved.
Rule #2: Put Everything On The Table (not just her)
While this can often be an unspoken arrangement, make sure that the both of you are on the same page about what’s going on. Being upfront right from the start means being completely honest, even in the face of discomfort and possible conflict because it will save you tons of trouble down the road.
The key thing to remember with this arrangement is that if it really is what it is, it is sex, and nothing else. Ideally she’s not looking for a relationship, at least not from you.
If she is, it’s better to walk away. Yes I know, that’s easier said than done but you’re supposed to be a man right? Men have to do difficult things sometimes and one of the most difficult is refusing sex.
Don’t try to use this “friends with benefits” relationship as a back door way to secure to a “real” relationship with her one day. Misleading her by pretending that you’re cool with the arrangement is very likely to blow up in your face. If either of you are looking for a relationship to come from this then you’re setting yourself up for failure right from the get-go.
Now that you’re both on the same page, make sure to keep it that way. Keep an eye on how she’s behaving with you, if she starts acting like she wants more, talk about it and try to get things back on track. And like I said earlier, be ready to walk away if that’s what’s needed. Unless you’re an asshole, in that case keep on having fun regardless of her feelings.
Everyone always talks about how girls “catch feelings” so easily, but the truth is that unless you’re a sociopath it’s pretty easy for guys to get attached too. In my experience we’re usually better able to handle the emotional aspects of sex but it still happens. Perhaps you start seeing that she’s acting relationshippy (yes I just created a new word) and you feel like you owe her one.
So what should you do? Well, if you’re both feeling like you want a relationship then go for it. There’s no reason to keep things casual if they’re not. Ask for what you want.
However, if you don’t feel that way about her and want to keep this friends with benefits thing going smoothly here’s what you should do.
1) Only see her once a week (twice max), any more than that and… Presto! You’re in a relationship mode.
2) Keep a lid on the intimacy:
– Don’t hold her hand when you’re out together
– Don’t gaze into her eyes during sex
– Don’t spend a lot of time cuddling in bed
– Don’t buy her gifts
– Don’t go out on dates
– Don’t call her often (once/twice a week)
Basically keep all bonding to a minimum. You can still joke around and have fun but remember that the more you bond the more you delve into “the relationship” realm.
Think of it this way, from the outside anyone looking at you two shouldn’t be able to tell that anything’s going on. If people start telling the two of you that you look like a great couple, then you’re probably in trouble. Besides, what the hell are you doing outside the bedroom anyway?!
Rule #4: Rules Of Engagement
In this day and age sleeping around with tons of girls at the same time isn’t necessarily the best policy. There are lots of bugs out there just itching to find a new home and if you’re the home they find, you’ll be itching too… or worse. So while you can date whoever you want, you may agree to only sleep with each other.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t sleep with anyone else or that you’re a bad person if you do. All it means is that if you do start something with someone else you should let your “friend” know about it; that way, she can decide if she’s ok with it or not.
Keeping that kind of info from her is a pretty douche move.
And of course if and when you meet someone that you do want to start a relationship with let your “friend” know and end the FWB arrangement.
In an ideal world this friends with benefits relationship should last exactly as long as it needs to until the two of you either decide to start a real relationship together or until you just don’t need each other anymore and move on. If you’re really lucky you’ll end up remaining real friends but more than likely you’ll just drift apart. And that’s probably as it should be.
About The Author:
Patrick Ogunnaike is an entrepreneur based in Toronto. In 2012 he founded TheMankipedia.com. When he’s not busy writing or editing articles for TheMankipedia he’s usually rummaging through youtube or watching a science documentary making him an endless source of fascinating but mostly useless facts.