Having a friend with benefits is one of the greatest perks of the modern age. You get all the physical and emotional health benefits of having regular sex, you keep your libido up between relationships, your self-esteem sky rockets, and you don’t have any of the emotional roller coasters of a real relationship. BUT, that’s only if you do things right. Here’s how:
1. Be honest about the relationship
The number one rule that must be followed or else the FWB relationship simply cannot exist is being honest about the fact that that’s what it is: a FWB relationship. Make sure nobody is secretly holding out until the other one falls in love. Make sure it’s understood that meeting the parents and trips to Ikea are not in the cards.
2. Set the boundaries
Every FWB relationship is different. Figure out what works for you. Do you have to hang out before having sex? Or are booty-calls acceptable? Do you hang out after? Do you spend the night at one another’s places? Set these boundaries in advance (even if it’s awkward) so that nobody ever feels cheated or disrespected.
3. Keep looking elsewhere!
So you don’t start accidentally looking to your FWB for boyfriend/girlfriend type behaviors, be sure you’re still on the prowl for a real relationship. Or, at the very least, for other guys/girls to casually date.
4. Don’t do this with your best friend
Be real: when this thing ends (and it will end) you can’t have this guy/girl that you used to have lots of sex with hanging around, when you get a real boyfriend/girlfriend. And you probably don’t want to hang around him when he/she gets a real girlfriend/boyfriend. The best plan is to have a FWB who is, honestly, a disposable friend. Because there will come a time to dispose of him/her.
5. Be ready for an expiration date
On the previous note, know that this thing has an expiration date. There will come a day when one of you meets someone else that you want to get serious with, or even just realize that if you don’t end things soon, you’ll feel like you’re in a long-term relationship. Know that the expiration date will probably come unexpectedly. One of you will just lose interest, or even blow the other one off. Don’t fight it. Know that it’s a part of the game.
6. Like him/her a little
Even though you’re not meant to fall in love, at the very least pick someone you have fun chatting with and throwing back some drinks with. A lot of the fun of a FWB is the sexual tension leading up to the actual act, and that comes from a little flirting and mental stimulation.
7. Do not prioritize him/her
Don’t start cancelling on friends or other plans to see your FWB. That’s when you immediately start having higher expectations for the relationship. Only meet up with your FWB when it’s convenient for the both of you. That’s what this is about: each of you getting someone out of it. Not about necessarily giving to the other person or compromising.
8. Don’t plan ahead
If you start planning your rendezvous a few days in advance, it will begin to feel like a real relationship. You’ll even have to say the words to your other friends, “Oh no sorry I can’t come out that night. I’m meeting up with insert name of FWB here” and then it will really feel like a relationship.” Keep your meet-up’s spontaneous. Give maybe a morning-of notice.
9. See each other infrequently
It’s difficult to get emotionally attached to someone if you only see him or her once or twice a week. Good. Keep it that way. If he’s around too much, he’ll inevitably learn too much about you and visa versa and you’ll become invested in each other. That is a mess you don’t want.
10. Have good sexual chemistry!
Otherwise what’s the point? You shouldn’t have to work that hard to enjoy sex with your FWB. The majority of the reason you’re doing this is for the sex, and for the big O. If he/she can’t provide that for you, you don’t owe him the courtesy of sticking around.