We've seen it in movies and TV shows, but how do people make friends with benefits work in the real world? Can we truly find a solely sexual relationship fulfilling, or will there always be that nagging question in the back of our mind, "Maybe this is something more?" If you're choosing to embark on a FWB relationship, or you've already taken the leap, try these five tips to keep things feeling positive and on an equal playing field.
- Understand what you're signing up for. No matter how you look at it, FWB does not translate to boyfriend or girlfriend. If your pal makes it clear from the get-go that they're not looking for anything serious, don't ignore what they're saying and hope they'll have a change of heart. This is a recipe for disaster.
- Set ground rules. Like any other relationship, there needs to be a level of mutual respect. What happens if you see each other outside of the confines of your bedrooms? Is there no texting during the day in order to keep things separate? Make sure to discuss your qualms and get those issues out of the way.
- Leave expectations at the door. This is not your significant other, and you can't expect them to act like your future spouse. With that said, a relationship with a FWB may challenge you to be more straightforward. Without the worries of a future and the comfort of a close friend, you can leave your sexual inhibitions at the door. Get ready to get vocal!
- Be prepared that there may be others. There is the definite possibility that there may be others in your same boat. With no strings attached, you are free to see whomever you wish, and the same goes for them. This sounds fine in theory, but what do you do if you see them out with someone else? Or what if they see you out with someone else? It's a good idea to discuss these circumstances when you lay out the ground rules.
- Realize that there's no turning back. Your relationship will be forever changed. If they're a very close friend, or you run in the same social circles, you have to be prepared for the potential fallout. No matter how you try to rationalize this, sex changes things. Period.
Do you have any thoughts on the friends-with-benefits phenomenon or any tips to add to the mix? Share your comments below!