Getting Friendlier with your Friend
“Friend with Benefits. noun. a friend with whom one has occasional sexual relations, without a commitment or dating arrangement.”
Have we got your attention? Then you might want to read on to get the lowdown on establishing a FWB situation.
Most of you will be familiar with the chick flick featuring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, journeying through the highs and lows of having sex with your buddy. For some, it’s ideal, and ticks a number of boxes. For others, they can’t think of anything worse than getting nude and rude with your mate. But if you’re considering it, we’re here to help you decide whether getting frisky with your friend is the way forward.
Rule No. 1: Don’t confuse FWB with No Strings. Put simply, don’t confuse the term Friends with Benefits with the term “No strings attached”. They are very different. The key point in Friends with Benefits is that you are friends. This should mean a greater level of trust and respect, with all the foundations of a solid friendship, with the added perk of getting frisky. “No strings” is just sex with no expectations. Make sure you agree on this to avoid crossed wires and upset.
Rule No. 2: Communicate. The only way this will work out, for whatever length of time you agree on, is if you talk. You need to be totally honest with each other from the start and continue to talk about it throughout. The benefits of this is that you’ll know where each other stands and, if you talk about your sex life, you’ll have even better sex.
Rule No. 3. Understand that one of you may develop feelings. It’s important to consider if you’re emotionally strong enough to handle the stress and the intensity of becoming sexually involved with you mate. You may go into it thinking that you don’t want commitment and that this is a great alternative but we’re humans and we do have emotions and sometimes those little feelings deep down can interfere with your intentions!
Rule No. 4: Try not to fall into couple-y behaviour. Keep hugging, kissing and cuddling to a minimum. These are all romantic actions that tug on your heart strings and develop feelings. Create boundaries so you both know where to draw the line.
Rule No. 5: Don’t make it all about sex. This might sound like we’re contradicting the previous point but bear with us! Whilst you’re making a conscious effort not to fall into “relationship-y” behaviour, make sure you’re not just having sex and, instead, you find a balance, continuing to do the things you did previously when you were just friends. This will stop you falling into the “No Strings” category where you may feel used.
Rule No. 6: Set ground rules. Establish what exactly you are both agreeing to. Are you going to see other people? How often are you going to rendezvous? Are you going to sleepover? The more you establish, the greater chance of this working for you both.
Rule No. 7: Stop if you get jealous. If you aren’t bothered by the attention he/she gets from others, great. If it’s really bugging you, you may want to halt the FWB arrangement. Your FWB is exactly that: Friends with Benefits…which means it isn’t a regular relationship. So take our advice and don’t treat it like one! If you’re unhappy, call time on it.
Rule No 8. Don’t expect a FWB relationship to develop to a regular relationship. It may do, it may not. But if you start falling for your fling, be honest and chat to them about it. You’ll be thankful you did, whichever way it goes.
Rule No. 9. Use a condom. They’re your friend, you trust them. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t protect yourself from STI’s and unwanted pregnancy. (Ask yourself, do you want to raise a baby for the rest of your life with your, strictly, best pal?!) Be safe and savvy.
Ultimately, it’s very easy for one or both parties to experience feelings. Talking and being honest is absolutely key. If you follow these simple rules, you’ll get the most out of your FWB without the stress and heartbreak. If you’re going for it, enjoy it and, as always, be safe.