Having a friend with benefits sounds fun and cool, but it isn’t for everyone – some people can’t handle having physical intimacy without eventually developing an emotional attraction as well. Others don’t like seeing their FWB out and about with girls who aren’t them, and, even more frankly, don’t know the rules when it comes to keeping a successful non-relationship going. And that’s okay! Not everyone is meant for this casual situation. There’s a myth out there that in order to be a Cool Girl, you have to be okay with this type of lax “relationship,” but that’s not true at all. There’s nothing lame about being the type of girl who likes to settle down.
But, maybe you’re determined to do it. If you find yourself trying, failing, then trying even harder and still failing at maintaining a friends with benefits arrangement, you may be starting off on the wrong foot. FWBs require maturity and a genuine desire to remain single, but they also require a lot of communication – in fact, there’s a laundry list of things you need to make sure you do before diving head-first into having a purely sex-driven non-relationship. Here are a few things you have to do before becoming friends with benefits with someone. And if it isn’t working? Get out of there!
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Make Sure You DON'T Want A Boyfriend
Some girls get into a FWB situation thinking that they’ll eventually be able to woo the guy into liking them, but here’s a hard lesson for all the ladies out there: No. Just no. For one thing, guys are much less emotional than we are, so the chances that he’s going to suddenly change his mind about wanting to be single are slim. If he straight-up says to you “I am not looking for anything serious,” do not interpret that to mean “I am not looking for anything serious…except for you, eventually.” Unless you’re genuinely trying to remain single for an extended period of time and are just looking for some physical gratification, having a FWB is NOT for you. Source: iStock
Hook Up With The Guy At Least ONCE Beforehand
Would you ever buy a car without test driving it? Then why would you do the same with your FWB? This seems like a huge “duh,” but I’ve had friends start FWB arrangements and come back complaining how he’s bad in bed. Girl, if you’d tried that ride out before signing the lease you wouldn’t have had this problem! Now you have to go through the awkward process of breaking it off right as it started – and trust me, no amount of excuses are going to convince him it wasn’t because he sucked in bed. Save you both some drama and try before you buy. Source: iStock
Since the two of you aren’t dating, he could be sleeping with five or even five hundred other women. Who knows? And even if he tells you that you’re his only FWB, people lie all the time if they think it’ll help them come to the outcome they want (i.e. sleeping with you on a consistent basis.) Do yourself a favor and get an STD screening beforehand – that way you’ll know you’re clean, and if you catch anything along the way you’ll know it was from him. Source: iStock
Have Some Honest Conversations With This Person
A good FWB arrangement is almost completely dependent on communication for one big reason: if either of you are catching feelings, you gotta call it quits. Not only will catching feelings end in those feelings eventually getting hurt when the other person doesn’t reciprocate, but you have to tell that person how you’re feeling in order to keep them in the loop. How would you feel if your FWB suddenly ghosted you, only to run into him a year later and have him tell you that he caught feelings and ran away out of fear? Pretty shitty, probably – I think we can all agree it would’ve been better had he simply told you he had feelings, followed by an amicable non-breakup since you two were in a non-relationship in the first place. Source: iStock
Anytime you start a FWB you need to clearly communicate what is and what isn’t acceptable (see? Communication really IS important.) If you’re not cool with him talking about the other girls he’s hooking up with, make sure he knows that. If you don’t want him to hook up with any of your friends because you think that would be weird, make sure he knows at the beginning so that he doesn’t cross that boundary – at the beginning of every FWB the two of you need to sit down and define what is and isn’t acceptable between the two of you going forward. Source: iStock
Make Sure You’re Doing This For You
Just because a guy proposed starting a FWB with you doesn’t mean you have to do it – you should only go into it if that’s what you want. Your first FWB can be alluring, mysterious and exciting from the outside, but none of those are reasons to start one in the first place. If you are single, want to stay single and simply want some company in the bedroom 2+ nights a week, then by all means go for it! But just because the cute guy down the street popped the question to you doesn’t mean you should jump on it simply because he’s attractive and asked nicely. In the end, it’s all about what YOU want – and if you don’t want it, you don’t have to have it. Source: iStock
Make Sure You’re Mature Enough For This
That isn’t to say you aren’t – hell, there are grown women in their 30s who couldn’t handle a FWB. The fact of the matter is that even though the two of you are hooking up, you aren’t in a relationship. You can’t get mad at him for going out drinking all night, just like he can’t get mad at you for flirting with guys at the bar. He has no obligation to you and you have no obligation to him; the mistake a lot of girls make is treating their FWB like a low-rent boyfriend, when he’s really just a sex toy with a pulse for you text “U up?” a couple nights a week. Source: iStock