Match.com released a study on singles in 2012 that found 47 percent of singles had a ‘friends with benefits’ (FWB) relationship. A FWB relationship can be a mutually beneficial scenario – with obvious benefits. However, these situations often go sour and self-destruct. If you want to increase the chances of keeping your FWB relationship going without (too much of) a hitch, here are some tips.
Set Rules and Boundaries
A common pitfall in FWB relationships is the failure to set some general guidelines. You can avoid a lot of drama if the two of you openly discuss and agree on a set of rules to keep the relationship going. Keep the rules simple and stick to them. Some good rules include,
- Not treating each other like boyfriend and girlfriend
- Not being clingy
- Keeping yourselves open to new relationships
Keep it Casual
This means not holding high expectations of each other. A casual relationship is easy-going and doesn’t put pressure on either of you. Don’t expect your FWB partner to text you back right away. Don’t get irritated if you happen to see on Instagram that she’s hanging out with another guy. Nothing makes FWB situations go sour quicker than placing expectations on each other. Be emotionally stable and happy with your life so that you can play it cool.
Keep Your FWB Outside of Your Inner Circle
Ideally, your FWB should be a casual friend outside of your inner circle, and it’s crucial to keep it that way. This means not letting your FWB into your inner circle by inviting her to social functions with your close friends. Things become complicated once FWB’s penetrate your inner circle (no pun intended). Letting your FWB get close to your close friends takes things from casual into the direction of long-term connection, which is not what you want if you’re just looking to keep your FWB status.
Unattached Post-Sex Ritual
What you do after sex plays a crucial role in keeping your FWB relationship running smoothly. Don’t do anything that lends itself to emotional bonding – such as cuddling. Decide on a post-sex ritual that is casual and keeps things unattached. Definitely don’t sleep over and cook breakfast for her in the morning. It’s best to avoid spending too much time with each other after the sex is done. So make sure your post-sex ritual involves leaving shortly after.
Don’t Develop Feelings
Becoming emotionally attached is the most common way to ruin an FWB relationship. If you take the necessary precautions, this is unlikely to happen. Be honest with yourself and understand that your FWB is for fun, casual encounters. You must have the ability to separate sex from your emotions afterwards. A good way to avoid getting attached is to have other casual relationships, whether it be booty calls, or another FWB. If you find yourself developing feelings, it’s best to make a clean break.