It's the summer and you aren't looking to date anyone right now, but maybe you have a friend you like to head down to the beach with and get a little hot and heavy. That's fine! Friends with benefits(FWB) has really taken off as more and more people are looking to have companionship without any certain expectations being placed on you. At least that's the hope at the onset of the relationship and we know that's not typically what happens. Here we will be discussing the best and the worst of hooking up with your FWB.
This one is an absolute must and that's why it's first. To make sure no one catches the feelings or wants to turn this into something more, be sure to lay out all the guidelines at the very beginning. We're talking no paying for dinners or all day text sessions or if that's not what you're looking for you can make up whatever rules you want just to make sure everyone is on the same page.
This is true of any relationship. Things change. Maybe they don't like driving to your neighborhood at 2am. Maybe they don't want you to approach them at the bar when they're with their other friends. Remember, you aren't Facebook official. You might not even be exclusive. You don't want to make them uncomfortable or step on their toes. Friends with Benefits relationship is tricky to manage. By speaking often about what is expected of both you, you can ride this wave for as long as you want too.
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You are still getting your reps in for the next real relationship. Staying up to date and practicing all your moves. Don't feel tied down to your FWB partner. If you have had the exclusivity talk, keep your options open. Don't feel tied down to your friend and try your luck out at the bar scene or ask the person from your gym out to drinks.
This one is obvious. Every time you hook up with anyone, be their FWB or one night stand or the real deal, unless you are willing to raise the child, practice safe sex. And always, ALWAYS communicate with your partner as to what you expect in terms of safety. Never pressure your friend or anyone else for that matter, about what they should expect in terms of their health.
Seriously, you aren't going to marry this person or hook up with them forever. If you like getting your freak on pitch it to your partner. Maybe they'll like it too or at the very least you will have an established friendship bond and can openly talk about your fetishes or sexually desires without the fear of it coming back to haunt you.
This goes hand in hand with the first rule. Don't enter into a relationship like this under false pretenses. One person is just looking for some No Strings Attached fun and you may be pressuring them and making them uncomfortable. Life isn't a romantic comedy, and by trying to force someone into a relationship they don't want will only end in one person feeling shame of having led you on or them discontinuing the relationship because they feel uncomfortable by how forward and aggressive you are being in trying to establish the relationship you want.
You may be hooking up on the down low or maybe you just don't want the crew to feel uncomfortable with the new pseudo-relationship they are now a part of. Don't hang all over each other like it's junior high and you are riddled with hormones. Your FWB don't want to see that. They want to hang out and hit the bars for happy hour and have a completely regular time. Don't force your FWB to be a part of your on again and off again PDA.
This isn't high school. Unless you were doing it before, don't text them to meet up for lunch during work days or wake up and send a good morning text with a little old school smiley face. You don't have to sit next to them at every friendship function or arrive together at every game night. You are separate people who occasionally have some fun in between the sheets. Treat it that way and you won't make everyone, including your friend with benefits uncomfortable.
Hey, I get it. You're a cuddler. Or maybe you're getting out of a relationship where you loved cozying up to your beau and falling asleep. Remember what this is and the message a cuddle can send. That's a little too relationship like for what we're trying to accomplish here isn't it? Wrap yourself in blankets, grab your own pillow and use "your side of the bed."
This is your friend. Not someone you pick up at the bar as the bartender calls last call. You have to hang out with this person again. You can't just pretend you don't see them sitting in the corner booth with their friends at your favorite hangout. This person is in your favorite hangout. Or they're a part of your larger friend group. Don't ruin the friend group. Drive them to their car. Walk them home. Grab brunch if that's not a violation of the rules. You're friends pre and post sex. Act like it.