Usually, Friends-with-benefits is a term used to define two friends who decide to start having sex with each other. Not to be confused with “no strings attached” relationships, friends with benefits relationship are typically relationships that are a bit lighter on the “together “side of things. Where two people who are “together” will be seen as dating, and so have all the markings of a couple, friends with benefits are not a couple.
Why do people go into friends-with-benefits relationships?
There are several reasons why people decide to go into a friends-with-benefits relationship. Some enter into it because they desire a sexual relationship without the commitment of an intimate, couple-like relationship. Others prefer to have a friends-with-benefits relationship because it does not involve so much commitment.
To some, it beats being with a new person totally or having to change sex partners often, while others simply enjoy the mix of friendship, sexual intimacy without the “couple” label. Whether you make a conscious decision to have sex with your friend or you fall into it (the first time), moving from friendship to a sexual relationship can be a tricky thing. The best way to handle the change in relationship status is to have a clear understanding of what exactly you are both getting into.
What kinds of key rules when going into a friends-with-benefits relationship are?
Always be on the same page. When you decide to go into friends with benefits relationship with a friend, you have to be sure that your friend is aligned. It will be awkward if you feel there is some chemistry between yourselves and your friend doesn’t. Where a friends-with-benefits relationship will make sense to you, it might completely turn them off. On the other hand, if your friend has deeper feelings for you, friends with benefits relationship might not be what they are looking for. Before you put yourself in that position, it is best to either feel them out or ask them directly what they think about it.
Set boundaries. One of the problems most friends-with-benefits relationships face is the inability to know where to draw the line. Boundaries will clearly define where you are and where you wish to go. The thought of leaving personal articles at each other’s place might seem too coupley to one person and the other might not be bothered by it. Have a clear discussion on what the boundaries are and should be.
Decide on exclusivity. Do you intend to be monogamous or not? Are you allowed to have sex with other persons? These are issues that should be discussed.
Tone down the intimacy. Yes, you are friends, but now you are also having sex. Sex has a way of increasing affection. As long as you both decide to be casual about the relationship, it is best to avoid excess cuddling and PDAs that might lead to deeper emotions and feelings. Keeping it light is the key word here.
Communication is key. Even though you are not a couple, you are still in a relationship, this means that you have to keep the lines open. Communication needs to be constant especially when feelings change. It is quite possible (and almost expected) that one person develops deeper feelings for the other, things can go sour if they choose to express their desire for a change of the agreement rather than just voice it out. In your communications, be honest. Getting jealous of a significant other? Speak up, want something more? Speak up!
Keep the friendship alive. While having sex, keep the friendship alive. As sexual partners, your sex life will seep into your friendship, if you are not careful, you will ruin your friendship. This is why it is best to always be on the same page and to always share your feelings about the relationship. Should the friends with benefits relationship threaten to tear your friendship apart, then it is time to make a new decision.
Do not take them as surrogate partners. Remember the part of not getting too intimate? This is equally important. Your friends with benefits partner is not a stand-in partner in any way. Do not take them to intimate functions or gatherings that are meant for your significant other. Doing this might send the wrong message. This can only work if you are both clear on where you stand.
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