A friends with benefits (FWB) relationship is a relationship between two friends who have casual sex without any kind of commitment. Yes, it is that simple. Or not? Having sex with your friend has the potential to ruin your friendship if you don't follow a number of important rules. Here are ten rules for friends with benefits.
Rule #1. Don't fall in love. This is the most important rule. It seems obvious because the whole point of being friends with benefits is avoiding romance and deep emotional involvement. However, this rule is the hardest one to follow. If you have a crush on your friend and hope that a FWB relationship will help you be closer to them, you are likely to get your heart broken. Such scenarios work in romantic comedies, but rarely in real life.
Rule #2. Set ground rules. Before you start having sex, both of you must understand what you are getting into. Making up a list of rules is a great way to make sure you are on the same page. No matter what rules you choose, you must follow them to make this relationship work.
Rule #3. Always use protection. A FWB relationship is not a monogamous one, so always use condoms. Yes, for oral sex, too. Even if your friend claims they are clean, better to be safe than sorry. Condoms are the best way to prevent an unwanted pregnancy and STIs at the same time.
Rule #4. Talk. Communication is important in any relationship. Talk about what you like and don't like in sex; the whole point of being friends with benefits with someone instead of hooking up with random people is to have great sex with a person you trust. This relationship will work as it should and be satisfying for both of you only if you are able to talk about things.
Rule #5. Don't get clingy or jealous. The FWB situation is not a committed relationship. You have no right to get jealous if your friend spends time with someone other than you, flirts, and even goes on dates. It is a no strings attached relationship you've both voluntarily agreed to. If you are not willing to share your friend, you shouldn’t have started this relationship.
Rule #6. Don't go on dates with each other. You can hang out, because that is what friends do. However, you must avoid situations that can be classified as dates. Avoid even remotely romantic situations. Don't stay in touch too often, you don't want to get too attached.
Rule #7. Keep it low. The FWB relationship is between you and your friend, there is no need to let others known what is going on between you two. People like to meddle, and meddling complicates things. Forget about the “benefits” part when you are hanging out with your mutual friends. No PDA, no flirting, nothing. Leave the sex behind the closed doors of your bedroom.
Rule #8. Remember that everything ends. One day you or your friend will want to have a committed relationship with someone (or your sex will become boring and predictable), and you will have to break things off. Enjoy being friends with benefits while it lasts, but don't try to make it last longer than necessary.
Rule #9. Don't behave like you're off the market. It is very important to keep yourself open for new relationships. You are not dating; you are just having sex with your friend. If you behave like you're in a monogamous relationship, you'll miss a lot of opportunities. Having a FWB must not prevent you from going on dates and having fun. This works both ways: you have to right to get mad if your FWB goes out with someone (see rule #5).
Rule #10. Avoid having sex with a good friend. If you are afraid to lose a friend, don't try being friends with benefits with them. Even if you end your FWB relationship amicably, things will never be the same again between you two. Sometimes people can return to being just friends without any awkwardness, but there is no guarantee. Don't take risks you are not willing to take.