Friends with Benefits: What does it mean and is it right for you?

Friends With Benefits: What It Means & Is It Right for You
Are you wondering what “friends with benefits” really means? Perhaps you’ve heard the term thrown around in movies and TV shows or have seen the acronym FWB and aren’t sure what type of relationship it is. Maybe you’re just trying to determine if it’s the right situation for you. Regardless, for a friends-with-benefits relationship to work, it’s important to understand what this type of casual connection actually means and entails.

Here, we outline exactly what these relationships are and share advice on how to determine whether the style is right for you. Plus, we offer tips to ensure your friends-with-benefits relationship is a healthy one.

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What does friends with benefits mean?
A friends with benefits (FWB) relationship is a relationship in which two people are physically intimate with each other, but they are not committed to each other in any way. People involved in a friends-with-benefits relationship clearly enjoy spending time together, but their relationship is not romantic and there are no strings attached.

Is a friends-with-benefits relationship right for you?
If you’re thinking of entering into a friends-with-benefits relationship, there are some key points that will help you determine whether a casual relationship is truly beneficial to you in every way.

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Why friends with benefits work for some people
No strings attached — like a lack of emotional commitment, emotional investment, or both the formal and informal obligations of a relationship — can appeal to people for different reasons. People who enjoy non-monogamous relationships and those who don’t have the time or interest in the emotional effort or time commitment of a traditional relationship may prefer the buddy scenario. mutually beneficial. A person who has had negative experiences in past relationships and is not ready to open up emotionally can benefit from the material benefits of a mutually beneficial friendship without sacrificing feeling safe without commitment. Individuals who identify as aromantic or have no interest in romantic attraction may also be attracted to these relationships, as well as those already in open romantic relationships who are just looking to satisfy sexual needs.
When to avoid a friends-with-benefits relationship
Don’t agree to a friends-with-benefits relationship because that’s the only thing your potential partner is willing to do. To avoid heartbreak in the future, you must fully understand what you’re putting your foot down to in the present, so that this doesn’t make your relationship feel incomplete or unimportant. While a friends-with-benefits relationship can certainly transition into something more over time, you might end up heartbroken if this was your goal from the start. And if this casual relationship is keeping you from pursuing a committed relationship that you see clearly in the long run, a friends-with-benefits relationship can bring you back romantically.
Tips for healthy friends-with-benefits relationships
If you want to be friends with benefits with someone, it’s important that you enter into this type of relationship with full understanding and acceptance of what this means for both of you. This person is not your lover and this can have both advantages and disadvantages depending on your current wants and needs. It is important to realize that this person will not be able to provide you with the emotional support and care that a partner would typically show in a committed relationship. That might include more intimate activities, such as crying on their shoulder, attending family events, or going on formal dates. To keep the peace and avoid disappointment, set expectations from the beginning and maintain an open and ongoing conversation to ensure you’re both on the same page.
Set ground rules and boundaries
For a mutually beneficial friendship to thrive, it must meet everyone’s expectations. You may enjoy being intimate, but these types of relationships can only be successful if both of you are completely satisfied with the arrangement. As with any sexual interaction, maintain an open dialogue about which sexual behaviors are acceptable and which are prohibited. Mutual consent should never take a backseat no matter how casual the flirting may be. Likewise, if you have a platonic relationship outside of the bedroom, you’ll need to set clear guidelines about how you’ll interact — if at all — when it’s not between the sheets.
Communicate thoroughly
When entering into a friends-with-benefits relationship, you should discuss the nature of your relationship openly and honestly from the beginning and continue to maintain an open line of forthright and in complete accord with each other about the nature of the relationship and be forthcoming if anything has changed for you.
Agree on Duration
Agreeing on the duration of your friends-with-benefits relationship from the outset will save you from any painful or awkward moments later on. Come to a mutual decision on the length of this relationship, whether it’s for a certain amount of time or set to terminate once one of you finds a long-term connection. Also discuss the possibility of resolving the relationship without any hard feelings if one of you feels it’s just not a good emotional or lifestyle fit. For instance, if your friends-with-benefits relationship makes you happy in the moment but then later fills you with regret and disappointment, it’s not the right choice for you, and you should be able to have that honest conversation (and exit strategy) with your FWB partner.
Be Clear About Additional Casual Sexual Partners
If you’re thinking about entering a friends-with-benefits relationship, it’s important to keep in mind that your connection isn’t a monogamous one. In fact, either of you is free to date more people, have other friends-with-benefits relationships, and/or play the field as much as you’d like. In addition to protecting your physical health, it’s important that you protect your emotional health by understanding that your FWB relationship can end at any time and for any reason. You may agree to discuss other partners with one another or choose not to know the details. Either way, both of you need to set parameters around the use of protection and get tested regularly for STIs.

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