Friends with benefits is a term loosely referred to as a casual relationship where two people try and maintain their friendship on a platonic and non-platonic arrangement. In this arrangement, either person can date multiple people whereby the relationship is considered non-exclusive.
I’m sure that you’ve heard the term “Friends with benefits (FWB)” before. Right? They even made a movie about it. So, what are your thoughts about it? Is it every guys dream? What about women?
A friend with benefits (FWB) is an arrangement among two friends to have sexual relations with each other, but no relationship or commitment.
In a 2009 study conducted by the University of Michigan 60.0% of participants reported having had a FWB relationship at some point in their life and 36.0% were currently engaging in sex with ‘‘just a friend’’.
Why would this many people be interested in having sex with their friend? There are many reasons why friends may choose to be FWB such as sexual pleasure without commitment, gaining more experience and understanding, increasing self-esteem, being with someone that they trust and feel comfortable with, or to stay close to each other. The study conducted by the University of Michigan found that 35.6% choose to be FWB because it does not require commitment, and another 33.2% chose to be FWB for the sex.
So, the main reasons for friends to decide to be FWB seem to be to have sex without commitment. Yes, this does sound like it would be a great arrangement for a guy, but what about women? Not all women are looking for love right away, and many like men just want to have a good time.
But wait there’s got to be disadvantages too. I think we all know the main disadvantage of FWB. Yep you are right, becoming emotionally involved with your friend is the main disadvantage. This might not be so bad if both friends feel the same way, but most of the time it’s only one friend who feels that way.
Having a FWB may make it more difficult to date others, and might possibly tear apart your friendship. The study conducted by the University of Michigan found that only 64.1% of the FWB couples remained friends, but 35.8 of those stopped having sex. Only 9.8% became romantic, and 25.9% ended their friendship.
The outcome of a FWB arrangement depends on several factors such as their individual personalities, the reason they choose to be FWB, and the rules they follow in their arrangement.
When it comes to personalities it is important that both friends are emotionally stable, and understand that there are no commitments. If one of the friends is looking for more than it probably won’t work.
Setting and following guidelines is also important. Here are some suggestions:
- Don’t let yourself get emotionally involved.
- If you meet someone new be cautions and decide on privacy level.
- Sleep overs are probably a bad idea.
- Communicate frequently about your arrangement and feelings.
- Don’t introduce your FWB to other people you may be dating.
- Don’t get mad if your FWB goes out on a date or sleeps with someone else.
- Use protection unless you are trying to get a child out of the relationship.
- Don’t advertise your arrangement.
- Keep things interesting sexually. Experiment and try new things.
- Take breaks to ensure one of you aren’t developing feelings.
So, what do you think about FWB now? Have your feelings about it changed? Did you know that it was this popular? Our society is rapidly changing and so are views on relationships and sex, so it’s important to keep an open mind.
In terms of how most of us relate to a FWB relationship, the sexual component of these connections can be easy to fall into. The mistake people often make though, is they forget about the “friends element.” which is understandable if there’s a hot sexual connection underway.
Friends typically trust each other, it’s a common bond which has cultivated through sharing and developing history, situations, experiences etc – usually before sex became involved. So, if you think about that, adding such a new and powerful dynamic into the friendship is a big deal which comes with many risks if both people are not completely on the same page.
When sex in the benefit, at some stage it can commonly complicate matters. For this arrangement to work you both need to know each other, and possess the sense of what each of you mean to each other. It’s important that the communication is open and free in regards to what each of you both expect from the FWB relationship, and
that once you go there, there’s little chance of returning to a pre-FWB friendship.
One of the most important questions you need to ask yourself is, how would you deal with your FWB dating other people, are you the jealous type? At all times, there needs to be a mutual investment in each others expectations and remember that you’re friends first, and the extra benefits aren’t as important.