August 30, 2017
So you can focus on having fun. Not being sad.
Friends with benefits is an easy concept, right? Like Mila Kunis said to Justin Timberlake in the movie “Friends With Benefits”: no emotions, just sex.
But if it’s so easy, why does it get so complicated? Well, probably because they’re not sticking to the rules.
Here are five solid friends with benefits rules you need to take seriously.
This is the most important rule to go by. Having feelings equals wanting a relationship.
There is no doubt that you are sexually attracted to your booty call. When you start to get emotionally attached, however, that’s when things can get dangerous.
Philosophy Professor Aaron Ben-Zeev states that 50 percent of people in their 20s experience an FWB relationship. Zeev also states that men tend to focus on the benefits part and women are more inclined to focus on the relationship sector. But regardless of what you’re focusing on, there are definitely benefits to being FWB.
“These relationships offer the advantages of caring friendship and sexual enjoyment without the emotional turmoil and commitment associated with romantic love,” Zeev explains. “In the long run, this person is second best – second to the person with whom the agent wishes to have a profound, committed, and intimate relationship.”
If you are scared of getting attached, don’t worry because you’re not the only one. In a study involving 90 students, the results concluded that their main concern was getting too close.
But there are ways to avoid that.
Some say limit the communication, but experts say you should be honest from the get-go. Clinical Psychologist Suzanne Lachmann advises FWB participants to lay down the ground rules with your partner.
Lachmann writes on Psychology Today, “For an FWB arrangement to work, you have to know each other; have a sense of who both of you are with and to each other; and understand what feelings the emotional and sexual dynamic evokes in you. Maintaining a FWB in a healthy way means communicating about what each person expects and where each is as the relationship evolves.”
As far as communication goes, asking something like “How is your day going?” or “What is your greatest fear?” is a big no-no. Dating Coach Harris O’Malley says you should avoid any kind of boyfriend/relationship chat.
“You also should consider limiting communication outside of seeing each other in person,” explains O’Malley on the Doctor Nerd Love website. “You don’t want complete radio silence – again, you’re not strangers who occasionally bang, you have a relationship – but long daily phone calls and all-day chat sessions on Instant Message are the province of greater levels of emotional connection.”
And if you do happen to catch the feels, you need to speak up. Also, according to Certified Relationship Specialist Dr. Elaine Stevens, the sex needs to come to a complete halt.
“My advice to anyone wrapped up in this practice is, if you are having sex with a friend and all you want is sex and friendship, if you ever decide you want more, sex needs to stop. Otherwise, you will lose your friend, if not permanently, definitely, temporarily,” she tells Mens Journal.
Just because you are horny and a cute guy is standing right next to you, it doesn’t mean you should go for it.
Get to know what type of person you are getting involved with first. Nobody wants a psycho in their bedroom.
Clinical psychologist Joann Magdoff says she sees this mistake happen way too often.
“I see a tremendous amount of hooking up between friends or just people who like each other and got horny or drunk at a party together,” she told Match.com. “The thing to keep in mind is that whatever the relationship looks like when you say ‘Hello,’ it’s not going to look like that in twelve hours or even in two weeks if you sleep together, so you have to be prepared for it to change.”
It’s very natural for this to occur, but when it does, you need to be honest with yourself and your FWB partner. Clinical psychologist Seth Meyers says you need to have a serious talk when these types of feelings arise.
He explains on Psychology Today, “If you find yourself getting jealous, be honest and tell your FWB partner, and the two of you can talk about whether the FWB relationship is truly working for both of you. If he’s the one who starts getting jealous, for example, and you also realize that you don’t want to get involved more seriously with him, it’s time to consider detaching and letting the benefits side of the relationship go.”
If you and your FWB partner established that you are not exclusive, chances are they’re probably having sex with other people.
Besides not getting attached, using protection is an absolute, absolute must. The key to surviving friends with benefits relationships is to emotionally and physically protect yourself.
Sex coach Sean Jameson says that just because you are being casual about sex, it doesn’t mean you should be casual about your health.
“This should be the number one rule of any friends with benefits relationship. Make sure your man always uses protection. Just because you’re not taking the relationship seriously doesn’t mean that you should avoid taking your health seriously,” Jameson writes on Your Tango.
So if you’re thinking about getting in a FWB relationship, remember that there are “no emotions, just sex.” And … also a ton of rules.
But hey, they’ll be worth it in the long run when you’re having fun and not moping about your FWB.
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