The term ‘friends with benefits’ has become popular in recent years and is part of a new wave of sex-positivity that encourages and normalises casual sex. Essentially friends with benefits (FWB) is designed for singles (and perhaps some people in open relationships) to be able to enjoy sex without any romantic element.
If you can’t separate sex from romance, then being FWB with someone is going to be difficult. However, there are some rules you can follow to make it work.
1. Don’t do it with someone you like romantically
While sexual attraction is often a prelude to romance, you should try to separate the two as much as you can when selecting a FWB. If you start sleeping with someone that you have a desire to date, then it will be hard for you to separate those feelings and you may make things awkward.
2. Don’t do romantic things with them
Sex is one thing, taking them to meet your parents or going on a dinner-date is another. While you can certainly do something with them as a friend, you need to make sure the context can’t be construed as romantic. If you want to keep them a FWB, then taking them out to dinner and buying them flowers will send the wrong message.
3. Be mindful of jealousy
Even when it’s a ‘business only’ sexual relationship, jealously can still creep in. You can’t expect your FWB to be happy when you ignore them for a new conquest, even when they have no desire for anything more than a physical encounter with you. Basically, don’t invite issues of jealously, even when they technically shouldn’t take place. Be discreet.
4. Don’t lead them on
If you send your FWB is after something more from you, stop and talk to them about it. It would be terrible if they think you want something more as well and then reject them later.