Keeping up with university is difficult as it is, which is why some of us dread the idea of getting into a ‘serious relationship’ as we all have other commitments and responsibilities to tend to. There is absolutely no time for yet another commitment! Especially one that comes with emotions.
Friends with benefits has become an increasingly common option nowadays. Surprisingly, some people find that it works better than an actual relationship. If you are not looking for a serious relationship, perhaps, starting something casual with clearly defined guidelines may be a smart idea!
It is difficult to determine a clear set of boundaries that one can establish – as it may vary from person to person. But communication is key! It is not just a good idea but also important to discuss what the expectations are and set a few guidelines. Both the parties have to be on the same page, which means you need to be straightforward before you actually start something.
Here’s a few ground rules that you can begin with:
Be clear about what you want – be open to compromises and do not be judgemental! Have an honest conversation and advocate for yourself about what you would like or dislike. And do not expect it to turn into a relationship. It is extremely important to be aware of your intentions and feelings before entering such an arrangement. If somewhere along the line, you feel you are getting too attached with your FWB – it’s time to talk and reconsider.
It is always a good idea to know where to draw the line. You need to acknowledge that you are not building an intimate relationship, therefore, you should discuss the whereabouts of hooking up. In the age of social media, it is also important to consider whether you would want to sext your FWB or not. Sexting and nudes often become a tricky subject in such arrangements. This highly depends on both of your expectations and the boundaries you set.
You must also talk about how you would end things – let your FWB know that you would talk about it if you meet someone else and they are free to do the same. This could reduce the chances of ruining your friendship.
Now onto the fun part – having a FWB can be better than having an actual partner. Relationships at university can often be short lived and end up in messy break-ups. If your ex-partner goes to the same university as you, you may even run into them occasionally, which can result in uncomfortable moments and make your university experience slightly uncomfortable. However, with a FWB, you have more flexibility and you are more likely to remain friends in the future without any awkwardness.
You do not need to worry about catering to anyone’s needs and you can be upfront about what you want because you basically meet up to get down. It gives you the room to experiment and explore with what you want in bed because that is the whole point!
Unlike committed relationships, you do not need to put in a whole lot of effort. You do not need to spend a lot of time together and you can get back to whatever you were doing. Plus, you do not need to introduce them to anyone! Although, it is totally up to you but you do not necessarily need to let everyone know that you have a FWB or what you do with them. It can be your little secret to yourself!
Lastly, ending things with a FWB should be easy given that you have clearly established boundaries. There does not need to be tears or a distressing conversation. In case if you change your mind, you can probably text them and check where they are at.
If you have made it this far, you might be convinced that friends with benefits is an ideal situation for someone who is not prepared for a serious relationship at the moment. But it may not always play out as you expect it to and things can go real bad real quick.
Despite starting off on the same page, things may change. Either one of you could possibly catch feelings and that is completely okay. Maybe you started something casual because you had other priorities but that can change with time.
Since you both are friends, you will see your FWB outside the bedroom, which means you will at one point or another see them flirt with other people. While, it is not a problem for some. It can, however, trigger jealousy or insecurity in others, which can eventually complicate things for both of you.
It could potentially embitter your friendship if things do not play out as you expect them to. If you are casual acquaintances, it might be okay to take the risk. However, if you are friends with a long history, it may not be worth risking your friendship.
Do you have any more tips for guidelines that one could establish in such an arrangement? Can you think of any more pros or cons of being FWB? If so, add them to the comment section below.