4 Tips for Healthy Friends-with-Benefits Relationships

It’s something that many of us have tried and failed to secure: a reliable, satisfying friends-with-benefits arrangement. It can be difficult, especially when feelings and personal issues get in the way, and why wouldn’t they? You’re having sex for God’s sake. Even if you try to keep it simple, things are bound to get a little complicated.

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In my experience, there’s usually a two or three month grace period before things start to unravel, but that doesn’t have to be the case! Provided you and your fuck buddy have the right combination of factors in place, long-term FWB success can be yours.

4 Key Components for Healthy Friends-with-Benefits Relationships

1. There’s Chemistry but No Infatuation
If I had to guess, I would say that the biggest, most common issue that puts the brakes on FWB fun is the development of feelings. It can be hard to remain detached, especially if the sex is good. (It usually is, otherwise what’s the point of continuing on?) It’s a challenge, but you can keep a balance by putting some boundaries in place.

Don’t see each other outside the bedroom and never stay the night. Also avoid sharing too many emotional aspects of your lives. If you find yourself thinking about your fuck buddy all the time, or you notice that she’s trying to get more involved in your life, it might be time to cool things off for a bit.

If you both want to get more serious about things, that’s fine too, provided the desire is mutual.

2. You Respect Each Other
This is so important. I think sometimes our socially enforced, deep-rooted shame about sex can lead us to regard ourselves and/or our fuck buddies with disdain. If even a small part of you thinks of casual sex as wrong or dirty, chances are you’ll sabotage the whole arrangement, or punish your partner in subtle ways for her “slutty” behaviour.

Anyone in a successful FWB situation will tell you that it works in part because both partners respect each other and feel good about what they’re doing. Embrace your right to have a little casual fun!

3. There’s No Jealousy
FWB arrangements are mostly defined by their lack of emotional investment and total sexual freedom. If you find yourself feeling jealous of other partners your fuck buddy might have, or you spend any time at all even worrying about that, your concerns will drive you crazy and probably ruin the good thing you have.

Try not to expect anything from your partner beyond sweet, orgasmic relief. Don’t fall into the trap of feeling that your partner owes you anything or that you need to hold onto her for your own selfish reasons. Being controlling or possessive is one of the quickest ways to sour your FWB arrangement.

4. You Both Have Other Things on the Go
Whether you have multiple partners or just a busy work or social life, having lots of other things on the go can definitely help in maintaining the kind of detachment required for FWB glory. If either of you has too much time on your hands, or you’re feeling particularly lonely or under-stimulated, you’re apt to put way too much weight in your FWB arrangement, and it will likely lead to the development of feelings.

If you can learn to think of casual sex as a great addition to your already fabulous life, not a cure-all for your problems, you’re much more likely to enjoy the kind of solid casual arrangement you’ve wanted all along.

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