How A “Friends With Benefits” Relationship Can Totally Work


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Nice Move


It all started with a casual, “text me because I have shitty service” Facebook message. From there, it snowballed into the perfect tryst.

I’d been in and out of relationships for years. I invested so much of myself in nurturing the perfect relationship that I forgot to invest in me. I became obsessed with the idea of love and all it could be. Seeing weekly candlelights for women younger than me didn’t help, either. Toward the end of my last committed relationship when I was lost and unhappy, it occurred to me: I can make my own-damn-self happy. But there was no way I could go without the sex.

Hence my dilemma in finding self-fulfilling happiness with sex on the side. One night stands are shit. Usually, you’re drunk, he’s drunk, and you’re left orgasm-less while he drifts into a blissful, alcohol-aided sleep. Who the fuck wants that? I wanted it both ways. I wanted the freedom to do whatever I please — even occasionally make out with other people — all while still having a steady source of really good sex.

Now I have a friend with benefits, and you can too.

We talked for months during the summer before we actually hung out in person — alone. The best part about that was getting to know each other’s personalities through texting without the pressure of drunken flirting at frat parties and game day pregame’s. We were able to share our fears and hopes and talk about sex and what we like. We always had something to say, and it was clear that we liked each other.

This may sound like the perfect set up for dating, but here’s the best part: neither of us wanted that. I think the biggest fear with FWB is one of you falling for the other, but I’ll tell you that it’s okay to have feelings and share them. I told him I liked him — he likes me back — but we still don’t want a committed relationship. Just because you’re compatible with someone doesn’t mean you have to date them.

So here’s what you want to know: The biggest keys to making it work.

1. Communication

I know that normal relationships require communication too, but this time, it’s a different kind of discussion because you aren’t actually dating. You can’t tell them what to do or keep tabs on their whereabouts, just like they can’t with you, but you’re both responsible for keeping up with each other. We talk about other people we hook up with and try our best to be open about if we’re going to be with someone else because we’re still friends. I won’t lie — it’s hard to know that your FWB is out hooking up with other girls. Jealousy definitely creeps in, but that’s where respect makes a play.

2. Respect

You have to be secure in yourself and your friendship to know that he still likes you and respects you, regardless of where his tongue went Friday night. Likewise, you need to be sure you respect him and the agreement you have. I’ve definitely been the more jealous of the two, but he listens to my concerns. We discuss why I felt jealous, what the scenario was, and how to move forward from there. It’s all a learning process, but you have to be willing to learn. Plus, when you’re hooking up with someone regularly, it’s important to communicate so you both know the risks of sex.If he is boning other girls on the regular, or you are exploring other partners without protection, you have to be responsible and get tested for infections. Staying safe and having good sexual health is respectful.

3. Fun

Our motto is “no obligations” to remind ourselves that when we’re together, it’s because we want to be, not because we’re obligated. FWB should be fun. Sex is fun. Since we aren’t dating and it isn’t assumed one of us will stay with the other each night, we send texts like “are you free 3-5 today? *purple devil emoji* *eggplant emoji*” and it’s exciting and sexy and silly. But even more than planning when we’re going to hook up, we also just hang out as friends. It shouldn’t have to be awkward to be around your hook up in daylight on a weekday when you’re sober. We should be surrounding ourselves with people we love to be around and stop taking everything so seriously.

I still struggle with making it work sometimes. I read into things he says and put too much emotion into it most of the time, but because we talk about those things, the benefits greatly outweigh the difficulties. It’s not the easiest scenario, but it’s the best one for me right now — I enjoy him, and he enjoys me, without any strings attached. If there’s anything I’m learning, it’s to pay less attention to the end goal and put more focus on simply enjoying the ride (literally). We’re only young for so long.

So go forth and find yourself a FWB. There is no shame in having a fuck buddy. If embarrassment is your reason not to try it, you’re only cheating yourself. Because of the need for confidence in your ability to communicate with your partner and the immense respect for boundaries, a FWB scenario may not be for everyone. And in that case, God bless the vibrator.

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