What It Really Means to Be ‘Friends with Benefits’


Whether it’s online dating or outside in the real world, there are a lot of folks searching for and seeking to set a buddy with benefits arrangement, or “FWB”.

The problem is, when you’re entering a fresh arrangement, calling it an FWB is perplexing since it doesn’t reflect the complex nature of everything you’re trying to create with someone you hardly understand.

Friends with Benefits

Where’s the Friendship?

The sex part of any new connection can be easy to fall into, of course. However, what about the “buddies” part? A buddy is generally someone you trust and who trusts you–a connection that develops through shared history, encounters, situations, circumstances, compatibility, or mutual interests. When you’re on the lookout for an FWB from the start, you’re forcing a new potential connection into a box which doesn’t match, using a label that misrepresents it. As it takes time to nurture a friendship, it logically follows that it requires commitment and time to cultivate a friendship with benefits.

Why Friends with Benefits?

Because the advantage is sex! Any time sex is involved, it complicates matters even when the two people maintain communication and mutual esteem. For an FWB agreement to operate, you need to understand each other, at least somewhat, and have a feeling of that both of you’re with and to each other, and what emotions the emotional and sexual energetic evokes in you.

Irrespective of how the relationship is labelled, when you’re sexually involved with someone you already care deeply for, emotions build, as does trust, intimacy, relationship, and familiarity. And, regardless of what the arrangement, it may still find tricky. Check in to ensure that your buddy is still your friend and it is not getting harder to maintain the current state of your connection, or can be in any manner off-putting for you or for them.

The Complications

Since sex is involved, issues may get magnified. Imagine if you or the person that you’re sleeping with is actually feeling strung along? Imagine if the title “FWB” is only a means of keeping the closeness going, and you or your spouse are expecting the sex will lead to deeper love and also a dedicated relationship? What if both of you’re afraid to bring up complications since you don’t want to jeopardize the friendship?

No Strings Attached

If you ask to become FWBs with someone who you do not know, or barely understand, or before you have developed a relationship, you’re putting expectations and stress on a connection which hasn’t even formed yet. There are lots of flaws in this formula, the greatest of which is that it’s got the potential to cheapen what you call a buddy.

The Solution: Not labelling a new arrangement, situation, or relationship requires a few of the pressure off, puts up more room to get to know each other as friends and keeps the communication lines open. The fantastic thing is that creating an investment at the “friends” part solidifies the foundation for friendship, and can also enhance the advantages.

Image Resource: Getty

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