In my extensive nonmonogamous experience, sex with friends is so much better than random hookups, and much more freeing than relationship sex, because you get the best of both worlds. Because there is significantly less ambiguity regarding your partner’s intentions, you’re more comfortable expressing what you want, and sex feels less like a performance. Because you’ve already established that personal connection, and that physical and intellectual attraction, those orgasms are so much more fulfilling. But what do you do when this friendly, no strings attached connection becomes just a little more than friendly? Here are some tips on how best to confront a situationship in the making.
Communication is key.
Before beginning a sexual relationship with your partner, you should set clear boundaries. Express your intentions in clear, concise sentences, such as “I am not looking for a relationship,” or “I don’t think this is going to go anywhere romantically.” It is very important to be clear with the other person as to what you expect out of the arrangement, so that they can tailor their own expectations accordingly. Didn’t do this in the beginning? No worries! It’s not too late to fix it.
Your FWB just hit you with the “what are we?” Don’t freak out! This does not necessarily mean they are in love with you. However, in the interest of preserving your friendship, even if the sexual relationship cannot be salvaged, you want to navigate these circumstances delicately. Here are some tips on how to do just that.
1. DO NOT Avoid The Conversation!
On top of this being immature, you want to ensure that, once again, your boundaries are clear. You should avoid any further sexual encounters until you have a serious conversation with your partner about your suspicions. This is key in preserving the friendship. Allowing them an outlet to express their feelings means that they are less likely to grow to resent you.
2. Don’t Be A Dick About It!
If you start to notice your partner is acting differently, perhaps a little more clingy, or jealous, you should address these behaviors in an open conversation. It is important to approach this conversation with care. You do not want your partner to feel confronted or accused, because this leads to embarrassment. Simply address the behavior you’ve noticed change, and ask what it means. Try a calm, but concise approach: “We have been spending a lot more time together lately; I can’t help but wonder if you’re starting to have feelings for me?” You want to be blunt, without being accusatory.
3. Establish Your Boundaries
Your partner has said what they needed to say, and given voice to their feelings for you. Now what? Now you need to state clearly and definitively, what you expect from the arrangement. Be firm in reiterating that this game plan doesn’t include romantic plays. Recognize that you have no control over how the other party reacts to this information.
4. Proceed With Caution
This is the point in time where you need to assess the situation, and determine whether continuing a casual sexual relationship is in the interest of maintaining your friendship.
Remember that the key to a ‘friends with benefits’ situation is to remain friends! Do not be afraid to initiate these types of conversations, because open communication will be best for the friendship in the long run. B clear, but be kind, and make decisions regarding the sexual relationship on the health of the friendship