We’ve all been there. Embarking on that casual, no-strings-attached relationship can be great as long as you know what you’re getting yourself into. They can turn out to be the best or worst realtionships you will experience because you have the comfort of being more than a hookup but the insecurity of not being official. This week, our Real College Guy is giving us his thoughts on the relationships and the things you need to consider before you and your guy friend decide to act on your mutual attraction.
Short Answer: Super fun, but be careful.
A friends with benefits situation can work. In fact, when it ends (as it almost certainly will) you can remain firm friends. Here’s the key: honest and open communication. Not AFTER the shenanigans, before. You both need to be very clear and up-front about what you want going into the hanky-panky and YES… it’s extremely awkward. I know. I’ve done it. But the difference between harmless fun and inadvertently hurting a close friend is just 5 awkward minutes. You can do it. Talk about what you both want.
Let us assume that you and your friend have now had words and you’ve decided that, although you, “wouldn’t work as a couple”, you’re both horny enough to give some other stuff a shot. Neither of you are off the hook! Attraction is a spectrum and definitely NOT a static one. Once you both start doing the laying-down boogie-dance with each other, it is ALMOST CERTAIN one of the two of you will develop feelings for one another. Does it happen 100% of the time? Probably not. But I’ve never NOT seen it happen in real life, so just assume that’s probably coming.
When that moment arrives, the most respectful thing you can both do is be honest about how your feelings are changing and adapt however necessary. Perhaps you will mutually decide a relationship will work – congratulations! Perhaps you’ll simply stop fooling around – coolio. Perhaps you’ll keep up this “no commitment” sexual situation – that’s a little strange but as long as everyone knows where everyone stands.
Every step of the way, the two of you need to be talking. You need to remind each other consistently “friends first”. Yes, you’re fooling around, but you must each act as friends and supporters before any of that, the same way you would treat a dude like your boyfriend, not a sex-object.
When things end on a somewhat awkward note, as they almost always do, make it clear that your friend means a lot to you, as they should (don’t fool around with people you don’t trust and care about, it’s just stupid), and you’ll be around if they need anything. Then, keep in touch. Give them their space, but actually be around if they need anything. Be a good friend – that’s all it takes to keep things cool after a “friends with benefits” situation ends. Be respectful and everything will be fine.
That having been said, Friends with Benefits situations are great and I highly recommend them. Yes, they can get just a little stressful sometimes, but they’re well worth it.
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