One of the major adventures in your adult life is dating, and let’s be honest, ladies, some of them are pretty wild adventures. One of the major issues with dating these days is that relationships come in all forms: Open, monogamous, talking and friends with benefits. With each different form, comes different “rules” and experiences for that specific one. The one I want to talk about with you is friends with benefits. In having experienced almost every type of relationship, this, in my opinion is both the easiest and the hardest to get over. When you partake in being friends with benefits, and you remain just that, friends with benefits, the end is nothing but a different ride into the sunset and maybe the loss of a friend that you didn’t really care that much about. I know that friends with benefits can work the right way, because I’ve done it before. I also know however, that FWB can go the wrong way.
Normally when FWB fails, it’s because one of two things happen: You start doing the FWB thing and as you continued the relationship, you begin to gain romantic feelings towards the other person, which is completely understandable. I’ve been there. OR, you went into the FWB already having some feelings for the other person, causing those feelings to heighten, leaving you stuck in a FWB situation, with someone who’s not just a friend. I’ve been there, too. Cases like these are the hardest to get over. When you take a friendship, and you add the sexual part to it, it opens the relationship up to a new dimension of vulnerability that you may or may not be ready for. It is easy to catch feelings after sleeping with someone, and it is also easy to catch feelings for a friend. In putting those two things together, you create a relationship with blurred lines and zero clarifications causing discomfort and unspoken conversation. Don’t get me wrong, FWB can totally turn into something more, but not in all cases.
When you develop romantic feelings for a friend that your sleeping with, you will see yourself doing one of three things: Tell them about your feelings, end the relationship immediately, or push the feelings deep down and hope they go away (they won’t). Depending on your current FWB situation, you can tell them about your feelings, but you need to prepare yourself for the aftermath. Expressing your feelings will harm your current FWB status because, well, now one of you is just more than friends. If your friend is a good person, they will end the relationship for the sole purpose of not wanting to hurt you, or for you to get more attached. If your friend is not a good person, however, you need to find the strength to end the relationship before you break your own heart. Hopefully, you will end the relationship before getting in too deep and you can remain friendly with the person.
Sometimes, unfortunately, you get yourself in too deep and the friendship is tarnished due to the feelings. This, in my opinion is the hardest to get over. As I thought more about it, I realized that when you lose something that you never actually got to have in the first place, you’re left with the constant “what ifs,” and “why didn’t they want me?” Those thoughts can roll around in your mind leaving you alone with confusion and self-destruction. My friend (@FGN5) once said to me, “It’s all fun and games until you overthink it.”
That is why I came to the conclusion that in choosing a FWB, it needs to be a person that you will develop no romantic feelings for. If you want to partake in a FWB relationship, choose a partner with aspects of a person you would never be with. It is easy to get attached to someone that physically attracts you, makes you happy, makes you laugh or that you have deep conversations with. That is not the type of friend to get the benefits from. The purpose of a FWB, is the benefits. You don’t go into the relationship with the intentions of dating, so don’t choose a boy you could see yourself falling for. In knowing myself, I know that I would never choose a
guy that makes me laugh all the time, or the guy that is the most attractive person in the room. Choose the dud, choose the dry humor, choose the one that can’t hold a conversation.
Now, lets be real ladies, this type of relationship is not for everyone. In order for it to work properly, you cannot be jealous, you cannot be clingy, and you simply just cannot care. You can demand respect and work out terms, but you need to remember, you don’t own them. Go into the relationship knowing it for what it is: A friendship where you occasionally hook-up. You can’t get mad when you see them talking to other people, you can’t claim them, and you cannot romanticize about a relationship that isn’t what it actually is. You simply exist in a relationship that is shaped by your friendship, and your bodies. The best part about this relationship is that there is no specific ending point. The fire burning between your bodies simply burns out and the relationship fades. No harsh words, no awkward conversations and no tears; your world won’t change because they weren’t a crucial part of it. From time to time you may miss the experiences that the relationship brought, and it won’t bring you the sadness of a breakup, but a giggle from the memories.
FWB is also the best time to learn about yourself; you learn how to let go and be free. When you partake in this type of relationship, you learn how to let loose and step out of your comfort zone. You get the company of another person, but you also get time to grow and learn on your own. You aren’t stuck in a relationship that holds you back, hurts you, or just simply isn’t worth your time. You get to be 100% unapologetically yourself all of the time without the worries of having to impress the other person or create feelings. You don’t dig into the relationship, but you ride the wave and have fun; you explore, you experiment, and you experience.