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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier chapter.

A friend with benefits, or FWB, is exactly what it sounds like: a friend that you are hooking up with but don’t have a committed relationship with. In movies and TV shows, these FWB relationships often end with the two characters falling in love and transitioning into a real relationship. Although this can be the case in real life, for most people, including me, this hasn’t happened. If you’re considering a FWB relationship with someone, or if you are curious about what it’s like, here are some of the pros and cons I’ve found from having a FWB. 

Pro: You don’t have to deal with the commitment of a relationship

With balancing school, my social life, hobbies and co-curriculars, the last thing I feel like I have time for right now is a relationship. Getting to know someone and starting a relationship takes a lot of time and effort from both people involved. If you meet someone who you want a relationship with, then it is definitely worth it, but I have not had that experience. If you are in the same boat as me, a friend with benefits is a safe way to go. You have someone that you can consistently hookup with, and you are comfortable around them without having to invest the time that you would in a relationship. Especially recently, where you are most likely not meeting a lot of new people, this is a good and safe option. 

Con: Your friendship with this person may be at risk

If you have an issue in your friend with benefits relationship, it can also affect your friendship outside of this relationship. Further, this person is part of my friend group, which sometimes results in other members of our friend group getting involved in these disagreements. You also have to consider your relationship with the person after your FWB relationship ends. Things may be awkward if one or both parties feel that someone did something to ruin the relationship or even if nothing happened, sometimes it can be difficult to see the person after things have ended. It is important to keep this in mind before you start a FWB relationship; assess if you think you’d be able to stay friends after and figure out whether or not it is worth the risk.

Pro: Things are fun and low stress

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s nice to have someone that you can depend on to be consistent and have fun around, but also not have to worry about typical problems that couples have in a relationship. You also have the choice to explore other options without feeling guilty or having to think about how your actions may affect the other person. 

Con: Boundaries can be complicated

It’s easy for the boundaries around your relationship to get confusing, especially if you do not talk about it ahead of time. From my experience, this person knew a lot about me before we started being friends with benefits, and as a result, we both knew about each other’s past relationships. This has led to some arguments or awkward situations when one of them is brought up. A lack of boundaries can also lead to questions around whether or not you are exclusive if this isn’t a conversation you’ve had. I have found that we both avoid having these uncomfortable conversations because we don’t want to ruin our friendship and find it easier to avoid it. Typically, you also care a lot about this person as a friend, more than you would care for a random hookup. This can lead to some confusing situations where you’re not sure whether these feelings are just caring for them as a friend or if it is more than that. Openly communicating with the other person can help fix this, but both people have to be willing to do this for it to work. 

Overall, I have found that the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to having a FWB. However, it’s dependent on both people involved in the potential relationship to consider if it’s worth it or not. Hopefully, these pros and cons gave you some new things to consider or will help you in the future if you’re ever thinking about it! 

Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier University
Chelsea Bradley

Wilfrid Laurier '21

Chelsea finished her undergrad with a double major in Biology and Psychology and a minor in Criminology. She loves dogs way too much and has an unhealthy obsession with notebooks and sushi. You can find her quoting memes and listening to throwbacks in her spare - okay basically all - her time. She joined Her Campus in the Fall of 2019 as an editor, acted as one of two senior editors for the Winter 2020 semester and worked alongside Rebecca as one of the Campus Correspondents for the 2020-2021 year!