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Is It Ever a Good Idea To Be Friends with Benefits?

friends with benefitsA lot of us have friends with benefits (or FWB) relationships at some point in our lives, even if we’re in that situation unwittingly – which is usually the problem with these loosely defined sorts of flings. People think they can handle a no-strings-attached affair, and often times they can, to a point. That’s why in this post on YourTango called 6 Valuable Lessons From Having A Friend With Benefits, a young woman named Karen says all FWB relationships “have an expiration date.” Either one of the friends in the non-Relationship relationship starts to get too romantically attached (damn you, oxytocin!) and/or one of the FWBs begins to disrespect the other, date another person, lose interest, etc.

Friends with benefits relationships are most successful, I think, when your friendship with your boinkbuddy is already well-established before you start messing around. People who meet and instantly start having sex on a casual basis aren’t FWBs, they’re in a relationship that revolves around casual sex. I was in one of those for a while, and they can be very deceiving. It feels like you’re in a relationship, but you know you’re not, and you kinda wanna be cool about it, but you also want a real relationship, and you really technically are in a relationship, it’s just not one built on mutual trust, respect and love. It’s about sex. It’s important not to confuse casual sex relationships with FWB situations, because when the casual sex guy and I parted ways, he told me he actually didn’t want to be friends. (Ouch.)

On the contrary, though, I’ve had a legit FWB relationship with someone I still think fondly of to this day, and the reason our arrangement worked is because we were actually friends first, we only hooked up with each other in-between seeing other people — and we never actually had intercourse. Just a lot of fun making out and a little bit of foreplay stuff. I think that’s probably the number one reason why our FWB experiment was such a positive one. None of that troublesome love hormone oxytocin got released between us at orgasmic level, which might have complicated our friendship.

If you think you might want to start an FWB relationship with an actual friend, check out this flowchart from TheDateReport.com to see if you can really hack it. Good luck out there, lovebirds. I mean, uh, friends.

Photo credit: iStock

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