Many of us have heard the statement: ‘let’s keep it casual’, but what does this actually mean? Can two people who are sexually attracted to one another refrain from developing feelings, or is it inevitable? Friends with benefits, also known as ‘fuck buddies’ suggests two people who are in a casual, sexual relationship who don’t intend on making things serious (that dreaded word). Successful FWB relationships result in both partners receiving sexual satisfaction without the emotional intimacy that comes with traditional, monogamous relationships. Are you interested in becoming friends with benefits with one of your mates and not sure what precautions to take to avoid getting hurt? In this article, we will list 6 ways you can keep yourself emotionally protected whilst having fun.
Stay emotionally neutral
Staying emotionally neutral comes with maturity. Perhaps having a few prior relationships in the bag will encourage you to adopt a genuine ‘no strings attached’ mentality when approaching an FWB relationship. Staying emotionally neutral means valuing your own wants and needs over that of the other person: if you think things are becoming too intense, make sure to end it; don’t get too invested in the other person’s life; if the relationship isn’t offering the satisfaction it once provided then maybe this FWB isn’t working out.
Refrain from cuddling
Despite the obvious physical intimacy two partners receive from a FWB relationship, any other physical intimacy could prove misleading and make the situation more confusing than it needs to be. Refrain from acting ‘lovey-dovey’ in public: don’t kiss, hold hands, or go on dates. Try and keep your relationship strictly confined in the bedroom so that your feelings don’t get confused. It is natural to develop feelings for someone you spend a lot of time with, so naturally, don’t!
Don’t sleep over
This leads onto the third golden rule: don’t sleep over. Although it may be tempting in the midnight hours, sleeping over is never a good idea. Watch how bodies slowly become intertwined and how a gentle kiss is planted on the cheek. On top of this, pillow talk can often get quite intimate. These small acts should be saved for serious relationships, so whilst it wouldn’t be okay to abruptly kick someone out after sex, make sure you are wary of arrangements for travelling home.
Don’t hook up all the time
FWB are casual relationships, they aren’t restrictive so have fun! Enjoy the company (and intimacy) of lots of people opposed to just one singular person. This way you are spreading your net wide and refraining to put all your eggs in one basket and thus develop unwanted feelings. Why not try dating? Whilst you are sexually satisfied, you can enjoy getting to know other people at a pace suited to you.
Where some advice would suggest communication is unneeded in FWB’s, many would suggest it is even more essential than in traditional, monogamous relationships. It is incredibly important to communicate not just about how you’re feeling in the relationship but also about sexual health (especially if you are both sleeping with more than just each other). Make sure to arrange regular ‘check ins’- they don’t have to be formal – but make sure to keep up to date with how the other is feeling: whether this relationship is working or failing to satisfy each other’s needs.
Choose your partner wisely
Don’t just pick a FWB because they are attractive. Make sure you are embarking on a FWB relationship with someone you trust and can communicate effectively with. What if this doesn’t work out? Will the partner turn their back and talk badly about you? Will they disrespect you? More pressing perhaps is the fact that an FWB could disrupt the harmony of a friendship group which has the potential to make things awkward for everyone. Really consider whether this is serving your interests or whether it is an impulsive decision that best be ruminated over for a while longer. Choose wisely!
Whilst FWB’s can be fun and exciting, there are a lot of risks that come with them. Make sure you are staying safe, communicating effectively and most importantly, protecting your heart! If you follow these top tips, you’ll be on the right path for a successful FWB relationship.